Mababasa Rin ang Lupang Tuyo

Poetry by | July 13, 2020

Mababasa rin ang lupa
Ng pawis
Na tumatagaktak
Mula sa balat na nakabilad
Sa araw, sa kamay na makalyo,
Sa dumi ng mga kuko, sa mga paang pasmado.
Tuloy ang pagtatrabaho.

Mababasa rin ang lupa
Ng mga luhang
Tumatagas
Mula sa mga matang malabo
Ang paningin, sa sikmurang walang
Makain, sa ulam na palaging asin.
Tuloy ang pagtatanim.

Mababasa rin ang lupa
Ng marahas na ulan mula sa umuulang
Bala—
Mga balang dadanak ng dugo,
Mga balang sa bibig isinubo.

Mababasa rin ang lupa
Hindi ng pawis, hindi
Ng luha, hindi ng ulan.
Dugo ang siyang didilig sa
Lupang tuyo.


Luis B. Bahay Jr. hails from the Municipality of Tampakan, Province of South Cotabato. He graduated with the degree of Bachelor of Elementary Education major in General Education at Mindanao State University-General Santos City. A Licensed Professional Teacher. Also, an elected Sangguniang Kabataan Kagawad in their Barangay, Barangay Maltana.

Pulaw

Poetry by | July 13, 2020

Nakamata kog tungang gabii;
nalisang tungod sa uwan nga
gahaguros sa amoang atop
Mibakod ug milantaw sa taboanan
ug nasinati ko ang panuyo sa kilat
samtang ginlapdos niini ang mga panganod
Mihigda kog balik, naglaom nga hinaot
muhunong ang danguyngoy sa langit,
hinaot mahimotang na ang kilat;
apan wala. Mipadayon og bundak ang
uwan, ug ang kilat nagpirmi
gihapon og lasong. Ug ako; ako
naghinuktok samtang galantaw sa
gadagayday nga lusok-uwan; imong
nawong iyang ginahuwad.


Sums Paguia is an English teacher at Xavier Ateneo – Senior High School.

Sa Pilipinas May Batas, Batas Ng Mga Payaso

Poetry by | June 22, 2020

Sa gitna ng pandemya, gobyerno’y may batas
Bawal lumabas! O, bawal lumabas!
Baka’y ikaw mahawa o makahawa ng sakit na korona
Kung ika’y mahirap at nasa labas pa
Tiyak iilang oras lamang ang hantong mo ay sa pulisya,
At ayon, may mug shot ka na
Ang nakalagay, lumabag sa batas
“Wag pamarisan!” aba’y idinagdag pa
Kasong laybel at pagmumura sa mga awtoridad ang isasampa
Kung di kaawaan, tadyak, bugbog. at hindi korona ang ‘yong makukuha
Hay! Kawawang maralita, naghihikahos na nga,
Pinasanan pa ng kaso na hindi n’ya naman gawa

Oo nga’t batas ang bawal lumabas, o bawal lumabas,
Pero kapag apilyedo mo ay Pimentel
Ay nako ‘wag kang mag-alala kahit may dala ka pang korona
Ayos lang na nasa labas, kahit magliwaliw at gusto mong gumala,
Aba’y hindi iyan problema
Hindi ka huhulihin ng pulisya at hindi ilalagay sa selda,
Bagkus KoKosentihin at malayang-malaya ka
Okay lang lumabas, may “compassion” naman ang batas
Lalo’t kung isa ka naman sa lumikha ng mismong batas.

Oo, sa Pilipinas may batas, bawal magkalat ng maling impormasyon
O, bawal magkalat ng maling impormasyon,
Kung ikaw ay ordinaryong Pilipino,
Nagsulat ka sa Facebook nang birong premyong singkwenta milyon,
Pabuyang matatanggap ang makakapatay sa tuta’t buwayang
Patuloy pa rin sa pagkatay ng mga inosenteng buhay ng maralita,
Naku-nako! Sinasabi ko sayo, iilang oras lang at may subpoena ka na
Lumabag ka di umano sa batas laban sa pambabanta,
Nagkakalat ka din raw nang mga maling balita,
Kahit walang warrant of arrest,
‘Wag ka ng pumalag ‘pagkat sa mga mata ng mga taga-implementa ng batas,
Ika’y nararapat sa loob ng rehas
Pero kung pangalan mo ay kasintunog ng sorbetes na may flavor na Mocha,
Wag kang mag-alala kahit araw-araw ka pa magkalat ng mga maling balita,
Hindi ka makukulong sa loob ng selda,
Pagkat ang nagawa mo ay “honest mistakes” lang,
Ipapatawag ka lang sa opisina at papaliwanagin,
Makalipas ang ilang saglit, aba’y abswelto ka na,
Iba talaga kung kasing lasa mo ang Mocha.

O ha bawal ang pagbabanta, O bawal ang pagbabanta
Pero kapag ika’y pangulo ng bansa ay ayos lang pala ang magbanta,
“Hala sige baralin mo yan! Kumonista yan, buang!”
Huwag daw sa panahon niya,
O, makinig at sumunod ka nalang,
Wag mo ng kwestiyunin,
Baka bukas makalawa’y nakakahon ka na
Susunod sa mga mahal mong namayapa,
O, seseryosohin mo ba ang banta? Naku-nako, ‘wag na,
Pagkat ito’y pawang biro lamang
Tingnan mo ang mga mambabatas-militar panay ang palakpak at halakhak
Napakakomedyante talaga nitong Pangulo,
Sa mga birong hindi ko rin lubos maunawaan.

O, bawal ang pagtitipon-tipon ha,
O, bawal ang pagtitipon-tipon
Kaarawan mo? Naku! Kayu-kayo muna
At wag ng mag-imbita pa,
Baka mahawa at magkahawaan pa kayo ng korona
Liban na lang kung ang apilyedo mo ay kasintunog ng Sinas,
Wag kang mag-alala, ayos lang mag-imbenta
Kahit may rosas pang dala ang mga bisita sa iyong mañanita,
Wag kalimutan, ikaw rin ang taga-hawak ng susi ng mga selda.
Sige lang magpakasaya ka, magaling ka naman sa trabaho mo,
Bilib na bilib ang pangulo, mahirap ka nga raw’ng palitan
Para kang ginataang mongo na paborito n’yang ulam.
Kaya ang bilis mong makapagsabi sa amin ng move on,
Kahit ikaw naman ang may ginawang pamimintas at kasalanan.

O, makinig! Hindi batas ang mass testing,
O, hindi batas ang mass testing.
Pagkat mga opisyales, hindi alam anong ibig ipahiwatig ng gayong salita,
Sakit sa kanilang mga tenga, ika nga,
Sa kanilang mga KoKote, hindi natin kaya magsuri,
Isang daang milyong populasyon ay ‘di nila mawari,
Sabi nila’y, hindi nga nakaya ni SoKor, ni Pinas pa kaya?
Kawawang mga Pilipino, kailangan pang turuan ang mga polpolitiko nito.

O, sinasabi ko sayo, bawal lumabag sa batas,
O, bawal lumabag sa batas
Pero, pag kaibigan at kaalyado mo ang nasa gobyerno,
Ay pwede na pala ika’y lumabag sa batas
Walang subpoena at wala ka rin sa selda
Nasa labas, malaya, at nagpapakasaya ka sa pera,
O, kay gandang isipin hawak mo ang pulitika
Kahit taong-baya’y kumakalampag na,
Hayaan mo na yang mga aktibista lalo’t may kapangyarihan ka.

O, diumano ang batas ay batas,
Walang sinuman ang nakakaangat at nakakatakas sa batas,
Liban na lang kung ikaw ay payaso at pangulo,
Batas ay nasa bunganga at mga kamay mo.
Ang batas ay batas ngunit ito rin ay nababali,
Parang pangako niya sa atin noon at tayo’y nadali,

Kawawang Pilipinas. O, kawawang Pilipinas!

*Ang mga salitang bawal lumabas ay hango mula sa mga pahayag ni Kim Chiu, isang aktres


Jeo Olar (Ariana Maureen) is a graduate of BA Communication Arts major in Speech and Corporate Communication in the University of the Philippines Mindanao. She was the former Research Conference Coordinator of the UP Mindanao College of Humanities and Social Sciences 1st Mindanao Studies Interdisciplinary Research Conference. Currently, she is a writer of the Nonoy Librado Foundation, Inc. She writes news, organizational statements, and research. She is a trans woman activist. Sa Pilipinas May Batas, Batas Ng Mga Payaso was first published in Hentulon Nawa: Reflections in the Time of COVID-19.

On A Cliff

Poetry by | June 8, 2020

I no longer believe
in a god hiding behind clouds.
In the sea, the sky a lover of the water
sees itself fragmented.
What does it search, here and then?
God must be sleeping inside
the womb of the ocean. I knew this
as I have seen light sparkle from down
below. I imagine standing at a cliff’s edge.
I let go of the wind’s touch. I let go
of sight. Hairs lapping to my cheeks.
Sea foams crashing occasionally.
I no longer believe in pain.
No mystery would explain human sadness
like it is different from any other
breathing life. If there is a god
and god is indeed the sea,
why does it need to fake horizon?
Regardless, ends exist in so many things.
I imagine opening eyes for the first time
in years. I see an endless blue.
I see depth but I also see shallowness.
I must be missing something
now that my shoulders are cold.
Has someone touched them before?
My age fails me one more time,
but I am still young.
If there is a god, maybe god knows
all memories forgotten.
But I no longer believe
in a god who contemplates,
either on a cliff high above
or within many shades of abyss
drowning itself. If indeed god
does not exist, the world remains
fragmented. Young people wait to be old
only to wither, only to forget love.
What is it, then, that brought me here?
I no longer believe in life.


Ian Salvaña is currently doing his MA in Political Science at Central European University, Vienna and Budapest. His poems have recently appeared in New Contrast: The South African Literary Journal. He hails from his ethnic Mandayan hometown of Cateel, Davao Oriental.

Sang Bangin

Poetry by | June 8, 2020

Dugay da ako wa too
sang ginoo na ag magtago sang mga panganod.
Sang dagat, yang langit na yahigugma sang tubig
yakita ng kanaan kaogalingon na yaboak.
Onan yang kanaan piyagahanap ngani haw doon?
Gapatoratoy siguro pagtuog yang ginoo sang sod
ng tiyan ng kadagatan. Yasayod ako san-e
kay yakita ako ng suga na yagkidlap-kidlap gikan
ubos. Ihuna-huna ko yang pag-indog sang kilid ng bangin.
Ibuhian ko yang hawid ng hangin. Ibuhian ko
yang pagkita. Yalapdos yang mga buhok sang kanak pisngi.
Yakorosob usahay yang mga bowa ng dagat.
Dugay da ako wa too sang kasakit.
Ampan misteryo na makapasabot ng kagool ng otaw
na ama isab ng yalahi sang iban pa
na gaginhawa na kinabuhi. Kung awon agaw ginoo,
kung yang ginoo kay yang dagat,
nasa kinahanglan pa naan mangatik na awon kapunaw-punawan?
Bahala da, awon kataposan sang madaig na butang.
Ihuna-huna ko yang pagbuka ng kanaan mga mata sang pinaka-una na higayon
sang kadaig ng yalabay na tuig. Ikita ko yang way kataposan na asul.
Ikita ko yang kalawom pero ikita ko isab yang kababaw.
Awon siguro kanak kiyalingawan, kiyamingawan,
doon na matignaw da yang kanak abaga.
Awon kaha yahawid san-e sang-awon?
Siguro kay tungod ipakyas ako ng kanak edad,
pero bata pa sa ako.
Kung awon agaw ginoo, basin yasayod pa yaan
ng mga kiyalingawan da na panumduman.
Pero dugay da ako wa too
sang ginoo na ag mamalandong,
usahay sang bangin sang taas ng bungtod
o sang yagkalahi-lahi na itom ng lawod,
piyagalumos yang kaogalingon. Kung ampan
gayod agaw ginoo, magpabilin yang kalibutan
na boak. Yagtagad yang mga batan-on na tatigowang
para lang malanta, para lang makalingaw ng gugma.
Onan kaha doon ngidtong yagda kanak ngani?
Dugay da ako wa too ng kinabuhi.


Ian Salvaña is currently doing his MA in Political Science at Central European University, Vienna and Budapest. His poems have recently appeared in New Contrast: The South African Literary Journal. He hails from his ethnic Mandayan hometown of Cateel, Davao Oriental.

Bamboo Raft

Poetry by , | March 22, 2020

he owns the place. Daboy,
a child who only dreams
in a bamboo raft
that moves within a limited space
while the rope tightens the grip,
the ocean current wants
the bamboo raft to separate. like Daboy

who told me about living in the slums – their roof
allows the rain to penetrate the fragile floor where
they pile at night to sleep.
their food never changes – a monotonous menu
of instant noodles with its taste drowned
by an enormous amount of water,
and canned sardines with the help of the pressure from the fork
to make it look like
they never lacked something on their table.

if only Daboy knew Maslow’s hierarchy of needs,
and could speak a language afforded as a privilege,
he will surely scold at Maslow for his logic.
he would probably argue that life
isn’t a linear staircase; but, a spontaneous battle for space,
survival, freedom, and love. life is a labyrinth, instead.
its uncertain exits and entrances
will either turn you numb of the challenges
or force you to believe in the enduring hopes and dreams

just like Daboy sitting at his bamboo raft – his possession.
while allowing the chaos of the slum remains a backdrop,
he sits at the carefully woven bamboo poles, looking at the horizon
he can never touch.

he always wonders when
will the ocean stop scoffing
his bamboo raft that gradually loses its strength.
the salt from the ocean thins the bamboo poles,
and its current cracks the ropes. it’s becoming more vulnerable.

every day, Daboy becomes the bamboo raft.


Jupiter Cabig Jr. is a graduate of AB Psychology at Ateneo de Davao University with units in Sociology. He is the former editor-in-chief of Atenews, the official student publication of AdDU. He has a mixed-breed dog named Foucault.

 

Sang bangin

Poetry by | March 22, 2020

Dugay da ako wa too
sang ginoo na ag magtago sang mga panganod.
Sang dagat, yang langit na yahigugma sang tubig
yakita ng kanaan kaogalingon na yaboak.
Onan yang kanaan piyagahanap ngani haw doon?
Gapatoratoy siguro pagtuog yang ginoo sang sod
ng tiyan ng kadagatan. Yasayod ako san-e
kay yakita ako ng suga na yagkidlap-kidlap gikan
ubos. Ihuna-huna ko yang pag-indog sang kilid ng bangin.
Ibuhian ko yang hawid ng hangin. Ibuhian ko
yang pagkita. Yalapdos yang mga buhok sang kanak pisngi.
Yakorosob usahay yang mga bowa ng dagat.
Dugay da ako wa too sang kasakit.
Ampan misteryo na makapasabot ng kagool ng otaw
na ama isab ng yalahi sang iban pa
na gaginhawa na kinabuhi. Kung awon agaw ginoo,
kung yang ginoo kay yang dagat,
nasa kinahanglan pa naan mangatik na awon kapunaw-punawan?
Bahala da, awon kataposan sang madaig na butang.
Ihuna-huna ko yang pagbuka ng kanaan mga mata sang pinaka-una na higayon
sang kadaig ng yalabay na tuig. Ikita ko yang way kataposan na asul.
Ikita ko yang kalawom pero ikita ko isab yang kababaw.
Awon siguro kanak kiyalingawan, kiyamingawan,
doon na matignaw da yang kanak abaga.
Awon kaha yahawid san-e sang-awon?
Siguro kay tungod ipakyas ako ng kanak edad,
pero bata pa sa ako.
Kung awon agaw ginoo, basin yasayod pa yaan
ng mga kiyalingawan da na panumduman.
Pero dugay da ako wa too
sang ginoo na ag mamalandong,
usahay sang bangin sang taas ng bungtod
o sang yagkalahi-lahi na itom ng lawod,
piyagalumos yang kaogalingon. Kung ampan
gayod agaw ginoo, magpabilin yang kalibutan
na boak. Yagtagad yang mga batan-on na tatigowang
para lang malanta, para lang makalingaw ng gugma.
Onan kaha doon ngidtong yagda kanak ngani?
Dugay da ako wa too ng kinabuhi.


On a cliff

I no longer believe
in a god hiding behind clouds.
In the sea, the sky a lover of the water
sees itself fragmented.
What does it search, here and then?
God must be sleeping inside
the womb of the ocean. I knew this
as I have seen light sparkle from down
below. I imagine standing at a cliff’s edge.
I let go of the wind’s touch. I let go
of sight. Hairs lapping to my cheeks.
Sea foams crashing occasionally.
I no longer believe in pain.
No mystery would explain human sadness
like it is different from any other
breathing life. If there is a god
and god is indeed the sea,
why does it need to fake horizon?
Regardless, ends exist in so many things.
I imagine opening eyes for the first time
in years. I see an endless blue.
I see depth but I also see shallowness.
I must be missing something
now that my shoulders are cold.
Has someone touched them before?
My age fails me one more time,
but I am still young.
If there is a god, maybe god knows
all memories forgotten.
But I no longer believe
in a god who contemplates,
either on a cliff high above
or within many shades of abyss
drowning itself. If indeed god
does not exist, the world remains
fragmented. Young people wait to be old
only to wither, only to forget love.
What is it, then, that brought me here?
I no longer believe in life.


Ian, 23, is currently doing his MA in Political Science at Central European University, Vienna and Budapest. His poems have recently appeared in New Contrast: The South African Literary Journal. He hails from his ethnic Mandayan hometown of Cateel, Davao Oriental.

Moths

Poetry by | March 15, 2020

He came in one morning

through an ajar window.
I should have kept him as my pet
and watch his carcass decay.
I should have cut off his wings

and frame them, adding

to my collection.
I should have burned him—
left him in ashes.
I should have caught him,
fed him to birds,
ended the chase in my favor.
But he knew well to keep his distance.
So he flew in all corners of my room,
sprayed his scent and warded me off
suddenly and without remorse. He just left

as he pleased. But on his way out

I noticed a flutter of hurt and uncertainty

in his blinking eyes.
I should have just warned him away.
When he left, he left trails of honeydew

on my pot of flowers. A reminder of our undoing.

***

Krizza Jan D. Ceniza is an undergeaduate studying AB Interdisciplinary Studies minor in Media and Business in the Ateneo de Davao University.