Ode to the Uterus (and those who own them)

Poetry by | August 7, 2023

My uterus is raging, ready to burst
in red. The pain runs through
my hips, my thighs, my legs
leaving me in fetal position
alone to clutch the smallness
of my stomach that clenches in ache.
It is angry, it demands, it throbs like
a beating heart—alive and enduring.
I persist like a banged-up drum
and dare to brave the torment that tries
to beat me down.

I will not succumb
nor will I surrender. I am persevering and
resisting like the uterus in anger.

Daryll Faye Gayatin is from Isulan, Sultan Kudarat. She is a BA English (Creative Writing) student at the University of the Philippines Mindanao.

one big wash

Poetry by | July 31, 2023

The machine brought to life by a soft ping,
You stare as your clothes begin to tumble
Into an array of vibrant hues spinning,
Water bubbling white you start to mumble
Nothing. No thing came to mind.
The soap was dwindling and you had no thoughts.
That frightened you, sitting down resigned
With nothing on your mind, just idle of sorts.

And yet as the machine spiraled into
Impossible speed, you laid back reclined.
The bubbles start to disappear and you
Stayed hypnotized by accelerated
Spinning garments. You’re okay with nothing.
And the machine sings back its final song.

Fatima Herizza D. Edding studies BA English (Creative Writing) at the University of the Philippines Mindanao in Davao City. She prefers to be called Lady, her nickname since birth. She is from Zamboanga City, Zamboanga del Sur.

One Bed Apart

Poetry by | July 31, 2023

Mama and Papa now sleep in different
beds. “Your father snores,” Mama said.

Papa has been drinking a lot of sour juice
lately, his breath stinks when he tries to talk

to me. “If Mama and Papa have to live in
different houses, who would you live with?”

Papa asked before he fell asleep on the couch,
waiting for Mama to come home. As soon as

Mama got home, she told me to go to my room
and play with Chippy, the stuffed toy that they got me

for my seventh birthday. Mama interrupted
my little tea party when she knocked

on my door. “Papa snores louder now,
anak,” she said. Then she went outside the house

and went inside the green car that looked
a lot like my Ninong’s—he was Papa’s kumpare,

the one that he used to drink sour juice with.
I have never heard of Mama since then.

Reggie is taking up a Bachelor of Arts in English (Creative Writing) at the University of the Philippines Mindanao. She is a completer of the Special Program in Journalism and a graduate of the Humanities and Social Sciences of the Davao City National High School.

In My Hometown

Poetry by | July 24, 2023

In my hometown,
alarm clocks were church bells
louder than my mother
at six in the morning,
ladies in long skirts
rushed to the choir’s call,
went home
with a bag of pandesal.

In my hometown,
clouds worshipped
a giant named
the calm waters
of the green and abundant
Panguil Bay.

In my hometown,
an old castle rusted.
A queen
dressed in pink,
crowned with stars,
had angels
patrolling the lighthouse.
For a visit, red candles
were offered.

In my hometown,
was a cursed hill.
Only towers existed,
only the religious
would climb
seeking for a treasure,
adults knew as penitence
during Good Friday.

In my hometown,
when the moon watched,
stories echoed as lullabies.
Bells cried in fright.
Malindang haunted the streets,
the Queen appeared on doors,
Hungry Bukagan walked and knocked,
I slept and slept,
I wouldn’t be eaten一 awake.

Caryl Trishia Escal Yapac graduated with the degree Bachelor of Secondary Education Major in English at Xavier University Ateneo de Cagayan. She was born and raised in Ozamiz City, Misamis Occidental. She was a fellow for poetry at the Saint Francis Xavier Writing Workshop (2022), Cagayan De Oro Young Writers’ Studio (2021), and Veritas Writing Workshop (2020).

Seven, Three, Zero

Poetry by , , | May 15, 2023

Christian Sabado

When there is pain, here is the immediate thought: end it.

​No matter the degree of hurt, my body, in its frailty and sensitivity, always yearns for a stop. An end to an unease.​

A sudden but momentary jolt of pain is much preferred than a pain that is less in its affliction but endures longer. Do not prolong the agony.

​A scrape on the knee, a toothache, a broken heart. Betadine, Ibuprofen, sleep. The mind always seeks for a cure. No matter how brief the relief it gives.

When one is in pain, one must look at its causes. I often do not. The duration of looking and seeing only makes the hurt more felt. The act of looking away is a kindness to the self.

But writing demands seeing. I look for the wounds within; wounds which I had hidden; wounds I did not know even existed. I seek them out. Wring out the blood. Piece them together. Make something out of it.

Some ink. Some words. Sentences. Stories.


Angela Sucaldito

I was brought to the hospital once during home quarantine as I was feeling faint. The doctor asked how I felt, as the nurses checked my blood pressure. I really don’t know what to say; how to describe what I was feeling. Was I in pain? Not really, but I couldn’t breathe. But no, my lungs didn’t hurt. There was a dull pain in my chest but it was not painful. It was tolerable. I was dizzy, but no, my head didn’t hurt either.

​What if he thinks I am bluffing? Was I wasting the doctor’s precious time?

 “On the scale of ten, I think it was three.”

​Other people have much more pain compared to mine. Much, much more than mine that I wondered if I had the right to talk about pain. To write about?

​It was tolerable, the pain. I may have cried about it for weeks but I was still able to sleep—more or less.

“You’re okay, you’re just over-fatigued,” the doctor said.

So how can I pour myself out on these pages when I am an empty vessel?


Nixie Serna

The house is a powder keg. Any sound or any movement is a source of heat – a spark. If I make myself as quiet as possible, there is one less chance for an explosion. If I make myself as small as possible, I will get through unscathed until tomorrow.

Reduce myself. Take up less space. Nullify the need to want because there is only so much that we can afford with a paper bill in my parents’ pocket. I am a well-behaved girl. I neither drag my feet nor point a finger when we pass by the candies on the cashier’s counter.​

Rip pages from my journal. Delete photos and messages. Forgetting means there is nothing to relive. And when there is nothing to relive, there is nothing to feel. Numbness is not an absence of pain but a side effect of unfeeling.



Christian Sabado, Angela Sucaldito, and Nixie Serna are 4th year BA English (Creative Writing) students of UP Mindanao. These lyric fragments are responses to the essay “The Pain Scale” by Eula Biss.

Urban Embrace

Poetry by | March 27, 2023

July noon, the city laid bare below an endless sheet of blue,
Davao’s downtown sprawl naked, its dusty urban flesh
crisscrossed with the implicit loom of wires,
Corrugated walls rust-colored like lipstick stains, or bruises.
Summer light, smoke scent, the siren call of engines—
These all add to the texture of cacophony,
The all-encompassing weight of a city onto the senses.
In this purgatory light of noon the world itself is unclothed,
Burnt by cloudless horizon, its sounds and stains uncovered
Without shame, without secrets,
Even when its embrace makes it difficult to breathe.


Tara Yakob Montiflor is a graduate of BA English (cum laude) from the University of the Philippines Mindanao, a Best Thesis Finalist for their poetry collection “The Streets will Not Embrace You.”

ayaw intawon kalimti

Poetry by | February 19, 2023

petsa kinse na
sa dominggo
nga gikahinaman
aron mauli na gyod
ang hinulamang kagoran
ay hinigugma

hagbay rang
durong kagod
sa gipabuak mong lubi

wa mo igsapayan
iyang pagkumot
ug ang pagkasapal
sa imong dungog
hangtod nisamot

kaispiso ang tunô
sarang ikaligo
dugang sa luha

Si Gerwin Vic Evarretta Bhuyo usa ka magtutudlo nga OFW sa Bangkok, Thailand. Kinaham niya ang pagkuha og mga hulagway, pagsulat og balak ug sugilanon. Kon walay kakulian, magyampungad ni siya sa mga ipahigayong book sale event.

Ginabuksan Ko Ang Gawang

Poetry by | February 19, 2023

kang imo hulot sa mga panahon
nga ang katinong nagapang-agda
kanakun nga magpanglubaybay
sa anang kasudlan, sa anang utok.
Sa akon pagsulod sa hulot nga dya,
ginahapulas ko ang imo radyo
nga nakapatong sa latok nga may bulak
nga sa buhay run nga panahon nagabuskad
pa dyang anang plastikada nga dagway.
Kuon ko, ayhan nagaparamungol sa pamuyayaw
kang mga komentarista nga wara ti bungog
ang radyo mo nga daw trumpa sa plasa
ang bolyum hay bukut kaw makadungog
sa panahon nga nagapangligis kaw ka sirilhigon
sa aton naalimunaw nga ugsadan kada aga.
May mga papel man ikaw nga tinago sa kahon.
Rugya, may aritos nga ginbulagan ka anang bana.
Kuon ko, andut wara tana ginkasal liwan sa isara
pa ka aritos ukon bisan singsing run lang man?
Mangusisa tani ako kanimo andut wara mo tana
ginapangitaan ka bag-o nga kahagugma.
Pay wara run ti makasabat kanakun ka dya.
Gin-uyatan ko nga may pagkabalaan
ang mga papel: may kontrata, tinay-an sa last two,
petsa kag adlaw kang gin-ihaw ang imo ayam,
bisan ang adlaw ka pagtaliwan ka imo
suud nga abyan nga mananggiti nga si Puti.
Ginasulung ko ti mayad. Ginalawayan ko dyang
akun tudlo agud to makadiretso takun
sa ginsang-an nga hiwag-os mo nga sinulatan.
Saksi ang mga papel nga ria sa imo katigulangon.
Nagapabilin ang kahumut kang mansiniliya
sa kalag kang mga papel. Rugya, may panalgan
ang mga siririmhuton: daan nga bisti, kingki,
yab-ukon nga sapatos, gasgas nga antipara,
tuba, kag delargo mo nga daw hinuluman sa balok.
Rugya sa imo hulot kon sa diin buhi ang katimgas,
akun ginatipon ang mga tinaga kang imo paghalin.
Ang imo ngaran daw sangka dinag-on
nga baratyagun kang kapung-aw nga nagabuta
sa mga basiyo kang Tanduay nga nakahal-id
sa idalum kang imo baratangan, ginapiyestahan
ka maduro nga tigulang man nga mga damang.


Mula sa Banga, South Cotabato si Adrian Medina Pregonir. Ang kaniyang mga akda ay lumitaw sa Liwayway Magazine, Dx Machina 4 ng UP Likhaan, TLDTD, Ani 41 ng CCP at iba pa. Ang kaniyang mga sanaysay ay nagwagi sa Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature at Gawad Rene O. Villanueva. Ang kaniyang koleksiyon ng mga Binalaybay sa Kinaray-a ay nagwagi sa Bantugan Panulatan Kinaray-a at Gawad Bienvenido Lumbera.