In Boracay it’s Christmas
all year round, or at least
it’s always in anticipation
of some windfall from a white
fat guy, bearer of gifts: dresses,
perfume, jewelry, dinner, cash –
hopefully tagged with a clause
to marry in the future. For now
she needs to be naughty and nice,
play with him in the water,
be like the sea and lap him up;
he’ll have to buy her a halo-halo
to cool the hot elf down –
tearing open the presents for later.
For now he wants to stroll up
and down this wintry wonderland
(or at least she wonders if his snow
is any finer than her white sand);
she clings to the elbow of this man-tree,
the top of which she’d like to crown
with a star – later when he goes down.
For now she strains her legs to keep up
with him, walking on tiptoe to keep
her stilettos from sinking in the sand.
For Samal Island
The beach was a naked beauty
until brusque men from afar
heard of her and came:
one, two, all came,
deflowered her pristine waters –
she a frail captive of
the artichoke of their wanderlust.
A haven turned into a harem,
they forced her,
a virgin handmaid, to dance
the song of the wind.
Continue reading Naked Beauty
Batid kong hirap ka sa kinatatayuan mo
ngayon kaibigang kasoy.
Oo nga’t madilaw at mukha kang matamis
subalit bakit pagkatao
mo’y nasa kinalahati?
Alam kong sa loob nakalakip ang iyong
walang hanggang pagsisisi
at sa labas nakausli
dunong at kagandahan
na iyong inasam;
sa labas ng iyong kampana
tila mukha kang nagbigti.
Continue reading Pangaral ni Juan Tamad kay Kasoy
For someone who has never been inside Bankerohan, the place is the worst idea of a tourist spot. People who do not visit the far dark corners of it would even wonder why it had been made a destination. Others question why a wet market is constructed beside a dental clinic and other establishments that offer a comfortable place and clean services. The stink which makes passers-by cover their noses when the jeepney drives through; the dirt which can be seen in every vendor’s clothes, stall, sack, cart, and anywhere along the sidewalk; the chatter of the people which is nearly unbearable – are the main reasons that some people prefer to go to air-conditioned supermarkets. Furthermore, the rows of stalls are not organized. Some vendors simply pile their fruits and vegetables on a dirty sack along the sidewalk, and some even go beyond the boundary line, making traffic worse.
Continue reading The Heart of Davao City
gikan sa lubot
sa mayang nagpalami
sa bayabas nga hinog.
daw siling kuyos
apan sa sulod
Wa gayod maskin dukot,
sa lubot sa hungot.
wa maskin tansan.
Kay sa kalisod,
Ang kapid-ang tawo nagsaguyod
wa pa kapabulad
sa ilang mga mulo
ngadto sa dako-dako
sa mga manuplaay
Sa may kinadak-ang pako,
sa gahom, namasak
sa ekonomiyang lusak.
Ug tungod sa ilang kabungol,
nga mga tungol.
We all mature: one way or another. It is one of those simple facts of life we can never escape from. There will come a day when we realize that we have changed the way we view things — for the better, we hope. Just recently, that day made itself known to me.
Like Dorian Gray and Lord Henry Wotton, I used to value physical beauty above others. This was to me a tendency unconsciously observed. Do we not, as children, often choose playmates that look as pleasant as their genes or their parents’ money can make them? I was guilty of this. Aren’t we all?
When I was in grade school, there was this girl whom no one liked too well. I was not exactly the popular kid, either, but I thought I was better off than she was. At least I had some friends. She, on the other hand, was the sort others would run away from, as if she had a deadly and contagious disease. She was the perpetual ”it” of the oh-so-many playground games we played when we were kids.
Continue reading Maturity
That January Sunday promised to the most charmless, cheerless day in years. The weather seemed hesitant, and the time passed by slowly and clinically as though the world was flat and on lithium.
I had set an afternoon appointment with a classmate from high school — a huge crush of mine back in the day — who, for some reason or other, deemed me geeky yet accessible enough consult for her thesis.
She gave me a call late in the week, quickly explaining the requirements for her Bachelor’s degree in Communication Arts.
How could I have said no? Or do you see why I couldn’t say no? Full to the brim though my calendar appeared, if this was the same hazel-haired, hazel-eyed young woman who, if my recollection serves, had the habit of biting her lower lip whenever she talked….
Continue reading Sunday Class