Paruparo sa Konsepto ng Pag-Ibig

Poetry by | December 15, 2019

Bawat awit ay may kasagutan
sa mga tanong na ano at bakit
na isang paghuhusga sa subok
ng bait, sa pait, sa antas
ng panganib, sa pagsipat
ng mga kalawang sa daliri ng tiyempo.
Ang pag-init sa pagtapik
sa braso ng lamig ay hudyat
ng paghimok sa baywang ng daig.
Sumasalikop ang mga ugat
nito sa pinulbuhang rabaw tulad
ng abo sa puwit ng kawali.

Kakaiba ito dahil naninimbang
ang mga gilid at dulo nito sa
haplos ng daliri. At tulad ng pinakintab
na dyamante ay isang alipato
na masigla pa sa gusgusing kabayo.
Ang pagaspas ay isang kawalan sa eksena
ng pagdadalamhati sa tuwing mapuputol
ang gula-gulanit na salita at sinumpaan sa
dakilang pag-ibig.

Ito ang paglipad ng kulay sa
gitna ng lito, ng lipos, ng ingay.
Bawat lipad sa lilim ng panganod
ay pagtuklas na tumatama sa
pananagutan ng paningin at kalayaan.
Konsepto ito ng pag-ibig
na sumanib at tumugon sa hahakbangin:
tukuyin ang bingit, awitin ang awit,
pitasin ang bunga,
sagutin ang ‘ano at bakit’.


Adrian Pete Medina Pregonir is from Banga National High School, South Cotabato. He won the Sulat SOX Short Story Writing Competition and the third prize for the Kabataan Sanaysay category of the Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature in 2019.

The Chicken Traps

Fiction by | December 1, 2019

Arriving at the creek, Dina stopped to rest her aching feet from an hour of walk. She was dejected after an unsuccessful attempt to find work in a farm near the highway. For months now, she was unable to get any work so that she and her two children can have money to return to her parent’s place in Zamboanga.

It was already mid-morning and she hadn’t had her breakfast yet. She put on the ground the cloth bag she was carrying. It was a bit heavy with the five leches of rice that Nang Lorna, the bisayan who lived near the health center in the highway gave her upon knowing that she hadn’t had rice for some time now. She thought about her two children she left in the house with only roasted eggplant for breakfast.

She bent down to pick up her slippers, raised her skirt and steps into the cool murky creek. She quivered as the cold water rose to her naked thighs. Looking around and seeing no one, she raised her skirt more.

She looked toward the big river to her right where the creek empties its cold water and saw a log, surely washed out from the heavy rain the previous night, slowly floating downstream. She turned her head back. The image of her husband on that same river came back every time she saw big objects floating. It also rained hard that same night. It was more than a year ago. They found his body floating on the river bend where the water almost stood still. There was one gunshot wound on his chest. She heard people talking behind her about what really happened that rainy night, but she believes her husband was only setting traps for wild chicken across the river.

She was only twenty-nine years old. Her long black and shiny hair made her look a little shorter and smaller than she really was. Her face still carried that youthful look since she came to Ado’s place from Zamboanga ten years ago.
Life was supposed to be better here than in the congested streets of Zamboanga or the shorelines of her father’s place in Bolong where the smell of dried fish permanently infused in the air. Here, her hair always smelled of fresh coconut milk every time she returned from the spring to wash clothes and to take a bath.

Andun koliwag ug nyugan nyu?” Ado would always tease her in his native Subanon dialect as the sweet smell of fresh coconut milk filled the air. He was asking how big her coconut plantation was.

Continue reading The Chicken Traps

Dahon Nalang Sana Ako

Poetry by | November 24, 2019

Marahil, guryon akong hindi mahahalikan ang langit
sapagkat isinasantabi lang ako ng mga alapaap.
Aabutin mo siya tulad ng mga bituin sa karimlan.
Ang hiwaga ng pag – ibig mo ay kasinglawak rin
ng espasyong pumapagitan
sa tadyang na pumoprotekta sa puso ko.

Ngunit paano naman ang sa akin inay,
Minsan mo rin akong tinawag na anak, hindi ba?
Dahon nalang sana akong tinangay
ng malakas na hangin patungong kawalan.


Ivan Ridge Arbizo is from Davao City High National High School.

Skylab (You Goodbye)

Poetry by | November 24, 2019

Inigkiling ning katig
sa atong sakyanan,
huna-hunaa
ang atong mga kaagi
padulong ning taknaa

ug kon malantaw man nako
ang pang-pang nga atong
pakahagbungan,

tutokan ko gihapon
ang galurat mong mga mata
kay sa ulahi natong pagginhawa,

magbulag ta –
ikaw sa tuo, ako sa wala.


Lance Harvey Gonzales is a BS Electronics Engineering student from Mindanao State University – General Santos City.

Tinagutlo nga Pag-aninaw sa Tuboran

Poetry by | November 24, 2019

I.
subay ning sandayong midagayday
ang tubig gikan nianang tubod sa karaang
kamansi diin giugbok mo ang talinggab
sa patong nga kawayan diha sa iyang kasingkasing
ug mibugwak ang iyang tam-is nga luha
kon imong tutokan ning gisubayan sa tubig
ang lumot mikunot na, apan lunhaw gihapon-
himsog, ambongan, walay sama nga misala
sa bul-og sa luha sa kalipay
timan-i:
kining tubora mao ang matuod nga katagbawan
sa kalibotan nga bisan sa kataposang lad-ok
sa tamsi, mobalik ug mobalik siya aron sa pagsigop
sa sabaw nga inipis sa iyang inahan

II.
ug nakighiusa ang mga alindahaw
sa tagsa-tagsang pisik nianang tubora
kay gipahabogan mo man ang iyang pagkamapaubsanon
tinobdan, matod pa sa usa ka ermitanyo
nga giuhaw gikan sa makabungol nga kamingaw
ang mga alindahaw nahimong ulan–
mingbunok ug sa nahuwasan na, milurang
namingaw ang kasapaan ug nanggitib ang mga balili
kay ang luha mopahulay human sa pagbul-og
ang tubod nagpabiling ipisanan
ug higayon na sa mga pirok-pirok ug antulihaw
nga moambit sa kalipayon
human sila makasigop sa sabaw,
nanghiniksik ug dayon milupad
sa kapunawpunawan

III.
miduaw pag-usab ang uwan
kuyog niya ang habagatnong hangin
kansang taghoy misulay pagbuak sa
bugnawng lugas sa klasikong harmonyo
ug napukaw ang nahinanok nga dagayday sa kasapaan
pagkaanugon, karon ang tamsi nahisalaag na
kay miikyas ang kanhing tinobdan sa tubig
nianang kahoy sa kinabuhi
siya milukso sa pikas tampi, nanghuhoy ang iyang abaga
wa na makatultol sa kanhing ipisanan
apan siya nagpaabot hangtod sa udtong tutok
ug milupad sa wala nay pagbalik


Jovanie Garay teaches language and literature subjects at DOSCST-San Isidro Extension Campus. His short stories and poems appeared in Dagmay, Manila Bulletin’s Bisaya Magasin, Kabisdak and Katitikan. This poem won first prize during the 2019 Bathalad Mindanao Tigi-Sinulatay under poetry category.

Color Game

Fiction by | November 17, 2019

Nangiyugpos si Lisa samtang nagtan-aw sa bola nga bag-o lang gibuhian ni Jude. Iya gyod kining gihatod sa iyang panan-aw sa matag kanto nga ligiran niini samtang gapugong sa iyang gininhawa. Ang kakulba nga dugay niyang gipahiluna sa iyang kaugalingon mora na pod og bomba nga mipaulbo sa kapuwa sa iyang dagway ilabi na sa higayon nga mohinay na ang pagligid sa bola ug mosimhot sa numero nga iyang gipustahan.

“Onse lang!” siyagit ni Lisa samtang nagkumo sa duha niya ka kamot.

“Baynte singko!” matod pa sa bolador nga midali-dalig hakop sa mga pusta nga nangapilde.

“Peste baya aning yawaa, uy! Mipusta ko ganiha sa baynte singko, ang migawas onse. Karon nga mipusta ko sa onse, mibalik na pod ang baynte singko. Animal baya ani, uy!” yawyaw ni Lisa nga nagpangawot sa iyang ulo human mapilde ang iyang baynte pesos nga sugal.

Taudtaod, miabot si Lloyd. “Ayay! Daogan na ka diha, Sang? Daghan na man lagi kag gikumo,” bugalbugal niini dalang kusog nga agik-ik. “Manglibre na man sad kaha ni ron, ha-ha!”

Naa na sad ning sige og paghingi, ay. Nagdala lang nis malas ang buang, bawong pildero ta, ni Lisa sa kaugalingon samtang mihatag og taphaw nga katawa kang Lloyd.

“Unsay sige og gawas, Sang?”

“Bisan unsa man lang. Pusta na diha, kaganiha ra baya na sige gawas imong numero.”

Continue reading Color Game

Beside them, the body

Fiction by | November 10, 2019

Is all that matters, is the most precious thing in the basement of Memorial Medical Center. Outside the mortuary, by the landing of the stairs, a laboratory technician taps her foot against the white tiles, lays a hand on her cheek. She thinks this gesture implies innocence or ignorance. This will improve her image for the officers in uniform trying to reach the body. But they are not looking at her, because for them, the body is all that matters.

The body is the person stripped of subjectivity. It is futile to describe the body to evoke the reader’s horror at the mangled state it’s in. It is enough to say that, in addition to subjectivity, the body is stripped of many things. The transition from person to body has been violent. As a person, she was Justine Fuego, 19, a chemistry student from the state university. During the Diliman Commune, she helped her fellow batchmates make Molotov cocktails to throw at military helicopters hovering overhead that attempted to disperse their collective. That was six months ago. Five months ago, she joined Kabataang Makabayan. Four months ago, she lived with farmers in Davao del Norte. Two months ago, she was organizing workers in Tondo. Now, she is the body in the mortuary.

There is a group of students and a teacher keeping watch over the body. The teacher is a math instructor at Justine’s university. She teaches Introduction to Calculus. She was supposed to introduce derivatives to her class earlier that morning. But after finishing breakfast, she received a call that Justine’s remains had been found, prompting her to meet up with some other Kabataang Makabayan members to retrieve the body. When they reached it, the operation turned from retrieval to protection as the officers in uniform arrived.

Continue reading Beside them, the body

Lila

Fiction by | October 20, 2019

BAI LOOKED AT me again and again. Maybe it was because my eyes were so puffy from barely having any sleep, but that was no excuse to keep glancing at me in class. I gave her a look.

“Did she talk to you again?” Bai whispered.

I turned towards the blackboard and nodded.

“Do you want to share baon today?” she asked. I told her yes.

After class, we waited until everyone else went to the canteen. Bai swiveled in her chair to face me and crossed her arms.

“Inah says we should choose our own friends. She’s right, you know.”

“Did she make you tuna sandwich?” I asked. “You can’t eat mine, it’s eggs and pork.”

“That’s three days now. Mrs. Corazon probably knows we’re sharing.”

“You can have my juice.”

Bai spent the rest of recess trying to help me understand the math lesson ahead. She explained things simpler than the teacher. As always, I understood better with her.

By the time the bell rang, I was feeling proud of myself. Bai pinched both of my cheeks.

“You did it!” she said. “You should smile more, Lila. You look like a teddy bear.”

“Teddy bear?” I asked. I thought of a huge, brown thing, the one people won at carnivals for hitting the bull’s eye. “That big?”

“Oh, I didn’t mean it like that, Lila!”

“It’s fine,” I said. “Mama says I should start exercising, anyway.”

“What did she say this time?” asked Bai.

“The same,” I said in a tiny voice. “She said I’m not supposed to be friends with you anymore.” I pursed my lips and busied myself with putting away my lunch box. When she was sad, Bai pouted and widened her eyes like a puppy. She only did that when she felt really bad for me, which was becoming more and more often.

Bai adjusted the veil covering her hair. It was pink today. She held my arm and said, “Let’s go buy some stuff at the mall after class, okay? I’ll tutor you on the way.”

Continue reading Lila