Of the Bombs and the Sun

Nonfiction by | November 25, 2007

Tacurong City and I have seen good days. The atmosphere where I grew up in has continuously changed having something to do with my expanding horizons and growing consciousness of the various events.

When I was a child, all I thought was that Tacurong was my haven. I grew up with all the love and joy offered not only by the people around me, but also by the enchanted trees and the birds, I ran freely with the wind, I slept soundly with the crickets singing their songs.

I had a deep appreciation of the sunset that I always saw from afar – across the rice fields which were just meters away from our house, and across the mountains, the proud Daguma Range. My little eyes found pleasure watching the sun paint the sky with colors as it set. The mountain ranges looked as if they were palms embracing a crystal ball that predicted my future. I would always find myself leaning on our gate’s post, staring dreamily at the sun until it vanished and gave way to the stars.

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One Sunny Day in Mintal, Davao City

Nonfiction by | November 18, 2007

One sunny day when green snakes basked by the dormitory gates, and the warty toads came out of the toilets, and trolls from the adjacent rooms were creating such a ruckus that my headache had a headache too, I decided to go to the mall for some peace and normalcy. The dormitory of the University of the Philippines in Mindanao was situated literally in the boondocks, and it was a 2 kilometer ride down unfinished roads to the highway. The only available transport was the habal-habal: a motorbike turned rough-road-taxi, whose driver ferried up to 4 to 6 passengers at a time.

To the people of Davao, this was a way of life. To me, it was a learning experience. On my first semester at the university, I was literally stuck at the dorm. I did not know how to ride a habal-habal. I was terrified of it, being the size of two normal Davaoeño. When an errant jeep or bus chanced by, I hailed it with so much zest that people thought my armpits were on fire. On one particular day, when I was desperate to get off the mountain, I begged for a ride on a meat delivery truck, and hung on a hook in its cargo bay like one of its produce. I knew, despite my circumstances, that I was blessed, since the truck’s cargo was long delivered and the bay was freshly cleaned.

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Observations of a Drinking Man

Nonfiction by | November 18, 2007

If I lie down Saturday afternoons in front of the TV, flipping cable channels – I’m alright. Or, if I close my eyes until the feeling goes away, and wake up at the exact moment my wife is serving dinner – I’m safe.

But the moment I venture out of the house, whether on an errand or after a phone call from a friend – I’m in trouble. The first shots offered are always refused. They are merely bait, dangled by istambays and kanto boys so that I will have the privilege of paying for whatever they’re drinking.

No, the first shot is best savored with a friend (usually the one who called.) The battleground is his sala or front porch with corned beef and lunch leftovers for pulutan, amidst loud laughter or whispering if the misis is around.

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Breakwater Girls

Poetry by | October 28, 2007

Little girls, little girls
Dancing by the breakwater
Their faces bloated like balloons
With electric plugs tucked behind their ears
Their eyeballs starting to fall from their sockets
Smiles turn to sneers
Maggots crawl all over their skin
Skin and bones visible through the naked eye
Blood on their clothes never lie
And whenever people pass the breakwater by midnight
Little girls with decayed teeth, torn-out clothes, electric plugs by their side and holes in their chests
Will come out to play with you
And make you wish they were locked in their baggage.

Kyouka Suigetsu / Mirror Flower, Water Moon

Nonfiction by | October 28, 2007

All your life you believe that you are happy, that everybody in the world is content with his own life. You believe that there is no such thing as being two-faced. You believe that people are like you, gentle and kind. When something bad happens, you forget that incident; that information is stored in a place where nobody else knows. All of you live in a lie and create a façade to cover up the grime. But what you don’t know is that the world mirrors the way you act and the lies slowly begin to build up. These days, the entire world is simply one big fat lie, hiding behind a mask that shows luxury, wealth and happiness. We’re all living in one great illusion, which we all believe is reality.

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Maharlika 23

Fiction by | October 28, 2007

Excerpt from the author’s ongoing scifi epic narrative Maharlika 23.

In a parallel dimension, the eon Sun glistens over Maharlika City, a strategic metropolis in a continent of planet Erthe. It is another morning in the year 2276 for its 3 million inhabitants, considerably among the largest urban areas by 23rd century Erthean standards. The city is an eclectic profusion of newly evolved Ertheans aggrupating from the various continents of the planet, and of interstellar representatives as well. With other metropolises, it is a pilot area for the immersion phase program of Erthe Federation and the Confederacy of Interstellar Citizens (CIC). The city is a virtual melting pot of intergalactic cultures with 4th Dimensional and 5D-evolving SUPERbeings.

Grand Old Man, intimately referred by the local inhabitants to a nearby volcanic mountain, is a silent witness to the growth of the populace. Rising from the terrain ranges of the city’s backdrop, the forests below its revered peaks reflect the early morning sprinkles as they slowly roll down the landscape and into the gulf boundaries of the sea. The evergreen blanket surrounding the city, its profusion of flora and fauna with remarkable species once dubbed endangered yet reviving to a healthy population, attests to the success of a conservation program implemented by Erthean ancestors centuries ago and had since survived even after the Great Upheaval (GU).

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