Lost and Found Christmas in our Hearts Cassette Tape

Poetry by | November 15, 2021

Ok lang yan
Jose Mari Chan
Kahit ginapagtawanan ka nila
Hindi mo kontrol ang gina isip nila
Iba na ang panahon ngayon
Makapal na ang mga kubal

Maalala ko noon mas malaki pa ang Krismas tree sa akin,
bakal na gi twist na rebar at gipinturahan ng puti
gipalibutan ng silver na plastic na palamuti,
habang ginalagyan niya ng krismas lights ang San Francisco
ginapatugtug ka ni mama sa Karaoke
habang gina ayos niya ang bahay 

Sing a song and light up the lights
We need to make this Christmas bright
Hang your favorite dream on a star
Wish upon it Christmas night

Habang ginapag away ko si RoboCop at Elisa Masa action figures sa kwarto
Maamoy ko ang bagong floorwax na sahig
Gina imagine ko ito ang amoy ng snow
Alam ko na krismas na
Magsabit na kami ni ading ng medyas sa bintana
Magdating si Mommy Tess galing maynila

On a beautiful day that I dream about
In a world I would love to see
Is a beautiful place where the sun comes out
And it shines in the sky for me

Kabait ng mga tao sa isat-isa
Hindi na ginakuha ni papang ang kambyo niya sa nagatinda
kahit kami ni ading hindi naga away
ati-ati lang kami sa lahat ng bagay

Sing a song of gladness and cheer (gladness and cheer)
for the time of Christmas is here (is here)
Look around about you and see (look around about you and see)
what a world of wonder this world can be

Perstaym ko nagpa Gensan
Nag grocery si mamang sa Gaisano
Parang ilog ang daloy ng mga tao
Hanggang doon marinig kita
Jose Mari Chan
Habang nagapila sa cashier si mamang 

Can you hear the sound of life
Heard in the laughter of children at play
Can you hear the sound of voices sing
Feel the magic and joy they bring

Pag may naga caroling baya kay
Depende sa pagkanta ang ginabigay
Magalit si papang pag hindi ginatarong
Kapag gina yaga yaga ang pag kanta

Christmas children peep into Christmas windows
See a world as pretty as a dream
Christmas trees and toys, Christmas hopes and joys
Christmas puddings rich with Christmas cream

Ang palabas sa Starmovies kay home alone 1-2-3
O Batman returns – forever – robin
Ayaw ni mamang sa patutin kaya manokin
ang noche Buena namin
iba talaga ang lasa ng pagkain
pag ikaw ang ginapatugtug
Jose Mari Chan



na alam ko na kung sino ang tunay na santa klaws
At matanda na si Macaulay Culkin
At si Ben Affleck na ang Batman
ginahanap kita
pati ang Karaoke
pati ang krismas tree
ginahanap ko sila Robocop at Elisa Masa action figures
ang tunay na lasa ng manokin
ang mga naga caroling
wala naman sila
nawala ka na rin
gihalungkat ko na ang bahay ngayon
nawala ka na man

ginahanap kita
ginahanap ka ni mamang
hindi nya na daw maramdaman ang krismas
simula noong nawala ka
wala nang december sa kalendaryo namin
pati ang Karaoke
gibenta na sa bote bakal
ang krismas tree gikain na ng kalawang

wala na

wala na

wala na

o baka 

mali ako ng gihanapan

baka nandito ka lang

sa puso ko

Gerald is a Teacher/Poet of Tacurong City, Sultan Kudarat, South-Central Mindanao. He writes in a Hybrid form of Tagalog mixing Binisaya, Iluko, and Hiligaynon which is a common unifying language among the diverse cultures of South Central Mindanao. His works have been published by Anthologies, E-Journals, and Journals all throughout the Philippines. He advocates the use of SOX Tagalog in the literary community. He lives with his wife and eight fur babies. He hates needles.

Fat Man and Drying Pond

Poetry by | March 10, 2019

Mercy for our gasping gills-
We’re disowned by the rain, In vain
Fat man,
     Sprinkle some love into our mucked fins
     Just a little lick of liquid life

Our younglings dried for the flies
And our scales turn opaque –
As we are baked in mud we commune in death

Mercy for our gasping gills
Strike the broken ground for spring to flow,
In puddles of death, free us.
The sky has cursed our ponds to dry
     Please don’t curse us too
If you will take our forms for food
     We’re glad to offer you
Just let us breathe
     In water clean
          For an hour or two,

Poor fish,
Meshed in blackening pond weeds,
     I cannot take you as my food,
     Your septic flesh is searing now
          I’ll be dead before I chew
          Your sick fins chucked some stinky muck onto my lips
               Your brood lay drying closing to dying
          As I held you in the under the sun.
               Your jady color disappears

But fish,
I tell you this –
More cursed than you know.
This heaping fat is sucking dry my heart and inner core
I’ve not shown love,
Not even to my own,
I’ve been to hopeless wars
          And did my time
               Burying bodies during storms.

Old Church

Poetry by | March 10, 2019

You were never demolished-
Your posts are planted deep into this heart-
Foundation as thick as Puma Punku blocks.

I bring you with me like a burning birthmark persistent
In solitude and desolations-
I seek for your strong doors.
Your smell of dark fragrant moss and earth alive-
Like flowers of your grounds of rest and frolic and peace
Twisting on your iron gates.

Your trees I took them they stand like royal guards
Listening to countless pastor screams and prayer.

Humming melodies of John and Charles up until dark.
We were your little children always singing in the middle of services, saying bible verses like
Matthew 5 verse 5 “blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth”.

We ate your hosts and drank your juice behind your lighted cruciform.

As I take my verses in other churches
Your bells still toll
Even when I pass by your new face I still feel your ghost-
Your hallowed hall where the bats sleep,
The nests of birds you keep,
All are holy on your ceiling,
Holy on the wood wormed pews

And elders, they’re like embers burning,
I kept them in.
Their shadowy smiles linger on –
Old Church!
I seek for you in the darkest night falls –
I longed for you in my rest
Let me rest in the afternoons where the light enfolds you

Gerald Castillo Galindez is the winner of the 2017 Cotabato Province Poetry Contest. A graduate from the University of Southern Mindanao in Kabacan, North Cotabato, and currently teaches at the Senior High School Department of Notre Dame of Tacurong College, Sultan Kudarat. He is a fellow for Poetry in the 2018 Davao Writers Workshop.