At the Transom Window

Nonfiction by | September 15, 2019

A transom window is a framework made of wood or metal that is built into a wall just below the roof. In post-colonial Philippine Architecture, a transom has ornamental moldings with holes carved through to allow light passage and proper ventilation. It is usually installed in the living room on the top of a 10-feet tall wall. One needs to use a ladder or can levitate to reach the transom.

I used to rent a space with such post-colonial Philippine Architecture. I shared the space with two other women renters, but I stayed in a separate room. One of the renters was a former secretary who had to stop her work because she was under chemotherapy for kidney cancer. The two women belong to the same Seventh day Adventist Church.

Two weeks into my stay there, a new lady joined us. The owner of the house, herself a breast cancer survivor, needed a new cleaning lady. This cleaning lady looked very interesting. She had thin lips that allowed her big teeth to cover most of her face whenever she managed a smile. Her long black hair matched the deep dark color of her eyes. She was a 5-foot-tall woman in her fifties. Her name was Ate Liling.

Every day, Ate Liling would bring me biko. She said that I needed to eat because I was very thin. But I wasn’t a fan of the food she offered, so I left it to rot. Ate Liling didn’t like this lack of attention so she would visit me every so often just to chat.

Sometimes, Ate Liling would tell me tales about her family. She missed them so much.

Once, I asked where they were. She said they were gone. They died a tragic death. She said that food served from a wak-wak transformed them into such local beasts so the people in her community hunted and burned them to ashes. Ate Liling was a very good storyteller. Often, as she laid down the details of her past, I would find myself wandering into the darkness of her eyes convinced of the madness. As soon as she noticed that I was drawn into her tale, Ate Liling would laugh so hard, her face smothered by her big set of teeth. If I didn’t understand her humor, I would have thought that Ate Liling was deranged. “You know what wak-wak wants?” she would ask,”they want to feed on fresh babies. But sick people are tasty to them, too.” Her stories were wild, so I gathered that she probably had a traumatic childhood.

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Panahon ang Lumay

Poetry by | December 25, 2016

Usahay ugtas
ang atoang kaagi
sa kahiubos

mga pasangil
sa pakyas nga pasaad
lugda mipisil

sa kadugay sa
oras, gaduhaduha
kun mupadayon

ang gugma nato
ma wahig ug pagbati
mawad-ag awog

apan kani ra
akoang maingon sa
imo pangga, ko

Kung igarapon
ang tui-g nga miagi
sama sa lana

mahimo kining
ang pinakakusgan sa
tanang gayuma.

Glorypearl Dy is a filmmaker based in Davao City. She was a fellow at the 2011 Davao Writers Workshop.

Nana and Our Nangka Tree

Nonfiction by | October 26, 2014

Yesterday I bought a pack of nangka or jackfruit from the grocery store. The smell was so enticing that I had to pick one and convince myself I wasn’t splurging. One pack has 10 seeds and costs 50 pesos. Immediately after paying, I pulled the bubble-wrap, took out one seed at a time and savored every bite. I planned to finish all in one sitting and not have any leftovers inside the refrigerator for later. My Nana, or Yaya, as many would associate her, used to tell me that the smell of this fruit extends unsolicited to all other elements in the fridge, like a surprisingly sweet gesture.

Before transferring to study and eventually own a company based in Davao, I used to live in Dumaguete City. There, we have a two-storey house fenced by a number of mango, chico, and star apple trees, as well as, a good growth of garden vegetables to harvest by season. To welcome visitors in our front yard are other plants such as a line of orchids and relative flowers. The main attraction is like a CTA widget inviting neighbors as it consistently bears two fruits every month. It is our Nangka Tree located on the right side, facing the gate. My Nana would wrap each of the tree’s fruit upon its birth and when it matures, it would reveal a large sweet and fleshy product enough to make a family of five happy. My twin and I, the Nangka and its interests were among Nana’s primary concerns.

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Poetry by | October 7, 2012

I walk
I try to count my breathing
and synchronize it with my steps.
It is genius, I thought as I walk
someone has done it.
I walk, I walk
I try to count my blinks
while I breath and I stride.
I feel contemporary as I walk
someone has done it.
I walk, I talk, I decide
I need to kill someone who has done it.
Kill and walk
Kill and walk
I thought it new
someone else has done it.
I dance, I write
I try to eat what I write
I try to dance while I eat
someone always has done it.
I feel small.

Glorypearl Dy was a fellow of the Davao Writers Workshop in 2011. She is currently working as an online content writer and multimedia developer.

Heller's Confession

Poetry by | June 10, 2012

Blame it on the god
for making creatures
conscious only for
an instant. The past
being a memory;
the future, a goal;
the desire’s requests,
Because if I were
to be aware of
my existence in
all of dimensions,
I would sure subsist
in this world before
you have become
an institution of–
an incarnation
of classic authors,
a puppet of my
basic aesthesis.
One generation,
our mothers would breathe
us out; couples of
couples born of words
as we memorize
a language; as we
fiddle with stories
lines, schizophrenic.
There would be no gap
between years in school.
I’d be eager to
relish walks in the
your hand clumsy on
mine. And in our youth
just a cognition
an innocent view
of how couples make
love. Slow move affair
like commercial films
you critic quickly.
I do not intend
to reveal secret
thoughts in between us.
The years together
defined love– for some,
pity, for me, lust.
For you, as teacher,
as educator,
there are millions of
tales in between moans.
I am grinning at
a memory, clear
but surreal, no fear.
You might grasp death which
arrives before mine.
While I write my name
on publications,
you finally take
Sabbatical leave,
in time for content
to preclude more dreams,
in time for me
to make more ambitions.
I am afraid. I
am afraid. I need
to confess. The truth
is fidelity
has been testing me.
With these dreams of you
It, a kinder state.

Glorypearl Dy is a fellow of the 2011 Davao Writer’s Workshop. She works as a consultant writer for an outsourcing company.