Letter to My Atheist Brother

Nonfiction by | February 8, 2009

What I’m going to do is just share you something because, by having said that you’re an atheist, you remind me of what I was then and the thoughts that I harbored and the journey that I had to go through. Perhaps, your statement is a blessing because it has challenged me to write down and crystallize everything that I believe about God.

But before I start, I just want to ask that you own your statement. It is so easy to say “I believe in God” but it is a wholly different matter to say one doesn’t. To say that you’re an atheist is itself a product of deep reflection and hence must not be uttered in jest or mere fun. I expect that you take your statement seriously because this is a serious matter to begin with.

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Fiction by | July 27, 2008

The unpaved, dusty dirt road seemed to stretch on forever. We were on our way to Pangutusan to visit the farm because Uncle Jeffrey was eager enough to test his brand-new CRV on rough terrain. So there we were, on a farm road bordered by jungles of trees and corn stalks, heading to nowhere. I listened while Lola, Aunt Len, and Uncle Jeffrey chatted the ride away.

Even back in the poblacion, I was already reluctant to go but Uncle Jeffrey persuaded me to. He told me that I should visit Lola’s farm more often because we, her grandchildren, would be inheriting it later on. Inheriting the farm interested me so I went along.

“It has been such a long time,” grinned Lola, gazing out the window. She had not visited the farm for about a year.

“Have you heard anything about Nong Felipe, Ma? The harvest season was supposed to be last month,” asked Uncle Jeffrey.

“Hay, naku. Nong Felipe stole our share again. I bet he already sold all the durian by now. And the bananas too!” my Aunt Len replied. Continue reading Collateral

Dagmay Legends: Origins of the Dagmay Cloth

Fiction by , , , | July 13, 2008

The Origin of the Dagmay Cloth, The Mariano-Muya clan version as retold by Amelia Muya Anong.

A long time ago, there was a community that was located far away from civilization. The people used the barks or leaves of trees for clothes. They lived in caves or built their houses in the trunks of trees. Their sources of living were hunting and fishing.

One day the Biya (Maiden) was taught by her friend Diwata how to weave bugti, a cloth with no color or design. She used it as her clothes. Then Biya taught other women to weave it for their clothes too. And so they did not use the barks or leaves of plants as their clothes anymore.

One day Tamisa , the brother of Biya, went hunting. While hunting, he found a beautiful piece of Cloth which was being dried under the sun. He stole it and ran home as fast as he could. Thunder, lightning and storm followed him until he reached home, half-dying.

Before he died, he gave the Cloth to his sister, Biya. Through the help of her friend Diwata, the storm, thunder, and lightning calmed down. Diwata told her that the owner of the Cloth was “Mapandig Tagamaling Magsainag ng Kilat” and the name of the beautiful cloth was DAGMAY. Biya wanted to return the Dagmay cloth but the spirit owner refused it because it was already paid for with the life of Tamisa and that it had already been touched by human hands. Thus, Biya got the Dagmay, and when she returned home, she copied the designs through the help of her friend Diwata.

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The Driver's Blessing

Poetry by | September 9, 2007

One day, I saw a driver
He was getting off his jeep
He ran to the roadside, stood against a wall
And became a priest
He stood with his legs apart
Looked up to the sky above
Bowed down his head in prayer
And clasped his hands in front of his hips
In silent supplication
In fervent adoration
Then he started to perform his rite
And suddenly out gushed
A spray of amber water
The driver has blessed the concrete wall
And washed away its sins