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Home is in the Heart

Albay 2K6 (Reming Aftermath)


Instead of frolicking in the snow

I will have to color my world in sorrow


Instead of wearing green and red

I will have to wear the color of the dead


Instead of going to the ballgames

I’ll have to go to church and pray

For the people who lost everything.

Requiem for the dead…

Coco Nuts

The charbroiled kamote is picked up from the glowing embers by dirty trembling hands
It’s charred skin similar to the one now holding it- dark, baked by the intense heat
Blowing cool air into the hot and smoking bounty of the fertile loam soil of Bicolandia
Making beautiful thoughts of the fare that would make a fine relief to the
Gnawing pangs of a hungry stomach.
Justiniano, a diminutive worker harvesting Copra in the middle of the vast Coconut plantation in Albay owned by the swaggering descendants of the Colonizers of yore
His face dripping with sweat while his hands continue to work with machine- like precision unmindful of the singing of the Balinsasayaws that dances from tree to tree
His thoughts wondering why they have to toil under the sun while their supposed
Masters had their ice-cold lemonades and biscuits in the shade.
A sad reality that more than a hundred years after our so- called independence
We are still nothing but slaves in our own country.



Lucid Dreams

into the knee-deep
floodwaters of
Espaņa Avenue
Feeling the touch
of the monsoon rain
caressing my skin
Tickling and refreshing
my senile memory to
Distant events of
twelve summers ago
Standing alone amid
the murky waters
Gazing at the
gray clouds above
My mind whirled
and twirled in a
Sudden rush of
nauseating vertigo
I closed my
eyes and felt the
bright flashes
Blinding my eyes
and holding my breath
Darkness consumed
my fading senses
As I collapsed into
the hands of the
waiting crowd
In the dark haven
of my dreams
I find solace in the
warmth of your kisses
Only to be rudely
awakened by the sting
Of the steely
hypodermic needle
Inside a four-sided
white-walled room
With plastic tubes
running in my arms
My heart is numbed
from the icy-cold
At the sight of the
pale body that
Was once my





Lapu-Lapu, Mactan, namatay si Magellan!
Rizal, Luna, Plaridel at Lopez Jaena,
Gomburza, Propaganda, La Liga Filipina!
Bonifacio, KKK, Aguinaldo, Jacinto, Dagohoy,
Rebolusyon kontra Espanol!
Malvar, Sakay, Ricarte, Del Pilar
Balangiga laban sa Amerika!
Mabini, Tirad Pass, Gregorio Del Pilar!
Macabebe, Aguinaldo huli sa Palanan!
Commonwealth, Quezon, Osmena, Laurel, Romulo!
Bataan, Corregidor, Death March, Makapiling naka-bayong!
I Shall Return! Tiger of Malaya!
Hunters ROTC, Hukbalahap, Gerilya
Pinalayas Hapon sa Pilipinas!
July 4, 1946, Roxas namatay sa Clark!
Quirino, arinola, CIA, Magsaysay is my Guy!
Filipino first, Garcia, Macapagal! Marcos -Maharlika!
Diokno, Salonga, Tanada Nasyonalista!
Flower Power! Peace Men! Ferdie- Meldy!
First Quarter Storm! Curfew! Martial Law!
Ninoy Aquino sa Bonifacio!
NUSP, SDK pati KM sa underground!
Joma, Dante, Melody at Misuari!
CPP- NPA nabuo! MNLF-MILF sumabog ang Mindanao sa gulo!
EdJop, Melito Glor dedo sa Enkwentro!
Marcial Bonifacio, Aquino-Galman, ATOM, JAJA atbpa!
Hidden Wealth, Hindi ka-iisa! Bayan Ko!
Cory-Doy, Marcos-Tolentino, Snap Elections!
The Filipino is worth Dying For?
Tadtad, Paring Misyonaryo kinain ang utak ni Manero!
Macliing Dulag, Cesar Climaco, at Evelio!
Veritas, Cardinal Sin, Butz, Johnny at Eddie sa Crame!
People Power! Marcos-Ver umiskapo!
Presidente Cory, RAM-Gringo nanggulo!
Brownout! Ka Lando at Ka Lean Pinatay!
Mendiola Massacre! NPA-ABB umatake sa kabayanan!
Magnificent 12 sa Senado, Ibinasura Base Militar ng Kano!
Lindol, Cafgu, Mt. Pinatubo bumuga ng abo!
Ramos, Tabako, Biyaheng Abroad, Centennial Expo!
PACC, Lacson, Kidnapping at Kuratong!
Walang kamaganak, Walang kaibigan!
Lover Boy, Loi, Joy, Laarni, Guia, at Rowena!
Mahjong, Magdamagang inuman sa Malacanang!
Boracay Mansion, Jueteng, Bingo 2, Erap Para Sa Mahirap!
Atong Ang, Dante Tan, Lucio Tan tsokarang kawatan!!
Brother Mike t Ka Erdie Spiritual Advisers ni Asiong! Jose Velardet Presidente sinabit ni Chavit sa Jueteng at kabit! Impeachment! Davide! Brenda! Ocampo! Dancing Queen!
Text Brigade! EDSA2! GMA pangulo!
Greenhills Overkill! Erap-Jinggoy dinala sa San Pedro!
Labor Day, Net29, Iglesia, El Shaddai, Pumalpak na EDSA3!
Abu Sayyaff, Ransom, Ate Glo pupulbusin ko kayo!
Hay naku, Bayan Ko!



I have only known you by name
A girl in the papers
Who dared the gods one day?

My heart bleeds
as silent tears fell.
When you took your flight
and ended your dreams.

The bell tolls,
offering a silent prayer
-for a fallen Angel.


Pag- Ibig, Masdan Ang Ginawa Mo

Nangangalyo na ang mga daliri
Sa kaka-kalabit ng mga kuwerdas ng gitara...
Namamaos na ang boses
Sa kaka-kanta ng harana...

Ngunit bakit tila baga ayaw man lang
dumungaw ng aking sinta?
Bakit kaya ayaw man lang niyang
pakinggan ang aking pusong sumasamba?

Dahil kaya sa meron na siyang napupusoang iba
O dili kayay mayroon nang sinisinta?

Nangangawit na ang leeg
sa katitingala sa dilim...
Naluluha na ang mga mata
sa katitingin sa bintana...

Umibig nang wagas...
Nagmahal nang tapat...

Ngunit ano itong aking napala?
Arinolang puno ng ihi--
--sa harap ay biglang lumagapak!

Contact me at:
July 2001


For J.G. Villa
The, heavens,
was, the, silent, witness,
to, this, heart's, ultimate, demise,
Where, the, wicked, crossed, the,
Northern, lights,
striking, a, pale, shadow,
on, Eves,
secret, rose, garden,
Nipping, in, the, bud,
the, flower, that,
is, bound, to, blossom,
Crushing, the, hopes,
and, dreams,
of, the, unborn.

Lignon Hill

You lay there, peacefully
in your magical splendor and reverie,
undisturbed for centuries.

Regally towering over the city
like a doting mother to her children
keeping a watchful eye on Legazpi.

Come hell or high water,
you stood your ground valiantly,
offering your greens to every tired soul
that came your way.

Then, one day the evil machines came,
driven by men with evil plans in their heart,
bulldozed their way into your navel
and wrecked your ample breast apart.

Now, you stood there forlornly,
wounded and weeping quietly,
your bosom's scarred and your heart's dead.
Gone are the birds and the trees and your beauty

all because of man's Greed and his foolish quest
of immortality...

*Featured in July 1-15, 2003



Memories of Tulay Mestizo
The fetid stench of the mangrove swamps
danced in the dark August air
as I stirred in my slatted-bamboo bed.

The serenity of the morning was rudely
awakened by the poundings of the torrential rains,
common in Albay, at this time of year.

Between the gray clouds and ankle-deep floodwaters,
a restless spirit waded into the muddy sea of man's debris.
Silent whispers from a voice in despair pricked
my sensitive hearts longing.

There, in the leech-infested rice fields of Tulay Mestizo
a listless breeze carried me into the realms of the dead.

I have faced my Karma...

For the first time in my life, I cried
and the salty tears like the white surf of Lagunoy Gulf
washed my dirty feet.

Bayan Muna Bago Ang Sarili...

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