Sa Mga Batang Tausug

Ni Kislap Alitaptap


Wala nang oras ang programa
Ihabol ang mabuting balita
Pantanggal umay sa balitang
Baha, lunod, guho
Ulan, hambalos, bugso
Dumagundong ang tambol
Ng pananagumpay ng
Kaayusan laban sa karahasan


Nabanggit kayo sa balita
At sa pagmamadali
Ng nagbabalita
Nakalimutan niyang
Kayo’y ipakilala
Na kayo ay mga bata
At hindi mga sandata
Ang lansones at mangostena
Na inyong dala-dala.


16 Setyembre 2018
Lungsod ng Baguio

Lanzones at Mangosteen (o sa pitong kabataang Tausug)

Ni Pia Montalban


Nanlalagkit ang dagta,

kahit anong tamis

ng kabataang hinog

at di huhulas

ang lilang lamog

mula sa mga nilagusan

ng pulbura’t tingga.

Pitong bungang pinitas,

dagta’y pula ang tagas…

Pitong kabataang mag-uuma

yakap-yakap mga kahon ng bunga,

ngayo’y ikakahon silang terorista—

A-bu sa-yaff!


Ngunit gumugulong sa kalsada

ang nabitawang mga bunga

at magsasalaysay lamang ito

ng tapat na mga tala.

Banwar / Bayani

Ni Rene Boy Abiva




Maysa malem nga naglabas

permi dung-aw ni Rosas

mabalin siguro nga nalagip na

dagiti annak na nga immadayo

dagiti annak na nga nagsakripisyo

dagiti annak na nga nangidaton iti biag

dagiti annak na nga iti maysa nga puyot ti paltog

ket naburas kasla nasam-it nga ubas ken mansanas.


                                                                      Setyembre 9, 2018

                                                                     Syudad ti Kabanatuan, Nueva Ecija




Isang hapon

panay ang tangis ni Rosas

maaari siguro na kanyang naaalala

ang kanyang mga anak na nalayo sa kanya

ang kanyang mga anak na nagsakripisyo

ang kanyang mga anak na nag-alay ng buhay

ang kanyang mga anak na sa ‘sang ihip ng baril

ay naani na gaya sa matamis na ubas at mansanas.



                                                                            Setyembre 9, 2018

                                                                           Lunsod ng Kabanatuan, Nueva Ecija

‘Tu Pug Imatuy?’

ni Rene Boy Abiva


Kung sukdulan na ang pagka-alipin

mainam pa’y tupdin

ng kaluluwa, bisig at kamao

ang pinakamatayog na tungkuin

ng bawat tao

sa mundo.


‘Sing linaw ng tubig sa bukal

ang utos ng Maykapal

sa Lumang Tipan

na ang tanging kabayaran

sa lahat ng lumalapastangan

sa tao, hayop at kalikasan,

sa buong santinakpan

ay ‘alang iba kundi kamatayan.


‘Sing talas ng palaso ni Achilles

ang katwiran ng mga Dakilang Pantas

sa ating kasaysayan.

Naririyan si Rousseau ng Pransya

si Locke ng Britanya

si Lincoln ng Amerika

at si Marx ng Alemanya

o ng sarili nating si Rizal ng Calamba

Bonifacio ng Tondo

Datu Paking ng Lake Sebu

at Parago ng Paquibato .

Na kung ganap naman nang tinalikdan

ng mga nahalal at naatasang mamuno

sa yaman at lakas ng buong bayan

ay nangagsipagtaksil sa taumbayan,

marapat ang mag-aklas!

at sila’y patalsikin,


hulihin at litisin silang mga taksil

at iharap sila sa tunay na hukom

at ipatikim at iparanas sa kanilang kaluluwa

ang kabayaran ng kanilang kataksilan:

‘sang mapait na kamatayan

sa ngipin ng panabas at guillotine. 


‘Sing tatag ‘to ng paninindigan ni Ka Simon

umaalimbukay at nagniningas na gaya sa ‘sang pugon.


Agosto 14, 2018

Lunsod ng Queson, Maynila


*ang salitang Tu Pug Imatuy ay mula sa wika ng mga Lumad ng Mindanao na ang ibig sabihin ay The Right To Kill.

GOYO: A review

By John L. Silva

The cineaste in me had some trepidation viewing Goyo, the nickname for General Gregorio del Pilar, coming on the heels of the box office hit Luna, that irascible General Antonio Luna who, like del Pilar, fought under President Emilio Aguinaldo (played by Mon Confiado) in the Filipino-American War.

Would a successful film dilute the creative juices of Jerrold Tarog for this next film, about a 23-year old “boy general” who takes up the cudgel of fighting for the newly formed Philippine republic after Luna’s untimely demise? Would more access now to funding complicate the script, be more nuanced, erratic and become an ego stroke for the director and producers?

Well, as I return from the movie premier, with a notebook full of scribbles, I confess to be quite taken by the depth of this cinematic experience. Goyo is a study in historical profundity, in dialogue bordering on poetry, in the cinematography of verdant mountains that chokes the heart, and in actors that have managed to approximate the heroes and villains we study and revere. In effect, director Tarog, the producers, the cast, and the crew outdid themselves.

The movies cuts to the chase at the very beginning. Luna has just been butchered by Aguinaldo’s soldiers, interesting in that this movie lays Luna’s death directly on Aguinaldo’s lap, the last one having pussyfooted on the issue. There’s a massive roundup of soldiers under Luna’s command including a high ranking officer, Col. Manuel Bernal (Art Acuna) who refuses to change his allegiance. For that he is tortured under the unfeeling eyes of Gen. del Pilar (Paulo Avelino) but still manages to throw insults at del Pilar, accusing him of following whatever Aguinaldo commands. He yells hauntingly at del Pilar, that he is, in effect, “not a soldier but a dog.” As del Pilar leaves the cell, the bloodied Bernal, at the point of snapping, yaps like a loyal dog with a humiliating bark which would stick with him, and haunt him.

In 1899, Less than six months after the start of the war, Aguinaldo’s forces suffer setbacks and flee to the north, to Dagupan in Pangasinan. They are there for five months providing respite and developing a more developed profile of del Pilar who it turns out is a sly flirt and a ladies’ man having broken many hearts in the towns they retreated to, as evidenced in the many pained letters from the ladies found in his sling bag.

Del Pilar as national lothario makes his real life boy-next-door image a lot sexier with the local lasses in their voluminous trailing ternos, fanning nervously, in near faint, with very apparent repressed desires. Casual sex hadn’t been introduced in those days.

There is one young lady that takes del Pilar’s fancy and probably every other gender and gender variation in the audience. She’s Remedios Jose (Gwen Zamora), the daughter of the town’s politico, and their first encounter is a study in 19th century Victorian encounter. As was the manner in those days, she communicates with her eyes, aptly described in 19th century literature as “Mapungay na mata” (dreamy, tender, liquid eyes).

With slight stifled breaths they are disarmed with one another but must keep a pretense, a nonchalance. Later, over dinner, he breaks the staring across the table and apologizes for the rude behavior displayed earlier. She politely says, to paraphrase, that she can handle any situation. Her father cheerily chimes in about having a strong daughter and this is Goyo first warning. She’s gorgeous but there’s going to be some serious hoops before she is “conquered.” Goyo, probably used to fainting violets had met his imperturbable match.

Months into the courtship, Remedios does not let up. In her self possessed way, she probes his past and wonders whether she’ll be conquest number 101. In a romantic and sensual court dance in the family house, as they slowly sway, hold hands, uncouple, approach, take in each other’s cologne and sweat tinged with yearning, she continues with her sweet and earnest inquisition. She not only chides him for being a potential heartbreaker but may possess heroic delusions that will get in the way of her just wanting a man, for keeps, at her side.

Del Pilar pledges fealty while Remedios must now deal with one ex of his, Felicidad Aguinaldo (Empress Schuck) who, in a market scene with Remedios, does a tit-for-tat with sharpened verbal claws. Remedios notes that many of the over ripe mangoes may have to be disposed. Felicidad snidely suggests to Remedios she could be one of them warning her of Goyo’s record of dispensing many other “mangoes.”

Oooh, this scriptwriter has an ax to grind. But Remedios is unfazed. She responds gently back, eyebrows raised, how ever could Felicidad think such, since she’s not a mango. Touche! Three snaps.

Photo: General Gregorio del Pilar, from Our Islands And Their People, 1899. Ortigas Library Collection

With Goyo’s peccadillos revealed and accepted as the masculine norm, we return to the crucial Philippine American war.

Apolinario Mabini (Epi Quizon), prominent in Luna, continues his sphinx-like pronouncements of the state of the nation. He has left the Aguinaldo cabinet soon after Luna’s death and was also to the left of Aguinaldo’s growing pro-American cabal. He has some profound, hurting lines about his countrymen, apropos still to today’s current congress. He calls Aguinaldo’s people a bunch of clowns. And given the behavior of the populace, a propensity for a good time over serious affairs, Mabini declares not once but twice that we are deserving to be called children. It’s an “ouch” but an irrevocable one till, perhaps, we get our act together.

Mabini has grown since the last movie, only fitting since he was at the early stage of the Aguinaldo cabinet very confident of its independent direction. Now, it seems unlikely. When eventually, Aguinaldo pays him a call, goads him to return and offers him the position of chief justice, Mabini accepts with a heavy heart uttering his acceptance only for the country’s sake.

Meanwhile, Goyo has flashbacks of a bloodied Col. Bernal yapping and tormenting him, literally dying of laughter. One night, in a drunken stupor in the river he deludes himself with blood coming out of his mouth, thinking his life is over under water. We witness a premonition of his death and possibly, the failure of his allegiance to Aguinaldo.

These intermittent nightmares are exacerbated by news of the Americans in Manila playing hardball: they first push the Filipino soldiers further away from laying siege on the Spaniards in Manila. In a meeting between Aguinaldo’s emissary, General Alejandrino (Alvin Anson) and American Generals Elwell Otis (Edward Rocha) and Arthur MacArthur (Miguel Faustmann) the Americans have only the mindset that the Filipinos possess a rogue president thus insinuating its army illegitimate and the fledgling republic an illusory sham to be vanquished. Luna, sadly six feet under, seems to have been right not to trust the Americans at all.

The American forces head north to put to rout the remaining Filipino forces and capture Aguinaldo. It is a demoralizing spectacle, a long trail of soldiers and civilians, on foot, reaching towns friendly or otherwise, scrounging for food moving northward and arduously ascending the Cordillera Mountains.

The sacrifices and misery inflicted on citizens are visually articulated in this movie with extras in the hundreds if not thousands, multiplied ably by visual effects. As a photo-historian, I find several instances in the movie where the melding of a scene, replicating a pose, imprinted as a photograph quite moving. Gen. del Pilar poses with an air, leaning on his sword. In another, in full military regalia astride his favorite white horse and flanked by his men the moving act of the pose and later, stilled and embedded in an albumen print galvanizes in the viewers the authenticity of the Boy General. He is a real historical figure, the army commanded was real and their earnestness in the love for a country real as well.

In the mountains, Aguinaldo moves ahead to elude capture ordering Gen. del Pilar with 60 men to be the rear guard on a mountainous pass called Tirad. Despite the ideal vantage point, seeing where the enemy is, the Filipinos are outmanned and sharpshooters of the 33rd Volunteer Infantry manage to take deadly aim even from below, at the Filipinos up on the ridge.

This last of the fighting scene is excruciating and as every Filipino soldier falls dead, the enchanting Cordillera mountains undulate in gratitude and sadness. The sharpshooters reach the top and Gen del Pilar is the last to retreat and eventually shot, and his whole body stripped of his possession and clothing. The Americans recognized the young general’s bravery and scrambled for mementoes of him.

Aside from the exquisite needle-point handkerchief given to him by Remedios, stripped by the soldiers from his bag, there was his diary with a last entry the day before. There are several varying accounts of his entry but I rely on Marcial Lichauco’s American Conquest of The Philippines which cites the war correspondent Richard Henry Little’s transcript of Gen del Pilar’s diary.

It reads “The general (Aguinaldo) had given me the pick of the men that can be spared and ordered me to defend the pass. I realize what a terrible task is given to me. And yet I feel that this is the most glorious moment of my life. What I do is done for my beloved country. No sacrifice can be too great.”

This movie’s historical period has parallels with today’s troubling events. The American forces, the ascending imperial power then, went land-grabbing and eventually took over the land. Today’s new Chinese imperial power, is starting with some of our islands and we are in bated breath as to what’s next.

Unquestioning loyalties to strongmen like Aguinaldo resulted in numerous failures and even needless deaths. There seems to be a thread with that and today’s strongman Duterte.

Mabini has the most unkind cut of all, declaring us as unfit children not to be trusted. Are we still that today, Lacking a a mature political will and incapable of making our country liveable and fulfilling to all? I’m afraid it’s still a long way off.

The movie is powerful and blends the right amount of romance and levity in a serious historical narrative. It will require thinking caps for all who want to see the best of outcomes for our country. Goyo soberly points us in the right direction. #

The author is the executive director of the Ortigas Foundation Library. 



Ni Raymund B. Villanueva




Ilabas ang sundang!

Hasain, hasaing mainam, hasaing mabuti

May susuunging labang muli!

Tagpasin ang mga sinungaling

Tagain ang mga magnanakaw

Naglipana sila’t tila dumarami!


Sa isang daang milyong bunganga

Na maaring gawing bisita—

Diyos na mahabagin–

Sa araw na kayo’y ginugunita

Bakit naman isang dalahira

Ang panauhi’t tagapagsalita?


                                 -6:02 n.g.

                                 22 Agosto 2018

                                 Lungsod Quezon


By Tomas Talledo


You write poetry but who reads?

They who sends SMS “I luv U ga…mwah”?

They who sit at coffee shops blubbering inanities?

They who sex at the age of fourteen?


They’re Plato’s ilks who’ll banish poetry in our people’s republic.


You vividly paint the revolution but who stops to see?

The eyeless agents wobbling in graveyard shifts?

The dyslexiacs lost in labyrinth of wikipedia?

The somnambulists in flat cyberscreen?


They’re shards of broken mirror who can’t reflect the whole.


Still, you write and paint and sing of the coming wise-dom

Of enchanted forests, waterfalls and nourishing rain

Of communal dagsaw, drums and armalites

Of Tumandok people’s protracted war.


While we bury our eyes, guts and hearts at comfort zones of indifference.


Still, you write and paint and sing of communism

Of food, learning and spirited actions

Of binanog dances, healing and cultivation

that will surface in headwaters of Panay.


*A highest salute to painter-poet and companion martyrs in Antique


Tugon sa pamanang hamon

Alay kay Maya Daniel ng Antique 7


“we stand undaunted/to dark clouds/we fight and we get up/to see our bright day!”—Verse, Maya Daniel


Namamatay ang daigdig

Tuwing may pulang makatang pumapanaw

Tumitigil sa pag-inog, ang mundo’y

Hindi humihinga sansaglit.


Hindi dumadaloy ang mga ilog

Ang hangi’y hindi umiihip

Ang ulap ay ayaw lumipad

Ang dagat ay hindi dumadaluyong

Walang tumutubo sa lupa

Ang buhangin ay nalulusaw

Walang bulkang sumasabog

Ang mga bato’y nadudurog.


Samahan natin silang humimlay panandalian.

At sa gitna ng ating dalamhati…


Ating handugan ng awit ang martir

Bayaning aalayan ng bulaklak at berso

Pagpupugayan ng mga talumpati

At palakpakan ng mahaba’t masigabo.

Gawing balada ang pamanang sulatin

Ipatupad ang kanyang habilin

Sa paraang ito natin muling buhayin

Ang damdaming lugmok sa pighati.


‘Matapang na tumindig sa unos

Bangon! Lumaban! upang masilayan ang ating bukas.’


At tayong naiwan ay tutugon

Matapang na haharapin ang hamon

Atin muling painugin ang daigdig

Ipagpapatuloy ang rebolusyon.


                                                 –9:36 n.g.

                                                   16 Agosto 2018

                                                   Lungsod Quezon


ni Rene Boy Abiva


Hindi ko alam kung saan yari ang iyong kaluluwa

kung ‘to ba’y yari sa sala-salabat na old fiber

o sa ipinagmamayabang mong new wireless fiber.

‘Di ko lubos maisip kung tao ka pa nga ba

at kung bakit ni katiting na hibla ng awa

ay ‘di mo kayang maibigay sa higit pitong libong manggagawa.


Gaya na lamang ni Atong Alagwa

na sampung taon mong pinagbuhat at pinaghila

ng dambuhalang bakal, kawad at linya.

Na kung umuwi’y turing nang biyaya

kung mai-abot nang buo ang sweldo sa may sakit na asawa.


At mukhang nag-iinis ka pa

sa bawat imaheng ‘yong ipinapakita

sa telebisyon, tabloyd at billboard sa mga kalsada

gaya na lamang sa mukha

ni Pia Wurtzbach at Kris Aquino na ngangang-nganga

habang sa gilid ay naka-ukit sa lona

ang mga katagang DSL, hacker at ultera.


Gaya mo rin pala ang NutriAsia,

na kung toyoin ang manggagawa’y anong saya.

Punyeta’t sarap na sarap pa,

sarap na sarap na binuwag ang barikada!

gayong sing-alat na ng patis at asim ng suka

ang pawis at luha

ni Aling Leticia.


Suma total ay gaya mo si Digong

who cares about human lives

but not human rights.

At ngayon sinasabi mong ‘yong babaguhin ang mundo?

Sa pamamaraang may iiyak at magugutom

hanggang sa sukdulan ng pagdanak ng dugo

at pag-atungal ng libo-libong balo.


At ngayong pinaboran ng DOLE ang mga manggagawa

sa unang pagkakatao’y anong ligaya nila,

ngunit anong kapal mo’t umaangal ka pa?!

hanggang islogan ka lang pala!



Agosto 1, 2018

Lunsod ng Queson, Maynila

Liham sa Mamimili sa Pagitan ng Patalastas at Pandarahas sa NutriAsia

ni Joi Barrios-Leblanc

Mahal na Mamimili, ganito ang ibinabandera sa patalastas:
Masarap, masaya, basta’t NutriAsia.
Maasim ang Datu Puti na suka,
at All-around ang Mang Tomas na sarsa,
Manamis-namis at maalat naman ang toyong Silver Swan,
At ang ketchup na UFC, ay may tamis-anghang.
Paano nga ba makokompleto ang sangkap sa kusina
kung walang Nutri-asia na pampalasa?

Ganito naman inilalarawan ng kapitalista’t pasista
ang lahat ng nasa piket sa pabrika ng NutriAsia:
Basagulero ang mga iyan at naghagis ng bato,
May dalang droga kaya sila inaresto.
Pakialamero ang estudyanteng sasali-sali sa piket.
May bitbit na baril ang media, kung kaya’t ipiniit.
Samakatuwid: Kriminal silang binugbog at duguan.
Kaladkarin sa bilangguan, sampahan ng kaso sa hukuman.

Mamimili tayong lahat na hindi na kailanman
dapat makapagtimpla ng adobo
nang hindi naalalala ang duguang mukha
ng inaarestong matandang manggagawa,
o makapagsasawsaw ng inihaw na isda
nang hindi sumasagi sa gunita
kung paanong sa minsang pagbuwag ng piket,
nakadapa na’y patuloy pa rin ang pulisya sa paghataw
sa kanilang ang tanging ipinaglalaban
ay trabahong regular, kaligtasan at sapat na kita.

Patawarin tayo ni Lolang manggagawa,
sa mga hapagkainan nating ang asim at tamis,
ay likha nilang nagsisikhay sa pabrika.
Patawarin tayo nilang lahat na pinagbintangang kriminal:
silang baldado ang braso, napilay ang paa,
nagkasugat-sugat ang balat, at isinadlak sa likod ng rehas,
Patawarin tayo sa pagkikibit-balikat sa pandarahas,
basta’t may anghang at alat, ang hapunan sa hapag.

Mahal na Mamimili, na sana’y hindi pa nabubulunan,
Heto ang panawagan:
Ipamukha sa Nutri-Asia na walang sarap o saya
Hangga’t walang natitikmang katarungan sa paggawa.