Duyan (My Undergrad Thesis)

•February 7, 2009 • Leave a Comment

(this looks exactly like its hardbound counterpart)

Duyan

“Swinging as I wait for the knot to break”

Table of Contents

Preface

The Beginning 6

Riding a Hammock 7

Delivering a Package 10

Waiting…Again 16

Those Who Used the Duyan 21

Learning to Ride a Hammock 24

Tying the Knot 25

Pagsakay sa Duyan

Duyan 27

Bugkot 28

Daplin sa Sapa 30

Sa Atoang Paglakaw 32

Amaterasu 34

Pagtabok sa Sapa 35

Pasaka sa Buntod 37

Tore sa Straw 39

Sa Kusina 41

To Lay in a Hammock

A Little Blush 44

Package 45

With the Flick of Your Hands 46

Zodiac 47

Ripe Mango 48

Backpack 49

Darna Action Figure 50

Filtered Light of a Sodium Lamp 51

Joy Ride 52

Bibliography

Preface

“…Is it a door, and a good-bye on either side?
A window, and eternity on either side?
Yes, and a little singing between two great rests.” -Li-Young Lee

The Beginning

Today is August 14, 2002. My grandfather died just this morning. But I am now sitting here tonight on the plastic chair in the dining room of my cousin’s house, asking a girl if she could be my girlfriend. Yes. Christine Joy answered yes.

I do not know what to say or how to react. This is the first time that I would be entering into a relationship. She is my first girlfriend. And I sincerely hope that she would be the last. Yes, she must be the last.

We are walking out of my cousin’s house, the night sky is clear. I can see Orion, my favorite constellation – because it is the only one I know. Its belt shining, the three stars that correspond with the three fingers of the scout sign. CJ looks at where my finger point as we walk to their house just two blocks away. “That is our constellation,” I hear her whisper.

Yes, Orion was our constellation. But, it was four years ago since that night. Four years and two months to be exact. It is shining again tonight as I lay on my hammock. Guarding the zipped door of the tent where Ayesa is sleeping. She would rather suffer the heat inside the tent than sleep in a hammock. “I will fall,” she would say every time I offer the hammock for her to use. She always puts safety ahead of everything that sometimes I find it silly (and her pitiful). She is too cautious, to the point that she prevents herself from trying out new things. I hate to admit it but I sometimes get offended by her lack of trust in me as her boyfriend.

(Another girlfriend? I thought…)

Yes, Ayesa is my second girlfriend. I broke my vow. I could not help it. CJ and I… we were having tough times, and it was just not working, no matter how hard we tried. I wish that it was as easy as pressing the reset button on one of my Play Station games. But it was not.

I would rather have a girlfriend (or even a wife for that matter) in those games. I could always experiment on things to do, what to say, the gifts to give. And in the games, loyalty is absolute. My girl would not try (or even want) to find another man. And I could not cheat on my girlfriend or wife. The program will not allow me to, even if I tried. Even if I blew things up (in some cases literally) I could always press the reset button and start from my last saved point. My AI (artificial intelligence) girlfriend/wife would not even know that I disappointed her in some extent. I could always try out relationships without worrying about the consequences, for I would be in control in that world, the world I copied from the copy of the real world, my world. And in my world, I will not get offended every time Ayesa refuses to sleep in the hammock that I set up for her. I will press the reset button over and over until I get her to sleep in the hammock, inside the Duyan.

Riding a Hammock

It is the second Sunday of December 2006. Only a few of the scouts are left in the camp. The rest went to church for the Sunday Mass. Last night was… disturbing. I did not expect that I would cry in front of all the members of the Calinan National High School scouting movement. While it was raining heavily outside, we were forced to abandon the tents because the camp was flooded. And things got worst; Ayesa just stared at me with those innocent eyes and shifted her attention to my sworn rival, another support staff (her new boyfriend).

But today is a new day. I am lying in my hammock that is securely tied on one end to a tree and the other to the window bars of a classroom. Ayesa is sitting near the door of the room a few meters away from me. A Muslim, she did not attend the mass. She seems to be sleepy. Not one of us had a decent night’s sleep. Standing up, I offer my hammock (I know she could not refuse). She looks at where I tied it, approaches slowly as if a hunter stalking her prey. Very typical of her, making sure everything is safe. “You know I do not use hammocks,” she says as she turns back towards the door, to the chair and sits down to take a nap.

The scouts are starting to come back (and so is Ayesa’s boyfriend). He approaches Ayesa. I cannot hear what they are talking about, and I don’t really care. But what is this? He is tying another hammock? Ayesa would never use it, she is afraid to fall. He is only wasting his time. Like I wasted all those time I tried to convince her to…

Wait…Is Ayesa really using the hammock? What is different between that hammock and my “Duyan”?

My poem, “Duyan,” is a testament to that day. A realization of my mistakes, and a wish for a real life reset button. The poem was meant to ask the same question, what really was the difference between the two hammocks? A question I failed to answer that day.

The idea of the poem, drawn from that incident, came to my mind almost a year later. It was our Poetry 1 class. We were asked to write “couplet poems,” a bugtong or riddle to be exact. My classmate Maxuel’s riddle;

Bangka ko na hinigot sa hangin

Itabyog ang imung kasing-kasing.

(My boat tied in the wind

Swings your heart)

caught my attention. The answer to Maxuel’s riddle, written in Bisaya, was duyan. It brought me back to that day. I remembered Ayesa.

In my poem, “Duyan,” I made a few changes. I did not mention the actual relationship between the speaker and the person who was supposed to use the hammock, and between that person and the third party.

The first draft of the poem used Cebuano words not usually heard in Davao City, thus intending to create the intended idea of “oldness” in the poem’s world. The tone is intended to show the speaker’s gloom while demanding an explanation from the reader. But (if I remembered correctly the exact words) the way I wrote this poem (and my other Cebuano poem in that manner) was given the comment “Where have you been all these years.”

Duyan

Naghigot ko ug duyan

Alang kanimo

Wala ka misakay

Hadluk ka mahulog

Kung kini mutabyog na ug kusog.

Apan, nakita ko

Misakay ka sa duyan

Na hinigot niya.

The comment regarding the first draft echoed in my mind making me revise the poem. Nothing was changed much in the formulation of the final draft though. The words were only changed to those currently use in daily conversations in Davao City, dropping completely the idea of “oldness”. The tone then intended to change to become a little more sarcastic when speaking to the readers.

Duyan

Naghigot ko ug duyan

Para sa imuha

Wala ka misakay

Hadluk ka mahulog

Kung mutabyog ni ug kusog

Pero nakita nako

Nisakay ka sa duyan

Na gihigot niya.

Delivering a Package-

“Saving finished.”

I am in a hurry so I tightly grip the analog controller 2. It says 11:30 on the TV screen, and the piano practice of my girlfriend Lumina will be finished at around 12. I cannot miss her practice; I promised her that I would listen to her play the piano.

I find my horse eating one of my crops; I have no time to scold it right now. I must ride it to save me some time. First, I must stop by the spring and pick some flowers. It is already summer so it is most likely that I would find some happy lamps (a flower that blooms in summer and has a very close resemblance to a rose bud). Takakura said that I could extract lamp oil from happy lamp petals, but that is not my concern as of now, it is 11:35. I press the x button to hop down my horse and hurriedly jog to the closest happy lamp I can see. Another press to the x button made me pluck a flower from the plant (though the screen said I harvested a happy lamp). A quick 360 turn and I am on my way jogging back towards my horse. Another button press and I am on my horse.

I am speeding through a dirt road not minding old Galen being covered by my trail of dust, it is 11:45. I stop in front of Van’s shop; I need him to wrap this flower for me. Entering the shop, Van greeted me with a smile. “Another flower?” he asks. Yes, another flower (and another 50 G for the wrapping services). Van seems to be delighted with my daily routine; he certainly is making a profit out of it. Hey, it’s worth it, at least it would make the flower a little more presentable (hiding the fact that I only “harvested” it from around the spring).

It is 11:55; I am going to be late. Van just finished wrapping the flower and I am now speeding to the villa where Lumina is staying. By the time I get there, she is probably finished with her practice. No worries, there is still that probability that she was delayed for a couple of minutes, extending her practice time. Besides, if I do not make it on time, I would still be glad to be able to save my progress before I started rushing to fulfill my promise. My trusty reset button will be able to save me. And with my second try, I think I would skip Van’s shop for the gift wrapping. Lumina would not even know the difference.

12:00, there is no music playing; Lumina must have finished her practice. I put down the controller and press the reset button. The familiar PS2 logo appears…loading.

I got the idea of “My Package” from one of my favorite PS2 games, Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life. This game is a simulation of farm life, from planting crops to growing farm animals and even courting a suitable girl for a wife.

The game triggered a recall that made me decide on this idea for a poem. About two years ago, CJ (my first girlfriend) told me that it would be much better if we went through the process of traditional courtship. Get to know each other more before going into a committed relationship. Not a fan of long courtships, I never really minded it until recently when I was able to buy the game.

The first-ever “mission” in the game is to court a girl the player wants. In my case, I went for Lumina because she was the hardest AI in the game to woo. The idea was to give her gifts everyday until she would feel five red hearts for me (the game’s representation for love).

The first draft of the poem contained some technicalities regarding the art of ikebana in the second stanza, an idea I thought of after watching an episode the anime Detective Conan. The episode mentioned in the Filipino version that the artist used hydrogen to freeze the petals and create an effect of blooming flowers. Yet after a few days after the first draft was written, I found out that was use in the original version of the anime was small amount of liquid nitrogen. The technique was integrated into the poem to create the effect of artificiality but in the same time showing the effort of the speaker to prepare the package.

The persona also talks as if the package is the readers of the poem. The poem intended to let the reader experience first hand the efforts of the persona.

My Package

I carefully squeezed

That flower of yours

To force it to close

I sprayed hydrogen

To freeze the petals

To mimic a bud

I wrapped a round you

Transparent plastic

Your stem, a ribbon.

And your flower blooms

Back as door opens

To accept me in

The second draft dropped the idea of ikebana because of the technicalities that not all readers are familiar, though the freezing of the petals is still present to complement the effect of a flower blooming back by the ending of the poem. Artificiality and effort of the persona are still the focus. The stanzas were transformed into couplets from the original tercets. And still, the readers are treated by the persona as the flower being processed.

My Package

I carefully squeezed your flower

To force it to close

I froze the petals

For it to mimic a bud

I wrapped a round you

Transparent plastic

I tied around your stem

A pink ribbon (her favorite color)

I hoped your flower blooms back

As her door opens to accept me in.

The final revision of the poem dropped the idea of the flower being the readers. The persona started each stanza with the word “I”, following the second draft, with the intention of establishing the idea of sole effort. The fifth stanza enclosed in parentheses intends of showing the binding of the effort with the package itself. In the game (where I based the poem) courtship takes more or less a year for a player to achieve five hearts from the desired girl. The player then must court that girl daily during specific time frame. Failure to do so will either result to lesser heart points or not seeing the girl at all. Pretty much like in the traditional courtship in the Philippines, this is not really that popular these days. The poem intends to represent the process of traditional courtship (in terms of hard work and timing) with a sense of modernity (with the methods used). The situation in the poem was focused mainly on the wrapping of the flower as a gift/package of the persona to the girl he is courting. The persona itself “processed” the flower using different materials to make the flower look more presentable. The package then will be delivered, but the process taken is not a guarantee that the girl will accept it or not.

Another significant change is the dropping of the word “my” from the original title My Package. The original title gave a sexual connotation (a comment from the thesis panel) that contradicts the intended message of the poem. I then followed the suggestion of dropping “my” to prevent unnecessary images to be pictured by the readers.

Package

I carefully squeezed the rose

To force it to close

I froze the petals

For it to mimic a bud

I wrapped it with

Transparent plastic

I tied tightly around the stem

A pink ribbon

(Binding the plastic

And the rose)

With timing, the rose will bloom

As her door opens to accept me in.

So far, a fourth year high school student of Calinan National High School gave the comment lingering in my regarding this poem. “Naa pa ba manguyab ug ana?” (Will somebody still court that way?). I answered, “Frankly speaking, I think that courting does not end after a girl said yes. In fact that the effort must always be present even if the relationship between the couple goes to a deeper level as they ride their Duyan.”

Waiting…Again-

It is almost an hour since I started standing here outside the church. I know the right time when Aileen and I were supposed to meet here, 4:30, I was here since 4:30. But the mass already started and still she is not here. I am beginning to think that she will not come.

No worries, maybe she is still preparing. Or maybe she could not find any ride. I’ll wait. I must wait.

This is the third Sunday that I am standing outside the church, standing and waiting for Aileen. Checking my load balance, I decided to call her. First call, 11 rings, no answer, second, 11 rings, still no answer. Third, 9 rings, I heard her say “Hello”.

The call ended, she said she could not make it. She is not feeling well. I understand. I must understand.

Fourth Sunday, I am waiting again. Same time, same place, but not enough balance to make a call. I kept on sending text messages asking where she is, will she come, and I am waiting. But the mass ended, she did not come.

I will wait; I know she will come next time. I will wait, even if I am waiting for nothing.

The poem “Filtered Light of the Sodium Lamp” was written when I was waiting inside the CHSS library for a consultation regarding this collection with my adviser. I find the creation of this poem funny because of the fact that Thea triggered me to write it. She was writing her poem about a potion for aswang transformation when she told me that I too should write additional poems for my collection. It took me a while to find a subject to write about, but when Thea said that why won’t I write a poem about waiting, I remembered all the time I spent waiting.

The poem revolves around two distinct experiences, my experience of waiting for nothing (which happens often every time I wait for a girl to arrive) and my experience waiting one evening under a waiting shed near the MacArthur Highway gate of Holy Cross College of Calinan.

Unlike the rest of the poems in this collection, the first draft of the poem was written with a paper and a pen (I directly encoded the first drafts of the other poems). The poem was not encoded until the submission of the second to the last draft of the entire thesis.

Another significant difference is the playing of words and constant repetition of the words used in the poem. The repetition is intended to create a feeling of loneliness and fear.

Filtered Light of a Sodium Lamp

The roof of the waiting shed

Filters the light of the sodium lamp

Creating a blurry shadow that creeps

And covers the pale body in the shed waiting

Standing motionless, carrying a book.

A few feet from the waiting shed, a road, where

Dashing pairs of light create blurry shadows

That creeps and covers the pale body in the shed waiting

As the cold wind moans the words

“Go home” and whips with its chill the shed

The dashing lights, the sodium lamp, the body

Covered by the blurry, creeping shadows.

The book was put inside the poem with the sole purpose of giving the poem a close resemblance to my experience inside the shed where I was carrying a book while waiting. Thea said, “out of place ang book” (the book does not fit in the poem). This made me realize that I am not supposed to assume that the readers could see me standing there that night. The second draft then dropped the line “carrying a book” from the second stanza.

Filtered Light of a Sodium Lamp

The roof of the waiting shed

Filters the light of the sodium lamp

Creating a blurry shadow that creeps

And covers the pale body in the shed waiting

Standing motionless,

A few feet from the waiting shed, a road, where

Dashing pairs of light create blurry shadows

That creeps and covers the pale body in the shed waiting

As the cold wind moans the words

“Go home” and whips with its chill the shed

The dashing lights, the sodium lamp, the body

Covered by the blurry, creeping shadows.

The second draft made me think that the poem somehow is not complete in the sense of stating what really is the persona is waiting for. The line “staring across the road” then was added in the second stanza. This line intends to give the connotation of death.

The final draft also separated the words “waiting” from the different stanzas with intention to give more emphasis to the idea of waiting.

Filtered Light of a Sodium Lamp

The roof of the waiting shed

Filters the light of the sodium lamp

Creating a blurry shadow that creeps

And covers the pale body in the shed

Waiting

Standing motionless, staring across the road

A few feet from the waiting shed where

Dashing pairs of light create blurry shadows

The creep and cover the pale body in the shed

Waiting

As the cold wind moans the words

“Go home” and whips with its chill the shed

The dashing lights, the sodium lamp, the body

Covered by the blurry, creeping shadows.

Waiting

I find it strange that somehow I find myself having fun while waiting. I find it humorous to gamble with myself, the game, to see if something or someone will arrive after the long wait, the stake, to go home disappointed or not. Most of the times, I find myself disappointed but regains hope when I lay in my Duyan.

Those Who Used the Duyan

Kristine Camille asks me if I ever plan to have a girlfriend when we start our first year in high school. The fact is, I really do not know. What is the use of a girlfriend anyway? Getting in a relationship would be just another reason for me to spend my allowance. Besides, I do not have any idea how to court a girl. I have no taste for gifts and I do not even like flowers. So, what is the point?

I would consider myself a geek. No girl would want a geek to be her boyfriend. And I am more comfortable holding my analog controller than a girl’s hand. They would only make me blush. Blushing means embarrassment, and I hate embarrassment. I have a reputation to maintain, the best playstation gamer in our class. It took me a year to earn that title, beating my friends in various games in the process. And I’m proud to be this way. I have no time for a girl.

I was able to keep that promise to myself for almost three years. But, as always, I ended eating my words. CJ came to my life.

My poems revolve around my experiences with the women in my life. The Cebuano poems were written basing on my real life situations this past six years (making me somewhat emotional when I was writing the first drafts of the poems). I often use this surge of emotion to inspire me to write.

Though some of the English poems were also based on real life situations with women, most of them were written after I was able to hold an analog controller for a few hours. The women in these poems are characters from different computer games (mostly from the Role Playing Games form the playstation platform). These characters are mostly NPCs (not playable characters) like Lumina from Harvest Moon. Each of these NPCs was programmed with their own identities making them act as if a normal human being. Still, they are limited to do what their AIs would tell them to do, forbidding them to go against the player (except of course if they act as an antagonist in the plot of the game). These restrictions create the illusion of perfection as the “proper significant other” as put by the Harvest Moon AI.

The idea of this theme was formulated a year before the first poem was written. It was in my Creative Non-fiction class. We were asked to write a travel essay as requirement for the class. Unfortunately for me, I am either asleep or sick during long rides giving me no idea regarding the trip. I then decided to write an essay regarding the travel of a scout through an activity named “Sweat Trails”. In the essay I focused on a single scout, a girl named Chin-chin. Fast forward a year, we were then asked in our poetry 1 class to write a collection of poems bound by a single theme. I chose to continue to focus on concentrating with my experiences with women, taking me to my fourth year and my decision to use this theme in my thesis.

To emphasize the theme, I first thought of using “woMEn” as the title of this collection. I considered this title a poem by itself because how it was written. I intentionally capitalized the letters M and E to create the word “me” inside “women”, therefore intending to create the effect of connecting me with women. But, as I was writing the poems I noticed that all these could be connected to the poem “Duyan” in terms of the poems intention of using the hammock as a metaphor for a relationship. This made me decide to carry as title the title “Duyan”, the first poem in my collection.

The fact of having a fifty percent of the collection was written in Cebuano, gave way to the English translations of these Cebuano poems as demanded by the curriculum. The formulation of the translations was first solely based on a word per word literal translations. This resulted to a less effective English poem if compared to their Cebuano counterparts. These translations were kept even after they were first workshop.

The second batch of translation was only created after Angela Pamela Chi was able to view and partially edited the poem Sa Kusina’s translation In the Kitchen. The edited version of the English translation gave me the idea to literally translate a stanza as a whole rather than translating each word.

These women served as the ink of my pen. They made me write my poems in their own way. Whether or not I need a CD for me to interact with them is not important. Being digital or real, they all made me to experience different swings with the Duyan.

Learning to Ride a Hammock

I find it funny to think of who I was before taking up BA English (Creative Writing). I always viewed myself then as a fairly good writer. My works (most of them poems) often gets in the school paper with relative ease (though maybe it may be cause by the fact that I was the literary editorJ).

As I was writing this collection, I tried to dig out (literally) my poems from high school and tried if I could edit a few of them and make them a part of this paper. Unfortunately, I found them rather shallow and “walang ka insight-insight” (to quote my classmate Thea). The interesting part of that “exploring my past work” activity is the comparison of my writing style then and now.

When I was in the grade school and high school (even until in first year college), I write poems as they pop in my mind. Writing the words that I can think of in terms of the topic I want to share, making the necessary editing to achieve the specific rhyme and meter. And after the whole thing, giving it a title (in most cases the first line of the poem). I never really thought of metaphors or other figures of speech. I always wanted to relate to the readers literally using cheesy words and jargons. And I wrote using the Filipino language. I found it corny to use English and Cebuano.

After I started taking up CW classes, I started to write poems in English. I dropped my usual meters and started using the free verse. Rhymes were also no longer my fancy, though I sometimes used some along with rhythm when I write poems in a specific structure.

The difference of these styles I would conclude is because of the background in writing. Before I thought rhyme was everything. Poems without rhyme are trash. But as learning comes into play, imagery in my works became a must.

I am not yet a good writer. But I have room for improvement. Just like when tying a hammock on a base, do not expect that you can tie it securely if it is the first time you set up a Duyan.

Tying the Knot

As I was lying in my hammock during the last hour of 2007, I remembered the statement on my BAE shirt, “We don’t just write. We create immortals. We destroy death.” It sounded so much like my computer games. I hold the destiny of my character. It is up to me whether to let him live or not (in most cases I always let it live for me to finish the game). All the mistakes that would jeopardize my journey to finish the game would instantly be corrected with my reset button. I would be able to deliver my package in different ways until I could find the right one to make a girl say “yes.” But life is not that way.

This is the real world and there is no reset button. I could not save my progress in a memory card or start from the beginning. I could only go with the rhythm of the swing, hoping that no matter how hard it gets, I would not fell off from my Duyan.

Sa Pagsakay Sa Duyan

“ug hinumduma

naay mga bituon na wala pa nato nailhan:

Taas pa ang ilang biyahe una muabot”

(…and remember
there are stars we haven’t heard from yet:
They have so far to arrive…

-Li-Young Lee)

Duyan

Naghigot ko ug duyan

Para sa imuha

Wala ka misakay

Hadluk ka mahulog

Kung mutabyog ni ug kusog

Pero nakita nako

Nisakay ka sa duyan

Na gihigot niya.

(Translation)

Hammock

I set up a hammock

For you

You did not use it

You are afraid to fall

If it starts to swing hard

But I saw you

Riding the hammock

Which he tied for you

Bugkot

Akoang gibugkusan

Ang imohang buhok ug guot

Gamit ang lastiko

Na imohang gihatag sa akoa

Pero guot ra kayo pagkabugkos

Mao nga imohang gitanggal

Ug imohang gipa-usab

Ug bugkos sa iya

(Translation)

Bugkot

I tied your hair tight

Using the rubber bond that you gave me

But I tied it too tight.

You removed the knot

And let him tie it back.

Daplin sa Sapa

Naglingkod ko

Sa dakong bato

Daplin sa sapa

Samtang nagahapak

Ug kusog ang tubig

Na ginalumsan

Ang tanang

Nagapaanod ani

Ikaw

Nasa pikas daplin

Na maabot lang

Sa akoang

Panan-aw

(Translation)

River Bank

I sit

On a huge rock

In the river bank

While the water

Whips hard

Drowning

All

That floats with it

You

Are on the other side

Only reached

By my

Eyes.

Sa Atoang Paglakaw

Gahapon

Nilakaw ka

Sa ugang dalan

Kauban nako,

Ug nireklamo

Sa kainit sa

Adlaw

(gabii ning-ulan)

Karon

Nilakaw ka

Sa basang dalan

Kauban nako

Ug nireklamo

Sa kapilit sa

Lapok

(Translation)

As We Walk

Yesterday

You walked on a dry road

With me,

And complained

About the heat of the

Sun

(it rained last night)

Today

You walked on a muddy road

With me,

And complained

About the sticky

Mud.

Amaterasu

Gabiing ngit-ngit

Nawala sa pagsilip

Mo. Kaadlawon.

(Translation)

Amaterasu

A dark night

Gone with a peek

From you. Dawn.

Pagtabok sa Sapa

Sulayan nato sa pagtabok ang sapa

Gamit ang mga bato na nagsilip

Gikan sa lalum na parte sa tubig

Panukad gikan sa daplin

Ug i-timing ang pag-ambak

Para makatung-tung sa bato

Hinay-hinay sa tanang himuong lihok

Kay ang gamayng maling lakang

Maka islyd padulong sa nagahapak na

Tubig

(Translation)

Crossing a River

Let us try to cross the river

Using the rocks peeking

From the deep part of the river

Prepare from the river bank

And jump carefully

So we can land on a stone

Have cautious moves

For one wrong-small step

Can slip us to the whipping current

Pasaka sa Buntod

Nilakaw ta pasaka sa buntod

Na gitabunan ug daghang taas na kugon

Samatang ang adlaw nasa tunga

Sa langit, nitan-aw sa atoa.

Nilabay ang pila ka minuto

Gikapoy ka sa pagbaktas

Sa atoang naagian na kasagbutan

Gibiyaan ko nimu, nibalik sa imung agi.

(Translation)

Climbing a Hill

We walked up a hill

Covered with tall cogon grass

As the sun, in the center

Of the sky, looked down on us

After a few minutes

You got tired of walking

Pass the path of cogon grass

You left me, traced back your step

Tore sa Straw

Magtigum ta ug straw

Gikan sa botelya

Sa 8 oz na coke

Na wala nay sulod

Atong sumpay-sumpayun

Para makahimu ta

Ug taas na linya na mutindog

Paadto sa langit

Pero, hinay-hinaya paghimu

Kay ang tore nga straw

Dali lang maputol

Ug mabawug sa hangin

(Translation)

Straw Tower

Let us gather pieces of straws

from empty

bottles of

8 oz coke

We will connect them together

For us to create

A long line

That will stand towards the heavens

But, let us carefully build it

Because a tower of straw

Easily breaks

And bends with the wind

Sa Kusina

Abi nimu no

Na pakaunon na ta ka

Kato gidala nako ka

Didto sa sulod sa kusina.

Nakita nimu ang takure

Nay sulod binukal na tubig

Duol sa lababo

Na gibutangan nako sa imu

Niduol si mama dala

Ang bag-ong gibairan na kutsilyo

Gigunitan nako imung mga tiil ug pako

Ang imung liog na nagbitay

Gihiwa ni mama, ang imung dugo

Nitulo

(Translation)

In the Kitchen

You thought

That I would feed you

When I brought you

Inside the kitchen

You saw a kettle

Filled with boiling water

Near the sink where I placed you

My mother came

Bringing a newly sharpened knife

I held your feet and wings

Mother sliced your hanging neck

Your blood

Dripped.

To Lay in a Hammock

“…I think how day hides the star,
the way I lay hidden once, waiting…”

-Li-Young Lee

A Little Blush

We paid ten bucks each

To board the spider’s leg

We took our seat, strapped securely

And waited for the ride to start

The spider began to turn

Slow then fast

I started to feel numb

But acted as cool as I could

You looked at me and smiled

The spider made me blush

Package

I carefully squeezed the rose

To force it to close

I froze the petals

For it to mimic a bud

I wrapped it with

Transparent plastic

I tied tightly around the stem

A pink ribbon

(Binding the plastic

And the rose)

With timing, the rose will bloom

As her door opens to accept me in.

With the Flick of Your Hands

With the Flick of Your Hands

You made a river flow

Down my cheeks

Drowning me on my pillow

With the Flick of Your Hands

You enticed earth to shake

Burying me under

The avalanche of my blanket

With the Flick of Your Hands

You ignited a soul to burn

Piercing my nakedness

With the light from my ceiling

With the Flick of Your Hands

You turned flesh into stone

To petrify my time

And make it last for eternity

Zodiac

The night sky was dark

I could see nothing

The clouds parted, a twinkle

From the sky

You will come

Ripe Mango

Slicing ampalaya for our pinakbet

I saw you enter our door

Carrying

A kilo of ripe mangoes

I washed the mangoes thoroughly

To removed the

Impurities

They brought from the market

I sliced each into three parts, cutting

Their flesh with the

Same

Knife I used to sliced ampalya

Giving you one of the pieces

I saw your face turn

Bitter,

You tongue not tasting the sweetness

Backpack

You closed your eyes

And felt your sweat drip.

Your hair followed every

Move of your body’s curve

Make with the dancing laser lights

After the last beat of the music

You stood in a corner

To get your towel

From the backpack you left,

A slave waiting for its master.

Darna Action Figure

Taking you out from a dark corner

I removed the dust covering you

With my finest brush

And saw you breath

As I brushed off the dust

From your breast.

I revived you from death.

Filtered Light of a Sodium Lamp

The roof of the waiting shed

Filters the light of the sodium lamp

Creating a blurry shadow that creeps

And covers the pale body in the shed

Waiting

Standing motionless, staring across the road

A few feet from the waiting shed where

Dashing pairs of light create blurry shadows

That creeps and covers the pale body in the shed

Waiting

As the cold wind moans the words

“Go home” and whips with its chill the shed

The dashing lights, the sodium lamp, the body

Covered by the blurry, creeping shadows.

Waiting

Joy Ride

(Gripping the controller)

My hand had no brakes,

Riding with the stiffness

Of your straight black hair

To the one-twenty degrees bow

Of your smooth neck

Speedily sliding down

On your inclined shoulder

(A hit, I pressed button combos)

Down to the blind curves

Of your breast,

Your hips,

Your buttocks

(The screen flashed)

Giving the pixilated highway

Of your thighs

With a straight lane

Leading up to an opening

(You tried in vain

To stop my last move)

I triple my horsepower

And run back and fort

Inside a crimson tunnel

(Knock Out)

Irvin’s Dedications

•February 7, 2009 • Leave a Comment


(well, these were written for my cousin Irvin Samaniego, he gave these to his classmates before they graduated high school

Aljan,

Ako’y naging masaya dahil ika’y aking nakilala,

Sa tuwing ako’y nag-iisa andyan ka handang makisama.

— Irvin

Jayson,

Simula nong tayo’y nagkatabi ,

Mga score ko’y palagi ng lumalaki,

Ako’y nagpapasalamat dahil ako’y iyong pinapa-copy.

— Irvin

Jay,

Ako’y natutuwa sa yong mga halakhak,

Kaya nama’y araw-araw ako’y nagagalak

Sa tuwing naririnig ko ang yong mga halakhak.

— Irvin

Edward A.

Sa tuwing ako’y may katanungan tungkol sa aking kapaligiran,

Andyan ka handang ipaalam lahat ng iyong nalalaman.

Ako’y nagpapasalamat at ika’y aking naging kaibigan.

— Irvin

Brylle,

Ika’y aking hinahangaan sa angkin mong kagalingan.

Lahat ng katanungan kaya mong bigyan ng kasagutan.

Hiling ko lang sana’y huwag mo kaming kalimutan.

— Irvin

John,

Isa ka sa mga matatalik kong kaibigan,

Araw-araw binibigyan mo ako ng kasiyahan.

At higit sa lahat tunay talaga na ika’y maaasahan sa oras ng

Aking pangangailangan at kalungkutan.

— Irvin

Gilmark,

Ika’y aking hinahangaan pagdating sa palakasan.

Hiling ko lang wag ka sanang maligaw sa pagpili ng iyong daan.

— Irvin

Arvin,

Araw- araw ako’y iyong pinapangiti,

Mga problema ko’y iyong napawi,

At ang kalungkutan ko’y iyong binabawi.

— Irvin

Fernnan,

Sa tuwing ika’y aking kasama,

Di ko mapigilan ang sarili ko na tumawa.

Salamat at palagi mo akong pinapatawa khit marami akong problema.

— Irvin

Keendolp,

Isa kang kaibigang maituturing,

Sa lahat ng bagay ika’y tunay na magaling.

Hiling ko lang sana’y mga pangarap mo’y tuluyan mo nang marating.

— Irvin

Tadashi,

Ika’y naging mabuting kaibigan sa akin.

Ako’y nagpapasalamat at tayo’y naging kaibigan pa rin,

Hiling ko lang sana’y itigil mo na ang paghahasik ng lagim… atik lang!

— Irvin

Jim,

Kaming lahat ay iyong pinapasaya

Sa mga sinasabi mong nakakatawa,

Pero sana’y matuto kang umunawa

Sa bawat hakbang na iyong ginagawa.

— Irvin

Mhel,

Ako’y iyong napahanga sa mga ginagawa mong mga tula,

Mahusay ka ring tumugtog ng gitara.

Ako’y natutuwa dahil nagagawa mo ito ng Malaya.

— Irvin

Jielver,

Sana ika’y tuluyan ng magbago at umiwas sa gulo,

Tigilan mo na rin ang masasamang bisyo.

Sana’y tuluran mo ang mga santo.

Pero alam ko talaga na ang puso mo’y purong-puro.

— Irvin

Ceassar,

Ako sayo’y sumasaludo,

Dahil di ka kaagad sumusuko,

Hiling ko lang sana’y harapin mo ang bukas ng buong-buo.

— Irvin

Roderick,

Nakakatuwa kang kaibigan,

Wala kang kinatatakutan.

Hiling ko lang ay lumayo ka sa kaguluhan

At masamng bisyo’y tuluyan ng iwasan.

— Irvin

Mozart,

Totoo ngang mayroon kang kakulitan,

Pero ako nama’y sumasaludo sa iyo pagdating sa palakasan. Sana’y wag mo itong pabayaan at matuto kang lumingon sa iyong pinanggalingan.

— Irvin

Ronald,

Sabi nila ikaw ra’y bobo,

Pero wag kang maniwala dahil di yon totoo,

Naiingit lamang sila sayo,

Alam kong may tinatago kang talento.

— Irvin

Allain,

Kakaiba ang iyong kinahiligan,

Kaya nama’y ika’y kinaiingitan,

Pero ika’y aking sinusuportahan kung ito lang ang iyong kasiyahan.

— Irvin

Edward L.

Magaling kang tumugtog ng gitara,

Na hindi kaya ng iba.

Tanong ko lang sayo, bakit nanununtok ka nalang bigla?

Meron ba kaming nagawang masama?

— Irvin

Lance,

Magaling ka pagdating sa palakasan,

At mahusay rin sa loob ng silid- aralan.

Hiling ko lang sana’y wag kang magbago at umiwas ka sa anumang gulo.

— Irvin

Jokko,

Ako’y iyong napahanga sa yong mga guhit,

Kahit na ika’y maliit,

Kaya mong harapin ang buhay na puno ng pait,

At di ka sumusuko kahit na ika’y iniipit.
— Irvin

Jonathan,

May talento kang maibubuga,

Gaya nalang ng pagtugtog ng gitara. Sana ituring mo ito na mahalaga at laging isaisip na ito’y iyong dinadala saan Kaman magpunta.

— Irvin

Mizraim,

Ako sayo’y natutuwa, pagkat palagi mo akong pinapasaya.

Hiling ko lang na sana tayo pa’y muling magkitaat magkasama.

— Irvin

Maxwell,

Likas ka ngang matalino, pero,

Totoo ba na ika’y hambugero?

Sana nama’y di ito totoo, dahil alam ko na ika’y marunong rumespeto at gumalang sa damdamin ng bawat tao.

— Irvin

Jayvee,

Aking binalikan ang panahon, na tayo’y

Matalik pa na magkaibigan,

Di ko naman ito pinagsisihan dahil ramdam ko ang kasiyan na hatid sa aking katauhan.

— Irvin

Carlo,

Mahigit 6 na taon na tayong magkaibigan,

Mahigit 6 na taon mo na rin akong binibigyang kasiyahan.

At sana tumagal pa ng mahigit 6 na taon an gating pagkakaibigan.

— Irvin

Ryan,

Palagi mo kaming pinapatawa,

Nalilimutan tuloy namin ang aming problema. Pero wag mo lang sanang pasobrahan dahil ang damdamin ng iba’y nasasaktan.

— Irvin

Venz,

Hindi ka naghahanap ng gulo,

Kahit na palagi kang tinutukso.

Hayaan mo nalang sila,

Dahil naiingit lamang sila sayo.

— Irvin

Joanah,

Ako’y nahihirapan na makipag usap sayo,

Dahil tagalong ang wika mo.

Pero ganon pa man.

Ako’y masaya at ika’y aking naging kaibigan.

— Irvin

Monique,

Sadyang magaling kang tumugtog ng gitara,

Hilig mo rin ang makinig ng musika,

At marunong ding kumanta,

Hiling ko lang, wag mo sana akong malimutan kapag ika’y sikat na.

— Irvin

Maita,

Isa kang mabuting kaibigan,

Kaya lang ika’y napaka “tabian”.

Tuloy ika’y napapagalitan.

Pero ganon pa man ako’y bilib sayo dahil mga problema mo’y iyong nalampasan.

—Irvin

Emerald,

Ako sayo’y natutuwa sa tuwing naririnig kitang tumatawa..

Para kasing mga problema ko’y nawala na para bang mga bula.

Ako’y magpapasalamat, dahil kahit minsan ika’y aking nakasama.

— Irvin

Wil Joyce,

Kala mo lang… I’m happy w/ other friends,

Na nakalimutan na kita, wat u don’t know is, sa araw-araw na kasama ko sila, I wish 4 nothing else than” san kasama rin kita”.

— Irvin

Illusion

Your eyes struggle to

See through the road covered with

Mists of the cold land

By:Valmar

First Visaya Poem

•January 30, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Duyan 

Naghigot ko ug duyan

Alang kanimo

Wala ka misakay

Hadluk ka mahulog

Kung kini mutabyog na ug kusog.

Apan, nakita ko

Misakay ka sa duyan

Na hinigot niya.

Hammock(Duyan Translation) 

I tied a hammock for you

That you did not use

You are afraid to fall

When it starts to swing hard

Yet, I saw you

Riding the hammock

Which he tied for you

Journey

•August 11, 2007 • Leave a Comment

(Final Revision)
Journey

And I was traveling along the road
As I was carrying a heavy load

My path, the road— the zigzag road was dark
And I could find no light, just void—no spark

The silence, deafened all, and senses fail
No sound, was found, not even whispers sail

Then from afar, a spark, then crimson light
But still, it’s void—just void—it’s none but blight

And I, my knees, then shivered—then fell
And all was there—was nothing—none but hell

(Draft)
Journey

I walked, along a road,
Burdened with heavy load

The sky was dark
No light, no spark

No sound
Was found

Then, crimson light
It’s none but blight

And on my knees I fell
I see nothing but hell

(1st Revision)
Journey

And I was traveling along the road
As I was carrying a heavy load

My path, the road— the zigzag road was dark
And I could find no light, and none—no spark

The silence, deafened all, and senses fail
No sound, was found, not even whispers sail

Then from afar, a spark, then crimson light
But still, it’s none—it’s none—it’s none but blight

And I, my knees, then shivered—then fell
And all was there—was nothing—none but hell

Message to Nobunaga

•August 11, 2007 • Leave a Comment

“What would you do to birds that do not sing?”
You asked me once. And I paused, asked you back.
What would you do to birds that do not sing?

“Kill it,” you said. And I thought that my lack
Of knowledge hinders me to understand
The things you meant. Then I tried reading stack

Of books in search of what you mean. Your stand
Was logical. But why? But why would I
Kill birds that do not sing? Your thought’s too grand

For me to grasp. Until that day my eyes
Then saw the soldiers kneeling at your feet.
You swung your sword. Their heads then flew and I

Then saw your blade dripped their blood on your feet.

(Nobunaga is one of the heroes who made way for the unification of Japan. But his methods were undeniably brutal.)

Prayers

•August 11, 2007 • Leave a Comment

And I bear witness that there is no God
But You. Which name should I use to give You
The glory You deserve? Is it not odd

That Your creations fight for them just to
Give You a name? How many lives were lost
Just over the unending fight for You?

And everybody knows You’re worth the cost.
A Ji’had or crusades. All fight for faith.
And I know You do not want all these lost

Of lives. And still we humans learn too late.

Duel

•August 11, 2007 • Leave a Comment

Surprised, you were here playing games, my games.
Those I thought only boys could play. The sword
You used was strong. It’s hard to find. It’s same

As mine. Your level’s high. Is there a word
That I could use to say what I feel? None.
Awed, I was trembling, I couldn’t point my sword

Against yours. I know I will loss. Hope’s gone
For me, defeat’s inevitable. I
Could possibly obtain a chance if stones

Of strength were there to help. There’s none so I
Then tried to hit you, using all my strength.
A single slash was seen. Loss, I, my eyes

Could not believe the power. You have strength.