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Concha Araneta Bocala of Panay, a poem

By SALVI ARMADA

“No uprising fails. Each one is a step in the right direction. In a long march to final victory, every step counts, every individual matters, every organization forms part of the whole.”

– Salud Algabre

I. STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION

reflecting on the self’s subject position
learning tools of class analysis
putting on lens of historical materialism

weaning away from bourgeois ego
remoulding, remoulding, remoulding
on going ceaseless reflexive rectification

finding comfort in rhymes of collective life
ministering caresses on comrade’s hurts
watching sunrise, enjoying sunsets

catching fireflies, gathering stardusts
washing own’s wings on cool moonrains
leading the cell to win the Revolution.

II. CONCHA

they sleuth everywhere but you’re no where
in four directions of the wind
when season of rains come and
when sinigwelas fruits burst forth

they cannot find you in festivals
of mangoes, of seafoods, of muses
lost in the haystack like a needle
sparkingly true yet deadly pointed

they loudly demanded identification
so one-after-another of revolting
slaves rises up: “I am Spartacus!”
for we are the masses of names

“Je suis Charlie” is a deathless name
but in mysterious Holm of Tumandok
names gifted to audacious children
honor her revolution: “I am Concha!”

III. TRUE BEAUTY

it is invisible and unfamiliar,
yet unlimned by the naked eyes
of the impetuous who can’t wait

unconquered by haughty lions
nor subdued by vicious eagles
no maiden’s milk avails bravery to
who struggles with bourgeois self

but at the peak of Panay ranges
after crossing zigzagging rivers
to reach the hideous cliff there
quietly blooms sweetest beautiful

Revolution.

Ang Teorya ng Invisible Hand

ni Mark P. Dorado

Nang akinse ng buwan,
bitbit niya ang pinutol niyang kamay
upang ipanghapunan sa mga supling.
Minaigi niya itong pinulupot sa diyaryo
bilang panabik sana sa mga dilang
nagkalasog-lasog na sa pagdidildil sa asin,
ngunit nilamutak na ng dugo
ang nakatapal na mukha ng sikat na artista.
Pinunit. Binura ang mga balita
na tila wala ng kasaysayang naganap.
Wala na ang balita ng patayan. Ng kahibangan ng politika.
Ng mga nagmamahal. Ng mga nagmamahalan.
Ang kasalukuyan ay nakasilip lamang sa butas nilang sikmura.
Sapat na marahil iyon. Para sa panglingguhang konsumo.
Panghuli ang mabuto’t kinakalyo na mga daliri
na hindi madaling nguyain at tunawin
na ilang araw pa ang itatagal.
Sa katapusan, aasahan niya namang
mapuputulan siya ng isa pang kamay.
First published in Pagbutlak, the official Student Publication of the UPV CAS.

General Luna Street

By ALEXANDER SANGUINIS

A blue and yellow screwdriver was still embedded in the left temple of human rights lawyer Angelo Karlo“AK” Guillen when paramedics took him to a hospital in Iloilo City…Guillen’s colleagues and the human rights community believe the assailants had intended to kill the 33-year-old lawyer who has been red-tagged and represents 16 members of the indigenous Tumandok who were arrested in Capiz and Iloilo Provinces on December 30, 2020 for alleged possession of firearms and explosives and for alleged links to communist rebels.

– Nestor Burgos Jr. “Lawyer for red-tagged tribal folk stabbed; laptop documents taken” INQUIRER.NET

1.
Death shaped the tip
of a screwdriver plunged deep—
wielded as a knife

straight into the left temple,
the head’s frontier, skull bone’s
skin ripped open

in the middle of the night’s
deepening daze. A city’s peace
once more cracked, broken

by a heinous deed
against a barrister of a people’s
rights. Nothing to explain

this scheme than the desire
to kill the targeted brain.
How will this be judged

and remedied
when the Law
cannot protect itself

from blatant lawlessness?
Where does this lead us
when the lawful

is unsanctified, debased?
Bleeding, his blood—
dark liquid crawling

on asphalt and cement,
almost a fatality.
The Law—

stabbed
and gravely wounded, near-
death

in General Luna Street.

2.
Bloodied hole
in the left temple,

a stab wound.
Never a Divine

Will—God

was not even there

when it happened.
Never sanctioned

by Heaven –
you must

remember
that primeval couple

forced to flee
the Garden

ages ago
with their shame

newly discovered
and intact.

The screwdriver
in lieu of the shining,

sharpest blade—
a kitchen knife,

dagger or balisong.
The screwdriver

like those spectacles
used by a former bodyguard

of Michael Corleone
to puncture

an enemy’s neck.
The screwdriver

like those spectacles
is never made

for killing.
The mind can be

criminal. The hands
murderous.

And something
close to murder

is still murderous.
Shamelessly murderous.

Alexander Sanguinis is a pseudonym of the long published poet who is from the Hiligaynon-speaking Region (VI). The poet is an established writer in both languages of the Region and English. With anonymity, readers are enjoined to focus on the pieces rather than on externalities of the texts.

Tokhang: An Improvised Villanelle

By ALEXANDER SANGUINIS

…Three years since President Duterte launched the Philippine War on Drugs, much has been written regarding the degree of violence deployed by State and quasi-state mechanisms to rid the Philippines of an alleged 3.7 million drug users. Approximately 29, 000 deaths attributable to this policy have been recorded as of July 2019…Human Rights Watch (2017) has condemned the punitive treatment of suspected drug users and dealers. The concentration of victims in urban poor communities has led international and local groups …to report that the war on drugs is a war on the poor…

—Pangilinan, MKA et al. 2021. Examining the Effects of Drug-Related Killings in Philippine Conditional Cash Transfer Beneficiaries in Metro Manila 2016-2017. Journal of Illicit Economies and Development 2(2) p. 111 DOI: https://doi.org./10.31389/jied.50

When your voice no longer bears the weight
of what you must say, then language must have gone away,
or forcibly buried underground,
silenced the fascist way.

The eyes deliberately turned towards
a vision blinded by a full unquestioning
acquiescence and the tortured mind seeks
a possible means of utterance, escape,
or even a redress of grievance.

When your voice no longer bears the weight
of what you must say, then language must have gone away,
or forcibly buried underground,
silenced the fascist way.

For whatever you have to say
must be said without ever prodding
the rush of army boots, the camouflage
green uniforms, unwanted police warrants
foregrounded on stereotypes and sheer suspicion.

When your voice no longer bears the weight
of what you must say, then language must have gone away,
or forcibly buried underground,
silenced the fascist way.

Each home, every household—those hastily built makeshift shelters,
tenements right smack in the urban jungle, shacks lining the railroad tracks,
river banks of trash, or beneath bridges, or huts standing wobbly
on bamboo poles in coastal margins unguarded from storm floods,
vulnerable to the surge of the open sea.

When your voice no longer bears the weight
of what you must say, then language must have gone away,
or forcibly buried underground,
silenced the fascist way.

Those parts of the metropolis prone
to the vagaries of the tidal weather where the mid-morning
sun is hotter than the warm suburban midday
or the night darker, more ominous than the lighted
parks, avenues and boulevards at evening time.

When your voice no longer bears the weight
of what you must say, then language must have gone away,
or forcibly buried underground,
silenced the fascist way.

They had become battlegrounds, shacks riddled with bullets,
a shooting spree, blood at the tip of the rifle or gun, “..nanlaban kasi…”
they fought back.. we had no choice but to shoot—everyone
had been singled out: parent, sibling, teenager or child,
a pusher, user, dealer, an addict.

Their voices no longer bear the weight
of what they must say, their language gone away,
or forcibly buried underground,
silenced the fascist way.

The fascist way.
The fascist way.

Alexander Sanguinis is a pseudonym of the long published poet who is from the Hiligaynon-speaking Region (VI). The poet is an established writer in both languages of the Region and English. With anonymity, readers are enjoined to focus on the pieces rather than on externalities of the texts.

PANAMBI SANG TUMANDOK

PANAMBI SANG TUMANDOK
“Tumandok kami, pangayaw lang kamo. Tanum kawayan sa inyo pagalubngan!”
Ang maaslog nga tubig suba sang Pan-ay mapula pa sa nagadabdab nga langit bag-o mag abot ang kasisidmon
Naga pamangpang sa kataas, makusog ang buslug sa kaakig. Singgit sining suba Pan-ay —
“Gin-usik nga dugo sa duta dapat uli-an!”
Ang dungganon nga tubig suba sang Jalaur indi na matinung. Kinagubot ang bation nga kutib-kutib padalhay sa hukmungan sang kaaway
Naga lubid hugot mag-ibwal nga lulon-baha sa kalalawran. Singgit sining suba Jalaur —
“Gin-utang nga kabuhi sa bukid dapat baydan!”
Itimalos ang mga inosenteng nga pinamatay sang pasista nga estado!
  Roy Giganto Reynaldo Katipunan
Mario Aguirre Eliseo Gayas Jr.
Artilito Katipunan, Sr. Maurito Diaz, Sr.
Jomar Vidal Dalson Catamin
Rolando Diaz, Sr.
Sa maabot bag-ong Sugidanon matagsing nga hinambiton ang ila mga ngalan.
Sa masunod nga maragtas isaysay ang ila maayong binuhatan
Kay marumpag na ang kampo sang mga kaaway
Bangon, itimalos ang mga inanak mong hugot nag palangga sa imo —
Aglinab, Lahug, Acuña, Masaroy, Roosevelt
Daan Sur, Tacayan, Nayawan, Garangan
Kaupod ninyo kami sa kaabtik nga magbangon padulhog sa patag sukbit ang mga hinganiban:
ang walay tupong nga paghigugma sa dutang binun-agan!
— ni Tomas Talledo ¦ 30 Disyembre 2020

POETRY | UWANG ni Jhio Jan Navarro

Uwang
(para sa siyam ka tumandok nga ginluthang sa Panay)
Subong!
Subong ninyo ihambal nga wala
kamatuoran sa mga ginasugid
sang katigulangan.
Subong nga ang tanan nga ngalan
nga ginasambit — sang mga nagasukbit
cuarenta y cinco kag armalite — sa punta
sang dila nga ginapadahog sang,
dili minama, apang pula nga laway,
sa pinanid sang libro sang mga buhi,
nagakapanas,
dili bala matuod nga
kamatayon ang ginabuut
sang uwang sang mga ido buang?
Subong!

POETRY | NEGROS ni Tomas Talledo

NEGROS
ni
Tomas Talledo

Mawad-an na kita sululaton nga mga binalaybay
sa ka masako, walay pahuway nga pamatay…
Ay, isla Negros, ay banwang Guihulngan,
karon mga nawasdak nga Kalibutan

(Sa kagubot, Dionisio Papa Magbuelas,
ubayan mo kami
Sa kapa-it, Monsenyor Antonio Fortich,
igampo mo kami
Sa kangitngit, Padre Frank Fernandez,
tudluan mo kami…)

Sa ananong pagsambit nga maghalong
kay daluk nga wakwak sang kamatayon
padayon gatiid sa mga naga panglakaton
pangita inosenteng kalag nga gus-abon

Labaw sa pag andam, mag armas na,
batuan na ang malain sang ginhawa
Untaton na ang makasiligning kapalaran
palukpon ang Kanlaon sang aton dughan!

UPUAN*

Upuan

Para kay Randall Echanis

Malalim ang gabi habang
Nilalamig ang katawan
Nahihilo sa kawalan
Ng boses, ng karapatan
Mga halimaw na walang
Kaluluwa’t halang
Ang pinaupo’t tinali ka ng
Walang kalaban-laban
Ang mahina mong katawan
Walang habas na sinaksak
Dagdag sa agos ng dugo
Ng libu-libong kinitil
Mga walang kalaban-laban
Ang pinapatay ng nasa pamunuan.
Marahas ang naghahari-harian
Komportable sa kanilang upuan
Hindi katulad mo at nga mga pesante
Sandaang taong pinagkaitan ng karapatan
Makatarungan ang lumaban
Para sa kapayapaan, para sa pantay na lipunan.

 

*Tula at guhit ni Justin Madriaga, tagapagsalita ng Anakbayan Panay.

if the dead could speak

by: Justin Madriaga*

if the dead could speak,
they will tell you how their frail body was dragged down
shoved at the end of a corner
kissing the cold floor, hands on their heads
drenched on their own blood

from wounds shot by the monsters in alleys and streets
ordered by the old man trying to act like king

if the dead could speak,
they will tell you how they plead and cried to save themselves
from the crime they did not commit

while the cold steel is aiming on their heads

but the dead could not speak
so here we are on their behalf
walking the perilous path

waving the red flags
marching with the people

to seek justice
to seek systemic change.

 

Binalaybay kag Dibuho ni: Justin Madriaga (Spokesperson, Anakbayan-Panay)