I can turn knobs
And unlock its glory.
I can paint its walls.
I keep it comfortable.
I can show it off.
Cast your eyes on it
But unless you’re welcome,
Learn to keep out.
Doy, an imo mga piktaw, imuda.
An tupa san mga rapadapa, paniguruha
Kay tingali ka mapangkog ngan matumba. Continue reading Hala, Sagka
The elderly waitress placed before me
a bowl of steaming Gou Maki.
She must’ve thought I’d order it
after all those years eating with my Angkong
at Davao Famous Restaurant.
Tonight I took the table facing the entrance.
It’s been years since I last ate here but
the noodle soup still tasted the same.
Perfect for tonight’s cold October weather.
Does their cook never die?
Angkong used to bring me here on Fridays.
or whenever he had time.
We used to own a small junk shop in Matina.
All day, he’d stay there to watch over
or negotiate with clients selling scraps.
Conscious of his hairstyle,
he wouldn’t go out without fixing his hair—
he’d comb his hair forward
and flip it up backwards, creating a pouf
like James Dean’s.
He was a jolly man. Once,
he showed me how to slurp a noodle soup.
I watched him hold his bowl of Maki
with both hands, ready to slurp.
His face fitted the bowl nicely.
Then he started coughing and coughing hard
his false teeth came off his mouth
and fell into his bowl.
I laughed. But I was quick to pinch my legs.
Lola used to do that to me when I misbehaved.
Hurriedly I brought him a glass of water
to make him feel better.
The same way he woke me up
that night I dreamt of him inside a casket
slowly lowered down the pit.
With my fingers, I combed my hair
styled like James Dean’s in memory of Angkong.
Old enough to pay for it now
I lift this bowl of Maki to my mouth.
Hot soup steam rising, fogging up my glasses.
I slurped it the Angkong way!
kon did-an ka makagawas sa baryo,
dayon imbestigaron sa sundalo
kon ang bugas gipalit sobras usa ka kilo,
ug bun-ogon kay naalaan kang impakto, Continue reading aron ikaw nga setler masayod nganong di ko makiglabot anang inyong martial law
Courage is keeping
a precious umbrella.
must be remembered: one, Continue reading Courage