I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness-- Jeremiah 3:3

Saturday, May 29, 2010


I don't remember how things worked out well for me as a tiny tot long time ago. Things were simpler then. I still see vivid images of Lolo Matthew and Lola Saring more than I remember how my Mama was like in those tender years. I guess I know why. And right now, I understand the circumstance she was in. In some of her bitter moments then, I felt unwanted as a baby. How can I dump all the blame to her weary chest, when everything that made her whole had seemed to made her world crumble to nothingness. I couldn't grasp the complex world that got me in the middle of a crossfire. But I grew up and at 9 long before I knew the hand that actually rocked my crib, I found refuge in a small, almost dilapidated church, nearby. The crossfire was bearable finally.

My Mama grew up in Sunday School classes way back in Mindanao days. I knew the Lord came with her all the way to Cebu when she fled like a scared young girl. She had me when her world was about to rise to its peak. She fled from it all. She had me. She almost wanted me off her belly. But she had me. The Lord rocked my cradle there. Best of all, He rocked my weeping mother to this day. And gave her a better life.

So how can I, in these difficult times we are in, ever doubt how things would work out in this scary world? The heart gets scared no doubt, but I hold on to the hand that rocks our cradle.

Friday, May 28, 2010


Mukagiw palayo ang hangin
Gani ang mga balod
Muhunong pagtuya-tuya.
Unya takulahaw ang mga
Kinana-as mahanaw.

Didto sa kawanangan
Maglutaw ang tubig-ulan
Sa paghagwa sa yuta
Bisan ang adlaw
Dili gyud mupatim-aw.

Ingon niani ang tanan,
Matag takilid nako
Apan wa ka
Nga akong

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


It would begin with a nonchalance coming from him. I didn't mind though. Gone are the days when I would harp on men to see that a red carpet is laid before my feet like Queen Elizabeth 1 used to get. Well, she was the queen. She held the most powerful name in the land. Men definitely without reason would, at any time, in any slimy ditch, spread one hell of a carpet.

I am not Queen Elizabeth, nor I ever was. Presumptuous me and perhaps most women trapped in the Romantic period, caught in the passing culture that knighthood and chivalry magnified in the Arthurian legends have been used to taking to heart the doctrine that men should worship women in this and that manner and find their heart broken when the guy's attention is less than that of Sir Lancelot. Ahh, the disillusion that these expectations bring when these rosy things dissipate.

I still am not Queen or princess. I am just an ordinary wife whose husband is no match with Lancelot who may just be a figment of one romantic bard's imagination in the England's Medieval Era whose idea of women is comparable to the image of Virgin Mary. But my husband's devotion goes beyond money or any tangibility. One thing though, he's not one who would go out of the way and grab a bunch of flowers from a flower shop for her unassuming wife. For one, he doesn't know where to get them nor does he know where to find a flower shop in the city. He didn't grow up in that culture of treating women. He was reared though by fisher folks who implanted in him the respect a woman of any stature deserves.

He is a husband who has been so devoted to one woman for three years now. (At least, that's what this finite woman's intuition has been telling her.)Three years is not that long. Today, is the third year and I wouldn't mind saying a second "I DO" once again. With or without flowers, that is. These are the moments when his waking up early dawn to cook for me and his sleepless nights for our baby girl who is equally a brat as her mother has always been that would definitely go down to my treasure chest.

Oh, and yes, the kiss wasn't that much though. The ground just rumbled all the same.

Monday, May 24, 2010


That go unwritten
Never sleep
They never fold
Their hands at night.
They wake you up
In the dark
Of Dawn
They grab you
They stay with you
Like a curse
Whose only antidotes
Are some bleeding
And some ink.

Thursday, May 20, 2010


You can hear her squeals from a hundred meters away and you would think the pain must have been terrible that not one, not a small toddler of one deserves such a crime.

Like it or not, my daughter has to get all the beating her acts deserve. This early, you won't mistake her innocent look as one who could brave through adult traffic rules so to speak and get what she wills by pure passion and an iron will. But she does in a few undetected instances in the past. Too bad, she now thinks she can get away with murder. What with that sheepish pretty smile in that vileless face. Ahh, the charm of a tot like her, the first victim of which are the unsuspecting parents.

But today, she's gotta get the beating from the rod that hurts. Though at first, her mommy knows that the first few hits she got from me were far from earthshaking thuds. But there she is, stomping her feet relentlessly, wailing without end so it seemed until she reached her room and screamed some more for another 5-10 minutes or so. I let her be. She needed to bide her time before anything sank in, anything like, in cases like these, what mom says goes.

I am still not good at breaking her will. But today, I can see that the crack I have started in her formidable self-willed spirit is starting. I am definitely getting somewhere to begin with things a mother has to take care of before it's too late.

Monday, May 17, 2010


Dali, Inday
Ko ang imong buhok.
Sige lang
Kung hapdos
Inig bira nako
Sa pila ka lugas.
Tulo ka bahin
Ang akong ilambod
Hangtod mahipos
Ug masud-ong
Ang korte
Sa imong nawong
Nga matod pa nila
Kopya sa
Dagway ug sa
Nagkapyahok nga
Sa imong Tatay.
Ayaw Inday pasagdi
Mutabon ang imong buhok.
Basin na lang,Inday
Bisan gamay
Sa imong pahiyom
Adunay makit-ang lama
Sa akong dagway.

Sunday, May 16, 2010


Three days back, I would have devoured my nine-year-old niece for the vile and malicious intent I saw in her eyes matched with her not-so-dainty crafty moves on people whom she could get financial leverage. I almost forgot she is barely ten years old. But her ulterior motives led to many instances of lost money and thousands of lies. I have become pregnant with the anger of the three Greek Furies. I feel punishment is inevitable.

Our cousin who came by from Canada was flabbergasted with the interview questions she had to face squarely coming from the mouth of this babe. Questions like "how much is your jewelry and stuff" and "you must have good money" comments here and there. It's quite embarrassing really.

I can with my bare hands strangle her to oblivion. I know what she was up to. I even caught her red handed rummaging money and grabbing bills from the store one sunny morning. But I didn't confront her. This cannot be tolerated. One day, she'll see hell spewing from my mouth. And that one day maybe sooner than planned.

Saturday, May 15, 2010


Ang mga balak
Sa akong Lolo Menes
Sama sa among kabaw
Dili angay igaid
Sa bisan asang punuan,
Pasagdang manibsib
Sa kabalilihan
Bahalag masangit
Sa mga sampinit
Kay sayod si Mamang
Mubalik ra gihapon
Ang kabaw ni Lolo Menes,
Magdalag sinugatang
Uraray ug parayeg
Pinupo sa
Mga kakugnan
Nga among
Sa among

Friday, May 14, 2010


When things have become bleaker, he sent a little miracle right to my creaky doorstep. He has never denied me of a single way (a raft, a hand from nowhere, or even a last-minute plunge) to wade through the waters no matter how ocean deep they have suddenly become.

I have proven him true all right. But the slime in this cavernous wall that's pushing me back makes me earn an Alzheimer's syndrome lately. It may not even the disease of forgetfulness. It's more than that. Doubt has this poisonous sting. It refuses to go. It never backs down until you're devoured whole and crunched up to pieces. But someone up there knows better how to take care of his children.

One day, while I rested my old head on a pillow, a friend dropped by and offered me a one-month reprieve of all my old-school worries. A tutorial that pays well just came dropping by out of the blue. Just how did that happen? Just how did anyone know I needed some salvation even for just one month this summer while waiting for an elusive work?

Someone up there just knows.

Thursday, May 13, 2010


My Dear Shekinah,

Likely you will not find your name written down in history as one of the richest human being ever existed. You might not even caused a stir. Probably because that's not your purpose.

When you came, things were awful and grim. Everything was in topsy-turvy. But we were simply overjoyed. Everything just melted in your presence. You were our small miracle. And we savored every second with you, for life as you will come to understand years from now is but so short and for some reason, even eternity is.

You are now 18 months and 3 days. And you never cease to amaze me. People around seem to notice so many miracles about you each day. Little miracles continue to poke my fragile chest for until now having you has not seem to have fully sunk in yet. God has always been miraculously kind to me, dear Kiny. I don't need any other phenomenon to prove that. You, finding a way to my womb is more than enough.

I am glad your Daddy is proud of you. I could not have asked for more than seeing your father see you grow like you have and will continue to be. I know, as early as your age now, you seem to have endeared yourself to your father more than to me, your mom. I don't have any qualms about that. All my reprimands and "I told you" blabbers must have registered "Mommy is tough on me" in your tender consciousness. Believe me, I don't mind if you find me hard on you. I just pray that one day, you'd grow to be a woman of substance and strength. And that is because I have a promise to keep.

I dare not say, I have enough strength to rear you up perfectly for that would make me the wife of Superman. But just the same, I'd rather be a villain for the moment. I will wage war against the world and anything that takes you away from pursuing what you are meant to be. Tomorrow, I will be proud.

The world, Shekinah, is not a happy place. Grown ups are made to believe that happiness is attainable here. And for one fleeting moment, such claim may seem right.
Grown ups like me gamble for this passing pleasure. It takes grit for one to see that this world saps every color, every pure thing that one brings to this cranky planet. While you, despite your seeming fragile state are meant to stand tall in the midst of all these. You will be trained, you will be fighting. This is what I am saddled with. This is my job for the moment, perhaps my only purpose.

When you are grown when I would then be reduced to useless skin and bone entity, you will know how to wage the right war. Yes, we are at war. And you are part of the hope that the Greatest Hope is sending. May in the midst of these, you do not lose your innocence. This is going to be your shield. May you continue to giggle at simple things, such will be your helmet. For now, these will do. The rest will come to you, things that may not be known to me, only to you in due time.

As I said, you are not like the rest. You are predestined to be different, to be resistant to the molds around, but to be pliant to the one that pointed you to the dark arterian tunnel toward my womb. There will be more like you. But you are Shekinah. And that makes all the difference.

One day, you will see.

I love you,

Monday, May 10, 2010


Ang mga balak
Nga wala masulat
Dili mupahulay
Sa tunga-tunga
Sa kagabhion
Dili ka lung-an
Daw tunglo,
Way laing sulbad
Kun di magpaulipon
Sa ilang


Ang tinutokan

Ni Undo bakakon.

Sa sinugdanan pyuos,


Halos di muharong.

Apan karong bag-o,

Ang tinan-awan

Ni Undo mulapos

Kang Inday

Ngadto sa lain pang


Sunday, May 9, 2010


Wooden floors


Not of years

That ride them

But of footfalls

That stay




Hulamon ko
Ang T-shirt ni Tata Negro
Usa pa mulamano
Ni Dodong Maabi-abihon
Ugma sayo, maligo
Sa pantaw,
Isul-ob ang T-shirt,
Dayong lugsong
Sa duot-duot sa
Unya taod-taod,
Sa pagsanting sa bungol
Nga dunggan,
Sa libat nga
Dodong Maabi-abihon.

Saturday, May 8, 2010


There are moments in the middle of my idle hours that I snatch a look at my nails and think how they could use a trip to a salon or something and have some much-needed polish just like in the good old days. It has been quite a while really. Our neighbor used to come once a week to give us this service. These days though, life is standing frozen still. The waiting for a career in tow has immobilized all the normal goings on in a woman's life. Not that I missed those times where things like nail polish and a hair care are there in a jiffy and at whatever cost.

It has been as dry as the Sahara desert these days.The supply has run out. The faith barn house has almost run out of hay. This waiting anxiety is sapping everyone's energy in the family. I don't mind if this nail in my grubby ring finger is getting brittle and chipped off every toxic second.

I'm almost tempted to think that it was not a leap of faith that I took when I quit a good-paying job for one post that I have been asking from the man above while lying there almost prostrate to the floor one night not so long ago. Since then, everything has been going crazy. My husband had to take a few days off from work as work shipment supplies have chosen a good time to delay in coming to Cebu. Add to this pile of code-reds the enlargement of the heart diagnosis of my mother by her doctor which might stop her small business that has kept everyone's heads above water for a great number of years now. And of course, here comes my brother who seems to make it a signature move at work in every company he is in to find conflicts or some commotions of that sort with office mates, which makes him in the end quit one company work after another.

So what does the jobless eldest sibling with a baby about to starve, a jobless husband plus a chipped nail to boot has got to do? Well, I can use these blank days to stare at walls and yes, wait.


Nganong hinuktokan
Pa man ang nanglabay
Kung ang umaabot
Makahulip sa kanhiay?
Sama sa adlaw
Nga mugitib
Ug unya mubiya
Sa may kasadpan
Nga dili mananghid
Apan unya mutumaw ra
Aron pagsubang

Thursday, May 6, 2010


How does one get away from this heat that is almost synonymous to a volcanic eruption minus the lava? Ahh, gone are those days where May is the onset of the impending showers which should signal the end of summer at last. Summer used to spell a steamy get-away from all forms of routine and office hullabaloos.

The earth these days is on the verge of becoming like another Mars or worse than a sick planet. It seems to have forgotten time and seasons of the year. Media and scientists have relegated all these as man's fault. Probably. I'd say, the signs of times have started to make things plain to us.

Yesterday, the entire Cebu has witnessed a breathtaking view of the sun surrounded with what looks like colored rings around it. Talks and paranormal views went around and got sold like hot rice cakes. People seem to believe that whatever it is that the Omnipotence has in his grace and loving kindness lent us would finally be snatched from us. Time would finally elapse on us. Maybe. We have been given enough warning already. We only have a few more days probably to make things better, to make lives a little comfortable, to make summers more livable where beach moments should be fun instead of a risk, where children are finally free to roam under the heat of the smiling sun.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


A man's pride is perhaps the heaviest cross a woman gets to saddle and live with.

She, at one point or another, knows she just has to keep her mouth shut even if some truths are self-evident--wives' instincts are right more often than not but it is wiser not to rock the boat for some man's fragile pride.

As to how a wife survives or how a husband saves himself from the damaging risk of this dent in his pride, no one knows. As for me, this is one of those curses that Christ died for upon that tree long time ago.

Monday, May 3, 2010


There are clothes that hug you in the wrong places. Places that are meant to measure up certain standard statistics that glossy magazines project as steamy sexy. For my vertically challenged stature plus the excess baggage I carry around these days, rummaging and scavenging clothes are an ordeal. But women, ahh... women, we never get the hang of it. We'd rather go to calvary carrying our heavy selves just so we could stick our sweaty pimply nose to every corner that is marked "Ukay-ukay" and "Marked-down Items on the Lose" to find what finally fits the quirky shapes we are in.

But ahh, it's not the same woman now that I was. I don't speak of the added curves splattered all over my anatomy. I refer to a more simple things in life that I now seek more. Time must have changed. Although the woman in me still sticks her nose to these smelly staples, the list that I keep weekly has trimmed down to what matter the most. The pounds that I carry now used to be a curse to my prebaby days. Strangely, I am proud to wear them.

I call myself the sexy pounder. And I smile at the thought of coming home to my Shekinah and Joe Marie who reaffirm my view of myself--doubtful or not.