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

Monday, January 30, 2012


Joy oftentimes comes unbidden. At times it is shrouded by simplicity and then it just turns things magical. But joy doesn't come easy. You can't just get them from the racks or counters of stores. You probably can purchase some forms of it but what you get is a transitory version of it, hence, what you actually get is not joy in its very essence.

As for me, seeing joy forms at the corners of my three-year-old's mouth is magic. Things like a Ben 10 watch, a 7-peso noodle pack, a 10-peso ice cream, a 2-peso chocolate, a 5-peso street popcorn, and seeing her mom at the end of a day's work are nothing but close to heaven for her.

It is, I must admit, draining to a day's tightly budgeted allowance to always bring popcorn to a kid like mine on an everyday basis. But seeing her shriek and spill out tons of "thank-you's" with little mushy hugs every time is worth wading in financial distress again and again. Hah, just to hear her "Wow! Yummy! Thank you, Mommy! Thank you! I love you, Mommy!" I'd give up what I have all ready given up long time ago in a heart beat again and again. No questions about it.

In a world where it's more like a territory of misery,I'd jump the gun at every teeny-weeny opportunity of joy. And why not, it's only in real pleasures like this that keeps me above water.

Sunday, January 15, 2012


                                                              kang Joe Marie J. Panes

Kung isumpay-sumpay

Ang mga gutlo ug adlaw,

Bisan ang kawanangan

Dili paigo sa paghakop

Sa mga higayon

Nga ikaw mitadlas

Sa akong panumduman.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


Unsaun ba pagdakop
Nianang mga aninipot
Kung ang panan-aw
Gibabagan na sa
Ilang kahabog?

Kung ang mga kamot
Lupigon sa kaidlas
Sa ilang pag-ipsot?

Unsaun ko kaha
Ikaw pagkab-ot
Kung ang katalaw
Sa akong mga tiil

Kung kining katalaw
Mukuyanap na,
Ug sa lain nang mga kamot 
Ang akong nag-inusarang 

When I Wept Twice

When I wept twice, 
I bathed thrice;
For tomorrow 
I shall hoard the sour
And then the salt
From the waters
That drenched and
Blanched the crimson 
Of my then afterglow.

Capturing Eternity Slipping By

A morning dew's visit 
To a lone wayside flower.

The scatter of forgotten papers, crumpled.
Then a young leaf falls, joining the fray.

Like, by chance, when your shadow 
Touched my paneled walls--

Friday, January 6, 2012


So who the heck is Araceli?  Like I care.

All right, in the mid 1990s, I saw her as a girl unmindful of the complications in a college life. She saw herself through college oblivious of the usual teenagers' issues--trendy clothes, psychedelic hair clips, and updated cool school gadgets--oblivious and unaffected, I should say. 

And yes, a bunch of girls at a distant hallway would just laugh and look her way every time she sported that jet-black shiny long hair which was normally screaming for a comb (but surprisingly charming in that unkempt way) with her enviable lithe body in her normally unpressed, fuscha-pink plaid uniform. In her bulky baggage of a shoulder bag, one would always find two or three books in their torn or dilapidated but readable state. 

But when you check out her poems and write-ups in her usual "intricately difficult to read" penmanship, you would forget what century you're in. She so loved the Shakespearean age and Britain that you could imagine her kissing England in her lines. Never mind if she was too unmindful of what was the fad or forgetful in pressing her blouse or clip her nails, she was beautiful. And that radiated in her poems and prose.

We laughed together. We submitted projects together, although hers were always wanting of order or structure but we were there together. And I love her for that. To me, that was normal of her. To me, she was real. I was the eccentric one. Oftentimes too eccentric for my own good.   I wasn't the most popular. My name became known only because of the scores my trying-hard stance could produce in those days. But I was always away from the crowd. And this Araceli took me in despite that. 

After graduation, we seldom saw each other.  We both became passionate literature teachers. She, being the most colorful and well-loved in a peculiar way; I, being the more introverted but emotional.

Then she lost her father. Right there, I saw a more grown-up woman in that lithe figure of hers. But she was still the same funny Araceli who didn't seem to know what to do first in crucial intimate moments with loved ones. I didn't see her cry but I know she was more than crying. That was her very intimate time with herself. That loss had allowed some gravitas surfaced from inside her. I let her be.

Then we found our men. And I giggle a bit every time I see her with her man in her photos. I could say we were very much alike. Our men may not be the expected choice but we chose well--perhaps, not necessarily in man's standard but this is borne of our very unconventional, perhaps eccentric way of looking at things. (At least this is how I personally look at two very different girls but very much alike at a painful distance.)

Yes, and miles away, I miss her. I miss listening to her thoughts. I ache to listen to her wanton descriptions of the lives of British nobilities and how far from our "reality" their lives are. Maybe I just love how she pours her dreams in those stories. 

But more than these I admire her for her courage to face the unknown and relentlessly dig for those dreams there. To Araceli, the undaunted little beauty, I wish my daughter will take the same step of courage that you took--one that she may never take from me.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


Ang among probinsya
Dili na makamaong Mupahulay
Lupig pa'y kwago,
Ni bisan sa pagtagpilaw
Sa tungag gabii

Mas balehon pang
Muduyog sa
Mga gakidhat-kidhat ug
Gadayak-dayak nga
Sugang langyaw.

Ang among probinsya
Dili na gani maigpot
Inig dan-ag
Sa bulalakaw
Sa kalangitan.

Ang among probinsya
Gilalin na.