Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 120

Philippine Literature is a diverse and rich group of works that has evolved side-by-side

with the countrys history. Literature had started with fables and legends made by the
ancient Filipinos long before the arrival of Spanish influence. The main themes of
Philippine literature focus on the countrys pre-colonial cultural traditions and the sociopolitical histories of its colonial and contemporary traditions.
Philippine
literature
is
native Philippine Languages.
NOTABLE PEOPLE

Jose Rizal
Marcelo H. Del Pilar
Carlos P. Romulo
Francisco Balagtas
Amado V. Hernandez
Carlos Bulosan
Teodoro M. Locsin
Claro M. Recto

NOTABLE WORKS

Noli Me Tangere
El Filibusterismo
Biag ni Lam-ang
Ibong Adarna
Florante at Laura
Doctrina Christiana

written

in Spanish, English, Tagalog,

and/or other

LITERARY WORKS OF DIFFERENT REGION


NATIONAL CAPITAL REGION
Are you that Someone
by: Lori Ungacta
Are you that someone
who will love me so deep,
Are you that someone
who won't make me weep......
Are you that someone
who will hold my hand,
Are you that someone
who would be my man......
Are you that someone
who would hold me in your arms,
Are you that someone
who would protect me from harm.....
Are you that someone
who will make me smile,
Are you that someone
who would go the extra mile......
Are you that someone
who will grow old with me,
Are you that someone
who sees my true beauty......

Are you that someone


who will make my life complete,
Are you that someone
who no other can compete......
Are you that someone
who will share good times and bad,
Are you that someone
who with me is always glad......
Are you that someone
who I will love for life,
Are you that someone
willing to have me as your wife.....

"Our Heaven Above"


by: Tina R. Lizama

I never thought I'd find the one,


then again I never met you Until now.
And I thank the Lord each day and each night too
For leading my heart to yours and yours to mine.
Traveling across the distance and throughout all of time
To bring us closer together, as lovers and as friends
As separate hearts once before, as a single heart in the end
You touched my life and made me whole
Deep within and throughout my lonely soul
Showing me loneliness never more
By turning the key to unlock my heart's door
You walked into my life and into my heart
Making me feel we're not worlds apart

And etching a symbol of your love


Showing me Our Heaven Above
I dreamt with you and you dreamt with me
Together we became the best we could be
You brightened my days and filled my nights
You forgave my wrongs and commended my rights
And when I stumbled you took my hand
With your strength, you helped me stand
You taught me to strive, you taught me to live
But most importantly, I learned how to give
Of my love, of my life, and of myself because of you
I learned how to feel and say what is true
So I say to you now, my true love
Thank you for showing me Our Heaven Above!

Voice of Reason
By Nanie

Mere words could not adequately


express how I feel for you .
You are the light in my life.
You are the Voice of Reason in my life.
You are the cure to all my fears and tears.
It's all because of YOU.
I sometimes wonder how something
so special could happen to me.
I sometimes wonder if my love for you is real.
I sometimes wonder if this is fate, destiny and or karma.
Then, I realize all these feelings deep inside of me is TRUE.
It's all because of YOU.
You taught me to smile often
You taught me to be strong
You taught me how to love

You taught me togetherness


It's all because of YOU.
Because of YOU, I believe in YOU.
I believe in our LOVE.
I believe we can move mountains.
I believe nothing is impossible
It's all because of YOU.
I thank God each day for all the blessings he has bestowed to ME.
I thank my lucky stars for guiding you to me.
I believe my destiny is being fulfilled
It's all because of YOU.

You are my morning dew when I wake up


You are my malakis when i am feeling down
You are my voice of reason when in doubt
You are the my sunshine when it is gloomy.
It's all because of YOU
MY DREAM
Mary Lou Rogers
A poem I recently read was meant for me
Yes, my dream will soon be my reality
I'd never want to be naked on any beach
But my lifetime goal is now within my reach.
I dreamed of filling the educational gap
And the videos to do it will soon lie in my lap
People of every nationality, age, color and creed
Will soon have my videos to fulfill their need.
No longer will ignorance be thought of as bliss
Because what I'm producing simply cannot miss

First I'll teach math, and prove that it's fun


Then I'll teach reading and writing to everyone.
Yes, the dream that I have is a special one, no need to sob**
My dream is a dream that no one can rob
I can feel that God is with me, right by my side
I can see how my life He is trying to guide.
Forever Love
By: Joseph S. Santos
Sweet Thoughts Of You
Are In My Mind
You'll Be Remembered
Till The End Of Time
So When You're Feeling
Down And Blue
Remember These Feelings
I Have For You
Although We're Not Together
And It Seems We're Far Apart
You'll Be With Me For Eternity
Always In My Heart

REGION I: ILOCOS REGION

Malinak Lay Labi

The night Is Calm


(Translated by Imelda Caguioa)

Malinak Lay Labi


Oray la'y mareen

The night is calm


A peaceful moment

Mapalpalna'y dagem
Ketekep to'y linaew

A gentle breeze
Rolling with fog

Samit da'y kugip ko


Binangonan kon tampol

So sweet is my dream
Right away I am awaken

Lapu'd say limgas mo


Sikan sika'y nanengneng

Because of your beauty


You and only you I want to caress

Naponas lan amin so ermen


Ya akbibiten
No nanononotan co lay
Samit day ugalim

Best of all, my life


When I see you
If I recall all through
Your sweet and gentle behavior

Agtaca nalingoanan
Anggad kaoyos na bilay

I will never forget you


Till the end of my life

BIAG NI LAM-ANG

Centuries ago, there was a great warrior who was widely known in Ilocos as a
hero who fought the Igorots. When Lam-ang was born, he had the most unusual ability
to speak immediately at birth. He immediately asked where his father was, and, upon
being informed that his father was killed by Igorots, Lam-ang vowed revenge: A
vendetta was born.
Lam-ang grew up immediately, and went up into the mountains to take his
vengeance. Alone, he fought off dozens of Igorot warriors, defeating them all. He cut off
the ears of the warriors, as trophies, and returned to Ilocos. He then met and was
captivated by a beautiful woman named Ines, and he immediately fell in love. He
pledged her all of his gold, land, and livestock.

Naturally, as the most beautiful woman in the province, Ines had many suitors,
but all quietly gave way to Lam-ang, since they knew that they could not compete with
him for her affections. All except a giant of a man, named Sumarang, who would not
yield. So, Lam-ang and Sumarang fought, and Lam-ang won, easily defeating
Sumarang.
Lam-ang and Ines were married with the largest wedding feast that ever been
seen in the province. In order to secure the unions blessing, Lam-ang was informed
that he must dive down to the very depths of the sea and retrieve a pearl from a magical
oyster, otherwise the marriage would have bad luck. (Other versions say that Lam-ang
went to fish for a rare fish called rarang.) So Lam-ang dove into the sea and, on his way
down, was eaten by a fearsome fish called the Berkaken.
Heartbroken, Ines went into mourning, as did most of the town, as Lam-ang was
their hero. The next day, Lam-angs rooster, who had magical powers (Lam-ang also
owned a magic dog and cat), spoke to Ines, and told her to have Lam-angs bones
fished out of the sea. Ines did as she was instructed, bringing Lam-angs bones before
the rooster, who then blew on them.

CORDILLERA ADMINISTRATIVE REGION (CAR)

ULLALIM
Ang kwento ay nagsimula sa nakatakdang kasal nina Ya-u at Dulaw nang
makapulot ng nganga o ua (na tawag ng taga-Kalinga). Ang magkasintahan ay
naanyayahan sa isang pistahan sa Madogyaya. Nang sila ay nasa Madogyaya, naakit
ang pansin ni Dulliyaw si Dulaw hanggang si Dulaw ay magkagusto sa kanya. Sa
pagplano na ligawan ni Dulaw si Dulliyaw ay naisip nitong painumin ng alak si Ya-u
hanggang sa malasing. Habang si Ya-u ay natutulog sa ibang bahay ay saka niligawan
ni Dulaw si Dulliyaw. Pinakain nito ang babae ng nganga at sinabi niya sa babae na sa
pamamagitan ng pagtanggap niya ng nganga ang ibig sabihin ay tinanggap na niya ang
pag-ibig na kanyang iniaalay. Bago siya umalis ay sinabi niya sa babae na siya ay
babalik kinabukasan. Naiwan na nag-iisip ang dalaga.
Kinabukasan sa kalagitnaan ng gabi ay dumating si Dulaw sa bahay nina Dulliyaw.
Habang silay kumakain ng nganga, sinabi nito sa babae na siya ay nagpunta
roon upang isama nang umuwi ang dalaga sa kanilang bahay. Nagulat si Dulliyaw sa
winika ng lalaki. Iyon lamang at nagkagulo na ang mga tao sa nayon. Sa pagtakas nila
ay nakasalubong sila ng isang lalaki na may dala-dalang palakol at balak silang patayin.

Bago sila maabutan ng lalaki ay nakaakyat na si Dulaw sa isang puno upang tumakas.
Samantala wala namang mangahas na siya ay lusubin kaya naipasiya ni Ya-u na
tawagin ang mga sundalong Espaol ng Sakbawan.
At noon nga si Guwela na kumander ng Garison ay umakyat sa kaitaasan ng
Kalinga na kasama ang mga sundalo. Iniutos niya na dakpin si Dulaw na nakaupo pa
rin sa puno. Napag-alaman niya na marami ang tutol sa ginawa niya kaya wala na
siyang lakas na lumaban nang siya ay lagyan ng posas. Sa utos pa rin ni Guwela siya
ay dinakip at nakulong sa Sakbawan.
Makalipas ang tatlong taon na pagkakabilanggo, naging payat na siya. Humingi
si Dulliyaw ng nganga kay Dulaw. Kinuha ni Dulaw ang huling nganga sa bahay at itoy
pinagpirapiraso. Bago niya ito maibigay kay Dulliyaw bigla na lamang itong nawala.
Samantala, sa pook na Magobya naliligo si Duranaw. Sa paliligo niya sa ilog ay
nakapulot siya ng nganga. Kinain niya ito nang walang alinlangan. Matapos nguyain
ang nganga ay bigla na lamang itong nagbuntis hanggang sa siya ay
magsilang ng isang malusog na lalaki at pinangalanan niya itong Banna. Tatlong taon
ang lumipas. Si Banna ay mahilig makipaglaro sa mga Agta, subalit siyay madalas na
tinutukso ng kanyang mga kalaro. Sinasabi na kung siya raw ang tunay na Banna ang
ibig sabihin ay siya ang anak ni Dulaw na nakulong sa Sakbawan. Sinumbong niya ito
sa kanyang ina ngunit pinabulaanan ito ng kanyang ina.
Sa isang iglap, si Banna ay naging malakas at naghangad ng paghihiganti. Isang
mahiwagang pangyayari ang nagdala kay Banna pati ng kanyang mga kasama sa
Sakbawan. At doon ay kanyang piatay si Dulliyaw. Sinabi ng isang kasama ni Banna
kay Dulaw na si Banna ay kanyang anak, iyon lang at sila ay dali-daling sumakay sa
isang bangka at sa isang iglap ay nakarating sila sa pook ng Magobya. Mula noon ay
nauso na ang kasalan sa kanilang pook.
The Boy Who Became a Stone
One day a little boy named Elonen sat out in the yard making a bird snare, and
as he worked, a little bird called to him:
Tik-tik-lo-den (come and catch me).
I am making a snare for you, said the boy; but the bird continued to call until the snare
was finished.
Then Elonen ran and threw the snare over the bird and caught it, and he put it
other boys to swim. While he was away, his grandmother grew hungry, so she ate the
bird, and when Elonen returned and found that his bird was gone, he was so sad that he

wished he might go away and never come back. He went out into the forest and walked
a long distance, until finally he came to a big stone and said:
Stone, open your mouth and eat me. And the stone opened its mouth and boy.
When his grandmother missed the boy, she went out and looked everywhere,
hoping to find him. Finally she passed near the stone and it cried out:
Here he is. Then the old woman tried to open the stone but she could not, so she
called the horses to come and help her. They came and kicked it, but it would not break.
Then she called the carabao and they hooked it, but they only broke their horns.
She called the chickens, which pecked it, and the thunder, which shook it, but nothing
could open it, and she had to go home without the boy.
The Man with the Coconuts
A Tinguian Folktale
One day a man who had been to gather his coconuts loaded his horse heavily
with the fruit. On the way home he met a boy whom he asked how long it would take to
reach the house.
If you go slowly, said the boy, looking at the load on the horse, you will arrive very
soon; but if you go fast, it will take you all day.
The man could not believe this strange speech, so he hurried his horse. But the
coconuts fell off and he had to stop to pick them up. Then he hurried his horse all the
more to make up for lost time, but the again. Many times he did this, and it was night
when he reached home.
Wedding Dance
By Amador Daguio
Awiyao reached for the upper horizontal log which served as the edge of the
headhigh threshold. Clinging to the log, he lifted himself with one bound that carried
him across to the narrow door. He slid back the cover, stepped inside, then pushed the
cover back in place. After some moments during which he seemed to wait, he talked to
the listening darkness.
"I'm sorry this had to be done. I am really sorry. But neither of us can help it."
The sound of the gangsas beat through the walls of the dark house like muffled
roars of falling waters. The woman who had moved with a start when the sliding door

opened had been hearing the gangsas for she did not know how long. There was a
sudden rush of fire in her. She gave no sign that she heard Awiyao, but continued to sit
unmoving in the darkness.
But Awiyao knew that she heard him and his heart pitied her. He crawled on all
fours to the middle of the room; he knew exactly where the stove was. With bare fingers
he stirred the covered smoldering embers, and blew into the stove. When the coals
began to glow, Awiyao put pieces of pine on them, then full round logs as his arms. The
room brightened.
"Why don't you go out," he said, "and join the dancing women?" He felt a pang
inside him, because what he said was really not the right thing to say and because the
woman did not stir. "You should join the dancers," he said, "as if--as if nothing had
happened." He looked at the woman huddled in a corner of the room, leaning against
the wall. The stove fire played with strange moving shadows and lights
upon her face. She was partly sullen, but her sullenness was not because of anger or
hate.
"Go out--go out and dance. If you really don't hate me for this separation, go out
and dance. One of the men will see you dance well; he will like your dancing, he will
marry you. Who knows but that, with him, you will be luckier than you were with me."
"I don't want any man," she said sharply. "I don't want any other man."
He felt relieved that at least she talked: "You know very well that I won't want any
other woman either. You know that, don't you? Lumnay, you know it, don't you?"
She did not answer him.
"You know it Lumnay, don't you?" he repeated.
"Yes, I know," she said weakly.
"It is not my fault," he said, feeling relieved. "You cannot blame me; I have been a good
husband to you."
"Neither can you blame me," she said. She seemed about to cry.
"No, you have been very good to me. You have been a good wife. I have nothing to say
against you." He set some of the burning wood in place. "It's only that a man must have
a child. Seven harvests is just too long to wait. Yes, we have waited too long. We should
have another chance before it is too late for both of us."

This time the woman stirred, stretched her right leg out and bent her left leg in.
She wound the blanket more snugly around herself.
"You know that I have done my best," she said. "I have prayed to Kabunyan much. I
have sacrificed many chickens in my prayers."
"Yes, I know."
"You remember how angry you were once when you came home from your work in the
terrace because I butchered one of our pigs without your permission? I did it to appease
Kabunyan, because, like you, I wanted to have a child. But what could I do?"
"Kabunyan does not see fit for us to have a child," he said. He stirred the fire. The spark
rose through the crackles of the flames. The smoke and soot went up the ceiling.
Lumnay looked down and unconsciously started to pull at the rattan that kept the
split bamboo flooring in place. She tugged at the rattan flooring. Each time she did this
the split bamboo went up and came down with a slight rattle. The gong of the dancers
clamorously called in her care through the walls.
Awiyao went to the corner where Lumnay sat, paused before her, looked at her
bronzed and sturdy face, then turned to where the jars of water stood piled one over the
other. Awiyao took a coconut cup and dipped it in the top jar and drank. Lumnay had
filled the jars from the mountain creek early that evening.
"I came home," he said. "Because I did not find you among the dancers. Of
course, I am not forcing you to come, if you don't want to join my wedding ceremony. I
came to tell you that Madulimay, although I am marrying her, can never become as
good as you are. She is not as strong in planting beans, not as fast in cleaning water
jars, not as good keeping a house clean. You are one of the best wives in the
whole village."
"That has not done me any good, has it?" She said. She looked at him lovingly. She
almost seemed to smile.
He put the coconut cup aside on the floor and came closer to her. He held her
face between his hands and looked longingly at her beauty. But her eyes looked away.
Never again would he hold her face. The next day she would not be his any more. She
would go back to her parents. He let go of her face, and she bent to the floor again and
looked at her fingers as they tugged softly at the split bamboo floor.
"This house is yours," he said. "I built it for you. Make it your own, live in it as long as

you wish. I will build another house for Madulimay."


"I have no need for a house," she said slowly. "I'll go to my own house. My parents are
old. They will need help in the planting of the beans, in the pounding of the rice."
"I will give you the field that I dug out of the mountains during the first year of our
marriage," he said. "You know I did it for you. You helped me to make it for the two of
us."
"I have no use for any field," she said.
He looked at her, then turned away, and became silent. They were silent for a time.
"Go back to the dance," she said finally. "It is not right for you to be here. They will
wonder where you are, and Madulimay will not feel good. Go back to the dance."
"I would feel better if you could come, and dance---for the last time. The gangsas are
playing."
"You know that I cannot."
"Lumnay," he said tenderly. "Lumnay, if I did this it is because of my need for a child.
You know that life is not worth living without a child. The man have mocked me behind
my back. You know that."
"I know it," he said. "I will pray that Kabunyan will bless you and Madulimay."
She bit her lips now, then shook her head wildly, and sobbed.
She thought of the seven harvests that had passed, the high hopes they had in
the beginning of their new life, the day he took her away from her parents across the
roaring river, on the other side of the mountain, the trip up the trail which they had to
climb, the steep canyon which they had to cross. The waters boiled in her mind in forms
of white and jade and roaring silver; the waters tolled and growled,
resounded in thunderous echoes through the walls of the stiff cliffs; they were far away
now from somewhere on the tops of the other ranges, and they had looked carefully at
the buttresses of rocks they had to step on---a slip would have meant death.
They both drank of the water then rested on the other bank before they made the
final climb to the other side of the mountain.

She looked at his face with the fire playing upon his features---hard and strong,
and kind. He had a sense of lightness in his way of saying things which often made her
and the village people laugh. How proud she had been of his humor. The muscles
where taut and firm, bronze and compact in their hold upon his skull---how frank his
bright eyes were. She looked at his body the carved out of the mountains
five fields for her; his wide and supple torso heaved as if a slab of shining lumber were
heaving; his arms and legs flowed down in fluent muscles--he was strong and for that
she had lost him.
She flung herself upon his knees and clung to them. "Awiyao, Awiyao, my
husband," she cried. "I did everything to have a child," she said passionately in a hoarse
whisper. "Look at me," she cried. "Look at my body. Then it was full of promise. It could
dance; it could work fast in the fields; it could climb the mountains fast. Even now it is
firm, full. But, Awiyao, I am useless. I must die."
"It will not be right to die," he said, gathering her in his arms. Her whole warm
naked naked breast quivered against his own; she clung now to his neck, and her hand
lay upon his right shoulder; her hair flowed down in cascades of gleaming darkness.
"I don't care about the fields," she said. "I don't care about the house. I don't care for
anything but you. I'll have no other man."
"Then you'll always be fruitless."
"I'll go back to my father, I'll die."
"Then you hate me," he said. "If you die it means you hate me. You do not want me to
have a child. You do not want my name to live on in our tribe."
She was silent.
"If I do not try a second time," he explained, "it means I'll die. Nobody will get the fields I
have carved out of the mountains; nobody will come after me."
"If you fail--if you fail this second time--" she said thoughtfully. The voice was a shudder.
"No--no, I don't want you to fail."
"If I fail," he said, "I'll come back to you. Then both of us will die together. Both of us will
vanish from the life of our tribe."
The gongs thundered through the walls of their house, sonorous and faraway.

"I'll keep my beads," she said. "Awiyao, let me keep my beads," she half-whispered.
"You will keep the beads. They come from far-off times. My grandmother said they come
from up North, from the slant-eyed people across the sea. You keep them, Lumnay.
They are worth twenty fields."
"I'll keep them because they stand for the love you have for me," she said. "I love you. I
love you and have nothing to give."
She took herself away from him, for a voice was calling out to him from outside.
"Awiyao! Awiyao! O Awiyao! They are looking for you at the dance!"
"I am not in hurry."
"The elders will scold you. You had better go."
"Not until you tell me that it is all right with you."
"It is all right with me."
He clasped her hands. "I do this for the sake of the tribe," he said.
"I know," she said.
He went to the door.
"Awiyao!"
He stopped as if suddenly hit by a spear. In pain he turned to her. Her face was
in agony. It pained him to leave. She had been wonderful to him. What was it that made
a man wish for a child? What was it in life, in the work in the field, in the planting and
harvest, in the silence of the night, in the communing with husband and wife, in the
whole life of the tribe itself that made man wish for the laughter and speech of a child?
Suppose he changed his mind? Why did the unwritten law demand, anyway, that a
man, to be a man, must have a child to come after him? And if he was fruitless--but he
loved Lumnay. It was like taking away of his life to leave her like this.
"Awiyao," she said, and her eyes seemed to smile in the light. "The beads!" He
turned back and walked to the farthest corner of their room, to the trunk where they kept
their worldly possession---his battle-ax and his spear points, her betel nut box and her

beads. He dug out from the darkness the beads which had been given to him by his
grandmother to give to Lumnay on the beads on, and tied them in place. The white and
jade and deep orange obsidians shone in the firelight. She suddenly clung to him, clung
to his neck as if she would never let him go.
"Awiyao! Awiyao, it is hard!" She gasped, and she closed her eyes and huried her face
in his neck.
The call for him from the outside repeated; her grip loosened, and he buried out
into the night.
Lumnay sat for some time in the darkness. Then she went to the door and
opened it. The moonlight struck her face; the moonlight spilled itself on the whole
village.
She could hear the throbbing of the gangsas coming to her through the caverns
of the other houses. She knew that all the houses were empty that the whole tribe was
at the dance. Only she was absent. And yet was she not the best dancer of the village?
Did she not have the most lightness and grace? Could she not, alone among all women,
dance like a bird tripping for grains on the ground, beautifully
timed to the beat of the gangsas? Did not the men praise her supple body, and the
women envy the way she stretched her hands like the wings of the mountain eagle now
and then as she danced? How long ago did she dance at her own wedding? Tonight, all
the women who counted, who once danced in her honor, were dancing now in honor of
another whose only claim was that perhaps she could give her
husband a child.
"It is not right. It is not right!" she cried. "How does she know? How can anybody know?
It is not right," she said.
Suddenly she found courage. She would go to the dance. She would go to the
chief of the village, to the elders, to tell them it was not right. Awiyao was hers; nobody
could take him away from her. Let her be the first woman to complain, to denounce the
unwritten rule that a man may take another woman. She would tell Awiyao to come back
to her. He surely would relent. Was not their love as strong as the
river?
She made for the other side of the village where the dancing was. There was a
flaming glow over the whole place; a great bonfire was burning. The gangsas clamored
more loudly now, and it seemed they were calling to her. She was near at last. She
could see the dancers clearly now. The man leaped lightly with their gangsas as they
circled the dancing women decked in feast garments and beads, tripping on the ground

like graceful birds, following their men. Her heart warmed to the flaming call of the
dance; strange heat in her blood welled up, and she started to run. But the gleaming
brightness of the bonfire commanded her to stop. Did anybody see her approach?
She stopped. What if somebody had seen her coming? The flames of the bonfire leaped
in countless sparks which spread and rose like yellow points and died out in the night.
The blaze reached out to her like a spreading radiance. She did not have the courage to
break into the wedding feast.
Lumnay walked away from the dancing ground, away from the village. She
thought of the new clearing of beans which Awiyao and she had started to make only
four moons before. She followed the trail above the village.
When she came to the mountain stream she crossed it carefully. Nobody held
her hand, and the stream water was very cold. The trail went up again, and she was in
the moonlight shadows among the trees and shrubs. Slowly she climbed the mountain.
When Lumnay reached the clearing, she cold see from where she stood the
blazing bonfire at the edge of the village, where the wedding was. She could hear the
far-off clamor of the gongs, still rich in their sonorousness, echoing from mountain to
mountain. The sound did not mock her; they seemed to call far to her, to speak to her in
the language of unspeaking love. She felt the pull of their gratitude for her
sacrifice. Her heartbeat began to sound to her like many gangsas.
Lumnay though of Awiyao as the Awiyao she had known long ago-- a strong,
muscular boy carrying his heavy loads of fuel logs down the mountains to his home.
She had met him one day as she was on her way to fill her clay jars with water. He had
stopped at the spring to drink and rest; and she had made him drink the cool mountain
water from her coconut shell. After that it did not take him long to decide to throw his
spear on the stairs of her father's house in token on his desire to marry her.
The mountain clearing was cold in the freezing moonlight. The wind began to stir
the leaves of the bean plants. Lumnay looked for a big rock on which to sit down. The
bean plants now surrounded her, and she was lost among them.
A few more weeks, a few more months, a few more harvests---what did it matter?
She would be holding the bean flowers, soft in the texture, silken almost, but moist
where the dew got into them, silver to look at, silver on the light blue, blooming
whiteness, when the morning comes. The stretching of the bean pods full length from
the hearts of the wilting petals would go on.
Lumnay's fingers moved a long, long time among the growing bean pods.

MEETING
by Consorcio Borje
The little church stood in the shadow of acacia trees. A narrow gravel path lined
with cucharita hedges led from the street into its cool, quiet yard with the moss on the
dim boles of the trees and the dew on the grasses. The roar of the dusty, blindingly
white city surged and broke like a sea along the concrete pavements that skirted the
churchyard, but went no farther.
At the whitewashed wooden gate, the young man stood diffidently. Nervously
fingering his battered felt hat, he pushed in the gate, stepped inside, allowed it to swing
back, and then slowly walked down the path.
The chilly dampness of the place rested like a cool hand upon his fevered brow,
and he expelled a breath of relief. He walked as slowly as he could, savoring through all
the pores of his lean young frame the balm of this sudden reprieve from the heat and
brutal impersonality of the big city.
Three concrete steps led up into the vestibule. At the top step he saw the
congregation inside the heavy hardwood doors, and hesitated.
"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a
living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
"And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your
mind, that ye may prove what is that , and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."
`The voice was long and sonorous, and it struck a responsive chord in the young
man's heart, but he could not see the speaker. The last pew hid the altar from him. Over
the pew he could see the fluted row of organ pipes, the massive rivet-studded rafters,
light that streamed down at a deep angle from a tall window of colored glass.
"For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to
think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as
God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith."
For perhaps an hour the young man stood at the door, feeling deeply unhappy,
frightened, and lost. He dared not enter. He looked down at his torn, dusty shoes, his
stained clothes, felt the growth of beard on his chin, and already he could feel the cold
eyes of the people in the church examining him. He retired quietly to one side of the
vestibule, where he could not be seen from the inside, and leaned against the wall to
rest his trembling limbs.

And then the people began streaming out, and he felt relieved that they did not
even glance his way. After a while, he looked into the door. There was no one in. He
crossed himself quickly and entered.
For a long time he sat there staring dully at the sounding emptiness before him,
for breaking against the wall still was the reverberation of bells tolled a long time ago.
Through all this he could hear his heart beating in a weak slow measure, and
again the beatific sense of completeness and of being filled his soul like mellow wine.
The seat was deep and restful. The wood was firm and cool. He sank back and fell
asleep.
When he woke up, he saw that his hat had fallen to the floor. The five-centavo
pancit mami that he had eaten last night had already evaporated, and he felt a shot of
pain in his middle as he stooped down to recover his hat. After the pain, a weakness
and trembling seized his limbs, and cold sweat beaded his forehead. The church swam
before his eyes.
Sunlight streamed through the west windows. From its angle he knew it must be
late in the afternoon. He had been asleep in the church for the greater part of the day,
and now he felt again vaguely forsaken, and the chill and the solitude were no longer
very soothing but were almost terrifying.
Rocking from one foot to the other, he got up hastily and made for the door, and it
was then that he saw the girl standing at his back.
"I've been watching you," she said, smiling gently, and her hair looked like a halo for the
sunlight crowned it with gold. "You've been asleep," she continued.
"I'm sorry," he began weakly. "I didn't mean to--"
"Yes? But let's take a seat, please."
He licked his dry lips. "I didn't mean to sleep here. I just fell asleep, that's all."
"There's no harm in that, I'm sure," she said reassuringly taking her seat beside him and
pulling him down. "You're a stranger here?"
"I came to the city about a week ago."
"Staying with relatives?" Her voice was direct and cool.
"No relatives, ma'am. I thought I could get a job here. I had heard so much about
opportunities here, and I wanted to work myself through college"

She listened quietly. The quick responsive look in her eyes brought his
confidence back and made him give details about his life and his recent misadventures
he would not have revealed otherwise.
"We are from the same province as you," she said. "My father works in the city
hall. He got transferred here because my mother wants to see us through school. Come
home with me, ha? We want you to tell us about the province. It was five years ago
when we were there last. Yes, they will like to see you. Don't be ashamed. You can't
blame people for not knowing any one in the city."
She was only sixteen, or thereabouts, he could see in the calesa which they took;
she was dressed in white, simply and cleanly, almost to the point of the anaesthetic
severity of the nurse, but there was a subtle perfume about her like that of rosal and
then again like that of sampaguita, and the lines of her face were clean and young and
sweet.
"Why, I'd be ashamed--" he began again, looking at himself with horror.
"No more of that, ha?" She flashed a smile at him, her lips a light rose like her cheeks,
her eyes crinkling at the corners.
The horses' hoofs beat a tattoo on the street cobbles, round this corner, round that
corner, ancient Spanish houses under acacia trees, rows of tenements, sounding walls
of old Intramuros, a tangle of horse-drawn and motor traffic.
Everything went suddenly white at once.
The first thing that he knew was the mildly pungent smell of rubbing alcohol and
liniment. The place he was in was dark, except for a street light that came in through the
billowing curtain in the window. He was in a bed, a deep wide bed, with mattress and
cool covers fragrant with soap and starch and ironing. From beyond the darkness to one
side came to him the faint sound of voices and the tinkle of a piano.
He jerked up with a great consciousness of guilt, but he sank back again,
dizziness swamping him back and overpowering him. Lying back there, accusing
himself of imposing on a stranger's hospitality, he began to cry, but he wiped away his
tears quickly when he saw the door slowly open and a head showed in the opening.
"Oh, you're awake now."
It was the girl, and she ran softly in. He felt greatly disturbed within. She was looking
down now and her hand was upon his brow and he could feel the warmth of her and get
the smell of her.

"Good!" she exclaimed and ran lightly out, closing the door behind her. In a minute, she
was back with two other persons. A switch clicked and the room sprang into light, and
he could see there was an elderly woman whom she resembled closely, and an elderly
man in pajamas.
"Well!" said the man heartily. He had a pipe gripped by the bowl in one of his hands. "So
this is the cababayan. Well!"
The woman came over and laid her hand on his forehead. A wedding ring shone
on one finger. He looked up into her eyes, and all at once he knew he need not be
afraid
The girl's parents, it later developed, were among the more influential of the
parishioners, and he was able to get a job through them as church janitor, with bed and
board provided free in the servants' quarters of the rectory. Besides sprucing up the
church, he had charge of the lawn which he mowed and the hedges which he trimmed.
Out of his pay of twenty pesos a month he managed to send home ten pesos to his
mother in the month's-end mail.
"Good morning," he would say humbly to the girl, Lita, when Sundays came and she
was in the church. Then he would hurry before her to dust the pew she always took with
her parents.
"How do you do?" Lita would ask, and sometimes she would say, "Pedro, you must
come and get your Sunday dinner with us. You don't do it so regularly, now."
From the back of the congregation, dressed in his best white-cotton suit, his
eighty-centavo necktie, his tan-and-white Gandara shoes, he would listen raptly to her
sing in the choir. He could always tell her voice, and he could always see her lovely
radiant face magnified among the rows of others.
Three afternoons a week, a calesa would halt at the church gate, and Lita would
alight in her plain white dress. She would come down the cucharita-lined path, and she
would enter the church where for an hour she would sit or kneel, just looking at the altar,
and her lips would move silently. Then would Pedro hush his steps, and he would put
aside his lawnmower and his shears and look at Lita longingly through the window, at
her profile outlined against the lighted side of the church.
On her seventeenth birthday, Lita gave Pedro a picture. It showed her with
eyelashes swept up and lips half-parted in a smile. A stray lock fell against one cheek.
One dainty end of a lace bow curled against the straight line of her throat, while the
other reclined against the swell of her bosom.

"I can keep this?" asked Pedro wonderingly, and Lita said with a thrill of laughter. "Why
yes, it's yours. Why do you have to ask?"
He had enrolled in a night collegiate course prepared especially for working
students, but out of the money for school fees and books he managed to save as much
as fifty centavos at a time. He spent his savings for a neat little picture frame, painted
black and silver, and put Lita's picture before him as he pored over his textbooks at
home.
"How are you getting along in school?" said Lita one afternoon, after she came out of
the church.
"At least I passed in all my subjects last semester."
"That's fine. I'm sure you'll make an engineer yet." She hesitated at the gate, and turned
back to him slowly. "Don't let anything distract you from your work," she said. "put your
mind on it and keep it there."
He thought, she looks very young, but too deadly serious. That frown on her
face. That mature cast of her mouth. But he only said, "Thank you, Miss Miel."
"Miss, still?" She laughed again, and the world was shining once more, no longer full of
problems and dark and weighty hues, but full of the silvery ringing of bells and the light
patter of dancing feet.
"I think I can help you," she went on. "About trigonometry now. It's my favorite subject."
"I cannot understand the cosine of--"
"You mean Thomas' theory? It's easy. Like this." And thereupon she knelt on the path
and with a twig traced figures in the light fluff.
"You should make a good engineer, there are such things as women engineers, you
know," he ventured.
"My father said I should," Lita confided. "But my greatest interest does not lie in that
way, Pedro. It lies somewhere else. Should I tell you?" She crinkled her nose at him, but
again she was suddenly grave. After a pause: "I've never wanted to grow up," she
suddenly shot at him and hurriedly picked herself up, ran out of the gate, hailed a calesa
and drove away.
Pedro's perplexity was solved the following afternoon when Lita came again to
the church to pray. It was Saturday afternoon and Pedro was dusting. This time she had
on a black veil that fell to the tip of her nose. She was a tiny figure kneeling at the far

end of the church. Her head was bowed low, but he thought he could see her lips
moving. He moved about on tiptoe, used his mop gently.
He was on the floor reaching under a remote corner when he heard her light "H'lo"
behind him. He rose up hastily and nodded his greeting, "Good afternoon, Miss Miel."
"Good afternoon, Mister Deo."
"Er, Lita"
"That's better. Did I startle you yesterday afternoon?"
"You did."
Then Lita was telling him she was going to be a nun.
"But why?" asked Pedro incredulously.
"Does it sound foolish to you?" Her lashes swept down on her cheek, and for the first
time he noticed that she had the pallid look as of one in cloistered, moss-grown
nunneries.
"I don't know," he said, "I don't know." And then he went on, feeling foolish, "But you
can't want to give up all this for life imprisonment."
"It is not life imprisonment," she said gravely, "but the essence of what I've always
wanted. All my life I've wanted complete communion with God."
He shook his head to clear it of the cobweb of pain and dizziness, and her hand
crept to his. The touch of it sent an electric shock through his whole frame.
"Even as a child," she went on, "I had always wanted to have a room that looked much
like a church, with a hard, bare floor, and hard, bare seats, and an altar, and an image
of Mother and Child."
She was looking down kindly at him, red spots in her white cheeks. "Now, as I
live from day to day, it seems as if I'm being swept farther and farther away from that
childhood dream. I want my childhood back. I hunger for its simplicity and its faith. It
seems as if deep inside me I'm parched and thirsty, and I need the coolness and
dampness of seclusion. You understand, don't you?"
Again it seemed as if the church rustled with the prayer and devoutness of a
congregation, and there was again, that sonorous voice saying, "I beseech you
therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice,
holy, acceptable unto God."

"Good-bye," said Lita, her long, white, shapely fingers tightening on his rough, dark
ones.
"I'll not see you again?"
She shook her head slowly. Suddenly she bent down and kissed him on the
cheek, and as suddenly she ran down the aisle and out of the door.
As he sat in a pew, the bells were silent, but still they seemed to be tolling from
far away, the air vibrating with their ringing. He sat in the pew and stared dully in front of
him. Light streamed in from an eastern window. The ghostly congregation still rustled
with its faith and sacrifice. On his cheek her lips were still warm.
But suppose, he thought, it had been some other way. Suppose: "I've been watching
you," she said, smiling gently, and her hair looked like a halo with the sunlight crowning
it with gold. "You've been asleep," she continued.
"I'm sorry," he began weakly. "I didn't mean to--"
And then they were walking down to the whitewashed gate, and he was vaguely
surprised that there was no calesa waiting there. But he went on to cross the street
nevertheless, keeping in his eyes the slim, white figure, with the clean, young lines of
face.
Outside the churchyard, the traffic was heavy as usual, and the lorry drivers
swore mightily at the broken-down old man, with that vague half-smile on his face, who
was crossing the street and breaking all rules of pedestrian traffic and all the laws of
self-preservation.
"That engineer, Pedro Deo, you know," said one of a couple driving a car near the
scene. "Dirty rich, but damned absent-minded, too."
"That's the matter with these successful people," said the other. "They put their mind on
a thing and keep it there, to the exclusion of all others, even motor traffic."
"Yeh, Deo, for instance. Must be thinking of house plans and bridges."

REGION II: CAGAYAN VALLEY


Ibanag Myths
Myths are prose narratives that explain the origin of the world, people, animals,
places, and other natural phenomena. Its characters are either humans or animals and

deities with human attributes. The actions and adventures of these characters are set in
the remote past and in another world such as the sky and the underworld.
Most of the recorded Ibanag myths deal with the origin of natural phenomena
such as thunder, lightning, earthquake, clouds, and rain (Eugenio, 1987).
What Causes Earthquakes
(Y Paggafuanan na Lunig)
Once upon a time, there was a very poor couple who had only one son. Hes
name was Bernardo Carpio. Since this family led only a hand to mouth existence, both
husband and wife had to work for a living. Whenever the mother went out to work, she
would lock up the baby in the house. She would just give him some things to play with.
Upon coming home, she would find all the toys of the baby broken into small pieces.
This happened everyday until the mother could no longer give the baby anything to play
with. So the baby was left in the house without any toy. When she came home to feed
him, the mother was surprised that the walls and studs of their house were either
broken or destroyed. She remained silent but observant. As soon as these parts of the
house had been repaired, she again left Bernardo Carpio alone. When she came home,
she found the same in shambles. Next time, the mother deliberately gave her son an
iron rod to play with. Again he broke this rod into pieces. Now the parents were growing
alarmed over the extraordinary strength of Bernardo. News of it also spread in the
neighborhood.
As the child grew up, he was recognized as the strongest boy in the village. He
challenged to fight those who dared him and defeated them all. As a man, his prowess
was also acclaimed in the whole country. This popularity made him very proud. He was
so proud that he even dared challenged God. At first, God gave him the upper hand. But
on the third trial, when God asked him to stop the quarrel between the two big
mountains, Bernardo failed. In a conceited gesture, he impulsively went between the
warring mountains. He extended his arms to stop them but instead, he got caught
between the two mountains and was buried alive with only his head out.
Today, it was believed that whenever Bernardo Carpio struggles to free himself
from the grip of the mountains, the earth quakes. The old folks also say that when he
finally frees himself, that will be the end of the world.

Fernando Maramag was an excellent poet and journalist in English. He had a rich style
and deep understanding of human nature qualities which made his poetry appealing
to all readers.
On the other hand, his editorial writings exerted great influence on the various
phases of the Filipino way of life, particularly in its government, economics, education
and politics, according to a critic. He was born on January 21, 1893 in Ilagan, Isabela,
to Rafael Maramag and Victoria Mamuri, a Spanish mestiza. His parents were wealthy
landowners.

The Rural Maid


By Fernando M. Maramag
Thy glance, sweet maid, when first we met,
Had left a heart that aches for thee,
I feel the pain of fond regret
Thy heart, perchance, is not for me.
We parted: though we met no more,
My dreams are dreams of thee, fair maid;
I think of thee, my thoughts implore
The hours my lips on thine are laid.
Forgive these words that love impart,
And pleading, bare the poets breast;
And if a rose with thorns thou art,
Yet on my breast that rose may rest.
I know not what to name thy charms,
Thou art half human, half divine;
And if I could hold thee in my arms,
I know both heaven and earth were mine.

Carolina A. Arceo is an assistant professor of English and Filipinoat the Tarlac State
University. A former coordinator of the Office of Public Affairs of the same university and
a translator of Panrelihiyong Sentro ng Wikang Filipino (PSWF), Region 3.
Frustrated Wish
So happy and trusted
these people in love
for their sorrow they have
somebody to share.
My destiny that's so lonely
am i alone with this?
For i said i won't think twice
because suffering i am now.
If ever i fall in love to a man
there's nothing i could see
that i have my counterpart.
Time i shall forget when i was born
better in a thousand years
If at my birth i was gone.
I should have tried to explain
but tongue-tied i was
for i could clearly see
that i won't be lucky.
And it really pleases me much
that my love for you knows
So i swear and promise you,
that my life is just for you.

The poem Nalpay A Namnama of Leona Florentino was translated in Tagalog by


Isagani Cruz and in English by M. Foronda Jr.
Bigong Pag-asa
salin ni Isagani R. Cruz
Anong saya at ginhawa
kung may nagmamahal
dahil may makikiramay
sa lahat ng pagdurusa.
Ang masama kong kapalaran
walang kapantay---wala akong alinlangan---sa dinaranas sa kasalukuyan.
Kahit ako ay magmahal
sa isang musa
wala namang hinuha
na ako'y pahahalagahan.
Isumpa ko kaya ang panahon
nang ako'y ipinanganak
higit na mas masarap
na mamatay bilang sanggol.
Nais ko mang magpaliwanag
dila ko'y ayaw gumalaw
nakikita kong malinaw
pagtanggi lamang ang matatangap.
Ligaya ko sana'y walang kapantay
sa kaalamang ikaw ay minamahal
isusumpa ko at patutunayan
para sa iyo lamang ako mamamatay.

Blasted Hopes
M.Foronda Jr.

What gladness and what joy


and endowed to one who is loved
for truly there is one to share
all his sufferings and his pain.
My fate for dim, my stars so low
perhaps nothing to it can compare,
for truly I do not doubt
for presently I suffer so.
For even I did love
the beauty whom I desired
never do I fully realize
that I am worthy of her.
Shall I curse the hour
when first I saw the light of day
would it not have been better a thousand times
I had died when I was born.
Would I want to explain
but my tongue remains powerless
for now do I clearly see
to be spurned is my lot.
But would it be my greatest joy
to know that it is you I love,
for to you do I vow and promise I make
It's you alone for whom I would lay my life.

REGION III: CENTRAL LUZON


FAITH, LOVE, TIME AND DR. LAZARO (Greg Brillantes)
From the upstairs veranda, Dr. Lazaro had a view of stars, the country darkness,
the lights on the distant highway at the edge of town. The phonograph in the sala played
Chopin like a vast sorrow controlled, made familiar, he had wont to think. But as he
sat there, his lean frame in the habitual slack repose took after supper, and stared at the
plains of night that had evoked gentle images and even a kind of peace (in the end,
sweet and invincible oblivion), Dr. Lazaro remembered nothing, his mind lay untouched
by any conscious thought, he was scarcely aware of the April heat; the pattern of music
fell around him and dissolved swiftly, uncomprehended. It was as though indifference
were an infection that had entered his blood it was everywhere in his body. In the
scattered light from the sala his angular face had a dusty, wasted quality, only his eyes
contained life. He could have remained there all evening, unmoving, and buried, it is
where, in a strange half-sleep, had his wife not come to tell him he was wanted on the
phone.
Gradually his mind stirred, focused; as he rose from the chair he recognized the
somber passage in the sonata that, curiosly, made him think of ancient monuments,
faded stone walls, a greyness. The brain filed away an image; and arrangement of
sounds released it He switched off the phonograph, suppressed and impatient quiver
in his throat as he reached for the phone: everyone had a claim on his time. He thought:
Why not the younger ones for a change? He had spent a long day at the provincial
hospital.
The man was calling from a service station outside the town the station after the
agricultural high school, and before the San Miguel bridge, the man added rather
needlessly, in a voice that was frantic yet oddly subdued and courteous. Dr. Lazaro thad
heard it countless times, in the corridors of the hospitals, in waiting rooms: the perpetual
awkward misery. He was Pedro Esteban, the brother of the doctors tenant in
Nambalan, said the voice, trying to make itself less sudden remote.
But the connection was faulty, there was a humming in the wires, as though
darkness had added to the distance between the house in the town and the gas station
beyond the summer fields. Dr. Lazaro could barely catch the severed phrases. The
mans week-old child had a high fever, a bluish skin; its mouth would not open to suckle.
They could not take the baby to the poblacion, they would not dare move it; its body
turned rigid at the slightest touch. If the doctor would consent to come at so late an

hour, Esteban would wait for him at the station. If the doctor would be so kind
Tetanus of the newborn: that was elementary, and most likely it was so hopeless,
a waste of time. Dr. Lazaro said yes, he would be there; he had committed himself to
that answer, long ago; duty had taken the place of an exhausted compassion. The
carelessness of the poor, the infected blankets, the toxin moving toward the heart: they
were casual scribbled items in a clinical report. But outside the grilled windows, the
night suddenly seemed alive and waiting. He had no choice left now but action: it was
the only certitude he sometimes reminded himself even if it would prove futile,
before, the descent into nothingness.
His wife looked up from her needles and twine, under the shaded lamp of the
bedroom; she had finished the pullover for the grandchild in Bagiuo and had begun
work, he noted, on another of those altar vestments for the parish church. Religion and
her grandchild certainly kept her busy She looked at him, into so much to inquire as
to be spoken to: a large and placid woman.
Shouldnt have let the drive go home so early, Dr. Lazaro said. They had to wait
till now to call Childs probably dead
Ben can drive for you.
I hardly see that boy around the house. He seems to be on vacation both from
home and in school.
Hes downstairs, his wife said.
Dr. Lazaro put on fresh shirt, buttoned it with tense, abrupt motions, I thought
hed gone out again Whos that girl hes been seeing?...Its not just warm, its hot. You
shouldve stayed on in Baguio Theres disease, suffering, death, because Adam ate
the apple. They must have an answer to everything He paused at the door, as
though for the echo of his words.
Mrs. Lazaro had resumed the knitting; in the circle of yellow light, her head
bowed, she seemed absorbed in some contemplative prayer. But her silences had
ceased to disturb him, like the plaster saints she kept in the room, in their cases of
glass, or that air she wore of conspiracy, when she left with Ben for Mass in the
mornings. Dr. Lazaro would ramble about miracle drugs, politics, music, the common
sense of his unbelief; unrelated things strung together in a monologue; he posed
questions, supplied with his own answers; and she would merely nod, with an
occasional Yes? and Is that so? and something like a shadow of anxiety in her gaze.

He hurried down the curving stairs, under the votive lamps of the Sacred Heart.
Ben lay sprawled on the sofa, in the front parlor; engrossed in a book, one leg propped
against the back cushions. Come along, were going somewhere, Dr. Lazaro said, and
went into the clinic for his medical bag. He added a vial of penstrep, an ampule of
caffeine to the satchels contents; rechecked the bag before closing it; the cutgut would
last just one more patient. One can only cure, and know nothing beyond ones work
There had been the man, today, in the hospital: the cancer pain no longer helped by the
doses of morphine; the patientss eyes flickering their despair in the eroded face. Dr.
Lazaro brushed aside the stray vision as he strode out of the whitewashed room; he
was back in his element, among syringes, steel instruments, quick decisions made
without emotion, and it gave him a kind of blunt energy.
Ill drive, Pa? Ben followed him through the kitchen, where the maids were
ironing the weeks wash, gossiping, and out to the yard shrouded in the dimness of the
single bulb under the eaves. The boy push back the folding doors of the garage and slid
behind the wheel.
Somebodys waiting at the gas station near San Miguel. You know the place?
Sure, Ben said.
The engine sputtered briefly and stopped. Batterys weak, Dr. Lazaro said. Try
it without the lights, and smelled the gasoline overflow as the old Pontiac finally lurched
around the house and through the trellised gate, its front sweeping over the dry dusty
street.
But hes all right, Dr. Lazaro thought as they swung smoothly into the main
avenue of the town, past the church and the plaza, the kiosko bare for once in a season
of fiestas, the lam-posts shining on the quiet square. They did not speak; he could
sense his sons concentration on the road, and he noted, with a tentative amusement,
the intense way the boy sat behind the wheel, his eagerness to be of help. They passed
the drab frame houses behind the marketplace, and the capitol building on its
landscaped hill, the gears shifting easily as they went over the railroad tracks that
crossed the asphalted street.
Then the road was pebbled and uneven, the car bucking slightly; and they were
speeding between open fields, a succession of narrow wooden bridges breaking the
crunching drive of the wheels. Dr. Lazaro gazed at the wide darkness around them, the
shapes of trees and bushes hurling toward them and sliding away and he saw the stars,
hard glinting points of light yards, black space, infinite distances; in the unmeasured

universe, mans life flared briefly and was gone, traceless in the void. He turned away
from the emptiness. He said: You seem to have had a lot of practice, Ben.
A lot of what, Pa?
The ways you drive. Very professional.
In the glow of the dashboard lights, the boys face relaxed, smiled. Tio Cesar let
me use his car, in Manila. On special occasions.
No reckless driving now, Dr. Lazaro said. Some fellows think its smart. Gives
them a thrill. Dont be like that.
No, I wont, Pa. I just like to drive and and go place, thats all.
Dr. Lazaro watched the young face intent on the road, a cowlick over the
forehead, the mall curve of the nose, his own face before he left to study in another
country, a young student of full illusions, a lifetime ago; long before the loss of faith, God
turning abstract, unknowable, and everywhere, it seemed to him, those senseless
accidents of pain. He felt a need to define unspoken things, to come closer somehow to
the last of his sons; one of these days, before the boys vacation was over, they might to
on a picnic together, a trip to the farm; a special day for the two of them father and
son, as well as friends. In the two years Ben had been away in college, they had written
a few brief, almost formal letters to each other: your money is on the way, these are the
best years, make the most of them
Time was moving toward them, was swirling around and rushing away and it
seemed Dr. Lazaro could almost hear its hallow receding roar; and discovering his sons
profile against the flowing darkness, he had a thirst to speak. He could not find what it
was he had meant to say.
The agricultural school buildings came up in the headlights and glided back into
blurred shapes behind a fence.
What was that book you were reading, Ben?
A biography, the boy said.
Statesman? Scientist maybe?
Its about a guy who became a monk.

Thats your summer reading? Dr. Lazaro asked with a small laugh, half mockery,
half affection. Youre getting to be a regular saint, like your mother.
Its an interesting book, Ben said.
I can imagine He dropped the bantering tone. I suppose youll go on to
medicine after your AB?
I dont know yet, Pa.
Tiny moth like blown bits of paper flew toward the windshield and funneled away
above them. You dont have to be a country doctor like me, Ben. You could build up a
good practice in the city. Specialized in cancer, maybe or neuro-surgery, and join a good
hospital. It was like trying to recall some rare happiness, in the car, in the shifting
darkness.
Ive been thinking about it, Ben said. Its a vocation, a great one. Being able to
really help people, I mean.
Youve done well in math, havent you?
Well enough, I guess, Ben said.
Engineering is a fine course too, Dr. Lazaro said. Therell be lots of room for
engineers. Planners and builders, they are what this country needs. Far too many
lawyers and salesmen these days. Now if your brother He closed his eyes, erasing
the slashed wrists, part of the future dead in a boarding-house room, the landlady
whimpering, He was such a nice boy, doctor, your son Sorrow lay in ambush among
the years.
I have all summer to think about, Ben said.
Theres no hurry, Dr. Lazaro said. What was it he had wanted to say? Something
about knowing each other, about sharing; no, it was not that at all
The stations appeared as they coasted down the incline of a low hill, its fluorescent
lights the only brightness on the plain before them, on the road that led farther into
deeper darkness. A freight truck was taking on a load of gasoline as they drove up the
concrete apron and came to a stop beside the station shed.
A short barefoot man in a patchwork shirt shuffled forward to meet them.

I am Esteban, doctor, the man said, his voice faint and hoarse, almost inaudible, and
he bowed slightly with a careful politeness. He stood blinking, looking up at the doctor,
who had taken his bag and flashlight form the car.
In the windless space, Dr. Lazaro could hear Estebans labored breathing, the
clank of the metal nozzle as the attendant replaced it in the pump. The men in the truck
stared at them curiously.
Esteban said, pointing at the darkness beyond the road: We will have to go
through those fields, doctor, then cross the river, The apology for yet one more
imposition was a wounded look in his eyes. He added, in his subdued voice: Its not
very far Ben had spoken to the attendants and was locking the car.
The truck rumbled and moved ponderously onto the road, its throb strong and
then fading in the warm night stillness.
Lead the way, Dr. Lazaro said, handing Esteban the flashlight.
They crossed the road, to a cleft in the embankment that bordered the fields, Dr.
Lazaro was sweating now in the dry heat; following the swinging ball of the flashlight
beam, sorrow wounded by the stifling night, he felt he was being dragged, helplessly,
toward some huge and complicated error, a meaningless ceremony. Somewhere to his
left rose a flapping of wings, a bird cried among unseen leaves: they walked swiftly, and
there was only the sound of the silence, the constant whirl of crickets and the whisper of
their feet on the path between the stubble fields.
With the boy close behind him, Dr. Lazaro followed Esteban down a clay slope to
the slope and ripple of water in the darkness. The flashlight showed a banca drawn up
at the rivers edge. Esteban wade waist-deep into the water, holding the boat steady as
Dr. Lazaro and Ben stepped on the board. In the darkness, with the opposite bank like
the far rise of an island, Dr. Lazaro had a moments tremor of fear as the boar slide out
over the black water; below prowled the deadly currents; to drown her in the dephts of
the night But it took only a minute to cross the river. Were here doctor, Esteban
said, and they padded p a stretch of sand to a clump of trees; a dog started to bark, the
shadows of a kerosene lamp wavered at a window.
Unsteady on a steep ladder, Dr. Lazaro entered the cave of Estebans hut. The
single room contained the odors he often encountered but had remained alien to,
stirring an impersonal disgust: the sourish decay, the smells of the unaired sick. An old
man greeted him, lisping incoherently; a woman, the grandmother, sat crouched in a
corner, beneath a famed print of the Mother of Perpetual Help; a boy, about ten, slept

on, sprawled on a mat. Estebans wife, pale and thin, lay on the floor with the sick child
beside her.
Motionless, its tiny blue-tinged face drawn way from its chest in a fixed wrinkled
grimace, the infant seemed to be straining to express some terrible ancient wisdom.
Dr. Lazaro made a cursory check skin dry, turning cold; breathing shallow;
heartbeat
fast and irregular. And I that moment, only the child existed before him; only the child
and his own mind probing now like a hard gleaming instrument. How strange that it
should still live, his mind said as it considered the spark that persisted within the rigid
and tortured body. He was alone with the child, his whole being focused on it, in those
intense minutes shaped into a habit now by so many similar instances: his physicians
knowledge trying to keep the heart beating, to revive an ebbing life and somehow make
it rise again.
Dr. Lazaro removed the blankets that bundled the child and injected a whole
ampule to check the tonic spasms, the needle piercing neatly into the sparse flesh; he
broke another ampule, with deft precise movements, and emptied the syringe, while the
infant lay stiff as wood beneath his hands. He wiped off the sweat running into his eyes,
then holding the rigid body with one hand, he tried to draw air into the faltering lungs,
pressing and releasing the chest; but even as he worked to rescue the child, the bluish
color of its face began to turn gray.
Dr. Lazaro rose from his crouch on the floor, a cramped ache in his shoulders, his
mouth dry. The lamplight glistened on his pale hollow face as he confronted the room
again, the stale heat, the poverty. Esteban met his gaze; all their eyes were upon him,
Ben at the door, the old man, the woman in the corner, and Estebans wife, in the
trembling shadows.
Esteban said: Doctor..
He shook his head, and replaced the syringe case in his bag, slowly and
deliberately, and fastened the clasp. T Here was murmuring him, a rustle across the
bamboo floor, and when he turned, Ben was kneeling beside the child. And he watched,
with a tired detached surprise, as the boy poured water from a coconut shell on the
infants brow. He caught the words half-whispered in the quietness: .. in the name of
the Father.. the Son the Holy Ghost
The shadows flapped on the walls, the heart of the lamp quivering before it
settled into a slender flame. By the river dogs were barking. Dr. Lazaro glanced at his

watch; it was close to midnight. Ben stood over the child, the coconut shell in his hands,
as though wandering what next to do with it, until he saw his father nod for them to go.
Doctor, tell us Esteban took a step forward.
I did everything: Dr. Lazaro said. Its too late
He gestured vaguely, with a dull resentment; by some implicit relationship, he was
also responsible, for the misery in the room, the hopelessness. Theres nothing more I
can do, Esteban, he said. He thought with a flick of anger: Soon the child will be out of
it, you ought to be grateful. Estebans wife began to cry, a weak smothered gasping, and
the old woman was comforting her, it is the will of God, my daughter
In the yard, Esteban pressed carefully folded bills into the doctors hand; the limp,
tattered feel of the money was sort of the futile journey, I know this is not enough,
doctor, Esteban said. as you can see we are very poor I shall bring you fruit,
chickens, someday
A late moon had risen, edging over the tops of the trees, and in the faint wash of
its light, Esteban guided them back to the boat. A glimmering rippled on the surface of
the water as they paddled across,; the white moonlight spread in the sky, and a sudden
wind sprang rain-like and was lost in the tress massed on the riverbank.
I cannot thank you enough, doctor, Esteban said. You have been very kind to
come this far, at this hour. He trail is just over there, isnt it? He wanted to be rid of the
man, to be away from the shy humble voice, the prolonged wretchedness.
I shall be grateful always, doctor, Esteban said. And to you son, too. God go
with you. He was a faceless voice withdrawing in the shadows, a cipher in the shabby
crowds that came to town on market days.
Lets go, Ben Dr. Lazaro said.
They took the path across the field; around them the moonlight had transformed
the landscape, revealing a gentle, more familiar dimension, a luminous haze upon the
trees stirring with a growing wind; and the heat of the night had passed, a coolness was
falling from the deep sky. Unhurried, his pace no more than a casual stroll, Dr. Lazaro
felt the oppression of the night begin to life from him, an emotionless calm returned to
his mind. The sparrow does not fall without the Fathers leave he mused at the sky, but
it falls just the same. But to what end are the sufferings of a child? The crickets chirped
peacefully in the moon-pale darkness beneath the trees.

You baptized the child, didnt you, Ben?


Yes, Pa. The boy kept in the step beside him.
He used to believe in it, too. The power of the Holy Spirit washing away original
sin, the purified soul made heir of heaven. He could still remember fragments of his boy
hood faith, as one might remember an improbable and long-discarded dream.
Lay baptism, isnt that the name for it?
Yes, Ben said. I asked the father. The baby hadnt been baptized. He added as
they came to the embankment that separated the field from the road: They were
waiting for it to get well.
The station had closed, with only the canopy light and the blobed neon sign left
burning. A steady wind was blowing now across the filed, the moonlit plains.
He saw Ben stifle a yawn. Ill drive, Dr. Lazaro said.
His eyes were not what they used to be, and he drove leaning forward, his hands
tight on the wheel. He began to sweat again, and the empty road and the lateness and
the memory of Esteban and of the child dying before morning in the impoverished,
lamplit room fused into tired melancholy. He started to think of his other son, one he had
lost.
He said, seeking conversation, If other people carried on like you, Ben, the priests
would be run out of business.
The boy sat beside him, his face averted, not answering.
Now, youll have an angel praying for you in heaven, Dr. Lazaro said, teasing,
trying to create an easy mood between the. What if you hadnt baptized the baby and it
died? What would happen to it then?
It wont see God, Ben said.
But isnt that unfair? It was like riddle, trivial, but diverting. Just because..
Maybe God has another remedy, Ben said. I dont know. But the church says.

He could sense the boy groping for the tremendous answers. The Church
teaches, the church says. God: Christ: the communications of saints: Dr. Lazaro
found himself wondering about the world of novenas and candles, where bread and
wine became the flesh and blood of the Lord, and a woman bathed in light appeared
before children, and mortal men spoke of eternal life; the visions of God, the bodys
resurrection at the tend of time. It was a country from which he was barred; no matter
the customs, the geography didnt appeal to him. But in the care suddenly, driving
through the night, he was aware of an obscure disappointment, a subtle pressure
around his heart, as though he had been deprived of a certain joy
A bus roared around a hill toward, its lights blinding him, and he pulled to the side
of the road, braking involuntarily as a billow of dust swept over the car. He had not
closed the window on his side, and the flung dust poured in, the thick brittle powder
almost choking him, making him cough, his eyes smarting, before he could shield his
face with his hands. In the headlights, the dust sifted down and when the air was clear
again, Dr. Lazaro, swallowing a taste of earth, of darkness, maneuvered the car back
onto the road, his arms exhausted and numb. He drove the last half-mile to town in
silence, his mind registering nothing but the frit of dust in his mouth and the empty road
unwinding swiftly before him.
They reached the sleeping town, the desolate streets, the plaza empty in the
moonlight, and the dhuddled shapes of houses, the old houses that Dr. Lazaro had
always know. How many nights had he driven home like this through the quiet town,
with a mans life ended behind him, or a child crying newly risen from the womb; and a
sense of constant motions, of change, of the days moving swiftly toward and immense
reverlation touched him onced more, briefly, and still he could not find the words.. He
turned the last corner, then steered the car down the graveled driveway to the garage,
while Ben closed the gate. Dr. Lazaro sat there a momen, in the stillness, resting his
eyes, conscious of the measured beating of his heart, and breathing a scent of dust that
lingered on his clothes, his skin..SLowely he merged from the car, locking it, and went
around the towere of the water-tank to the frotnyard where Ben Stood waiting.
With unaccustomed tenderness he placed a hand on Bens shoulder was they
turned toward the ement walled house. They had gone on a trip; they had come home
safely together. He felt closer to the boy than he hade ever been in years.
Sorry for keeping you up this late, Dr. Lazaro said.
Its all right, Pa.
Some night, huh, Ben? What you did back in that barrio ther was just the

slightest patronage in this one your momother will love to hear about it.
He shook the boy beside him gently. Reverend Father Ben Lazaro.
The impulse of certain humor it was part of the comradeship. He chuckled
drowsily: father Lazaro, what must I do to gain eternal life?
As he slid the door open on the vault of darkness, the familiar depth of the house,
it came to Dr. Lazaro faitly in the late night that for certain things, like love there was
only so much time. But the glimmer was lost instantly, buried in the mist of indifference
and sleep rising now in his brain.
I Sing by Imelda Morales Aznar
I sing because of your heart-shaped hands, I sing
Because of the folds in your skin. They catch
My kisses the way leaves drink sunshine and I sing
Because youre fragrant as a dream
Of cotton and wisps of foggy air
At dawn. Because it feels as if
Im holding a cloud when I put your foot
On my palm, I sing.
If I put my cheek near your little lips Im kissed
By the gentlest, sweetest breath. I sing
Because your laughter is a song whose chords
Play in my heart. Your smile, pure miracle
Blossoming before me, makes me sing.
And Im warmed to my soul by your gentle eyes
Whose depths cradle sparks of sweet days coming,
And I sing for the perfectness of things.
Juan Manalaksan by Anicio
Once upon a time there lived in a certain village a brave and powerful datu who
had only one son. The son was called Pedro. In the same place lived a poor woodcutter whose name was Juan Manalaksan.
Pedro was rich, and had no work to do. He often diverted himself by hunting deer
and wild boars in the forests and mountains. Juan got his living by cutting trees in the
forests. One day the datu and his son went to the mountain to hunt. They took with

them many dogs and guns. They did not take any food, however, for they felt sure of
catching something to eat for their dinner. When they reached the mountain, Pedro
killed a deer. By noon they had become tired and hungry, so they went to a shady place
to cook their game. While he was eating, Pedro choked on a piece of meat.
The father cried out loudly, for he did not know what to do for his dying son. Juan,
who was cutting wood near by, heard the shout. He ran quickly to help Pedro, and by
pulling the piece of meat out of his throat he saved Pedros life. Pedro was grateful, and
said to Juan, To-morrow come to my palace, and I will give you a reward for helping
me. The next morning Juan set out for the palace. On his way he met an old woman,
who asked him where he was going. I am going to Pedros house to get my reward,
said Juan. Do not accept any reward of money or wealth, said the old woman, but ask
Pedro to give you the glass which he keeps in his right armpit. The glass is magical. It is
as large as a peso, and has a small hole in the centre. If you push a small stick through
the hole, giants who can give you anything you want will surround you. Then the old
woman left Juan, and went on her way.
As soon as Juan reached the palace, Pedro said to him, Go to that room and get
all the money you want. But Juan answered, I do not want you to give me any money.
All I want is the glass which you keep in your right armpit. Very well, said Pedro, here
it is. glass, he hurried back home. When Juan had received the Juan reached his hut in
the woods, and found his mother starving. He quickly thought of his magic glass, and,
punching a small stick through the hole in the glass, he found himself surrounded by
giants. Be quick, and get me some food for my mother! he said to them.
For a few minutes the giants were gone, but soon they came again with their
hands full of food. Juan took it and gave it to his mother; but she ate so much, that she
became sick, and died. In a neighboring village ruled another powerful datu, who had a
beautiful daughter. One day the datu fell very ill. As no doctor could cure him, he sent
his soldiers around the country to say that the man who could cure him should have his
daughter for a wife. Juan heard the news, and, relying on his charm, went to cure the
datu. On his way, he asked the giants for medicine to cure the sick ruler. When he
reached the palace, the datu said to him, If I am not cured, you shall be killed. Juan
agreed to the conditions, and told the datu to swallow the medicine which he gave him.
The datu did so, and at once became well again. The next morning Juan was married to
the datus daughter. Juan took his wife to live with him in his small hut in the woods.
One day he went to the forest to cut trees, leaving his wife and magic glass at home.
While Juan was away in the forest, Pedro ordered some of his soldiers to go get the
wood-cutters wife and magic glass. When Juan returned in the evening, he found wife
and glass gone. One of his neighbors told him that his wife had been taken away by
some soldiers. Juan was very angry, but he could not avenge himself without his
magical glass. At last he decided to go to his father-in-law and tell him all that had

happened to his wife. On his way there, he met an old mankukulam, who asked him
where he was going. Juan did not tell her, but related to her all that had happened to his
wife and glass while he was in the forest cutting trees.
The mankukulam said that she could help him. She told him to go to a certain
tree and catch the king of the cats. She furthermore advised him, Always keep the cat
with you. Juan followed her advice. One day Pedros father commanded his soldiers to
cut off the ears of all the men in the village, and said that if any one refused to have his
ears cut off, he should be placed in a room full of rats. The soldiers did as they were
ordered, and in time came to Juans house; but, as Juan was unwilling to lose his ears,
he was seized and placed in a room full of rats. But he had his cat with him all the time.
As soon as he was shut up in the room, he turned his cat loose. When the rats saw that
they would all be killed, they said to Juan, If you will tie your cat up there in the corner,
we will help you get whatever you want. Juan tied his cat up, and then said to the rats,
Bring me all the glasses in this village. The rats immediately scampered away to obey
him. Soon each of them returned with a glass in its mouth. One of them was carrying
the magical glass. When Juan had his charm in his hands again, he pushed a small
stick through the hole in the glass, and ordered the giants to kill Pedro and his father,
and bring him his wife again. Thus Juan got his wife back. They lived happily together till
they died.
Juan the Poor, Who became Juan the King. Narrated by Amando Clemente, a
Tagalog, who heard the story from his aunt. Once upon a time there lived in a small hut
at the edge of a forest a father and son. The poverty of that family gave the son his
name,Juan the Poor.
As the father was old and feeble, Juan had to take care of the household affairs;
but there were times when he did not want to work. One day, while Juan was lying
behind their fireplace, his father called him, and told him to go to the forest and get
some fire-wood. Very well, said Juan, but he did not move from his place. After a while
the father came to see if his son had gone, but he found him still lying on the floor.
When will you go get that fire-wood, Juan? Right now, father, answered the boy. The
old man returned to his room. As he wanted to make sure, however, whether his son
had gone or not, he again went to see. When he found Juan in the same position as
before, he became very angry, and said,-Juan, if I come out again and find you still
here, I shall surely give you a whipping. Juan knew well that his father would punish
him if he did not go; so he rose up suddenly, took his axe, and went to the forest. When
he came to the forest, he marked every tree that he thought would be good for fuel, and
then he began cutting. While he was chopping at one of the trees, he saw that it had a
hole in the trunk, and in the hole he saw something glistening. Thinking that there might
be gold inside the hole, he hastened to cut the tree down; but a monster came out of the
hole as soon as the tree fell. When Juan saw the unexpected being, he raised his axe to

kill the monster. Before giving the blow, he exclaimed, Aha! Now is the time for you to
die. The monster moved backward when it saw the blow ready to fall, and said,
Good sir, forbear, And my life spare, If you wish a happy life And, besides, a pretty
wife.
Juan lowered his axe, and said, Oho! is that so? Yes, I swear, answered the
monster. But what is it, and where is it? said Juan, raising his axe, and feigning to be
angry, for he was anxious to get what the monster promised him. The monster told Juan
to take from the middle of his tongue a white oval stone. From it he could ask for and
get whatever he wanted to have. Juan opened the monsters mouth and took the
valuable stone. Immediately the monster disappeared. The young man then tested the
virtues of his charm by asking it for some men to help him work. As soon as he had
spoken the last word of his command, there appeared many persons, some of whom
cut down trees, while others carried the wood to his house. When Juan was sure that
his house was surrounded by piles of fire-wood, he dismissed the men, hurried home,
and lay down again behind the fireplace.
He had not been there long, when his father came to see if he had done his
work. When the old man saw his son stretched out on the floor, he said, Juan have we
fire-wood now? Just look out of the window and see, father! said Juan. Great was the
surprise of the old man when he saw the large piles of wood about his house. The next
day Juan, remembering the pretty wife of which the monster had spoken, went to the
kings palace, and told the king that he wanted to marry his daughter. The king smiled
scornfully when he saw the rustic appearance of the suitor, and said, If you will do what
I shall ask you to do, I will let you marry my daughter. What are your Majestys
commands for me? said Juan. Build me a castle in the middle of the bay; but know,
that, if it is not finished in three days time, you lose your head, said the king sternly.
Juan promised to do the work. Two days had gone by, yet Juan had not yet commenced
his work. For that reason the king believed that Juan did not object to losing his life; but
at midnight of the third day, Juan bade his stone build a fort in the middle of the bay. The
next morning, while the king was taking his bath, cannon-shots were heard. After a
while Juan appeared before the palace, dressed like a prince. When he saw the king,
he said, The fort is ready for your inspection. If that is true, you shall be my son-inlaw, said the king. After breakfast the king, with his daughter, visited the fort, which
pleased them very much.
The following day the ceremonies of Juans marriage with the princess Maria
were held with much pomp and solemnity. Shortly after Juans wedding a war broke out.
Juan led the army of the king his father-in-law to the battlefield, and with the help of his
magical stone he conquered his mighty enemy. The defeated general went home full of
sorrow. As he had never been defeated before, he thought that Juan must possess

some supernatural power. When he reached home, therefore, he issued a proclamation


which stated that any one who could get Juans power for him should have one-half of
his property as a reward. A certain witch, who knew of Juans secret, heard of the
proclamation. She flew to the general, and told him that she could do what he wanted
done. On his agreeing, she flew to Juans house one hot afternoon, where she found
Maria alone, for Juan had gone out hunting. The old woman smiled when she saw
Maria, and said, Do you not recognize me, pretty Maria? I am the one who nursed you
when you were a baby.
The princess was surprised at what the witch said, for she thought that the old
woman was a beggar. Nevertheless she believed what the witch told her, treated the
repulsive woman kindly, and offered her cake and wine; but the witch told Maria not to
go to any trouble, and ordered her to rest. So Maria lay down to take a siesta. With
great show of kindness, the witch fanned the princess till she fell asleep. While Maria
was sleeping, the old woman took from underneath the pillow the magical stone, which
Juan had forgotten to take along with him. Then she flew to the general, and gave the
charm to him. He, in turn, rewarded the old woman with one-half his riches. Meanwhile,
as Juan was enjoying his hunt in the forest, a huge bird swooped down on him and
seized his horse and clothes.
When the bird flew away, his inner garments were changed back again into his
old wood-cutters clothes. Full of anxiety at this ill omen, and fearing that some
misfortune had befallen his wife, he hastened home on foot as best he could. When he
reached his house, he found it vacant. Then he went to the kings palace, but that too he
found deserted. For his stone he did not know where to look. After a few minutes of
reflection, he came to the conclusion that all his troubles were caused by the general
whom he had defeated in battle. He also suspected that the officer had somehow or
other got possession of his magical stone. Poor Juan then began walking toward the
country where the general lived. Before he could reach that country, he had to cross
three mountains. While he was crossing the first mountain, a cat came running after
him, and knocked him down. He was so angry at the animal, that he ran after it, seized
it, and dashed its life out against a rock. When he was crossing the second mountain,
the same cat appeared and knocked him down a second time. Again Juan seized the
animal and killed it, as before; but the same cat that he had killed twice before tumbled
him down a third time while he was crossing the third mountain. Filled with curiosity,
Juan caught the animal again: but, instead of killing it this time, he put it inside the bag
he was carrying, and took it along with him. After many hours of tiresome walking, Juan
arrived at the castle of the general, and knocked at the door. The general asked him
what he wanted. Juan answered, I am a poor beggar, who will be thankful if I can have
only a mouthful of rice. The general, however, recognized Juan. He called his servants,
and said, Take this wretched fellow to the cell of rats. The cell in which Juan was

imprisoned was very dark; and as soon as the door was closed, the rats began to bite
him. But Juan did not suffer much from them; for, remembering his cat, he let it loose.
The cat killed all the rats except their king, which came out of the hole last of all. When
the cat saw the king of the rats, it spoke thus: Now you shall die if you do not promise
to get for Juan his magical stone, which your master has stolen. Spare my life, and
you shall have the stone! said the king of the rats. Go and get it, then! said the cat.
The king of the rats ran quickly to the room of the general, and took Juans magical
stone from the table. As soon as Juan had obtained his stone, and after he had thanked
the king of the rats, he said to his stone, Pretty stone, destroy this house with the
general and his subjects, and release my father-in-law and wife from their prison.
Suddenly the earth trembled and a big noise was heard. Not long afterwards Juan saw
the castle destroyed, the general and his subjects dead, and his wife and his father-inlaw free.
Taking with him the cat and the king of the rats, Juan went home happily with
Maria his wife and the king his father-in-law. After the death of the king, Juan ascended
to the throne, and ruled wisely. He lived long happily with his lovely wife.
Edmundo. In Villa Amante there lived a poor widow, Merced by name, who had
to work very hard to keep her only son, the infant Edmundo, alive. Her piety and
industry were rewarded, however; and by the time the boy was seven years old, she
was able to clothe him well and send him to school. Her brother Tonio undertook the
instruction of the youth. Edmundo had a good head, and made rapid progress. (7-41)
One day Merced fell sick, and, although she recovered in a short time, Edmundo
decided to give up studying and to help his mother earn their living. He became a woodcutter.
At last fortune came to him. In one of his wanderings in the forest in search of dry
wood, he happened upon an enormous python. He would have fled in terror had not the
snake spoken to him, to his amazement, and 95 requested him to pull from its throat the
stag which was choking it. He performed the service for the reptile, and in turn was
invited to the cave where it lived. Out of gratitude the python gave Edmundo a magic
mirror that would furnish the possessor with whatever he wanted. With the help of this
charm, mother and son soon had everything they needed to make them happy.
At about this time King Romualdo of France decided to look for a husband for his
daughter, the beautiful Leonora. He was unable to pick out a son-in-law from the many
suitors who presented themselves; and so he had it proclaimed at a concourse of all the
youths of the realm, Whoever can fill my cellar with money before morning shall have
the hand of Leonora. Edmundo was the only one to accept the challenge, for failure to
perform the task meant death. At midnight he took his enchanted mirror and
commanded it to fill the kings cellar with money. In the morning the king was astonished

at the sight, but there was no way of avoiding the marriage. So Leonora became the
wife of the lowly-born wood-cutter. The young couple went to Villa Amante to live. There,
to astonish his wife, Edmundo had a palace built in one night. She was dumfounded to
awake in the morning and find herself in a magnificent home; and when she asked him
about it, he confided to her the secret of his wonderful charm. Later, to gratify the humor
of the king, who visited him, Edmundo ordered his mirror to transport the palace to a
seacoast town. There he and his wife lived very happily together.
One day Leonora noticed from her window two vessels sailing towards the town.
Her fears and premonitions were so great, that Edmundo, to calm her, sank the ships by
means of his magic power. But the sinking of these vessels brought misfortunes. Their
owner, the Sultan of Turkey, learned of the magic mirror possessed by Edmundo (how
he got this information is not stated), and hired an old woman to go to France in the
guise of a beggar and steal the charm. She was successful in getting it, and then
returned with it to her master. The Sultan then invaded France, and with the talisman,
by which he called to his aid six invincible giants, conquered the country. He took the
king, queen, and Leonora as captives back with him to Turkey. Edmundo was left in
France to look after the affairs of the country.
Edmundo became melancholy, and at last decided to seek his wife. He left his
mother and his servant behind, and took with him only a diamond ring of Leonoras, his
cat, and his dog. While walking along the seashore, wondering how he could cross the
ocean, he saw a huge fish washed up on the sand. The fish requested him to drag it to
the water. When Edmundo had done so, the fish told him to get on its back, and
promised to carry him to Leonora. So done. The fish swam rapidly through the water,
Edmundo holding his dog and cat in his breast. The dog was soon washed overboard,
but the cat clung to him. After a ride of a day and a night, the fish landed him on a
strange shore. It happened to be the coast of Turkey. Edmundo stopped at an inn,
pretending to be a shipwrecked merchant. There he decided to stay for a while, and
there he found 96 out the situation of Leonora in this wise. Now, it happened that the
Sultan used to send to this inn for choice dishes for Leonora, whom he was keeping
close captive. By inquiry Edmundo learned of the close proximity of his wife, and one
day he managed to insert her ring into one of the eggs that were to be taken back to
her. She guessed that he was near; and, in order to communicate with him, she
requested permission of the king to walk with her maid in the garden that was close by
the inn. She saw Edmundo, and smiled on him; but the maid noticed the greeting, and
reported it to the Sultan. The Sultan ordered the man summoned; and when he
recognized Edmundo, he had him imprisoned and put in stocks. (314-350) Edmundo
was now in despair, and thought it better to die than live; but his faithful cat, which had
followed him unnoticed to the prison, saved him. In the jail there were many rats. That
night the cat began to kill these relentlessly, until the captain of the rats, fearing that his

whole race would be exterminated, requested Edmundo to tie up his cat and spare
them. Edmundo promised to do so on condition that the rat bring him the small goldrimmed mirror in the possession of the Sultan. At dawn the rat captain arrived with the
mirror between its teeth. Out of gratitude Edmundo now had his mirror bring to life all
the rats that had been slain. (351-366) Then he ordered before him his wife, the king,
the queen, the crown and sceptre of France. All, including the other prisoners of the
Sultan, were transported back to France. At the same time the Sultans palace and
prison were destroyed. Next morning, when the Grand Sultan awoke, he was enraged
to find himself outwitted; but what could he do? Even if he were able to jump as high as
the sky, he could not bring back Leonora. When the French Court returned to France,
Edmundo was crowned successor to the throne: the delight of every one was
unbounded. The last six stanzas are occupied with the authors leave-taking.
Groome summarizes a Roumanian-Gypsy story, The Stolen Ox, from Dr. Barbu
Constantinescus collection (Bucharest, 1878), which, while but a fragment, appears to
be connected with this cycle of the Magic Ring, and presents a curious parallel to a
situation in Edmundo:- The lad serves the farmer faithfully, and at the end of his
term sets off home. On his way he lights on a dragon, and in the snakes mouth is a
stag. Nine years had that snake the stag in its mouth, and been trying to swallow it, but
could not because of its horns. Now, that snake was a prince; and seeing the lad, whom
God had sent his way, Lad, said the snake, relieve me of this stags horns, for Ive
been going about nine years with it in my mouth. So the lad broke off the horns, and the
snake swallowed the stag. My lad, tie me round your neck and carry me to my father,
for he doesnt know where I am. So he carried him to his father, and his father rewarded
him. It is curious to see this identical situation of the hero winning his magic reward by
saving some person or animal from choking appearing in Roumania and the Philippines,
and in connection, too, with incidents from the Magic Ring cycle. The resemblance can
hardly be fortuitous.
Suan, The Good Guesser by Macaria Garcia
There was once an old woman who had an only son named Suan. Suan was a
clever, sharp-witted boy. His mother sent him to school. Instead of going to school,
however, Suan climbed up the tree that stood by the roadside. As soon as his mother
had passed by from the market, Suan hurried home ahead of her. When she reached
home, he cried, Mother, I know what you bought in the market to-day. He then told her,
article by article. This same thing happened so repeatedly, that his mother began to
believe in his skill as a diviner.
One day the ring of the datus daughter disappeared. All the people in the locality
searched for it, but in vain. The datu called for volunteers to find the lost ring, and he
offered his daughters hand as a prize to the one who should succeed. Suans mother

heard of the proclamation. So she went to the palace and presented Suan to the datu.
Well, Suan, tomorrow tell me where the ring is, said the datu. Yes, my lord, I will tell
you, if you will give your soldiers over to me for tonight, Suan replied. You shall have
everything you need, said the datu.
That evening Suan ordered the soldiers to stand around him in a semicircle.
When all were ready, Suan pointed at each one of them, and said, The ring is here,
and nowhere else. It so happened that Suan fixed his eyes on the guilty soldier, who
trembled and became pale. I know who has it, said Suan. Then he ordered them to
retire. Late in the night this soldier came to Suan, and said, I will get the ring you are in
search of, and will give it to you if you will promise me my safety. Give it to me, and
you shall be safe, said Suan.
Very early the next morning Suan came to the palace with a turkey in his arms.
Where is the ring? the datu demanded. Why, sir, it is in this turkeys intestines, Suan
replied. The turkey was then killed, and the ring was found inside it. You have done
very well, Suan. Now you shall have my daughters hand, said the datu. So Suan
became the princesss husband.
One day the datu proposed a bet with anyone who wished to prove Suans skill.
Accordingly another datu came. He offered to bet seven cascos of treasure that Suan
could not tell the number of seeds that were in his orange. Suan did not know what to
do. At midnight he went secretly to the cascos. Here he heard their conversation, and
from it he learned the number of seeds in the orange. In the morning Suan said
boastfully, I tell you, your orange has nine seeds. Thus Suan won the whole treasure.
Hoping to recover his loss, the datu came again. This time he had with him fourteen
cascos full of gold. He asked Suan to tell him what was inside his golden ball. Suan did
not know what to say. So in the dead of night he went out to the cascos, but he could
learn nothing there. The next morning Suan was summoned into the presence of the
two datus. He had no idea whatever as to what was in the ball; so he said scornfully,
Nonsense! That is right, that is right! shouted a man. The ball contains nine cents.
Consequently Suan won the fourteen cascos full of gold. From now on, nobody doubted
Suans merit.
Youth by Maximo D. Ramos

These have known the tingling freshness


Of the coming forth from God;
The sweetness of mother's breast
The ringing sinewiness of growth,

The feel of the loved one's cheek, the song


Of April suns and showers...
And these will know
The quiet dimming down of age
And the silent wonder
of going back
to God.

Region IV: A (CALABARZON)

Our Mother Tongue


(Jose P. Rizal)
IF truly a people dearly love
The tongue to them by Heaven sent,
Theyll surely yearn for liberty
Like a bird above in the firmament.
BECAUSE by its language one can judge
A town, a barrio, and kingdom;
And like any other created thing
Every human being loves his freedom.
ONE who doesnt love his mother tongue;
Is worse than putrid fish and a beast;
And like a truly precious thing
It therefore deserves to be cherished.

THE Tagalog language akin to Latin,


To English, Spanish, angelical tongue;
For God who knows how to look after us
This language He bestowed us upon.
AS others, our language is the same
With alphabet and letters of its own,
It was lost because a storm did destroy
On the lake the bangka in years bygone

DEAD STARS by Paz Marquez Benitez


Through the open window the air-steeped outdoors passed into his room, quietly
enveloping him, stealing into his very thought. Esperanza, Julia, the sorry mess he had
made of life, the years to come even now beginning to weigh down, to crush--they lost
concreteness, diffused into formless melancholy. The tranquil murmur of conversation
issued from the brick-tiled azotea where Don Julian and Carmen were busy puttering
away among the rose pots.
"Papa, and when will the 'long table' be set?"
"I don't know yet. Alfredo is not very specific, but I understand Esperanza wants it to be
next month."
Carmen sighed impatiently. "Why is he not a bit more decided, I wonder. He is over
thirty, is he not? And still a bachelor! Esperanza must be tired waiting."
"She does not seem to be in much of a hurry either," Don Julian nasally commented,
while his rose scissors busily snipped away.
"How can a woman be in a hurry when the man does not hurry her?" Carmen returned,
pinching off a worm with a careful, somewhat absent air. "Papa, do you remember how
much in love he was?"
"In love? With whom?"

"With Esperanza, of course. He has not had another love affair that I know of," she said
with good-natured contempt. "What I mean is that at the beginning he was enthusiastic-flowers, serenades, notes, and things like that--"
Alfredo remembered that period with a wonder not unmixed with shame. That
was less than four years ago. He could not understand those months of a great hunger
that was not of the body nor yet of the mind, a craving that had seized on him one quiet
night when the moon was abroad and under the dappled shadow of the trees in the
plaza, man wooed maid. Was he being cheated by life? Love--he seemed to have
missed it. Or was the love that others told about a mere fabrication of perfervid
imagination, an exaggeration of the commonplace, a glorification of insipid monotonies
such as made up his love life? Was love a combination of circumstances, or sheer
native capacity of soul? In those days love was, for him, still the eternal puzzle; for love,
as he knew it, was a stranger to love as he divined it might be.
Sitting quietly in his room now, he could almost revive the restlessness of those
days, the feeling of tumultuous haste, such as he knew so well in his boyhood when
something beautiful was going on somewhere and he was trying to get there in time to
see. "Hurry, hurry, or you will miss it," someone had seemed to urge in his ears. So he
had avidly seized on the shadow of Love and deluded himself for a long while in the
way of humanity from time immemorial. In the meantime, he became very much
engaged to Esperanza.
Why would men so mismanage their lives? Greed, he thought, was what ruined
so many. Greed--the desire to crowd into a moment all the enjoyment it will hold, to
squeeze from the hour all the emotion it will yield. Men commit themselves when but
half-meaning to do so, sacrificing possible future fullness of ecstasy to the craving for
immediate excitement. Greed--mortgaging the future--forcing the hand of Time, or of
Fate.
"What do you think happened?" asked Carmen, pursuing her thought.
"I supposed long-engaged people are like that; warm now, cool tomorrow. I think they
are oftener cool than warm. The very fact that an engagement has been allowed to
prolong itself argues a certain placidity of temperament--or of affection--on the part of
either, or both." Don Julian loved to philosophize. He was talking now with an evident
relish in words, his resonant, very nasal voice toned down to monologue pitch. "That
phase you were speaking of is natural enough for a beginning. Besides, that, as I see it,
was Alfredo's last race with escaping youth--"
Carmen laughed aloud at the thought of her brother's perfect physical repose-almost indolence--disturbed in the role suggested by her father's figurative language.

"A last spurt of hot blood," finished the old man.


Few certainly would credit Alfredo Salazar with hot blood. Even his friends had
amusedly diagnosed his blood as cool and thin, citing incontrovertible evidence. Tall and
slender, he moved with an indolent ease that verged on grace. Under straight
recalcitrant hair, a thin face with a satisfying breadth of forehead, slow, dreamer's eyes,
and astonishing freshness of lips--indeed Alfredo Salazar's appearance betokened little
of exuberant masculinity; rather a poet with wayward humor, a fastidious artist with
keen, clear brain.
He rose and quietly went out of the house. He lingered a moment on the stone
steps; then went down the path shaded by immature acacias, through the little tarred
gate which he left swinging back and forth, now opening, now closing, on the gravel
road bordered along the farther side by madre cacao hedge in tardy lavender bloom.
The gravel road narrowed as it slanted up to the house on the hill, whose wide,
open porches he could glimpse through the heat-shrivelled tamarinds in the Martinez
yard.
Six weeks ago that house meant nothing to him save that it was the Martinez
house, rented and occupied by Judge del Valle and his family. Six weeks ago Julia
Salas meant nothing to him; he did not even know her name; but now-One evening he had gone "neighboring" with Don Julian; a rare enough
occurrence, since he made it a point to avoid all appearance of currying favor with the
Judge. This particular evening however, he had allowed himself to be persuaded. "A
little mental relaxation now and then is beneficial," the old man had said. "Besides, a
judge's good will, you know;" the rest of the thought--"is worth a rising young lawyer's
trouble"--Don Julian conveyed through a shrug and a smile that derided his own worldly
wisdom.
A young woman had met them at the door. It was evident from the excitement of
the Judge's children that she was a recent and very welcome arrival. In the
characteristic Filipino way formal introductions had been omitted--the judge limiting
himself to a casual "Ah, ya se conocen?"--with the consequence that Alfredo called her
Miss del Valle throughout the evening.
He was puzzled that she should smile with evident delight every time he
addressed her thus. Later Don Julian informed him that she was not the Judge's sister,
as he had supposed, but his sister-in-law, and that her name was Julia Salas. A very
dignified rather austere name, he thought. Still, the young lady should have corrected
him. As it was, he was greatly embarrassed, and felt that he should explain.

To his apology, she replied, "That is nothing, Each time I was about to correct
you, but I remembered a similar experience I had once before."
"Oh," he drawled out, vastly relieved.
"A man named Manalang--I kept calling him Manalo. After the tenth time or so, the
young man rose from his seat and said suddenly, 'Pardon me, but my name is
Manalang, Manalang.' You know, I never forgave him!"
He laughed with her.
"The best thing to do under the circumstances, I have found out," she pursued, "is to
pretend not to hear, and to let the other person find out his mistake without help."
"As you did this time. Still, you looked amused every time I--"
"I was thinking of Mr. Manalang."
Don Julian and his uncommunicative friend, the Judge, were absorbed in a game
of chess. The young man had tired of playing appreciative spectator and desultory
conversationalist, so he and Julia Salas had gone off to chat in the vine-covered porch.
The lone piano in the neighborhood alternately tinkled and banged away as the player's
moods altered. He listened, and wondered irrelevantly if Miss Salas could sing; she had
such a charming speaking voice.
He was mildly surprised to note from her appearance that she was unmistakably
a sister of the Judge's wife, although Doa Adela was of a different type altogether. She
was small and plump, with wide brown eyes, clearly defined eyebrows, and delicately
modeled hips--a pretty woman with the complexion of a baby and the expression of a
likable cow. Julia was taller, not so obviously pretty. She had the same eyebrows and
lips, but she was much darker, of a smooth rich brown with underlying tones of crimson
which heightened the impression she gave of abounding vitality.
On Sunday mornings after mass, father and son would go crunching up the
gravel road to the house on the hill. The Judge's wife invariably offered them beer,
which Don Julian enjoyed and Alfredo did not. After a half hour or so, the chessboard
would be brought out; then Alfredo and Julia Salas would go out to the porch to chat.
She sat in the low hammock and he in a rocking chair and the hours--warm, quiet March
hours--sped by. He enjoyed talking with her and it was evident that she liked his
company; yet what feeling there was between them was so undisturbed that it seemed
a matter of course. Only when Esperanza chanced to ask him indirectly about those
visits did some uneasiness creep into his thoughts of the girl next door.

Esperanza had wanted to know if he went straight home after mass. Alfredo
suddenly realized that for several Sundays now he had not waited for Esperanza to
come out of the church as he had been wont to do. He had been eager to go
"neighboring."
He answered that he went home to work. And, because he was not habitually
untruthful, added, "Sometimes I go with Papa to Judge del Valle's."
She dropped the topic. Esperanza was not prone to indulge in unprovoked
jealousies. She was a believer in the regenerative virtue of institutions, in their power to
regulate feeling as well as conduct. If a man were married, why, of course, he loved his
wife; if he were engaged, he could not possibly love another woman.
That half-lie told him what he had not admitted openly to himself, that he was
giving Julia Salas something which he was not free to give. He realized that; yet
something that would not be denied beckoned imperiously, and he followed on.
It was so easy to forget up there, away from the prying eyes of the world, so easy
and so poignantly sweet. The beloved woman, he standing close to her, the shadows
around, enfolding.
"Up here I find--something--"
He and Julia Salas stood looking out into the she quiet night. Sensing unwanted
intensity, laughed, woman-like, asking, "Amusement?"
"No; youth--its spirit--"
"Are you so old?"
"And heart's desire."
Was he becoming a poet, or is there a poet lurking in the heart of every man?
"Down there," he had continued, his voice somewhat indistinct, "the road is too broad,
too trodden by feet, too barren of mystery."
"Down there" beyond the ancient tamarinds lay the road, upturned to the stars. In the
darkness the fireflies glimmered, while an errant breeze strayed in from somewhere,
bringing elusive, faraway sounds as of voices in a dream.
"Mystery--" she answered lightly, "that is so brief--"
"Not in some," quickly. "Not in you."
"You have known me a few weeks; so the mystery."

"I could study you all my life and still not find it."
"So long?"
"I should like to."
Those six weeks were now so swift--seeming in the memory, yet had they been
so deep in the living, so charged with compelling power and sweetness. Because
neither the past nor the future had relevance or meaning, he lived only the present, day
by day, lived it intensely, with such a willful shutting out of fact as astounded him in his
calmer moments.
Just before Holy Week, Don Julian invited the judge and his family to spend
Sunday afternoon at Tanda where he had a coconut plantation and a house on the
beach. Carmen also came with her four energetic children. She and Doa Adela spent
most of the time indoors directing the preparation of the merienda and discussing the
likeable absurdities of their husbands--how Carmen's Vicente was so absorbed in his
farms that he would not even take time off to accompany her on this visit to her father;
how Doa Adela's Dionisio was the most absentminded of men, sometimes going out
without his collar, or with unmatched socks.
After the merienda, Don Julian sauntered off with the judge to show him what a
thriving young coconut looked like--"plenty of leaves, close set, rich green"--while the
children, convoyed by Julia Salas, found unending entertainment in the rippling sand left
by the ebbing tide. They were far down, walking at the edge of the water, indistinctly
outlined against the gray of the out-curving beach.
Alfredo left his perch on the bamboo ladder of the house and followed. Here were
her footsteps, narrow, arched. He laughed at himself for his black canvas footwear
which he removed forthwith and tossed high up on dry sand.
When he came up, she flushed, then smiled with frank pleasure.
"I hope you are enjoying this," he said with a questioning inflection.
"Very much. It looks like home to me, except that we do not have such a lovely beach."
There was a breeze from the water. It blew the hair away from her forehead, and
whipped the tucked-up skirt around her straight, slender figure. In the picture was
something of eager freedom as of wings poised in flight. The girl had grace, distinction.
Her face was not notably pretty; yet she had a tantalizing charm, all the more
compelling because it was an inner quality, an achievement of the spirit. The lure was
there, of naturalness, of an alert vitality of mind and body, of a thoughtful, sunny temper,
and of a piquant perverseness which is sauce to charm.

"The afternoon has seemed very short, hasn't it?" Then, "This, I think, is the last time-we can visit."
"The last? Why?"
"Oh, you will be too busy perhaps."
He noted an evasive quality in the answer.
"Do I seem especially industrious to you?"
"If you are, you never look it."
"Not perspiring or breathless, as a busy man ought to be."
"But--"
"Always unhurried, too unhurried, and calm." She smiled to herself.
"I wish that were true," he said after a meditative pause.
She waited.
"A man is happier if he is, as you say, calm and placid."
"Like a carabao in a mud pool," she retorted perversely
"Who? I?"
"Oh, no!"
"You said I am calm and placid."
"That is what I think."
"I used to think so too. Shows how little we know ourselves."
It was strange to him that he could be wooing thus: with tone and look and covert
phrase.
"I should like to see your home town."
"There is nothing to see--little crooked streets, bunut roofs with ferns growing on them,
and sometimes squashes."
That was the background. It made her seem less detached, less unrelated, yet withal
more distant, as if that background claimed her and excluded him.
"Nothing? There is you."

"Oh, me? But I am here."


"I will not go, of course, until you are there."
"Will you come? You will find it dull. There isn't even one American there!"
"Well--Americans are rather essential to my entertainment."
She laughed.
"We live on Calle Luz, a little street with trees."
"Could I find that?"
"If you don't ask for Miss del Valle," she smiled teasingly.
"I'll inquire about--"
"What?"
"The house of the prettiest girl in the town."
"There is where you will lose your way." Then she turned serious. "Now, that is not quite
sincere."
"It is," he averred slowly, but emphatically.
"I thought you, at least, would not say such things."
"Pretty--pretty--a foolish word! But there is none other more handy I did not mean that
quite--"
"Are you withdrawing the compliment?"
"Re-enforcing it, maybe. Something is pretty when it pleases the eye--it is more than
that when--"
"If it saddens?" she interrupted hastily.
"Exactly."
"It must be ugly."
"Always?"
Toward the west, the sunlight lay on the dimming waters in a broad, glinting streamer of
crimsoned gold.
"No, of course you are right."

"Why did you say this is the last time?" he asked quietly as they turned back.
"I am going home."
The end of an impossible dream!
"When?" after a long silence.
"Tomorrow. I received a letter from Father and Mother yesterday. They want me to
spend Holy Week at home."
She seemed to be waiting for him to speak. "That is why I said this is the last time."
"Can't I come to say good-bye?"
"Oh, you don't need to!"
"No, but I want to."
"There is no time."
The golden streamer was withdrawing, shortening, until it looked no more than a
pool far away at the rim of the world. Stillness, a vibrant quiet that affects the senses as
does solemn harmony; a peace that is not contentment but a cessation of tumult when
all violence of feeling tones down to the wistful serenity of regret. She turned and looked
into his face, in her dark eyes a ghost of sunset sadness.
"Home seems so far from here. This is almost like another life."
"I know. This is Elsewhere, and yet strange enough, I cannot get rid of the old things."
"Old things?"
"Oh, old things, mistakes, encumbrances, old baggage." He said it lightly, unwilling to
mar the hour. He walked close, his hand sometimes touching hers for one whirling
second.
Don Julian's nasal summons came to them on the wind.
Alfredo gripped the soft hand so near his own. At his touch, the girl turned her
face away, but he heard her voice say very low, "Good-bye."
Alfredo Salazar turned to the right where, farther on, the road broadened and
entered the heart of the town--heart of Chinese stores sheltered under low-hung roofs,
of indolent drug stores and tailor shops, of dingy shoe-repairing establishments, and a
cluttered goldsmith's cubbyhole where a consumptive bent over a magnifying lens; heart
of old brick-roofed houses with quaint hand-and-ball knockers on the door; heart of

grass-grown plaza reposeful with trees, of ancient church and convento, now circled by
swallows gliding in flight as smooth and soft as the afternoon itself. Into the quickly
deepening twilight, the voice of the biggest of the church bells kept ringing its insistent
summons. Flocking came the devout with their long wax candles, young women in vivid
apparel (for this was Holy Thursday and the Lord was still alive), older women in sober
black skirts. Came too the young men in droves, elbowing each other under the talisay
tree near the church door. The gaily decked rice-paper lanterns were again on display
while from the windows of the older houses hung colored glass globes, heirlooms from
a day when grasspith wicks floating in coconut oil were the chief lighting device.
Soon a double row of lights emerged from the church and uncoiled down the
length of the street like a huge jewelled band studded with glittering clusters where the
saints' platforms were. Above the measured music rose the untutored voices of the
choir, steeped in incense and the acrid fumes of burning wax.
The sight of Esperanza and her mother sedately pacing behind Our Lady of
Sorrows suddenly destroyed the illusion of continuity and broke up those lines of light
into component individuals. Esperanza stiffened self-consciously, tried to look unaware,
and could not.
The line moved on.
Suddenly, Alfredo's slow blood began to beat violently, irregularly. A girl was
coming down the line--a girl that was striking, and vividly alive, the woman that could
cause violent commotion in his heart, yet had no place in the completed ordering of his
life.
Her glance of abstracted devotion fell on him and came to a brief stop.
The line kept moving on, wending its circuitous route away from the church and
then back again, where, according to the old proverb, all processions end.
At last Our Lady of Sorrows entered the church, and with her the priest and the
choir, whose voices now echoed from the arched ceiling. The bells rang the close of the
procession.
A round orange moon, "huge as a winnowing basket," rose lazily into a clear sky,
whitening the iron roofs and dimming the lanterns at the windows. Along the still densely
shadowed streets the young women with their rear guard of males loitered and, maybe,
took the longest way home.
Toward the end of the row of Chinese stores, he caught up with Julia Salas. The
crowd had dispersed into the side streets, leaving Calle Real to those who lived farther

out. It was past eight, and Esperanza would be expecting him in a little while: yet the
thought did not hurry him as he said "Good evening" and fell into step with the girl.
"I had been thinking all this time that you had gone," he said in a voice that was both
excited and troubled.
"No, my sister asked me to stay until they are ready to go."
"Oh, is the Judge going?"
"Yes."
The provincial docket had been cleared, and Judge del Valle had been assigned
elsewhere. As lawyer--and as lover--Alfredo had found that out long before.
"Mr. Salazar," she broke into his silence, "I wish to congratulate you."
Her tone told him that she had learned, at last. That was inevitable.
"For what?"
"For your approaching wedding."
Some explanation was due her, surely. Yet what could he say that would not offend?
"I should have offered congratulations long before, but you know mere visitors are slow
about getting the news," she continued.
He listened not so much to what she said as to the nuances in her voice. He
heard nothing to enlighten him, except that she had reverted to the formal tones of early
acquaintance. No revelation there; simply the old voice--cool, almost detached from
personality, flexible and vibrant, suggesting potentialities of song.
"Are weddings interesting to you?" he finally brought out quietly
"When they are of friends, yes."
"Would you come if I asked you?"
"When is it going to be?"
"May," he replied briefly, after a long pause.
"May is the month of happiness they say," she said, with what seemed to him a shade of
irony.
"They say," slowly, indifferently. "Would you come?"

"Why not?"
"No reason. I am just asking. Then you will?"
"If you will ask me," she said with disdain.
"Then I ask you."
"Then I will be there."
The gravel road lay before them; at the road's end the lighted windows of the
house on the hill. There swept over the spirit of Alfredo Salazar a longing so keen that it
was pain, a wish that, that house were his, that all the bewilderments of the present
were not, and that this woman by his side were his long wedded wife, returning with him
to the peace of home.
"Julita," he said in his slow, thoughtful manner, "did you ever have to choose between
something you wanted to do and something you had to do?"
"No!"
"I thought maybe you had had that experience; then you could understand a man who
was in such a situation."
"You are fortunate," he pursued when she did not answer.
"Is--is this man sure of what he should do?"
"I don't know, Julita. Perhaps not. But there is a point where a thing escapes us and
rushes downward of its own weight, dragging us along. Then it is foolish to ask whether
one will or will not, because it no longer depends on him."
"But then why--why--" her muffled voice came. "Oh, what do I know? That is his problem
after all."
"Doesn't it--interest you?"
"Why must it? I--I have to say good-bye, Mr. Salazar; we are at the house."
Without lifting her eyes she quickly turned and walked away.
Had the final word been said? He wondered. It had. Yet a feeble flutter of hope
trembled in his mind though set against that hope were three years of engagement, a
very near wedding, perfect understanding between the parents, his own conscience,
and Esperanza herself--Esperanza waiting, Esperanza no longer young, Esperanza the
efficient, the literal-minded, the intensely acquisitive.

He looked attentively at her where she sat on the sofa, appraisingly, and with a
kind of aversion which he tried to control.
She was one of those fortunate women who have the gift of uniformly acceptable
appearance. She never surprised one with unexpected homeliness nor with startling
reserves of beauty. At home, in church, on the street, she was always herself, a woman
past first bloom, light and clear of complexion, spare of arms and of breast, with a slight
convexity to thin throat; a woman dressed with self-conscious care, even elegance; a
woman distinctly not average.
She was pursuing an indignant relation about something or other, something
about Calixta, their note-carrier, Alfredo perceived, so he merely half-listened,
understanding imperfectly. At a pause he drawled out to fill in the gap: "Well, what of it?"
The remark sounded ruder than he had intended.
"She is not married to him," Esperanza insisted in her thin, nervously pitched voice.
"Besides, she should have thought of us. Nanay practically brought her up. We never
thought she would turn out bad."
What had Calixta done? Homely, middle-aged Calixta?
"You are very positive about her badness," he commented dryly. Esperanza was always
positive.
"But do you approve?"
"Of what?"
"What she did."
"No," indifferently.
"Well?"
He was suddenly impelled by a desire to disturb the unvexed orthodoxy of her
mind. "All I say is that it is not necessarily wicked."
"Why shouldn't it be? You talked like an--immoral man. I did not know that your ideas
were like that."
"My ideas?" he retorted, goaded by a deep, accumulated exasperation. "The only test I
wish to apply to conduct is the test of fairness. Am I injuring anybody? No? Then I am
justified in my conscience. I am right. Living with a man to whom she is not married--is
that it? It may be wrong, and again it may not."
"She has injured us. She was ungrateful." Her voice was tight with resentment.

"The trouble with you, Esperanza, is that you are--" he stopped, appalled by the passion
in his voice.
"Why do you get angry? I do not understand you at all! I think I know why you have
been indifferent to me lately. I am not blind, or deaf; I see and hear what perhaps some
are trying to keep from me." The blood surged into his very eyes and his hearing
sharpened to points of acute pain. What would she say next?
"Why don't you speak out frankly before it is too late? You need not think of me and of
what people will say." Her voice trembled.
Alfredo was suffering as he could not remember ever having suffered before. What
people will say--what will they not say? What don't they say when long engagements
are broken almost on the eve of the wedding?
"Yes," he said hesitatingly, diffidently, as if merely thinking aloud, "one tries to be fair-according to his lights--but it is hard. One would like to be fair to one's self first. But that
is too easy, one does not dare--"
"What do you mean?" she asked with repressed violence. "Whatever my shortcomings,
and no doubt they are many in your eyes, I have never gone out of my way, of my
place, to find a man."
Did she mean by this irrelevant remark that he it was who had sought her; or was
that a covert attack on Julia Salas?
"Esperanza--" a desperate plea lay in his stumbling words. "If you--suppose I--" Yet how
could a mere man word such a plea?
"If you mean you want to take back your word, if you are tired of--why don't you tell me
you are tired of me?" she burst out in a storm of weeping that left him completely
shamed and unnerved.
The last word had been said.
As Alfredo Salazar leaned against the boat rail to watch the evening settling over
the lake, he wondered if Esperanza would attribute any significance to this trip of his. He
was supposed to be in Sta. Cruz whither the case of the People of the Philippine Islands
vs. Belina et al had kept him, and there he would have been if Brigida Samuy had not
been so important to the defense. He had to find that elusive old woman. That the
search was leading him to that particular lake town which was Julia Salas' home should
not disturb him unduly Yet he was disturbed to a degree utterly out of proportion to the
prosaicalness of his errand. That inner tumult was no surprise to him; in the last eight
years he had become used to such occasional storms. He had long realized that he

could not forget Julia Salas. Still, he had tried to be content and not to remember too
much. The climber of mountains who has known the back-break, the lonesomeness,
and the chill, finds a certain restfulness in level paths made easy to his feet. He looks up
sometimes from the valley where settles the dusk of evening, but he knows he must not
heed the radiant beckoning. Maybe, in time, he would cease even to look up.
He was not unhappy in his marriage. He felt no rebellion: only the calm of
capitulation to what he recognized as irresistible forces of circumstance and of
character. His life had simply ordered itself; no more struggles, no more stirring up of
emotions that got a man nowhere. From his capacity of complete detachment he
derived a strange solace. The essential himself, the himself that had its being in the
core of his thought, would, he reflected, always be free and alone. When claims
encroached too insistently, as sometimes they did, he retreated into the inner fastness,
and from that vantage he saw things and people around him as remote and alien, as
incidents that did not matter. At such times did Esperanza feel baffled and helpless; he
was gentle, even tender, but immeasurably far away, beyond her reach.
Lights were springing into life on the shore. That was the town, a little up-tilted
town nestling in the dark greenness of the groves. A snubcrested belfry stood beside the
ancient church. On the outskirts the evening smudges glowed red through the sinuous
mists of smoke that rose and lost themselves in the purple shadows of the hills. There
was a young moon which grew slowly luminous as the coral tints in the sky yielded to
the darker blues of evening.
The vessel approached the landing quietly, trailing a wake of long golden ripples
on the dark water. Peculiar hill inflections came to his ears from the crowd assembled to
meet the boat--slow, singing cadences, characteristic of the Laguna lake-shore speech.
From where he stood he could not distinguish faces, so he had no way of knowing
whether the presidente was there to meet him or not. Just then a voice shouted.
"Is the abogado there? Abogado!"
"What abogado?" someone irately asked.
That must be the presidente, he thought, and went down to the landing.
It was a policeman, a tall pock-marked individual. The presidente had left with
Brigida Samuy--Tandang "Binday"--that noon for Santa Cruz. Seor Salazar's second
letter had arrived late, but the wife had read it and said, "Go and meet the abogado and
invite him to our house."
Alfredo Salazar courteously declined the invitation. He would sleep on board
since the boat would leave at four the next morning anyway. So the presidente had

received his first letter? Alfredo did not know because that official had not sent an
answer. "Yes," the policeman replied, "but he could not write because we heard that
Tandang Binday was in San Antonio so we went there to find her."
San Antonio was up in the hills! Good man, the presidente! He, Alfredo, must do
something for him. It was not every day that one met with such willingness to help.
Eight o'clock, lugubriously tolled from the bell tower, found the boat settled into a
somnolent quiet. A cot had been brought out and spread for him, but it was too bare to
be inviting at that hour. It was too early to sleep: he would walk around the town. His
heart beat faster as he picked his way to shore over the rafts made fast to sundry piles
driven into the water.
How peaceful the town was! Here and there a little tienda was still open, its dim
light issuing forlornly through the single window which served as counter. An occasional
couple sauntered by, the women's chinelas making scraping sounds. From a distance
came the shrill voices of children playing games on the street--tubigan perhaps, or
"hawk-and-chicken." The thought of Julia Salas in that quiet place filled him with a
pitying sadness.
How would life seem now if he had married Julia Salas? Had he meant anything
to her? That unforgettable red-and-gold afternoon in early April haunted him with a
sense of incompleteness as restless as other unlaid ghosts. She had not married--why?
Faithfulness, he reflected, was not a conscious effort at regretful memory. It was
something unvolitional, maybe a recurrent awareness of irreplaceability. Irrelevant
trifles--a cool wind on his forehead, far-away sounds as of voices in a dream--at times
moved him to an oddly irresistible impulse to listen as to an insistent, unfinished prayer.
A few inquiries led him to a certain little tree-ceilinged street where the young
moon wove indistinct filigrees of fight and shadow. In the gardens the cotton tree threw
its angular shadow athwart the low stone wall; and in the cool, stilly midnight the cock's
first call rose in tall, soaring jets of sound. Calle Luz.
Somehow or other, he had known that he would find her house because she would
surely be sitting at the window. Where else, before bedtime on a moonlit night? The
house was low and the light in the sala behind her threw her head into unmistakable
relief. He sensed rather than saw her start of vivid surprise.
"Good evening," he said, raising his hat.
"Good evening. Oh! Are you in town?"
"On some little business," he answered with a feeling of painful constraint.

"Won't you come up?"


He considered. His vague plans had not included this. But Julia Salas had left the
window, calling to her mother as she did so. After a while, someone came downstairs
with a lighted candle to open the door. At last--he was shaking her hand.
She had not changed much--a little less slender, not so eagerly alive, yet
something had gone. He missed it, sitting opposite her, looking thoughtfully into her fine
dark eyes. She asked him about the home town, about this and that, in a sober,
somewhat meditative tone. He conversed with increasing ease, though with a growing
wonder that he should be there at all. He could not take his eyes from her face. What
had she lost? Or was the loss his? He felt an impersonal curiosity creeping into his
gaze. The girl must have noticed, for her cheek darkened in a blush.
Gently--was it experimentally?--he pressed her hand at parting; but his own felt
undisturbed and emotionless. Did she still care? The answer to the question hardly
interested him.
The young moon had set, and from the uninviting cot he could see one half of a
star-studded sky.
So that was all over.
Why had he obstinately clung to that dream?
So all these years--since when?--he had been seeing the light of dead stars, long
extinguished, yet seemingly still in their appointed places in the heavens.
An immense sadness as of loss invaded his spirit, a vast homesickness for some
immutable refuge of the heart far away where faded gardens bloom again, and where
live on in unchanging freshness, the dear, dead loves of vanished youth.

REGION IV: B (MIMAROPA)

The Small Key by Paz M. Latovena

It was very warm. The sun, up above a sky that was blue and tremendous and
beckoning to birds ever on the wing, shone bright as if determined to scorch everything

under heaven, even the low, square nipa house that stood in an unashamed relief
against the gray-green haze of grass and leaves.
It was lonely dwelling located far from its neighbors, which were huddled close to
one another as if for mutual comfort. It was flanked on both sides by tall, slender
bamboo tree which rustled plaintively under a gentle wind.
On the porch a woman past her early twenties stood regarding the scene before
her with eyes made incurious by its familiarity. All around her the land stretched
endlessly, it seemed, and vanished into the distance. There were dark, newly plowed
furrows where in due time timorous seedling would give rise to sturdy stalks and golden
grain, to a rippling yellow sea in the wind and sun during harvest time. Promise of plenty
and reward for hard toil! With a sigh of discontent, however, the woman turned and
entered a small dining room where a man sat over a belated a midday meal.
Pedro Buhay, a prosperous farmer, looked up from his plate and smiled at his
wife as she stood framed by the doorway, the sunlight glinting on her dark hair, which
was drawn back, without relenting wave, from a rather prominent and austere brow.
Where are the shirts I ironed yesterday? she asked as she approached the table.
In my trunk, I think, he answered.
Some of them need darning, and observing the empty plate, she added, do you want
some more rice?
No, hastily, I am in a burry to get back. We must finish plowing the south field today
because tomorrow is Sunday.
Pedro pushed the chair back and stood up. Soledad began to pile the dirty dishes one
on top of the other.
Here is the key to my trunk. From the pocket of his khaki coat he pulled a string of
non-descript red which held together a big shiny key and another small, rather rusty
looking one.
With deliberate care he untied the knot and, detaching the big key, dropped the
small one back into his pocket. She watched him fixedly as he did this. The smile left
her face and a strange look came into her eyes as she took the big key from him
without a word. Together they left the dining room.
Out of the porch he put an arm around her shoulders and peered into her
shadowed face.
You look pale and tired, he remarked softly. What have you been doing all morning?

Nothing, she said listlessly. But the heat gives me a headache.


Then lie down and try to sleep while I am gone. For a moment they looked deep into
each others eyes.
It is really warm, he continued. I think I will take off my coat.
He removed the garment absent mindedly and handed it to her. The stairs
creaked under his weight as he went down.
Choleng, he turned his head as he opened the gate, I shall pass by Tia Marias
house and tell her to come. I may not return before dark.
Soledad nodded. Her eyes followed her husband down the road, noting the fine
set of his head and shoulders, the case of his stride. A strange ache rose in her throat.
She looked at the coat he had handed to her. It exuded a faint smell of his
favorite cigars, one of which he invariably smoked, after the days work, on his way
home from the fields. Mechanically, she began to fold the garment.
As she was doing so, s small object fell from the floor with a dull, metallic sound.
Soledad stooped down to pick it up. It was the small key! She stared at it in her palm as
if she had never seen it before. Her mouth was tightly drawn and for a while she looked
almost old.
She passed into the small bedroom and tossed the coat carelessly on the back of
a chair. She opened the window and the early afternoon sunshine flooded in. On a mat
spread on the bamboo floor were some newly washed garments.
She began to fold them one by one in feverish haste, as if seeking in the task of
the moment in refuge from painful thoughts. But her eyes moved restlessly around the
room until they rested almost furtively on a small trunk that was half concealed by a
rolled mat in a dark corner.
It was a small old trunk, without anything on the outside that might arouse ones
curiosity. But it held the things she had come to hate with unreasoning violence, the
things that were causing her so much unnecessary anguish and pain and threatened to
destroy all that was most beautiful between her and her husband!
Soledad came across a torn garment. She threaded a needle, but after a few
uneven stitches she pricked her finger and a crimson drop stained the white garment.
Then she saw she had been mending on the wrong side.
What is the matter with me? she asked herself aloud as she pulled the thread with
nervous and impatient fingers.

What did it matter if her husband chose to keep the clothes of his first wife?
She is dead anyhow. She is dead, she repeated to herself over and over again.
The sound of her own voice calmed her. She tried to thread the needle once
more. But she could not, not for the tears had come unbidden and completely blinded
her.
My God, she cried with a sob, make me forget Indos face as he put the small key
back into his pocket.
She brushed her tears with the sleeves of her camisa and abruptly stood up. The
heat was stifling, and the silence in the house was beginning to be unendurable.
She looked out of the window. She wondered what was keeping Tia Maria.
Perhaps Pedro had forgotten to pass by her house in his hurry. She could picture him
out there in the south field gazing far and wide at the newly plowed land with no thought
in his mind but of work, work. For to the people of the barrio whose patron saint, San
Isidro Labrador, smiled on them with benign eyes from his crude altar in the little chapel
up the hill, this season was a prolonged hour during which they were blind and dead to
everything but the demands of the land.
During the next half hour Soledad wandered in and out of the rooms in effort to
seek escape from her own thoughts and to fight down an overpowering impulse. If Tia
Maria would only come and talk to her to divert her thoughts to other channels!
But the expression on her husbands face as he put the small key back into his
pocket kept torturing her like a nightmare, goading beyond endurance. Then, with all
resistance to the impulse gone, she was kneeling before the small trunk. With the long
drawn breath she inserted the small key. There was an unpleasant metallic sound, for
the key had not been used for a long time and it was rusty.
That evening Pedro Buhay hurried home with the usual cigar dangling from his
mouth, pleased with himself and the tenants because the work in the south field had
been finished. Tia Maria met him at the gate and told him that Soledad was in bed with
a fever.
I shall go to town and bring Doctor Santos, he decided, his cool hand on his wifes
brow.
Soledad opened her eyes.
Dont, Indo, she begged with a vague terror in her eyes which he took for anxiety for
him because the town was pretty far and the road was dark and deserted by that hour of
the night. I shall be alright tomorrow.

Pedro returned an hour later, very tired and very worried. The doctor was not at
home but his wife had promised to give him Pedros message as soon as he came in.
Tia Maria decide to remain for the night. But it was Pedro who stayed up to
watch the sick woman. He was puzzled and worried more than he cared to admit it. It
was true that Soledad did not looked very well early that afternoon. Yet, he thought, the
fever was rather sudden. He was afraid it might be a symptom of a serious illness.
Soledad was restless the whole night. She tossed from one side to another, but
toward morning she fell into some sort of troubled sleep. Pedro then lay down to snatch
a few winks.
He woke up to find the soft morning sunshine streaming through the half-open
window. He got up without making any noise. His wife was still asleep and now
breathing evenly. A sudden rush of tenderness came over him at the sight of her so
slight, so frail.
Tia Maria was nowhere to be seen, but that did not bother him, for it was Sunday
and the work in the south field was finished. However, he missed the pleasant aroma
which came from the kitchen every time he had awakened early in the morning.
The kitchen was neat but cheerless, and an immediate search for wood brought
no results. So shouldering an ax, Pedro descended the rickety stairs that led to the
backyard.
The morning was clear and the breeze soft and cool. Pedro took in a deep breath
of air. It was good it smelt of trees, of the ricefields, of the land he loved.
He found a pile of logs under the young mango tree near the house and began to
chop. He swung the ax with rapid clean sweeps, enjoying the feel of the smooth
wooden handle in his palms.
As he stopped for a while to mop his brow, his eyes caught the remnants of a
smudge that had been built in the backyard.
Ah! he muttered to himself. She swept the yard yesterday after I left her. That,
coupled with the heat, must have given her a headache and then the fever.
The morning breeze stirred the ashes and a piece of white cloth fluttered into view.
Pedro dropped his ax. It was a half-burn panuelo. Somebody had been burning
clothes. He examined the slightly ruined garment closely. A puzzled expression came
into his eyes. First it was doubt groping for truth, then amazement, and finally agonized
incredulity passed across his face. He almost ran back to the house. In three strides he
was upstairs. He found his coat hanging from the back of a chair.

Cautiously he entered the room. The heavy breathing of his wife told him that she
was still asleep. As he stood by the small trunk, a vague distaste to open it assailed to
him. Surely he must be mistaken. She could not have done it, she could not have been
that that foolish.
Resolutely he opened the trunk. It was empty.
It was nearly noon when the doctor arrived. He felt Soledads pulse and asked
question which she answered in monosyllables. Pedro stood by listening to the whole
procedure with an inscrutable expression on his face. He had the same expression
when the doctor told him that nothing was really wrong with his wife although she
seemed to be worried about something. The physician merely prescribed a day of
complete rest.
Pedro lingered on the porch after the doctor left. He was trying not to be angry
with his wife. He hoped it would be just an interlude that could be recalled without
bitterness. She would explain sooner or later, she would be repentant, perhaps she
would even listen and eventually forgive her, for she was young and he loved her. But
somehow he knew that this incident would always remain a shadow in their lives.
How quiet and peaceful the day was! A cow that had strayed by looked over her
shoulder with a round vague inquiry and went on chewing her cud, blissfully unaware of
such things as gnawing fear in the heart of a woman and a still smoldering resentment
in a man.

DEATH IN A SAWMILL
RONY V. DIAZ

You can cleave a rocck with it. It is the iron trith. That was not an accident. That was a
murder. Yes, a murder. That impotent bastard, Rustico, murderd Rey.
You have seen the chain that holds logs on a carriage in place. Well, that chain is
controlled by a lever in which is out of the way and unless that lever is released, the
chain cannot whip out like a crocodiles and hurl a man to the wheeling circular saw.
I was down at our sawmill last summer to hunt. As soon as school was out, I took a bus
for Lemery where I boarded a sailboat for Abra de Ilog. Inong met me at the pier with
one of the trucks of the sawmill and took me down. The brazen heat of summer writhed
on the yard of the sawmill which was packed hard with red sawdust.

My father met me at the door of the canteen. He took my bags and led me in. I
shouldered my sheathed carbine and followed. The canteen was a large framehouse
made of unplaned planks. My fathers room was behind the big, barred store where the
laborers of the sawmill bought their supplies. The wrought walls of the small room
looked like stiffened pelts.
My father deposited my bags on a cot and then turned to me. Ive asked the assistant
sawyer, Rey Olbes, to guide you.
The machined of the sawmill were dead.
Only the slow, ruthless grinding of the cables of the winches could be heard.
No work today? I asked my father.
A new batch of logs arrived from the interior and the men are arranging them for
sawing.
then a steam whistle blew.
They are ready to saw,my father explained.
The steam machine started and built solid walls of sound that crashed against the
framehouse. Then I heard the saw bite into one of the logs. Its locust-like trill spangeld
the air.
Youll get used to the noise,my father said. Ive some things to attend to. Ill see ypu at
lunch time. He turned about and walked out of the room, shutting the door after him.
I lay on the cot of my clothes on and listened to the pounding of the steam engine and
the taut trill of the circular saw. After a while I dozed off.
After luch, I walked out of the canteen and crossed the yard to the engine house. It was
nothing more than a roof over an aghast collection of soot-blackened, mud-plasterd
balky engines. Every inch of ground was covered with sour-smelling sawdust. The
steam engine had stopped but two nakedmen were still stoking the furnace of the
boilers with kerts and cracked slabs. Their bodies shone with sweat. I skirted the boiler
and went past the cranes, tractors, and the trucks to the south end of the sawmill. A
deep lateral pit, filled with kerts, flitches, and rejects, isolated like a moat the sawmill
from the jungle. Near the pit, I saw Rey. He was sitting on a log deck. When he saw me,
he got up and walked straight to me.

Are you Rustico? I asked.


No, Im Rey Olbes,he answered.
Im Eddie,I said; my father sent me.
He was tall, a sunblackened young man. He had unusually long neck and his head was
pushed forward like a horses.His skin was as grainy as moist whetstone.He stooped
and picked up aa canterand stuck it on the groundand leaned on it. Then he switchedhis
head like a stallion to shake back into place a damp lock of hair that had fallen over his
left eye. His manner was easy and deliberate.
Your father told me you wanted to go hunting. He said slowlu, his chin resting in the
groove of his hands folded on the butt end of the canter. tomorrow is Sunday. Would
you like to hunt tomorrow?
Yes, we can hunt tomorrow.
Inside the engine shed the heat curled like live steam. It swathed my body like a skirt.
Its hot here. I said. Do you always stay here after work?
No, not always.
Then I saw a woman emerge from behind one of the cranes. She was wearing gray slik
dress. She walked toward us rapidly.
Ray! she bugled.
Ray dropped the canter and turned swiftly about. The womans dress clung damply to
her body. She was fair; her lips were feverish and she had a sock of black electric hair.
She faced Rey. Have you seen Rustico?
No. Rey answered. There was a small fang of frenzy in his voice.
Tonight? the woman asked.
Rey glanced at me and then looked at the woman. He reverted to his slow, deliberate
manner as he said: Dida, this is Eddie. The son of the boss.

Dida stared at me with frantic eyes. She said nothing.


Hes a hunter too, Rey continued.
Then I saw a man striding toward us. He walked hunched, his arms working like the
claws of a crab. Tiny wings of sawdust formed around his heels. He was a small squat
man, muscle-bound and graceless. He came to us and looked around agrily. He faced
the woman and barked: Go home, Dida.
I was looking for you, Rustico, Dida remostrated.
Did atruned around, sluking, and walked away. She disappeared behind the boilers and
the furnace that rose in the shed like enormous black tumors. Rustico set himself
squarely like a boxer before Rey and demanded almost in a whisper. Why dont you
keep away from her?
Rey lokked at him coldly an answered mockingly: You have found a fertile kaingin. Why
dont you start planting?.
Why you insolent son of the mother of whores! Rustico screamed. He reached down
to the ground for the canter and poised it before Rey like a harpoon. I bounded
formward and grappled with Rustico. He pushed me. I sank to the sawdust; Rustico
leapt forward to hit me in the jaw. Rey held him/
Keep calm. Rey shouted. This is the son of Mang Pepe.
Rey released him and Rustico dropped his arms to his side. He looked suddenly very
tired. He continued to stare at me with eyes that reflected yellow flacks of light. I got up
slowly. What a bastard, I thought. Rustico wheeled about and strode to the whistle box.
He opened it and tugged a cord. The steam whistle screamed like a stuck pig.
All right man, he yelled. Its time. Load the skids and let us start working
Rey picked up his canter and walked towards the log carriage.Rustico was supervising
the loading of the log deck. He was as precise and pulled clamps. He sparked like a
starter and the monstrous conglomeration of boilers, furnaces, steam machines, cranes,
and winches came alive. I walked away.
When I reached the canteen, I heard the teeth of the circular saw swarm into a log like a
flight of locusts.

The next day of Rey, carrying a light riffle, came to the canteen. He pushed open the
door with his foot andentered the barred room. He stood near my fathers table. His
eyes shifted warily. Then he looked at me and said: Get ready.
I did not bring birdshot, I said.
I thought you wanted to go after a deer?he asked.
I was surprised bacause iknew that here deer was only hunted at night, with headlamps
and buckshot. The shaft of the lamps always impaled a deer on the black wall of night
and the could pick it off easily.
Now? This morning? I asked.
Why not? We are not going after spirits.
All right. You are the guide. I dragged the gun bag from under the cot and unsheated
my carbine. I rammed the magazines full with shells, pushed it in, and got up. lets go.
We entered the forest from the west end of the sawmill and followed a wide tractor path
to a long station about four kilometers from the sawmill. The forest was alive with the
palever of monkeys, the call of the birds and the whack of the wind. Then we struck left
uphill and climbed steadily fo about an hour. The trail clambered up the brush. At the top
of the rise, the trail turned at an angle and we moved across the shoulder of an ipilipil
ridge .
Rey walked rapidly and evenly, his head pushed forward, until we reached the drop of
the trail. I looked down into a valley walled in on sides by cliffs that showed red and
blue-gray gashes. Streaks of brown and green were planed across the valley. Islands of
dark-green shrubs rose above the level rush of yellow-green grass. On the left side of
the valley, a small river fed clay-red water to a grove of trees. At the north end, the
valley flattened and the sky dropped low, filling the valley with white light and making it
look like the open mouth of the jungle, sucking at one of the hot, white, impalpable
breasts of the sun. we descended into the valley.
Reys manner changed. He became tense. He walked slowly, half-crouched, his eyes
searching the ground. He examined every mound, bush, and rock. Once he stopped; he
bent and picked up a small rock. The rock had been recently displaced. He raised his
hands to feel the wind and then he backtracked for several yards and crept diagonally to
a small clump of brush. I followed behind him.

Urine,he said. The ground near his feet was wet. Work in a cartridge,he told me, and
follow as noiselessly as possible. I pulled back the bolt of my riffle.
We crept on half-bent knees toward a groove of tress. Rey, carrying his riffle in the
crook of his arm, was swaying gently like smoke and the tall grass that swirled with the
breeze. Rey was intent.
Then he stopped and stiffened.
Remove the safety,he whispered. I heard the safety of Reys riffle click off. I pushed
mine off.
There is your deer,he said In a low voice. We were still crouched. Near the base of
that tree with a dead branch. Only its head was visible but it should be somewhere near
that dry patch of leaves. Shoot through that. Do not move until I tell you to do so.
I did not see the deer until it moved.it turned its head towards us. Its antlers were as
brown as the dead branch of the tree. The deer regarded us for a long time. Then it
dropped his head and quickly raised it again. We did not move. The deer, reassured,
stepped, deffidently out of the shadows.
Now! Rey said, falling to his knees. The deer stopped, looked at us, its antlers scuffling
against the leaves. I raised my riffle and fired. The deer went high in the air. Then
dripping his head, it crashed through the trees and vanished.
Your aim was too high,he told me quietly. He was sill on his knees. Too high, he said
softly. But you got him.
He stood up slowly, pushed down the safety of is rifle and walked toward the grove of
low trees.
We found the deer. It was stretched out on the ground. Its neck was arched upward as
though it had tried to raise its body with its head after the bullet had ripped a hump of
flesh off its back. Blood had spread like a fan around its head. Rey sat down on the
ground and dug out of his pocket a small knife. He cut an incision at the base of the
deers neck. He stood and picked the deer up by its hind legs. Blood spurted out the cut
vein.
You got your deer. He said. Lets turn back.
Rey hauled the deer up and carried it around his neck like a yoke.

I felt my nerves tingle with triumph. The earth was soaking up the blood slowly. I felt a
crazy urge to wash my body with the blood. I felt that it would seep into my body and
temper my spirit now forging hot with victory. I looked a t Rey. He was smiling at me. In
a strained voice iI said: Ill try to do this alone.
Youll learn, he said. The forest will surely outlive you.
We walked out of the valley.
After an hours walk, we came to a kaingin. Rey was sweating. We crossed the charred
ground. At the end of the kaingin, Rey stopped. He turned arounnd. The deer has
stiffened on his shoulders.
This used to be deer country, he said. We surveyed the black stumps and half-burned
branches that lay strewn on the ground. The bare soil looked rusty.
You know these parts very well, dont you? I asked.
I grew up here, I was a logger for your father before I became a sawyer.
His rifle slipped from his arm. I picked it up and carried it for him.
It is the sawmill, Rey continued. It is the sawmill that openned the foresr. The sawmill
has thinned the jungle miles around. I starred at him. He continued meditatively, veins
showing on his long, powerful neck. But I do not think they can tame the forest. Unless
they discover the seed of the wilderness and destroy it, this place is not yet done for.
Dont oyu like your job in the sawmill? I asked.
He shot a glance at me and grimaced. I do not complain. You do not have to tell this to
your father but Rustico is making my stay very trying. You saw what happened
yesterday.
Yes. I said. What made him so mad?
Rey did not answer. We crossed a gully and worked our way to the end of a dry river
bed before he answered. The shale crumbled under our feet. The trees that grew along
the bank of the river were caught by a net of vines. Rey, yoked by the deer, was now
panting. Under a kalumpit tree he threw his burden down and sank to the ground.

You know why? he asked. Because his wife is pregnant.


Dida? So?
Hes impotent.
The revelation struck me like a slap.
And he suspects you, I asked tentatively, unsure now of me footing.
He knows, Dida told him.
Why doesnt he leave her then? I said, trying to direct the talk away from Rey.
He wouldnt! Hed chain Dida to keep her! Rey flared.
I shut my mouth. It was noon when we reached the sawmill.
Late that afternoon we left to shoot fruit bats. Rey knew a place where we could shoot
them as they flew of their roost. He had aseveral tubes of birdshot and a shotgun.
It was almost eight oclock when we returned. We followed the road to the dawmill. The
shacks of the laborers were build along the road. Near the motor pool, a low grass hut
stood. We passes very close to this hut and we heard supressed, agry voices. That is
Rusticos hut, Rey said.
I heard Rusticos voice. He sounded strangled. I want you to drop that baby! The
words spewed out like sand. Let me go! Dida screamed. I heard a table or a chair go,
it crashed to the florr. Ill kill you, Rustico threatened. Do it then! The yellow wings of
light that had sprouted from a kerosene lamp shook violently.
Rey quickened his steps. He was carrying a bunch of dead bats. One of the bats had
dropped, its wings spread. It looked like a black ghoul on Reys side.
The next morning, I heard from the men who were huddled near the door of the canteen
that Dida ran away. She had hitched a ride to town on one of the trucks.
I was eating breakfast in the store with my father when Rustico entered. He approached
my father carefully as though his feet hurt. Then he stood before us and looked meekly
at my father. He was gray.

Mang Pepe, he began very slowly, I want to go to the town. I will be back this
afternoon or early tomorrow morning.
Sure, my father said. Inong is driving a load of lumber to the pier. You go with him.
Thank you, he said and left at once.
After breakfast my father called in Lino, the foreman. Tell Rey to take charge of the
sawing today. Rustico is going to town. Weve to finish this batch. A new load is arriving
this afternoon.
Rey left early in this morning, Lino said. He said he will be back tomorrow morning.
Devils lighting! my father fumed. Why didnt he tell me! Why is everybody so anxious
to go to town?
You were still asleep when he left, Mang Pepe, Lino said.
These beggars are going to hold up our shipment this week! my father flared. Eddie,
my father whirled to face me, look for Rustico and tell him that he cannot leave until
Rey returns. Weve to finish all the devils logs before all these lightning-struck beggars
pack up and leave!
I walked out of the canteen to look for Rustico, I searched all the trucks first and then
the engine house. I found him sitting on the log carriage. He was shredding an unlighted
cigaretet.
My father said he is sorry but you cannot leave until Rey comes back from the town.
We have a lot of work to do here. A new load of logs is expected this afternoon, I spoke
rapidly.
He got up on the carriage and leaned on the chain that held the log clamps. He
actedtired.
It is all right, he said. Ive plenty of time. He spat out a ragged stalk of spittle. Plenty
of time. I turned about to go but he called me back.
He looked at em for a long time and then asked: You are Reys friend. What has he
been about?
Nothing much, I lied.

Why?
Nothing much! he screamed, jumping off the carriage. His dun face had become very
red. He told you about my wife, didnt he? He delights in telling that story to everybody.
He seized a lever near the brake of the carriage and yanked it down. The chain lashed
out and fell rattling to the floor.
Rustico tensed. He stared at the chain as though it were a dead snake. Now look at
that chain, he said very slowly.
He mounted the carriage again, kicked the clamps into place and pulled at the chain.
The chain tightened. He cranked the lever up and locked it.
He was trembling as he unlocked the lever and pulled it down with both hands. The
chain lashed out again like a crocodile tail.
Just look at the chain, he mused.
SUAN EKET
There was once an old woman who had an only son named Suan. Suan was a
clever, sharp-witted boy. His mother sent him to school. Instead of going to school,
however, Suan climbed up the tree that stood by the roadside. As soon as his mother
had passed by from the market, Suan hurried home ahead of her. When she reached
home, he cried, Mother, I know what you bought in the market to-day. He then told her,
article by article. This same thing happened so repeatedly, that his mother began to
believe in his skill as a diviner.
One day the ring of the datus daughter disappeared. All the people in the locality
searched for it, but in vain. The datu called for volunteers to find the lost ring, and he
offered his daughters hand as a prize to the one who should succeed. Suans mother
heard of the proclamation. So she went to the palace and presented Suan to the datu.
Well, Suan, tomorrow tell me where the ring is, said the datu. Yes, my lord, I will tell
you, if you will give your soldiers over to me for tonight, Suan replied. You shall have
everything you need, said the datu.
That evening Suan ordered the soldiers to stand around him in a semicircle.
When all were ready, Suan pointed at each one of them, and said, The ring is here,
and nowhere else. It so happened that Suan fixed his eyes on the guilty soldier, who
trembled and became pale. I know who has it, said Suan. Then he ordered them to
retire. Late in the night this soldier came to Suan, and said, I will get the ring you are in

search of, and will give it to you if you will promise me my safety. Give it to me, and
you shall be safe, said Suan.
Very early the next morning Suan came to the palace with a turkey in his arms.
Where is the ring? the datu demanded. Why, sir, it is in this turkeys intestines, Suan
replied. The turkey was then killed, and the ring was found inside it. You have done
very well, Suan. Now you shall have my daughters hand, said the datu. So Suan
became the princesss husband.
One day the datu proposed a bet with anyone who wished to prove Suans skill.
Accordingly another datu came. He offered to bet seven cascos of treasure that Suan
could not tell the number of seeds that were in his orange. Suan did not know what to
do. At midnight he went secretly to the cascos. Here he heard their conversation, and
from it he learned the number of seeds in the orange. In the morning Suan said
boastfully, I tell you, your orange has nine seeds. Thus Suan won the whole treasure.
Hoping to recover his loss, the datu came again. This time he had with him fourteen
cascos full of gold. He asked Suan to tell him what was inside his golden ball. Suan did
not know what to say. So in the dead of night he went out to the cascos, but he could
learn nothing there. The next morning Suan was summoned into the presence of the
two datus. He had no idea whatever as to what was in the ball; so he said scornfully,
Nonsense! That is right, that is right! shouted a man. The ball contains nine cents.
Consequently Suan won the fourteen cascos full of gold. From now on, nobody doubted
Suans merit.

REGION V: BICOL REGION

The Ignorant Poor Man and The Priest


(A Bikol Folktale)
Once there was a man who went to church on Sunday. For the first time in his life, he
heard the priest say: Brethren, pray earnestly, and in your prayers ask Him anything
you want: If you ask Him in earnest, He will give you what you ask.
The man committed this sentence to memory, and since he was very poor, he made up
his mind to ask God for some money. He went to church everyday and prayed devoutly.
His prayer was as follows: Oh, God! I ask Thee to give me one hundred pesos. If you
give me less than that amount, even a centavo less, I will not get it, for I need one
hundred pesos. You said that anyone who asks Thee earnestly will receive what he
asks for. My God, Hear my prayer. The man repeated the above prayer many times

while kneeling, and when he got tired he retired. Some months elapsed, and the man
went to church daily. The priest began to take an interest in him.
One day the priest woke up early and hid himself near the place where the man was
wont to kneel. He was surprised tp hear the prayer of the man. He then decided to see
whether the man was true to his words or not. The next day, He put ninety pesos near
the place where the man used to kneel, and watched whether or not the man would get
the money since it was ten pesos less than what he asked for.
When the man arrived, He took up the money, and began to count the silver pieces.
When he had finished, he said, Oh, good God, I thank Thee for hearing my prayers.
But I asked you for one hundred pesos. I also said that I would not get any amount less
than that sum. But since I am in need, I will get this with a happy haert, and remember
O God, that you still owe ten pesos more. As this man was accostumed to asying his
prayers very loud, when he uttered the last sentence of his prayer, the priest burst into
laughter, where upon the man pocketed the money and went home.

The Spouse by Luis Dato


Rose in her hand, and moist eyes young with weeping,
She stands upon the threshold of her house,
Fragrant with scent that wakens love from sleeping,
She looks far down to where her husband plows.
Her hair dishevelled in the night of passion,
Her warm limbs humid with the sacred strife,
What may she know but man and woman fashion
Out of the clay of wrath and sorrowLife?
She holds no joys beyond the days tomorrow,
She finds no worlds beyond her loves embrace;
She looks upon the Form behind the furrow,
Who is her Mind, her Motion, Time and Space.
O somber mystery of eyes unspeaking,
O dark enigma of Lifes love forlorn;
The Sphinx beside the river smiles with seeking
The secret answer since the world was born.

ANG PUSO NG MGA DALAGA


Salin ni Ms. Lilia F. Realubit
Noong unang panahong wala pa ang mundo at isa lamang ang planeta ang
buwan. Sa planetang ito dalawang lahi ng tao ang nakatira, ang taong puti at ang taong
itim. Ang mga puti ang Panginoon at iyong mga itim ang utusan. Ang mga puti ay
magaganda: maputi ang kulay ng balat at ang buhok ay kulay ginto. Nakatira sila sa
lunsod. Ang mga utusan ay sa kuweba ng kagubatan nakatira. Silay maliliit at maiitim
na tao. Sila ang tagapag-alaga ng maganda at malaking hardin. May iba-ibang
mababangong bulaklak at masasarap na bungangkahoy sa halamanan.
Ang mga taga-buwan ay may kaugalian na bigyan ng salu-salo ang mga dalaga.
Taon-taon, pagdating ng mga dalaga sa edad na labingwalong taon, tinatawag at iniipon
sila roon sa hardin. Itoy kung kabilugan ng buwan sa Mayo. Sila ay tumutugtog,
kumakanta, sumasayaw hanggang sa umumaga. Ang buong bayan ay masaya.
Isang araw na hindi inaasahan, lumindol nang malakas sa buwan. Nabiyak ang planeta
at ang hardin ay nawala. Ang mga utusan ay nakasama sa kalahating nabiyak. Sa tagal
ng panahon, nalaman ng mga matatalinong tao sa buwan na ang iyong kabiyak ng
planeta ay lulutang-lutang sa ibang lugar. Tinawag nila ito ng lupa na ang ibig
sabihin, Kabiyak ng buwan. Hindi nagtagal, naisip ng mga taga-buwan na dalawin ang
lupa. Nakita nila na iyong magandang hardin ay naroon sa lupa at mabuti ang
kalagayan. Madali itong puntahan kung iibigin. Kaya silay nagbalak na dumalaw sa
lupa sa pagbibilog ng buwan.
Pagdating ng Mayo nagsipunta ang mga dalaga sa lupa. Itinaon nila sa pista ng
Mayo. Pagkatapos na magawa ang dating kaugalian bumalik sila sa buwan na walang
anumang masamang nangyari. Mula noon sila ay dumadalaw sa lupa taun-taon
pagbibilog ng buwan sa gabi. Hindi nila alam na may mga buhay na tao sa lupa, na
kalahating kanilang buwan. Nakikita ng mga tao sa gubat ang pagdalaw ng mga tagabuwan. Malaking pagtataka para sa kanila iyong mga kasayahan ng taga-buwan. Sabi
ng isang matandang taga-gubat: Taun-taon pagbilog ng buwan kung Mayo
nagsisipunta rito sa lupa ang mga engkanto. Naisipan ng mga binatang taga-lupa na
abangan ang pagbabalik na muli ng mga engkanto.
Dumating ang Mayo. Handa ang mga taga-lupa sa pagbibilog ng buwan, Hapon
pa lamang, nagsipunta n sila sa gubat at nakita nila sa malawak na kapatagan ang
pagbasa ng mga taga-buwan. Ang mga taga-buwan ay handa rin sa pagpunta sa lupa.
Nang sumikat ang buwan, itoy parang gintong bola. Nang malapit nang bumaba sa
lupa ang mga taga-buwan, umugong ang hangin. Parang sila na iyan, sabi ng isang
nagbabantay. Mayamaya, narinig ang tugtog ng musika at mga tining ng kumakanta.
Ayan na, sabi nila. Pagdating nila sa langit nakita nilang lumilipad sa harap ng hardin

ang mga dalaga na kasimputi ng gatas ang mga damit at nakalugay ang buhok na
parang gintong sinulid. Tuloy ang tugtog ng musika habang dahan-dahang naglilibot
pababa ang mga dalaga. Isa-isa silang bumaba sa lupa at pinaligiran ang isang puno
na nasa gitna ng hardin.
Nang nasa lupa na ang lahat ng dalaga, sila ay sumayaw at kumanta sa paligid
ng punong kahoy. Ang musikang galing sa langit ay hindi humihinto. Tumigil sila sa
pagsasayaw at isa-isang lumapit sa punongkahoy. Mayroon silang kinuha sa dibdib at
itoy isinabit sa mga sanga ng kahoy. Pagkatapos nito, itinuloy nila ang sayaw.
Mahuhusay silang kumilos na parang mga puting alapaap na lumilipad sa ibabaw ng
sodang alpombra. Mag-umaga na, huminto sila at pumunta sa sapa na ang tubig ay
parang pilak at doon sila naligo. Samantala ang mga taga-gubat naman ay tumakbo
palapit sa kahoy at kinuha ang isinabit doon ng mga dalaga at nagtago silang muli. Pagahon ng mga dalaga sa sapa, sila ay masasaya. Ngunit nang kukunin na nila
iyon mga isinabit nila sa puno hindi na nila ito makita. Hinanap nila sa paligid pero wala
rin.
Ninakaw! Ninakaw! ang kanilang sigaw. Mamamatay tayo dahil wala ang mga
puso natin. Ang kanilang iyak at ang mga panambitan ay narinig ng mga nagnakaw.
Isauli natin, sinabi noon mga naawa. Kawawa naman, sabi ng isa. Kailangan
pabayaran natin, pahayag ng iba. Lumapit ang isang binata sa mga baba at
nagtanong. Ano ang nangyari sa inyo? Ninakaw ang aming puso na iniwan naming
sa punong itong, ang sagot ng isang babae. Ano? Puso ninyo, iniwan ninyo sa puno?
ang tanong ng lalaki. Oo, dahil kung kami ay naglalakbay sa malayong lugar, inilalabas
naming ang puso upang hindi naming makalimutan ang oras. Mga duwende ang
kumuha ng puso ninyo, tugon ng lalaki.
Maawa kayo sa amin. Tulungan ninyo kami, ang pagmamakaawa ng mga babae.
Hintay kayo. . . hahanapin ko ang mga duwende. . . . babalik ako kaagad, sabi nga
lalaki.Nag-usap-usap ang mga taga-kuweba. Sabi nila: Kung ang mga babae ay
papayag na tumira sa lupa ng isang taon, ibibigay natin ang mga kinuha natin. May
mga sumang-ayon: Mabuting kaisipan iyan, ang sabi naman ng iba. Bumalik ang lalaki
sa kinaroroonan ng mga babae. Naroon sa mga duwende ang mga puso ninyo. Kaya
lang, isasauli daw nila sa inyo kung kayo ay payag na tumira dito sa amin sa loob ng
isang taon. Mabuti pa ang mamatay kaysa tumirang buhay dito, sabi ng isang babae.
Dapat sumang-ayon tayo sa kanilang hinihingi, tugon ng isa, :ito an ating kapalaran.
Ang isang taon ay katapusan. Lumabas ang mga lalaki na dala ang mga kinuha nilang
mga puso. Isa-isang ibinalik nila ito sa mga babae, at bawat isang babae naman ay
natutwang kinuha ang kanilang puso at ipinasok sa kanilang dibdib. Masaya ang mga
taga-Lupa dahil ang bawat isa sa kanila ay may makakasamang isang dalaga. Dinala
nila ang mga babae sa kuweba ngunit nagreklamo ang mga ito. Mamamatay kami
kapag tumira dito sa kuweba. Kaya sa mga bahay sila nanirahan,Masaya ang buhay

nila. Dumaan ang mga araw. Mabilis ang takbo ng panahon; dumating at lumipas ang
mga buwan.
Hindi maglalaon at darating na ang buwan ng Mayo, sabi ng mga babae sa
mga lalaki. Pagdating ng Mayo, sa pagbibilog ng buwan, dadalawin natin ang punong
sinabitan naming ng mga puso naming noong isang taon. Pumayag ang mga lalaki
bilang alaala ng mapalad na taon nila. Noong gabing iyon nang magbilog ang buwan,
nagsama-sama sila sa pagdalaw sa puno. Nang silay papalapit na sa punong kahoy
nakita ng mga lalaki ang mga gintong bungang nakasabit sa mga sanga. Ano iyan?
ang tanong ng mga lalaki. Iyan ang mga bungang kahoy sa buwan, sagot ng mg
babae. Tinalupan nilosong bunga at pinatikman sa mga lalaki. Matamis! Masarap! sabi
ng mga lalaki. Habang sinisipsip ng mga lalaki ang tamis ng mangga, isang malakas na
ragasa ng hangin ang kanilang narining. Nang itaas ang kanilang mga mata, wala na
ang mga babae. Dinakot sila ng hangin at nawalan parang usok. Ang buto ng mangga
ang naiwan sa kanila alaala ng mga dalaga.

Ibalon (Epic from Bicol)


ni Estelito Baylon Jacob

Ibalon, kaipuhan mo an luma mong ngaran.


Dai mo na ipatangro siring sa pinabakal na Ibal
An Ibalyo o Ibaylo mong ngaran.
Dai mo itugot na an simong daga magkabaranga.
Dai mo itugot na magkaralapo an saimong tulang
Asin magkaralanog an saimong laman.
Ipamate mo an linog kan nagbubugakbugak
Na kaanggutan kan saimong mga bulkan:
Ipasuso mo an makapadok na aso kan Aslong.
Ihungit mo an makahakog na gapo kan Asog.
Ipainom mo an makasungak-sungak na tubig kan Isarog.
Ta kun ika mangingisog, Ibalon
Magigin mahiwas an saimong daga sa dagat
Na dai mabubunyagan nin bagong ngaran.
Matarakig an layag kan mga barko

Na nagsasarudsod sa mga ngabil


Kan saimong mga baybayon.
Ipapalid kan duros an alisngaw nin pulbura
Na nagpakilag sa mga kalag
Kaining tunay na namomoot sa daga.
Dai mapupukan kan mga lagadi
An darakulang kahoy kan saimong kadlagan.
Dai mauutas an mga perlas asin korales
Sa nagsusurosilyab mong kadagatan
Asin daing mahade sa sadiri mong kinaban.
Ta kun ika mangingisog Ibalon,
Daing hipyas na tulak an masusula sa mansanas.
An mga lipot na namamate sa saindang kublit
Mga yelong matutunaw sa saindang daghan.
An mapulang mansanas sa saindang isip
Magigin berdeng bayawas na ngungupa-ngupaon
Kan ngimot nin kalipungawan.
Kaipuhan an matagas mong ngaran, Ibalon,
Tanganing dai magwarairak an mga puta sa plaza,
Dai magrarambol an mga tarantado sa kanto.
Dai manlugos an mga paratsungke asin abusero.
Ika an Ibalon na namukna sa daga, an nagimatan.
Mabubuhay na daing kakundian.
Kaya sige na. Dali na.
Ipadangog mo na an karandol kan saimong bulkan.
Ipamate mo an linog nin kaangutan.
Ta sa kaangutan mong ini
Imumundag mo akong gikan sa saimong init.
Iluluwa mo akong kakusugan
An saimong ngaran.
The Quarrel of the Volcanoes
by Venancio Prietoziga
A very long time ago when there where very few people yet on the face of the
earth, many queer things were won't to happen. it was because the people were yet
very ignorant.
Mayon Volcano was only then a mountain and as such had no fire or smoke. she
was not as beautiful as she is now nor was she rich in vegetation: In fact, she but what
she wanted mostly from borrowing from her neighbors as the Malinao Volcano and the

Isarog Mountain. The Malinao Volcano(for she was then a volcano) being nearer to
Mayon was the one mostly annoyed by the latter for her wants. In all Malinao Volcano
was complacent and aided Mayon in all her needs, though at times, she felt like
throwing her out the window, but as by nature she was hospitable, she tried to do her
best for her. Mayon, however, took advantage of this and abused the good character of
Malinao and even went to the extent of even talking what she wanted.
One day, Mayon unexpectedly received some visitors and as it was already
dinner time she had to prepare food for them but unfortunately, there was no more fire
in the oven. In haste, she went to her neighbor Malinao and asked for some fire to heat
her oven. when she arrived, Malinao had already dined and all the fire in the oven was
extinguished; however, she could very well give Mayon some for she had eternal fire in
her crater. Malinao tired of her fastidious neighbor, refuse and thus incurred the hatred
of Mayon who was more irascible and impulsive. At that time, Malinao was weaving a
piece of cloth and beside her lay a big bolo. Mayon insisted on asking for help. Malinao
however, was tired and would not yield to her pleadings even an inch. Mayon, thinking
of her visitors and the advancing time, made a desperate effort to get the fire without
Malinao's consent but Malinao was successful in wresting from her the fire. In
desperation, Mayon grabbed the bolo and closing her eyes struck with all her might at
Malinao, and moments later, on opening her eyes, saw to her fright that she had
beheaded Malinao.
Mayon hurried home with the fire and supplied her visitor's needs. She did not
return the fire, for Malinao was dead.
To this day, Mayon sends forth fire from her crater while the Malinao Volcano is only a
mountain without any smoke coming out from its crater. To this day, too, the conical
crater of Malinao can be seen at her foot where it fell when Mayon cut it off.

The Origin Of Earth And Man


Narrated by Arturo M. Ardilla
Many, many years ago there was no earth or man. There was only the sky. Now,
in the sky there were two brothers, Bulan and Adlao. The latter was the older and the
stronger. But the former was proud and hated his older brother.
One day they had a quarrel. Bulan hurled bad words at Adlao, claimed
superiority, and challenged Adlao to a fight. The older brother only laughed at his
younger brother. But his laugh was answered by Bulan who bellowed: You coward,
come and fight and I will show you my superiority. If you dont fight, I will kill you. And

Bulan suddenly rushed to Adlao without waiting for an answer. Adlao was angered and
he was forced to fight his younger brother.
And the fight commenced. It was a clash between two strengths. With his dub,
Bulan hit Adlao, but Adlao dodged the hit quickly. Then Bulan used his bolo, but again
he missed Adlao. It was Adlaos turned to hit. So, with his club he hit with all his might,
first the eye of Bulan, then the arm of Bulan which became flat at the might of the
stroke. Then with his bolo he cut Bulans flattened arm. When Bulans eye was hit and
his arm was flattened and cut from the body, he cried with pain. His tears fell on the cut
flattened arm. As Bulan foresaw his defeat with only eye and one arm to fight with, he
fled, and he was pursued by Adlao who was very angry and wanted to kill Bulan. And
they kept running on and on, chasing each other.
Now, the cut flattened arm of Bulan with his tears fell. Down and down it went
until it finally settled. The flattened arm of Bulan became the earth, and tears became
the rivers and seas. Time came when two hairs sprang from Bulans cut arm, and from
these two hairs sprang man and woman. Thus, the earth and man came into being.
WESTERN VISAYAS REGION

Panaghoy Sang Ginahandos Nga Palpal


ni Juanito C. Marcella
Ina ang gindalikat ko sa pagkari, Tyo Danoy, hingapos ni Mr. Tante.
Wala makahulag si Tyo Danoy matapos mapahayag sa iya ni Mr. Tante ang ginkari sini
sa Tapaslong. Didto sa mahanayap nga kauyaparan nalansang ang iya panulok. May
ginapamatyagan si Tyo Danoy. May ginaisip-isip. Subong sang ginaaninaw niya ang iya
paggahit sang kabakibakian sa tunga sang makahililo nga init sang adlaw. Subong sang
ginapanan-aw niya ang iya kaugalingon nga nagapahaumhaom sang dalagku nga mga
palpal sa pagpadaku sang mayor nga kahon agod masudlan sang madamu nga tubi
ang uyapad-punongon agod mahapos ang pagtalauma. Subong sang mabatian niya
ang iya paghiyaw sa mga karabaw samtang nagapalatak sia sang suong-suong sang
punongan. Gin-usikan niya sing kabudlay, panahon kag kuarta ang pagpauswag sang
uyapad ng iya ginaagsahan sa pagtuo nga kutob may luyag sia sa pag-uma, sia man
gihapon ang pauyaton ni Atty. Emilio Gazan.

Kag karon, ari si Mr. Tante nga ginpakari kuno sang mananabang agod pahibalon sia nga ang duta nga malapit na sa duha ka pulo ka tuig nga pag-agsa niya
pagakuhaon na sa iya.
Lumisu si Tyo Danoy kag tulokon si Mr. Tante nga nagapungku sa unutdan nga
lawas sang lubi. Sa iya man napansal ang panulok ni Mr. Tante. Binawi ni Tyo Danoy
ang iya panulok. Indi sia makatulok sing tadlong sa tao nga ginsugu sang iya agalon.
Daw ginasuyop sang alimatok ang iya kasingkasing.
Malapitlapit na matuod sa duha ka pulo ka tuig sang pag-uyat ni Tyo Danoy sang
duta ni Abogado Emilio Gazan. Ulitao pa lamang si Tyo Danoy sang buslan niya ang
nagbalatian niya nga amay nga amo ang nagauma sang buhi pa ang amay ni Emilio
nga si Don Lucas. Napatay si Don Lucas sang panahon sang inaway. Sang
pahatpahaton sang mga kabataan sang Don ang pagkabutang sini, ang kadutaan sa
Tapaslong sang Don nahulog sa kamot ni Emilio.
Ina ang pagbuot ni Toto Miling, liwag nga humambal si Mr. Tante sang wala
man lamang naggiho si Tyo Danoy. Ginakasubu ko nga ginakuha niya ang duta sa
imo.
Wala na sa nagapugati nga tubi sang punongan ang panulok ni Tyo Danoy. Didto
napatuhoy ang iya panulok sa malayu nga bakulod ang bakulod sang Malunoy.
Subong sang ginasunod sang iya panulok ang isa ka tao nga nagatibong sang isa man
ka tao sia ato. Ginatibong niya si Don Lucas kon diin man nga lugar nga luyag sang
Don ebakwitan kong mabalitaan nila nga may nagapatrolya nga mga Hapones. Pagabot
nila sa ligwin nga kulokatamnan, mahimu sia sing payag-payag agod pahuwayan sang
tigulang nga agalon.
Nahibaloan ko nga masakit sa buot mo ang pagbiya sina nga punong, liwat nga
hambal ni Mr. Tante.
Ang tingog ni Mr. Tante may kahinay kag kapung-awon nga kadalomon sa
palamatin-an ni Tyo Danoy. Apang indi tingog ni Mr. Tante ang sumoklip sa iya
kalawasan. Tingog ni Don Lucas ang ginaaningal sang palamatin-an. Danoy, indi pa
niya malipatan ang malagway nga paningog sang mabuot nga agalon, madamu na ang
nabulig mo sa akon. Ikaw pa lamang ang umalagsa ko nga nakabulig sa akon sing indi
natuksan sang pasalamat. Sugod karon nga tuig tubtob sa ikap-at nga ani, indi ko
pagkuhaon ang akon bahin sa imo patubas. Kag, Danoy, basi indi na ako magdugay,
indi mo pagpabayaan si Toto mo Meling. Bata pa sia, Danoy.
Kahaponanon yadto nga ang tigulang nag-aha sa iya nga ubayan niya sa
pagpamasyar sini sa diutay ng pukatod sa luyo sang ila ebakwitan sa Malunoy. Pirme

na sadto ginaatake sang ginadaladala nga balatian si Don Lucas. Ayhan may
panalagna ang tigulang nga nakahambal sa iya sing subong. Kag madangtan pila pa
kasemana, nabugtuan ini sing ginahawa sa iya katulogon.
Sa kasubu sang mga tinaga nga ato sang Don, wala man niya mapunggi ang
pagmiha sang iya mga mata. Indi man niya malimtan ang iya ginsabat sa maluya na
nga agalon.
Tumanon ko ang imo bilin, To Lucas. Indi ka magpangduhaduha.
Umhon mo sing maayo ang uyapad, Danoy. Kutob may luyag ka sa pag-uma sina nga
duta indi ko ina pagkuhaon sa imo, dugang pa sadto sang Don. Apang madugay na
yadto. 1944 pa yadto ginmitlang sang iya agalon. Karon 1960 na. Napulog anom na ka
tuig ang nakaligad. Patay na si Don Lucas. Madugay na nga nagpuas ang giera.
Madamu na nga mga kabalhin ang nagtuhaw sa kalibutan. Madamu nga pagbalhin
sang pagsinalayo kag pagtamdanay sang mga tao. Si Emilio nga bag-o pa lamang
sadto nakasal, karon madamu na sing kabataan kag labi nga nag-uswag ang
pangabuhi.
Binawi ni Tyo Danoy ang iya panulok sa bakulod sang Malunoy kag lingian si Mr.
Tante. Indi niya mabuka ang iya mga bibig. Katulad sang natahi ang mga ini. Madamu
ang inogsabat niya kay Mr. Tante. Apang ang mga tinaga daw sa pagkasapnot
mitlangon nga indi magdalhag sa iya dila. Karon pa sia makabatyag sing
pagpalaminhod sang iya mga tuhod. Tigulang nag id bala sia nga indi na makasangkol
sa pagtrabaho kon ngaa ginakuha na sa iya ang iya kinauma?
Apang indi pa sia tigulang kon edad sang pagkatigulang ang pagahambalan. Kag
indi man sia maluya. Matig-a pa ang iya mga braso. Sa kalim-an kag duha ka tuig, indi
pa sia masiling nga tigulang na agod mag-untat sa dinak-an nga palangabuhian.
Ginbun-ag sia sa trabaho, nagdaku sa trabaho kag nahanda na niya ang iya
kaugalingon nga manigulang sa trabaho.
Kag karon ari si Mr. Tante nga ginsugu ni Emilio agod magbalita sa iya nga
ginakuha na ang ginatalauma niya nga uyapad. Malayu nag id matuod ang napulog
anom ka tuig agod magbaylo ang kalibutan; ang pag-tamdanay sang mga tao; ang
panghunahuna sang mga tao. A, kon buhi pa lang si Don Lucas. Lain na gid man
matuod kon kabataan na ang nagadumala sang pagkabutang sang ila mga ginikanan.
May ara nga nakasunod sa panimuot sang ila mga ginikanan apang may ara man nga
ginabag-o ang daan nga pagtamdanay.
Isa ka hilaw nga yumu ang kumawas sa mga bibig ni Tyo Danoy sang magsugatanay ang ila panulok ni Mr. Tante.

Nahibaloan ko nga nanginmahal na sa imo ina nga punongan, Tyo Danoy, pulong ni
Mr. Tante. Nanginmahal?
Mahal matuod. Sabton kuntani ni Tyo Danoy si Mr. Tante nga indi lamang
nanginmahal sa iya ang punongan kundi nanginkatulad na sang iya kinabuhi, apang
sumoklip sa iya handurawan ang mga nagliligad kag subong sang ulit nga indi man
gihapon tingog ni Mr. Tante ang iya nabatian kundi tingog ni Toto niya Miling sang mga
duha pa lamang ka tuig ang nagligad.
Mahal gid man ni Tyo Danoy ang punongan, hambal sadto ni Emilio sang
magpa-Tapaslong ang agalon sa pagtambong sang pagbahinay nila sang iya patubas.
Kon may umalagsa si Papa diri sa Tapaslong nga may kahamuot sa ginaagsahan nga
duta, wala na sing liwan kundi si Tyo Danoy.
Ka gang iya nasabat kay Emilio? Nagatakang-takang pa lang ako, Toto Meling,
ginapaligos ko na ang tubi sang uyapad nga ini, may pagpabugal man nga balos niya.
Apang karon, yadto nga pagdayaw ni Emilio sa iya; yadtong iya man kakunyag sa
pagpabutyag sang iya kahamuot sa pag-uma; yadtong malabukid nga pagsalig;
yadtong matalunsay nga paghangpanay nila, nangin-isa na lamang karon ka hulonihon
sang iya panumdoman. Indi niya mahibaloan kon nga hinali lamang ginapakuha ang
uyapad nga iya ginatalauma. May nahimu ayhan sia nga sayop kay Emilio?
Anhon man ni Tyo Danoy sing panumdom kon ano ang iya nahimu nga sayop,
wala gid sia sing may napulotan. Sa pagbahinay ayhan sang ani ang ginhalinan? Apang
tampad sia katama nga umalagsa. Subong man sang pagtamod kang pagtahod niya sa
napatay nga Don ang ginpatuhoy niya kay Emilio. Ngaa ayhan? May nasaklawan ayhan
si Emilio sa iya mga gawi? Apang ano man ang isugu sa iya ni Emilio sang wala pa
makabalik sa siyudad ang agalon, wala man niya ginalapas.
May ipadala kuno sia diri nga magabulos sa imo, Tyo Danoy, pabutyag liwat ni
Mr. Tante. Ambot kon sin-o. Wala ni Toto Meling pag-isugid sa akon. Siling niya,
pahibal-on ko lang ikaw nga ginakuha na niya ang ginauma mo nga duta.
Nakibot gid ako sa sining hinali nga pamat-od ni Toto Meling, napautwas gid
man ni Tyo Danoy sang ulihi. Sang panahon sang okupasyon, diri sila sa Tapaslong
nag-ebakwit. Buhi pa sadto si To Lucas, ang amay bala ni To Meling? Palangga gid
ako sadto nga tigulang. Man nakasiling pa gain sia sa akon nga basta luyag ko sa
gihapon ang magpanguma, ako gihapon ang pauyaton niya sining punongan. Ako man
gain sina ang nagpadaku sang kahon. Wala ina ginapatubii sang buslan ko si Tatay.
Apang daw indi gid mapapas ang mga bakibaki kon indi matineran sang tubi, gain
ginpunong ko. Makalima ko padagyawan ang pagpadaku sang mayor nga kahon.

Sang buhaton sang mga Hapones nga garison ang San Juan, nabakante ang
amon mga uyapad sa sagi lang panagu. Sobrahan man abi ka nerbiyuso kay To Lucas,
bangod ayhan kay tigulang na sia. Halos wala ako sing pahuway sa pagtibong sa iya.
Nakapahuway-huway lang ako sang makahimu ako sing ebakwitan nila didto sa
Malunoy. Inabtan kami sing gutom. Ang iban nga nakatanom wala man abi makapulos
sang ila humay kay pilipigon pa lang gain ginabantayan na sang mga gerilya, ara pa
ang mga sedese ni Confesor nga sobra pa ka bangis sa mga gerilya.
Agod nga mabuhi kami, nakapanglat-as ako sa Maindang kag Agtugas sa
pagpamaylobaylo sing palay kag mais para sa panimalay ni To Lucas. Nakalambot
man ako sa Talangban sa pagbolante sing uga, balingon, kag ginamos nga ginabakal
ko sa Caguyuman. Ang maganansya ko akong ginadalawat sing bugas para lang
kanday Toto Meling nga bisan tuman na sa amon ka pigado pislian gihapon sa
pagkaon. Nahibaloan ini ni Toto Meling. Pamangkuta lang si Toto Meling. Indi gali
hamak ang pagbulig mo sa ila, Tyo Danoy?
A, mabudlay na ang magsagi sugid, Mr. Tante. Indi lang kay pagbulig ang
ginpatungod ko sa ila kundi pag-unong gid. Pamangkota lang si Toto Meling. Makasugid
ina sia, labi na sang mapatay si To Lucas. Sin-o abi ang dalaganan ni Toto Meling kay
sa akon sia ginbilin sang tigulang? Sus, daw akon kaugalingon nga anak ang pagkabig
k okay Toto Meling. Isa pa, agalon ko sia. Wala sila sing umalagsa diri sa Tapaslong
nga nakaunong sa ila subong sang akon pag-unong. Kalabanan sang mga tinao ni To
Lucas nag-upod sa guban sang mga gerilya. Maupod man kuntani ako apang
nagapang-ulikid ako kanday Toto Meling.
Karon ko lang ina mahibaloan. May kabataan ka man, Tyo Danoy?
Apat tanan, Mr. Tante. May pangabuhi na ang tatlo. Ang kinagot na lang ang ari sa
amon. Ang duha didto sa Mindanao nagpasimpalad ka gang kamagulangan ari diri sa
banwa. Nagkulokandidato gani sang nagligad nga piniliay apang wala man makalusot.
Si Amboy, ang daan nga Mayor, ang napilian liwat.
May diutay man siguro nga ikasarang ang anak mo nga nagkandidato.
Kon pagkabutang ang luyag mo hambalon, Mr. Tante, walawala man inang anak ko
nga nagkandidato. Ahaw gid lamang nga pasimpalad kag laway ang ginpangapital sina.
Indi gid man kuntani sia magsugbo kay nahibaloan niya ang mga gumontang sang isa
ka kandidato, labi na sa karon nga mga panahon nga pilak ang kinahanglan. Apang
ginsagi gid sia pilit sang iya mga abyan. Man inang anak ko, numero uno nga konsehal
sang nagligad pa gid nga piniliay, ti kay daw nag-ginumon-gumon bala ang mga isyo
sang duha ka partido diri sa amon, hanti nadala sia sa uloulo sang iya mga
dumalampig.
Pero makabuligbulig man sia siguro sa inyo?
Bulig? Ngaa indi? Makakaon kami sa ila, ngaa indi? Apang mabaskog pa ako kag si

asawahon ko indi gusto nga maglumon kami sa amon mga anak. Makasarang pa man
ako magtrabaho. Isa pa, may anak pa kami nga ginasakdag.
May iban man siguro diri nga duta nga sarang mo maagsahan?
Mabudlayan ka na makakita, Mr. Tante. Ang mga kadutaan diri lunsay naman may
nagauma. Kag mabudlay ang magbaylo sing agalon. Si Toto Meling halos sunado ko na
ang iya sina pamatasan. Lima ka tuig kapin ang pag-updanay namon sina diri sa
Tapaslong. Nahibaloan ko ang indi niya naluyagan.
Labay man ang akon, ano ang partido sang anak mo nga nagkandidato?
Independyante, Mr. Tante. Indi man abi sia makasal-ot sa LP kag sa NP kay pulos
naman may mga kandidato.
Wala bala sia magpalapit kay Toto Meling sang iya pagkandidato?
Sa nahibaloan ko, wala, Mr. Tante. Nahuya kuno sia magpangayu sing bulig kayo to
Meling. Isa pa, nahibaloan namon nga indi interesado si Toto Meling sa politika.
Kon amo wala ka gali makahibalo nga interesado si Toto Meling sa inyo diri politika?
Wala gid, Mr. Tante. Didto man abi sila sa siyudad. Kag wala gid sia makadughu diri
sang panahon sang kampanya kay kisera nga nakapamasyar lang sia diri, indi mahimu
nga indi niya mabuligan ang anak ko bisan sa moral na lamang.
Kon amo wala ka gali makahibalo nga NP si Toto Meling?
Ina ang kamatuoran, Mr. Tante. Apang ngaa napamangkot mo ina?
Wala man, a.
Kon parte sa pagkandidato sang anak ko, ti, ano gid kon Independyante sia? Kag kon
parte sa LP nga Mayor, mayo man ang pagpalakat ni Amboy sang banwa. Kon
ginhambalan lang ako ni Toto Meling nga NP sia, bisan pa nga kandidato ang anak ko,
mabulig ako sa kandidato ni Toto Meling. Kag piliton ko gid ang akon anak sa
pagpaiway. Man agalon ko si Toto Meling.
Nagdulog sa paghambal si Tyo Danoy kag tumangla sa piliwpiliwan sang kawayan nga
subong sang may nakita nga wala niya ginalaomi nga makit-an. Nang-ulong-ulong sia
kag magpadayon.
Kon ang buot mo ipahangop sa akon nga ginakuha ni Toto Meling ang iya duta bangod
sa politika, daw sa malayu nga ina ang kabangdanan. Luyag ni Tyo Danoy nga
hinakpan ang natup-an sang iya kaisipan. Kapin sa lima ka tuig ang pag-uporay
naming ni Toto Meling diri sa Tapaslong kag suando ko ang iya pamatasan. Indi sia
mahuyogon sa politika. Napat-od ko ina.
Wala ka gali makahibalo nga si Toto Meling ang mapag-on nga nagsuprotar sang
kandidato sang NP sa pagkameyor diri?
Bumilog ang mga mata ni Tyo Danoy nga nakatulok kay Mr. Tante. Ari na ang
kamatuoran sang sayop niya nga pagtuo. Aw indi sia makapati. Apang kon matuod ang
hinambal ni Mr. Tante? Kag daw wala nagalimbong si Mr. Tante.
Nakapang-ulong-ulong si Tyo Danoy. Wala gid ako makahibalo, Mr. Tante, tuaw niya.

Sa nasiling ko na, kon nahibaloan ko lang, nakabulig kuntani ako kampanya kay
Simeon. Si Simeon ang kandidato sang NP sa pagkamayor diri. Nagakilalahay kami
sing mayo ni Simeon. Nagpalapit man gain sia sa akon kag gin-aha nga buligan ko sia
sa pagpaisol sang akon anak. Apang ginbalibaran ko sia. Siling ko, parte dira, wala ako
sing mahimu sa akon anak. Anak ko matuod, apang indi ko mapunggan ang iya mga
handom sa kabuhi. Siling k okay Simeon, pagpasayloha lang anay kami sa karon nga
hugada kay ti, daw kalaw-ay man nga magsumponganay kami sang akon anak. Sa
pagkamatuod, si Simeon indi liway sa panimalay sang asawa sang akon anak.
Magpakaduha ina sila. Kon ginsugiran lang kuntani ako ni Simeon, bisan indi na
ni Toto Meling, ayhan may nahimu gid man ako nga mga tikang. Apang wala gid. Kag
daw si kon sin-o man abi ako nga magpabutyag sang akon pilosopiya sa iya? Kon
nahibaloan ko lang, bisan nga magpadayon man sa pagkandidato ang anak ko, sa
kandidato ni Toto Meling ako mabulig. Man agalon ko si Toto. Lima ka tuig kapin ang
pag-uporay namon diri sa Tapaslong kag suando ko gid ang pamatasan niya.
Pamangkota lang bala si Toto Meling. Sang panahon sang okupasyon, nakaabot gani
ako sa Talangban sa pagpangita sing idalawat ko sing bugas agod itil-og sa ila.
Nahibaloan ini ni Toto Meling. Pamangkota lang si Toto Meling. Ang pag-unong ko sa ila
panimalay sadtong buhi pa si To Lucas nga iya amay wala sing kapin kag kulang.
Nahibaloan ini ni Toto Meling. Pamangkota lang bala si Toto Meling. Wala gani ako
mag-entra sa gerilya sadto kay nabalaka ako sa ila. Nahibaloan ini ni Toto Meling.
Pamangkota lang bala si Toto Meling.
Sa kahimtangan sang pagbalikbalik sang halambalanon ni Tyo Danoy, wala
makapadugay si Mr. Tante. Sia man nakabatyag sing kahanuklog sa tigulang. Matapos
niya mapaalinton ang iban pa nga gintugon sa iya ni Emilio, dayon niya paalam.
Diri ka na lang panyaga, Mr. Tante, panghawid ni Tyo Danoy. Maudtohan ka gid sini
kag makalambot sa banwa. Ato, ginsakop na ikaw sang asawahon ko sang panyaga.
Indi ka magpangalag-ag. Amo sina kami diri. Ginasakop sa pagkaon ang bisita.
Wala magpahawid si Mr. Tante. Paabota lang ang magabulos sa imo sun okay Toto
Meling, hambal ni Mr. Tante.
Kon ina ang pagbuot ni Toto Meling, sia ang masunod. Man agalon ko sia,
sabat ni Tyo Danoy nga nagadukuan. Ano man ang naakigan niya a akon, ikaw na lang
ang mahibalo magpamangkot sa iya.
Sang wala magsabat si Mr. Tante: Indi punongan ining ulomhan nila sang una,
padayon ni Tyo Danoy nga ginakahigkahig sang iya tudlu ang ulandi nga buot masaka
sa kumalagko sang iya tiil. Ginpadaku ko ang mayor nga kahon sang buslan ko si
Tatay. Makalima ko padagyawan ang pagpataas sang kahon. Ang mga palpal dira didto
ko pa ginkuha sa Kapangsuran. Sadtong panahon sang inaway, diin man maebakwit si
To Lucas, sa akon abaga sia nagasakay. Indi man abi magsakay ang tigulang sa

karabaw kay naganguotngot ang iya balikawang kon tuman ang pagbika. Kon sa karosa
maundag man.
Sang pagtigulotom, sanglit wala kami makatanom, nakalambot ako sa
Caguyuman sa pagbakal sing uga, balingon, kag ginamos, kag ibolante sa Talangban.
Isa ka adlaw kag isa ka gab-I nga lakat. Bagtas pa ako. Mainit ang dalanon. Kon pigaw
ang makita ko sa Talangban, ginalahos ko pa ang akon inogbaligya sa Alabidhan. Ang
maganansya ko akon ginadalawat sing bugas apra sa panimalay nanday Toto.!
Wala na pagtaposa ni Tyo Danoy ang paghambal sang mahayaw niya ang iya ulo.
Nakatalikod na gali sa Mr. Tante.
Lumisu si Tyo Danoy kag pasalabaran sang iya panulok ang nagapugati nga tubi
sang punongan. Didto sa may tunga nayon sa ginalutawan sang manipis nga bungalon,
nakita niya ang paglagsanay sang duha ka dalimanok.
Lima ka tuig kapin, sal-ot sang iya hunahuna, ang pag-uporay namon ni Toto Meling diri
sa Tapaslong. Kahibalo ako nga wala sing huyog sa politika si Toto Meling. Indi mahimu
nga kuhaon ni Toto Meling ang iya duta bangod lamang kay nagkandidato ang akon
anak batok sa iya partido. Kon ginpahibalo lang kuntani ako ni Toto Meling nga si
Simeon ang iya kandidato.
Diri dumolog ang handurawon ni Tyo Danoy sang mapantag sa iya panulok ang
isa ka tao nga nagahan-os sang maso sa palpal. Hubad ang tao kag nagapuroy
lamang. Bation sa ginahamtangan niya ang lanog sang pagtupa sang maso sa punta
sang palpal. Apang tuhay nga huni sang lanog ang iya nabatian-daw taghoy ini samtang
nagapanglusot-lusot sa mga kakawayanan.
The Datto Somacuel
compiled by Clara Kern Baylis
Datto Somacuel was one of the seven chiefs who, coming from Borneo many
years before the Spaniards conquered these islands, settled the
Island of Panay. He lived in Sinaragan, a town near San Joaquin, in the southern part of
Iloilo Province. His wifes name was Capinangan.
Somacuel went every morning to the seashore to watch his slaves fish with the
sinchoro, or net. One day they caught many fishes, and Somacuel commanded them:
Spread the fish to dry, and take care that the crows do not eat them up.
A slave answered: Sir, if your treasure inside the house is stolen by the crows,
how do you expect those out of doors to be kept safe? This was said with a certain
intonation that made Somacuel conjecture that there was a hidden meaning in it.

What do you mean by that? he asked.


Sir, I have to inform you of something that I should have told you
long ago. Do not reprove me if I have been backward in telling you
of the injury done you by your wife. It was due to my desire to get
complete proofs of the truth of my statement.
End at once your tedious narrative! said the datto, What did my
wife do?
Sir, answered the slave, she deceives you shamefully. She loves
Gorong-Gorong, who is at this very moment in your house jesting at
your absence.
Alas! said Somacuel, if this be true he shall pay well for his
boldness.
The chief hurried home, intending to surprise the offenders. He carried
a fish called ampahan in a bamboo tube full of water, going around by
a secret way, so as not to be seen. On reaching home he went up into
the attic to observe what was going on, and found that his informant
had told the truth.
Gorong-Gorong and Capinangan were engaged in an affectionate
dialogue. Involuntarily Somacuel spilled some of the water down, and,
fearing that he would be discovered, seized a spear that was hidden
in the attic and, dropping it down, dexterously ran Gorong-Gorong
through the body, killing him instantly.
Oh, Diva! exclaimed Capinangan, kneeling beside the inert corpse,
How shall I be able to take it away without being discovered by
Somacuel?
Somacuel, who had not been seen at all, stayed quietly above, watching
what Capinangan would do. Capinangan did not suspect that her husband was there,
as he usually did not come home before nightfall.
She tried to take the corpse out for burial, but could not carry the heavy body of her
unfortunate lover. She must conceal it in some way, and it was dangerous for her to call
for aid, lest she might be betrayed
to her husband. So she took a knife and cut the body into pieces so that she could take
them out and bury them under the house.
After this task was done she managed to wash the blood up. She
became tranquil for a moment, believing she would never be discovered. Somacuel,
however, had observed all, and he formed a plan for punishing his wife as she
deserved. When everything seemed to be calm he crept down, doing his best not to be
seen. At the door he called his wife by name. Capinangan was afraid, but concealed her

fear with a smile.


Capinangan, said her husband, cut this fish in
pieces and cook it for me.
Capinangan was astonished at this command, because she had never before been
treated in this way. They had many slaves to perform such tasks.
You know I cannot, she said.
Why not? asked her husband.
Because I have never learned how to cut a fish in pieces nor to cook
it, she replied.
I am astonished that you dont know how to cut, after seeing that
cutting is your favorite occupation, said Somacuel.
Capinangan then did not doubt that her husband knew what she had done, so
she did as he had bidden. When dinner was ready the husband and wife ate it, but
without speaking to each other. After the meal, Somacuel told his wife that he had seen
all and should punish her severely. Capinangan said nothing. A guilty person has no
argument with which to defend himself. Somacuel ordered his servants to throw
Capinangan into the sea. At that time the chiefs will was law. Neither pleadings nor
tears softened his hard heart, and Capinangan was carried down to the sea and thrown
in.
Time passed by; Somacuel each day grew sadder and gloomier. He would
have been willing now to forgive his wife, but it was too late.
He said to his slaves: Prepare a banca for me, that I may sail from
place to place to amuse myself.
So one pleasant morning a banca sailed from Sinaragan, going
southward. Somacuel did not intend to go to any definite place, but drifted at the mercy
of wind and current. He amused himself by singing during the voyage. One day the
crew descried land at a distance. Sir, they said, that land is Cagayan. Let us go there
to get oysters and cranes eggs. To this their master agreed, and upon anchoring off
the coast he prepared to visit the place. Oh, what astonishment he felt, as he saw,
peeping out of the window of a house, a woman whose appearance resembled in great
measure that of Capinangan! He would have run to embrace her, had he not
remembered that Capinangan was dead. He was informed that the woman was named
Aloyan. He began to pay court to her, and in a few weeks she became his wife.
Somacuel was happy, for his wife was very affectionate. Aloyan, on her part, did
not doubt that her husband loved her sincerely, so she said to him: My dear Somacuel,
I will no longer deceive you. I am the very woman whom you caused to be thrown into
the sea. I am Capinangan. I clung to a log in the water and was carried to this place,
where I have lived ever since.

Oh, said Somacuel, pardon me for the harshness with which I meant to punish
you.
Let us forget what is passed, said Capinangan. I deserved it, after all. So they
returned to Sinaragan, where they lived together happily for many years.
It Rained Saturday Afternoon
by Antonio Gabila
It rained at three Saturday afternoon. And we looked at the sky as if it could not
be true, at the slanting rain that fell in steady streams, at the earth getting first moist,
then sticky, then watery.
We could not resign our self to the fact that it should rain on Saturday. Why
Saturday of all days? Why not Monday and the other weekdays? Any day but Saturday
and Sunday also, that is.
All the week, week after week, we work in close, stuffy offices from early morning
until late in the afternoon, except that promptly at half past twelve every Saturday there
comes a break in the routine, after which we do not have to enter our close world again
until the following Monday morning at seven-thirty.
On Saturday mornings our smiles are wider and last longer, our greetings are
cheerier. For at the back of every workers mind is the thought that he may have that
afternoon all to himself, to do with as he pleases.
To some of us, Saturday afternoon always means a rectangular court of clay with
white lime markings, rackets, and balls about as big as a little boys fist. On the court
one can swing ones arm about and not be afraid of hitting something, and after fiveand-a-half days inside an office, you feel this is more important than anything else in the
world. Stepping lively on a marked court on Saturday or Sunday afternoons, we forget
about our close, dim offices with their wall clocks that never seem to move at all, and
about the things one has to do, about work.
But it rained at three. Saturday.
And why should it rained on Saturday, and at three oclock, when we always feel
that Saturday just begins, and with, in fact, the best part of the afternoon yet to be. At
three one plays his best game because it is neither too warm nor too chilly.
Some of us had played only a set or, at most, two, while the others just arriving.
We all always say we have not really played until the third set. And here it was raining at

three, raining so heavily that even the most hopeful among us, looking up, could only
shake our heads seeing how black the whole sky looked. It rained so heavily that shortly
the clay court, just before so hard and smooth, was sticky with mud and water, the white
lime markings becoming indistinct and finally disappearing altogether.
We picked up our things disgustedly, taking care the rain did not wet the delicate
guts of the rackets, and made haste to the nearest shelter, a low concrete bodega
beside the townpresidencia.
The rain made puddles at our feet in no time as we stood under the overhanging
edge of the concrete roof. The puddles grew and became little running streams that
twisted about in their tiny tortuous courses to reach the nearest deeper hollows which,
when filled, became miniature lakes. We drew gingerly back against the bodega wall as
the miniature rivers threatened out shod feet. Over the edge of the roof above us fell a
thick, transparent curtain of rain. We were trapped, but we were six and company made
the trap less tragic.
We raised our eyes finally from our hypnotic regard of the water at our feet to
look into four cells on that side of the presidencia whose barred windows stared down at
us, looking very much like caves in the sheer cliff that was the presidencias austere
wall. The barred windows did not surprise us, for we had long known they were there.
Nor did the old, ugly, vicious faces caged in them: are realized they ought to be there
too. Only when we looked into the last cell and saw there a young face, not so much
vicious as mischievous in a childlike way, were we taken aback.
The boy, he could not be over eighteen, had no clothes on: even when he stood
on the floor of the cell, we knew he was without covering because the slightly lighter
skin below the waist showed above the ledge of the low, barred window.
My God, that boys crazy!
The boy was so obviously that, without anyone saying so, that I turned around to
look at the speaker. And yet I knew we were all alike: we did not understand such
things. I wanted to ask someone what could have caused such a thing, why that youth
should come to be in this cell, stripped of clothes and shame, and keep on singing and
posturing, I wanted to ask how people come to lose hold of reality and what goes on in
the mind of one like that boy of no more than eighteen, but I realized we, toiling in close,
musty offices, would know nothing of such things.
You are my sugar plum The mad boys singing could be heard above the crash of
heavy rain.

In the other cells, the vicious faces were momentarily still, listening, their ugly
faces intent and looking now less vicious, as if they too were trying to divine perhaps
how one became like his boy.
Why do people become crazy?, I finally asked a young fellow who once worked in a
physicians office-but who played a poor game of tennis.
Many causes. Love for instance.
You are my sugar plum Perhaps the boy loved deeply and futilely. He may have
thought the girl was everything the world could hold for him; and yet the girl thought
nothing of him. Such things happen.
The boy has suddenly climbed up into the upper one of two bunks affixed to one
side of a wall of his cell, leaping full upon it in all his uncovered state, and smiling down
upon us, baring white, even teeth in an expression that must have been one of geniality
in a day now gone.
You may not be an angel he broke forth, swaying his body and looking up every time
he said angel. After one song, there would always be another, as if he wanted us to
know that this repertoire of song was not by far exhausted, crooning in that soft voice of
his as if he were addressing his song to someone he held so near him he did not have
to raise his voice to be heard.
The boy had a good figure, with slight, shapely muscles, and seemed so healthy
an animal that one could hardly believe he had lost his mind. The unseemliness of his
unconscious behavior was all the more pitiful because of his splendid figure.
Dont take away my dreams Now why does he sing that?
They say madness is a thick fog; losing your mind is like losing your bearings in
the dark: you believe you are doing the perfectly correct thing not knowing that it is far
from what you think. That must explain the boy, his stripped state, his crooning, his
friendly and shameless grin which God knows he couldnt help.
Dont take away my dreams Just why had that crazy youth hit upon that piece? Was
there a reason? For madness too is like being a child again, playing again in that dream
world man loses as he grows up. Times there are in a mans mature years when he
regrets that loss.
This boy, suddenly grown a youth, had asked to be taken back to that world and
had been granted his desire. Now he had what he wanted, nobody could take away his
dreams, nobody tear the toys out of his hands, and nobody come to him and strikes
him. For a mad boy is always a child with dreams

The rain had stopped, we realized with a start. We looked about us vaguely:
even had it been possible for us to play again, I doubt if we would have. A little while
before we had thought we were the most unlucky of humans: but after what we had
seen we hardly knew what to think.
We stepped forth from our shelter and walked through the wet grass until we hit
the hard pavement, when we broke into a brisker gait, not one of us brave enough for
one backward glance at the body whom we could still hear singing about dreams that
no one please must take away from him.

ARMM REGION
Si Amomongo at si Iput-Iput
(Ang Gorilya at ang Alitaptap)
Huwag maliitin ang maliliit dahil may magagawa silang di magagawa ng malalaki
Isang gabi, naglalakad si Iput-Iput, (ang alitaptap) patungo sa bahay ng kanyang
kaibigan.Nang mapadaan siya sa tapat ng bahay ni Amomongo (ang gorilya), tinanong
siya nito.
Hoy, Iput-Iput,bakit lagi kang may dala-dalang ilaw?
Sumagot si Iput-Iput. Dahil natatakot ako sa mga lamok.
Ah, duwag ka pala, ang pang-uuyam ni Amomongo.
Hindi ako duwag! , ang nagagalit na sagot ni Iput-Iput.
Kung hindi ka duwag, e bakit lagi kang may dala-dalang ilaw?, ang pang-aasar ni
Amomongo.
Nagdadala ako ng ilaw para kapag nilapitan ako ng mga lamok at kakagatin ay
makikita ko sila kaagad at nang sa gayoy maipagtanggol ko ang aking sarili., ang
tugon ni Iput-Iput.
Tumawa nang malakas si Amomongo. Kinabukasan, maaga utong gumising at
ipinamalita sa lahat ng kapitbahay na kaya daw laging may dalang ilaw si Iput-Iput ay
dahil duwag ito. Kaagad na kumalat sa buong bayan ang balita.
Nang mabalitaan ito ni Iput-Iput, nagalit siya. Dali-dali siyang lumipad patungo sa
bahay ni Amomongo. Gabi noon at natutulog na ang gorilya, ngunit itinapat niya ang
kanyang ilaw sa mukha nito hanggang sa ito ay magising.

Hoy, gorilya, bakit ipinamamalita mong duwag ako? Upang mapatunayan ko


sayong hindi ako duwag, hinahamon kita sa isang labanan. Magkita tayo sa sa plasa
sa susunod na Linggo ng hapon.
Pupunga-pungas na nagtanong ang gorilya. Mayroon ka bang mga kasama?
Wala!, ang sigaw ni Iput-Iput. Pupunta akong mag-isa.
Nangiti si Amomongo sa tinuran ni Iput-Iput. Dilit isang maliit na insekto ang
humahamon sa kanya ng away.
Nagpatuloy ang alitaptap. Hihintayin kita sa plasa sa susunod na Linggo sa
ganap na ikaanim ng hapon!
Magsama ka ng mga kakampi mo dahil magsasama ako ng libu-libong gorilya
na mas malalaki pa sa akin. Sinabi ito ni Amomongo upang takutin ang alitaptap, na sa
pakiwari niya ay nasisiraan ng ulo.
Ngunit sumagot si Iput-Iput: Hindi ko kailangan ng kakampi. Darating akong
mag-isa! Paalam!
Dumating ang araw ng Linggo. Bago pa mag-ikaanim ng hapon ay nagtipon na
ang mga dambuhalang gorilya sa plasa ngunit nadatnan na nila ang alitaptap na
naghihintay sa kanila.
Maya- maya, tumunog ang kampana ng simbahan bilang hudyat ng oras ng
orasyon o pagdarasal. Iminungkahi ni Iput-Iput sa mga gorilya ma magdasal muna sila.
Pagkatapos magdasal, agad sinabi ni Iput-Iput na nakahanda na siya. Inutusan ni
Amomongo ang kanyang mga kasama na humanay. Pumuwesto siya sa una bilang
pagpapakilalang siya ang pinuno ng
mga ito.
Dagling lumipad si Iput-Iput sa ilong ni Amomongo at inilawan niya ito. Hinampas
ng kasunod na gorilya si Iput-Iput ngunit kaagad itong nakaalis kaya ang tinamaan ng
gorilya ay ang ilong ni Amomongo na halos ikamatay nito. Dumapo si Iput-Iput sa ilong
ng pangalawang gorilya. Hinampas ng pangatlong gorilya si Iput-Iput ngunit kaagad
itong nakalipad, kaya ang nahampas niya ay ang ilong ng pangalawa na ikinamatay
nito. Muli, inilawan ni Iput-Iput ang ilong ng pangatlong gorilya. Hinampas ng ikaapat na
gorilya si Iput-Iput na kaagad na kalipad.
Muli, namatay ang pangatlong gorilya dahil sa lakas ng pagkakahampas ng
ikaapat na unggoy sa ilong nito. Nagpatuloy ang ganitong pangyayari hanggang si
Amomongo na lamang ang natirang buhay na gorilya na halos hindi makagulapay dahil
sa tinamong sakit. Nagmakaawa ito kay Iput-Iput na patawarin na siya, at huwag

patayin. Pinatawad naman siya ni Iput-Iput, ngunit simula ng hapong iyon, nagkaroon
na ng malaking takot ang mga gorilya sa mga alitaptap.

Lalapindigowa-i: Kung Bakit Maliit ang Beywang ng Putakti


(Pabula ng Maranao) Batay sa pananaliksik ni Dr. Nagsura Madale

Si Lalapindigowa-i (isang putakti) ay isang masipag na magsasaka. May dalawa


siyang asawa, sina Odang (hipon) at si Orak (itlog). Tulad ng ibang Maranao, hindi
lamang siya masipag na magsasaka kundi isang tapat na asawa. Nagsusumikap siyang
magtrabaho upang mapakain ang dalawa niyang asawa.
Isang araw, nagwika siya sa mga asawa niya na dalhan siya ng pananghalian sa
bukid nang sa ganoon ay di masayang ang kanyang oras sa pag-uwi. Nagkasundo at
nagpasya ang dalawa niyang asawa na mula noon ay dadalhan siya ng pagkain sa
bukid.
Pagkaraan ng maraming araw at buwan ng paghahatid ng pagkain, nagsawa
ang mga asawa ni Lalapindigwa-i. Sa daan papuntang bukid, nagalit si Odang at
tumangging magdala ng pagkain. Si Orak ay ayaw ring maghatid ng pagkain. Nagalit si
Odang, ang hipon, at nagsimula itong magdadamba hanggang itoy mahulog sa
kaserola at naging pula ang balat. Naawa si Orak kay Odang dahil ito ay naluto kayat
ipinaghele niya ito. Sa di sinasadya, tumama siya sa bunganga ng kaserola at itoy
naluto rin.
Samantala, si Lalapindigowa-i ay ginutom sa kahihintay sa kanyang dalawang
asawa. Pagkaraan ng ilang oras ng paghihitay, nagpasya siyang lumakad pauwi. Sa
daan nakita ng gutom na si Lalapindigowa-i ang basag na kaserola at ang mga asawa
niyang naluto.
Galit siya sa mga asawang tamad at sa kaparusahang tinanggap ng mga
ito.Gutum na gutom na siya kaya hinigpitan niya ang kanyang sinturon. Simula noon,
ang beywang ni Lalapindigowa-i ay lumiit nang lumiit dahil batid niyang wala nang mga
asawang magluluto para sa kanya.

Ang Masamang Kalahi

Buhat nang mapatakbo ni Toniong Tandang si Tenoriong Talisain ay


humanap na ng ibang libutan at madaling nakapamayagpag na muli ang
Talisain.
Ang mga Katyaw na leghorn doon ay madaling nasilaw sa balitang bilis at lakas
ni Tenoriong Talisain. At madali niyang naging kaibigan ang
pinakamagandang sa mga banyagang manok na si Lolitang Leghorn.
Isang araw ay galit na galit na umuwi si Denang Dumalaga.
Naku!ang bulalas ng dumalaga. Ako pala ay sinisiraan ni Tenoriong
Talisain. Ako raw ay naging kasintahan niya
Diyatat?ang bulalas din ni Aling Martang Manok.
At katakot-takot na paninira raw laban sa mga kalahi ang ginagawa ng
Talisaing iyan. Tayo raw ay ikinahihiya niya. Masamang lahi raw tayo
Gayon din ang ikinagalit ni Toniong Tandang nang siyay dumating.
Napakasamang manol iyang si Tenoriong Talisain,ang wika ng tandang.
Kanginay nakita ko. Kung lumakad at magslitay ginagaya ang mga leghorn.
Ang balita ko pay nagpasuklay ng balahibo upang maging mistulang leghorn na.
Nakapanginginig ng laman.
Bayaan ninyo siya,ang wika ni Aling Martang Manok. Pagsisisihan din
niya ang kanyang ginawang iyan.
Ilang araw, pagkatapos ay dumating si Toniong Tandang na kasama si
Tenoriong Talisain. Gusut-gusot na ang balahibo ng katyaw. Pilay pa ang isang paa,
pasa-pasa ang buong katawan at hindi halos makagulapay.
Bakit ano ang nangyari?ang tanungan ng mga kalahing manok.
Iyan pala ay maluwat nang kinaiinisan ng mga katyaw na Leghorn,ang
wika ni Toniong Tandang. Kanginay nakita ko na lamang na pinagtutulungan ng apat
na katyaw na leghorn.
Bakit hindi mo pa pinabayaang mapatay?ang wika ng mga kalahing
manok. Tayo rin lamang ay ikinahihiya niya at itinatakwil pa
Talaga nga sanag ibig ko nang pabayaan.ang wik ni Toniong
Tandang.Ngunit hindi rin ako nakatiis. At talagang namang kung hindi ako sumakloloy
nasirang Tenoriong Talisain na siya ngayon.

Nakita mo na, Tenoriong Talisain! ang wika ni Aling Martang Manok.


Iyang kalahi, kahit masamain moy talagang hindi makatitiis.

ANG UNANG HARI NG BEMBARAN


Salin ni Venacio L. Mendiola ng The First Ruler of Bembaran
ni Bolawan Manalisig/Lawa Cali

Noong unang araw, kakaunti ang mga tao sa mundo at marami sa kanila ang
mangmang at walang tao sa kanilang gawain at bagamat di pa umuunlad ang lugar na
ito ay masasabing maganda na. Sa buong Bembaran, kulang lamang na 20 pamilya
ang nasasakop ng Ayonan, si Diwantandaw Gibon.
At sapagkat malapit sa dagat ang Bembaran ang mga alon ay sumasalpok sa
gitna nito. Nababatid ng mga tao na walang kasingganda ang kanilang pook. Batid
nilang ligtas sila sa kanilang mga kaaway pahintulot buhat sa kinatatakutang
tagapayong ispiritwal, si Pinatolo i kilid, ang kakambal na isipiritu ni Diwatandaw Gibon,
ang unang hari ng Iliyan at Bembaran. Walang palagiang anyo ang ispiritung ito. Sa
dagat, ito ay buwaya; sa lupa ito ay isang tarabosaw* at sa himpapawid, ito ay isang
garuda.
Isang araw ang mga tao sa Torogan ay nabahala sapagkat napansin nila na
malungkot ang Ayonan. Inanyayahan ni Mabowaya Kaladanan, isa sa mga
nakatatanda, na magpunta s torongan upang tulungan ang Ayonan sa kanyang
suliranin. Nang ang lahat ay naroroon na, nagtanong si Dinaradiya Rogong, isang
iginagalang na pinuno, sa kapulungan kung may nakakaalam sa lugar, na kasingganda
at kasingyaman ng Bembaran, na kung saan may nakatirang prinsesa na maaaring
mapangasawa ni Diwatandaw Gibon. Ang lahat ay nag-isip sumandali ngunit walang
makapagsabi ng ganoong lugar. Tumayo si Dinaradiya Rogong at iginala ang kanyang
paningin sa mga taong nangakakatipon upang alamin kung ang lahat ng tao roon ay
dumalo. Pagkatapos ay namataan niya ang isang mangingisdang nakaupong malapit
sa pinto at malayo sa karamihan. Tinawag niya ito at tinanong Samar, sa lahat ng iyong
pangingisda sa iba,t ibang lugar, nakarating ka na ba sa isang lugar na kasingganda ng
Bembaran, na may isang magandang prinsesa na maipapantay sa ating Ayonan?
Ngumiti ang mangingisda at nagsalita: Opo, dato, alam ko ang ganyang lugar at
itoy di maihahambing sa ganda sa anumang bagay rito. Itoy tinatawag na Minangoaw
at ang pangalan ng hari ay Minangondaya a Linog. Ang hari ay may isang anak na

babae na pinangalanang aya Paganay Bai, ang pinakamagandang babae sa pook.


Nang marinig ng mga tao ang sinabi ng Samar, napagusapusapan sila. Marami
ang naniniwala sa kanyang sinabi sapagkat siyay isang mangingisda at maaaring
nakita niya ang lugar. Ngunit nagalit si Dinaraduya Ragong sapagkat siyay marami ring
nalakbay at kailan man sa kanyang paglalakbay ay hindi siya nakatagpo o nakarinig ng
tungkol dito. Naisip niyang nagbibiro ang Samar o niloloko sila kayat nagbabala siya:
Mag-ingat ka sa iyong sinasabi. Nakapaglakbay ako sa maraming lugar at kalian may
di ko narinig ang ganyang lugar. Mabuti pay magsabi ka ng totoo pagkat hahanapin
naming ang lugar na ito, at parurusahan ka naming kapag hindi naming natagpuan ito.
Tiningnan ng Samar ang datu at nakita niyang namumula sa galit ang mukha nito.
Lumundag siyang palabas sa torogan. Nagpunta ang ibang pinuno sa Dinariya a
Rogong at hinikayat siyang hanapin ang Minagoaw a Rogong. Nang sumunod na araw,
naghanda sila sa kanilang paglalakbay at nanguha at naghanda ng pagkain at ilang
pangangailangan. Nang handa na ang lahat, umalis ang pangkat ngunit sa halip na
maglayag sa karagatan, silay naglakbay sa dalampasigan at nagtatanong sa mga tao
kung saan nila matatagpuan ang Minagoaw. Ngunit wala kahit sinuman ang nakarining
sa ganoon lugar. *tarabosaw isang higanteng kumakain ng tao at hayop
garuda agila.
Pagkatapos ng isang buwan paglalayag, nakakita sila, isang madaling araw, ng
dalawang mangingisdang nag-aaway. Nang halos magpang-abot na ang dalawa,
nangagsidating ang mga lalaki sa Bembaran at sumigaw si Diwatandaw Gibon, Hinto!
Kung kayoy maglalaban, masasaktan kayo o mamamatay at magdurusa anuman ang
mangyari. Isipan ninyo ang inyong mga pamilya! Huminto sa pag-aaway ang dalawa at
tinanong ng hari kung saan sila nakatira. Sumagot ang isa sa kanila, Dato, akoy tagaMinango aw. Nang marinig nila ito, nagalak ang pangkat sapagkat natapos na ang
kanilang paghahanap.
Inutusan ng Ayonan ang mga mangingisda na lumipat sa kanilang bangka upang
patnubayan sila sa pagpunta sa kanyang lugar. Sa paglalakbay pinagtatanong nila ang
mangingisda na kanya naming sinagot sa kanilang kasiyahan. Noong papalapit na sila
sa bukana ng look, nakiusap ang mangingisda na magpauna sa kanila sa kanyang
sariling bangka upang ipagbigay-alam sa kanyang hari ang kanilang pagdating at ibalita
sa kanya na silay mga kaibigan, at hindi mga pirata. Pagkalunsad nito, dali-dali siyang
nagtuloy sa torogan ibinalita sa Ayonan ang tungkol sa mga panauhin. Tinipon ng hari
ang kanyang mga nasasakupan at napagkasunduan nilang salubungin ang mga
panauhin sa dalampasigan.
Naghanda ng isang malaking piging ang hari ng Minangoaw para sa kanyang
mga panauhin. Nag-handa ang mga babae ng masasarap na pagkain. Pagkakain nag
mga panauhin ay inaliw nila sa pamamagitan ng sayaw kolintang, sagayan at ang lahat
ng uri ng paligsahan sa pag-wait o sakba. Nang matapos na ang lahat ng uri ng palaro,

tumayo at nangusap ang tagapag-salita ng hari at tinanong ang mga panauhin kung
bakit sila nakarating sa Minangoaw. Ang kinatawan ng Diwatandaw Gibon ay tumayo.
Sinabi niya na dinala nila ang kanilang batang hari at magalang na ipinakilala.
Pagkatapos ay nalaman ng mga tao na ang sadya ng mga panauhin ay upang
pakasalan ng Ayonan ang kanilang prinsesa.
Tinanggap ang handog at ang paghahanda ay nagsimula. Napakasaya ni
Diwatandaw at ang kasal ay ginanap sa gitna ng kasayahan at labis na pagpipiyesta.
Namalagi si Diwatandaw Gibon sa Minangoaw ng limang taon at sa panahong itoy
nanganak ng dalawang lalaki ang kanyang kabiyak. Hinandugan siya ng kanyang
biyenan ng korona nito at kapangyarihan. Sa buong panahong naturan, hindi niya
dinalaw ang Bembaran at nagyon siyay puno ng malakas na pag-asam at pananabik
na makabalik sa kanyang lupain. Nilapitan niya ang kanyang biyenan at nagsabi: Aking
biyenan, kung pahihintulutan ninyo, nais kong makabalik sa Bembaran. Ibig kong
makita kahit ang damo ng pook na aking sinilangan.
Tumango si Minangondaya Linog. Tama ka. Humayo k. Pagkatapos ay
tinawagan niya ang kanyang dalawang apo, inakbayan ang bawat isa at sinabi sa
nakatatanda: Ikaw ay si Tominaman sa Rogong. Balang araw pupunta ka sa
Bembaran, ang lugar ng iyong ama. Katungkulan mong paunlarin ang lugar at
pasayahin ang mga tao ng Bembaran. Bumaling sa nakababata at sinabi: Ikaw ay si
Mangondaya Boyisan. Bilang bunso dapat mong tulungan ang iyong kapatid sa
pagpapaunlad ng Bembaran at Minangoaw. Humanda ka sa pagtulong at pagtatanggol
sa mga tao sa dalawang lugar na ito.
Pagkatapos ay binigyan ng hari ang dalawa niyang apo ng sumusunod na
pamanang gamit: isang mahiwagang bangka, ang Riramentaw Mapalaw, na lalong
kilala bilang Rinayong , na nakapaglalayag sa dagat na hindi na kailangan ang sagwan
sapagkat ispiritu ang nagpapadpad dito. Binigyan rin niya ang mga apo ng isang agong
na pinangalang Magandiya a Oray. Itoy minana pa niya sa kanyang lolo, isang
ginintuang agong na kung pinapalo ay maririnig sa lahat ng lugar ang tunog at kagyat
na matatawag ang lahat ng tao; at dalawa pang agong: Rogongan a Posaka at
Momongara Dayiring.
Tinawag niya ang kanyang anak na si Prinsesa Aya Paganay Bai. Nang lumapit
ang prinsesa at maiharap sa kanya ama, sinabi ng ama sa anak na maaari siyang
magtungo sa Bembaran kasama ng asawa at mga anak. Pagkatapos ay kanyang
pinayuhan ang anak. Anak ko, ang iyong unang katungkulan ay sundin ang iyong
asawa at pangalagaan ang kanyang kalusugan kapakanan. Mahalin mo siya at alaming
kapwa kayo mabuhay nagkakasundo. Buhayin at mahalin mo ang inyong pamilya at
tingnan mo na silay nasa mabuting kalusugan.

Ipaglaban mo ang iyong karapatan at ang karapatan ng iyong hari. Humanda


kang ipagtanggol ang iyong dalawang bansa ng Bembaran at Minangoaw. Igalang mo
ang mga matatanda at bata. Mahalin mo ang mahihirap at ang mga ulila. Bigyan mo ng
pagkakataon ang bawat isa na magtagumapy sa buhay. Maging matapat ka sa lahat.
Kung dumating ang mga panauhin, tanggapin mo silang pantay-pantay kahit na sila
ay maharlika pa alipin. Turuan mo ng mabubuting bagay ang iyong mga anak. Lagi
mong tupdin ang anumang pangako. Maging mabuti kang maybahay at panatilihing
mong malinis ang iyong bahay, sa loob at labas, sa ibaba at itaas, pati ang bakuran.
Tinapos ng Ayonan ang kanyang pangaral at hinati ang kanyang ari-arian sa
dalawa. Kalahati ang ibinigay niya sa anak niyang prinsesa sa kanyang pag-alis. Dinala
ni Diwatandaw Gibon ang kanyang mag-anak at ang lahat ng kayamanan ibinigay sa
kanila ng kanyang biyenan. Sakay ng Rinayong, siya ay naglalakbay kasama ng
kanyang mag-anak.
Nang malapit na sila sa bayang sinilangan, inutos ni Diwatandaw Gibon na
patunuginang mga agong sa buong lupain upang ibalita ang kanyang pagdating.
Nagtakbuhan ang mga taga-Bembaran at inilabas ang lahat ng kanilang mga bandera
at magagandang mga palamuti at iniladlad ang mga ito. Ang mga bandera at palamuti
ay masayang dinapyuan ng amihan at ang lahat ng bahay sa daanan at nagpatugtog ng
kolintang. Ginayakan ang isang tanging silya at dinala sa dalampasigan samantalang
sa torogan ay may itinanghal na mga pamanang ari-arian na yari sa tanso, pilak at
ginto.
Sa pagadaong ng bangka, nagpaputok ng kanyon upang salubungin si
Diwatandaw Gibon at ang kanyang mag-anak. Pumila ang lahat ng tao sa dalampasign
at silay masayang sumalubong sa Ayonan at sa kanyang magandang asawa at mga
anak. Dinala nila ang silyang pinalamutian nang magandang tangkongan para upuan
ni Aya Paganay Bai at binuhat siyang buong ringal at kamaharlikahan papunta sa
torongan.
Tatlong taon ang matuling lumipas sa Bembaran. Isang araw, habang ang
Ayonan at ang kanyang asawa ay nakaupo sa lamia* namasdan ni Diwatandaw Gibonn
kakaunti ang mga batang nagsisipaglaro sa bakuran. Naisip niya, na kaawa-awa na ang
isang maganda at mayamang lugar tulad ng Bembaran ay may kakaunting tao lamang
na magtatamasa nito? Tinanong niya ang asawa. Ano ang palagay mo sa kaisipang
ito? Papayagan mo ba akong mag-asawa ng marami pang mga babae upang
madagdagan ang populasyon ng Bembaran? Narining ko na maraming mabubuting
mga babae sa Lombayoan a Lena, Kodaranyan a Lena, Bagombayan Miyaraday
dalian at sa Minisalaw Ganding.

Nagulat ang prinsesa. Nasabi niya sa sarili na kung nalaman lamang niya na
binabalak niyang gawin ito, disin sanay hindi siya pumayag na magtungo sa
Bembaran. Malakas niyang sinabi, Mahal kong asawa, napakahirap kong tanggapin
ang balak mo. Kung maririnig ng mag-anak ko ang ang iyong kagustuhan na magaasawa ng mga ibang babae, makakagalitan nila ako at sisisihin tungkol dito. Sa
palagay koy magiging mabuti para sa iyo na akoy diborsyuhin mo upang malaya mong
mapangasawa gaano man karaming babae ang gusto mo. Babalik ako sa Minangoaw
sa sandaling payagan mo ako.
Niyakap ni Diwatandaw Gibon ang asawa at sinabi sa kanya, Huwag ka nang
mag- alala. Nagbibiro lamang ako. Pinangako niya ang asawa at ipinaghele sa
kanyang braso. Umawit siya ng pinakamamahal kong kabiyak, huwag kang magalit sa
akin sa pagkabitiw ko ng mga salitang nagbigay pasakit sa iyong kalooban. Alam ko na
nagpalungkot ito sa iyo, ngunit katungkulan ko bilang isang namumuno na magbalak at
mag-aral at mag-isip tungkol sa ikauunlad ng kanyang kaharian. Ang mag-isip, ang
magbalak kumilos ito ang mahalagang katungkulan ng isang namumuno maging
lalaki o babae. Dapat niyang pag-aralan ang lahat ng bagay upang matuklasan kung
alin ang totoo, alin ang mali at alin ang biro lamang. Nakinig siya sa kanyang mahinang
awit at pinakiusapan niyang ibaba siya sa malaking panggaw.*
Tinawag ng prinsesa ang kanyang asawa sa kanyang tabi at winika sa kanyang
asawa, pag-uusapan pa natin ang iyong balak. Sa palagay ko ay tama ka. Dapat ngang
magkaroon ng maraming nasasakupan ang Bembaran. Makinig ka, kung kulangin ang
iyong ari-arian sa paghahanda sa kasal sa lahat ng mga babaeng yaon, sabihin m osa
akin upang makakuha pa ako ng ilang ari-arian ko sa Minangoaw.
Nang sumunod na araw tinipon ni Diwatandaw Gibon ang lahat ng tao ng
Bembaran at ipinahayag ang kanyang mga balak. Ang mahiwagang bangkang
Rinamentaw ay inihanda at pagkatapos matipon ang lahat ng kailangan, sinimahan ng
piling tauhan si Diwatandaw Gibon sa panliligaw. Una silang nagpunta sa
Kodarangan a Lena para kay Walayin Dinimbangew, sa Bagombayan a Lena
para kay Walayin Pitagaman, sa Songgaringa a dinar para kay Walayin si Remotak at
sa Minisalaw Ganding para kay Walayin Mangobabaw.
Kasama ang kanyang mga bagong asawa, bumalik si Diwatandaw Gibon sa
Bembaran at sa sandaling marating niya ang Baroraw a Lenaan ang lugar ni Pamanay
Masalayon, sa pagitan ng Bembaran at Kaderaan, inutos niyang patunugin ang mga
agong upang malaman ng lahat ang kanilang pagdating at makapaghanda sa
pagsalubong sa kanya at sa kanyang mga bagong asawa.


* lamia ang tore ng prinsesa
panggaw kama
Nang marinig ni Aya Paganay Bai ang agong siyay di mapalagay at malungkot
sapagkat alam niya ang kahulugan nito. Pinawisan mabuti ang kanyang mukha. Ngunit
naalala niya ang itinuro sa kanya ng kanyang magulang at gaya ng isang tunay na
mahinhing babae, tumindig siya at tinawag ang lahat ng mga kababaihan at mga alipin.
Inutusan ang bawat isa na maglinis at gayakan ang torogan at ang lahat ng kapaigiran
nito.
Naghanda siya ng limang malalaking silid tulugan, pinalamutian ang mga ito, at
hinintay niya ang pagdating ng asawa. Dumating ang Ayonan at magiliw na binati ang
kanyang asawa at ipinakilala ang mga bagong asawa sa kanya. Binati niya sila nang
magiliw at sinalubong sila sa Bembaran. Kaya ang hari at ang kanyang mga asawa ay
nabuhay nang magkakasundo sa maraming taon. Buhat sa kanyang limang asawa,
nagkaroon ng maraming anak si Diwatandaw Gibon, na pawang babae. Silay sina
Mabolawan Pisigi ng Kadorangan a Lena; Walayin Dirimbangen o Mapatelama Olan ng
Lambayoan a Lena; Garugay a Rawatan ni Bagombayan a Lena; Romentak a Bolawan
ng Sanggiringa a Dinar at Mapagalong an sirig ng Minisalaw Ganding.
Pagkatapos mabuhay ng maligaya ng labinlimang taon, tinipon ni Diwatandaw
Gibon ang kanyang malaking pamilya isang araw at nagsimula siyang magbigay ng
kanyang huling testamento. Nakaupo sa kanyang silya, nag-atas siya sa kanila. Sinabi
niya sa kanyang mga asawa na kung ayaw nilang magbalik sa kanilang tahanan
pagkamatay niya, manatili sila sa Bembaran at pantay-pantay sila ayon sa
kapangyarihan ng aya Paganay Bai. Inamuki niya ang kanyang dalawang anak na
lalaki na magpakabuti sapagkat pagkamatay niya, sila ang papalit sa kanya.
Binalangkas niya para sa kanila ang pagiging mabuting pinuno.
Kung makarinig kayo na anumang alitan sa inyong nasasakupan, simula niya,
dapat ninyo itong ayusin sapagkat katungkulan ninyo ito, anyayahan man kayo o hindi
na ayusin ito. Huwag kayong kakampi sa anumang panig upang ang inyong
pagpapasya ay maging karapt-dapat. Kung may utang na babayaran at ang isang panig
ay kulang sa salapi, ibigay ito buhat sa sarili ninyong salapi.
Mayroon kayong limang kapatid na babae. Pagsapit ng panahon na sila ay
dapat mag-asawa isangguni ang tungkol dito sa inyong kamag-anak, sa panig ko at sa
panig ng inyong ina. Huwag kayong makikialam, kahit anuman ang mangyari hanggat
nagkakasundo ang dalawang panig sapagkat alam nila na kayong dalawa ang huli
nilang daraingan at hihingan ng kapasyahan.

Lagi ninyong ipagtanggol ang mga karapatan ng inyong mga nasasakupan sa


Bembaran at Minangoaw. Kayo ang kanilang tagapagtanggol at may karapatan silang
asahan ito sa inyo sapagkat kayoy aking mga anak.
Kung may sinumang magsalita laban sa inyo, kahit sino man sila, maging
dugong bughaw, mga karaniwang mamamayan, matanda o bata, dayuhan o katutubo,
lalaki o babae, huwag kayong sasagot kaagad. Isipin munang mabuti ang bagay-bagay.
Kung itoy gagawin ninyo, hindi kayo magkakamali. Maging mapagpatawad kayo at
matiyaga. Gayon man, kung ang pag-insulto ay inulit pa, hamunin ang tao at
ipagtanggol ang inyong karangalan hanggang kamatayan.
Ang pamana ko lamang sa inyo ay ang mahahalagang manang-ari at iba pang
ari-arian. Alagaan ninyo ang mga ito, lalung-lalo na ang torogan, ang tore, ang
bangkang Rinamentaw, ang tatlong agong, Magindaya a Oray, Rogongan at
Momongano Dayiring.
Pagkatapos mawika ang mga ito, namatay si Diwatandaw Gibon. Namahala sa
lahat si Aya Paganay Bai. Inutos niya na palamutian ang torogan at pinatugtog sa mga
tao ang lahat ng mga agong. Iniutos niyang isabit ang lahat ng bandera sa paligid ng
torogan at sa harap ng bakuran nito. Nagtayo ang mga tao ng osonan upang ipahiwatig
sa lahat ng kalapit na upang dumalo sa libing ng patay na hari at pinagsabihan rin ang
lahat ng kamag-anak ng kanyang limang asawa.
Pagkalibing sa Ayonan, ipinaayos ang kasal ng kanyang anak na lalaking si
Tominamansa Rogong kay Prinsesa Lalawanan ng Jolo. Pagkatapos ng kasalan,
namuno si Tominaw sa Rogon sa Bembaran na sinusundan ang bakas ng kanyang
ama, ang matalinong Haring Diwatandaw Gibon, ang unang hari ng Iliyan a Bembaran.

CARAGA REGION
FIVE MATH POEMS
by Eileen Tupaz

i'm tired of being a zero vector


i'm tired of being a zero vector
with no direction
no dimension
and no magnitude;
what i need is another element
- but that would be
a contradiction
of my definition

soulmates

we are all of us
nonsingular creatures
whose identities
must be affirmed
before our inverses
can be found

conformity

why must life


be a diagonal matrix?
where every other path
that deviates from the main
is an unacceptable
- zero

[ ]
we are born
as identity matrices
[nonzero]
[nonempty]
a subset
of the complexity
that is the universe
until fate hands us a scalar
from the twin ends of infinity
and we grow in magnitude
to become universes
- ourselves

breaking point
a vector

is a scalar
that has been pushed
- too far

SOLEDAD
by Angela Manalang Gloria

It was a sacrilege, the neighbors cried,


The way she shattered every mullioned pane
To let a firebrand in. They tried in vain
To understand how one so carved from pride
And glassed in dream could have so flung aside
Her graven days, or why she dared profane
The bread and wine of life for some insane
Moment with him. The scandal never died.

But no one guessed that loveliness would claim


Her soul's cathedral burned by his desires
Or that he left her aureoled in flame
And seeing nothing but her blackened spires,
The town condemned this girl who loved too well
and found her heaven in the depths of hell.

THE STEEL BRASSIERE


by Iris Sheila G. Crisostomo

At first I thought I was hearing the wind whistling through the termite-infested wall
of Tiya Anding's house. Wind on a hot summer afternoon? Dismissing the noise as
coming from rats slipping through hidden holes and crevices in the old house, I
rummaged through the remaining boxes for things worth keeping.
My visit to Tiya Anding's house on J.P. Rizal Street was prompted by a public
notice from the city engineer's office that the property was scheduled for demolition to
give way to the construction of an annex building for the town's health clinic.

Tiya Anding was a friend who had no living relatives. When she died, her house
and the 300-square-meter lot reverted to the government. With the impending
demolition, I had hastily driven to that humble abode hoping to save a few memories of
a past life.
One of the queerest things I recovered from the pile of old clothes was an old
bra. It wasn't fit for any young lady's breasts because it was made not of soft cotton or
lace but of cold and hard metal. A steel bra. What was it doing in Tiya Anding's box? I
thought to myself.
For several nights, my thoughts were on the brassiere. Two cones of stainless
steel with straps made of hammered wire. I tried it in front of the elongated mirror in the
bedroom after I made sure the door was locked and the children had retired to their
beds. I knew Lindoln wouldn't be home until midnight.
I laughed when I saw myself with the bra covering my breasts. I looked like a
character from a Mad Max movie. The bra looked like pointed armor ready to deflect an
ax or a lance from the enemy--a sure protection for the delicate female flesh
underneath. I remembered Madonna in her skimpy get-ups, net stockings and all, her
tits in similar, pointed cones.
After a while, the cold of the metal against my skin produced a strange eerie
feeling. The bra properly belonged to an ancient warrior-princess yet I felt I was too
weak to fight my own battles.
"YOU'VE been to the old house again," my husband's voice boomed from the
bathroom. He had just finished shaving. I said nothing as I handed him the towel like I
always do each morning. "I called the house at 3 o'clock and the maids said you went
out," he continued while wiping
his chin dry.

"I was at the house all afternoon," I replied, seeing no reason to withhold the
truth. "The house will go down next week. I just took home some things."
I thought I saw a smirk on his face when he remarked, "It's about time they do
something about that house. It's rotting, anyway." I wanted to walk out of the room in
protest but didn't. I was too kind--too foolishly kind.
Sunlight was streaming in through the open window. The curtains lifted in the
breeze. It would have been a beautiful day if not for the conversation.
After breakfast, I asked him for money because I would be taking little Gina and
Jonathan to the park that afternoon. He took out P500 then changed his mind and gave
me P300 instead. I whispered "Thank you" loud enough for him to hear but my hand
was crushing the bills inside my pocket.
I had been married to Lindoln for eight years but it felt like I'd been living with a
stranger. He was the champion debater in my class and he won me over an argument
why two people needed each other to live: "A man needs a woman to take care of his
needs and the woman needs a man to support her." Later I wondered about the role of
love which was supposed to be the reason why two people share their lives.
Lindoln was a good provider, the sales manager of a pharmaceutical company
that paid well. He gave me a big house with a lush garden, a dutiful maid and an
excellent cook. There was nothing more to ask but
I felt I really had nothing.
"Stay home. It's best for you and our children," he told me after I gave birth to
Jonathan. He thought he was relieving me of the trouble of working outside the home
but he was really closing a door and locking me in.
I took the children to the park to see the great fountain that squirted water 50
meters high. With each squirt came sounds of innocent wonder as little heads looked up
the sky, following the burst of crystal liquid that disappeared for a moment then fell back
with a great splashing sound. There were shrieks of glee and the patter of little feet
running to get nearer for a closer look each time the fountain squirted water once more.
"Mama, the fountain!" cried eight-year-old Jonathan. He was holding his sister Gina by
the hand and leading her to the edge of the fountain.
"Take care not to get wet," I called out. He nodded. I could see him smiling in the
distance. He had his father's winsome smile. I finished my ice cream, my second
helping.

Later in the afternoon, we wandered through the playground and spent time
pushing one another on the swing. Twin metal chains fastened the swing to a horizontal
steel bar and once again the feel of the cold steel between my fingers made me think of
Tiya Anding's breast armor.
As the swing swayed back and forth, I closed my eyes and my hand went over
my chest, remembering how the hard metal felt against my flesh. The wind was
brushing against my face with every swing and I felt like a warrior riding with the wind,
charging towards the enemy. Then I felt a drop of liquid on my cheek. Was it a tear?
Was I crying?
As I felt more drops, I realized a drizzle was starting. I called out to the children
and we ran to the parking lot but it was a long way getting there. I stepped on mud and
slipped on the pavement made slippery by the rain. Jonathan came back to help me but
I was already up and laughing at my own clumsiness.
The rain was now falling harder and I was dripping wet. Trotting to the car with
the children, I found myself in a playful mood, enjoining them to guess which key will
open the car door. There were about twenty keys in the chain and it took me several
minutes before I finally opened the door.
By that time, we were soaked to our skins. Jonathan made faces as he pulled at
his baggy pants heavy with rain. Gina was laughing as she changed into an old T-shirt
she found in the car. It turned out to be a clean rag but she didn't mind. She was just
glad to be out of her wet clothes. I knew it was foolish to play in the rain but I felt no
remorse.
As expected, the children came down with a cold and Lindoln kept me up all
night with his how-to-be-a-good-mother lectures.
"Haven't you any sense at all?" he asked, slamming the closet door with a loud
thud. "No mother in her right mind would permit her children to play in the rain. And
what's worse, they did not even ask to do it. You actually invited them to play. So what
do you call that?"
"I'm sorry," I replied flatly. "'Something just got into me. It will never happen again."
"Unbelievable. The kids get into more trouble when they're with you," he barked
then crept into bed with his back turned to me. I lay awake for what seemed like an hour
before I heard a faint snore. Then I went to the balcony for some air. I wanted to cry. I
wanted to scream. I wanted to laugh if it would help. For the first time, I felt nothing.
Lindoln's words which used to bother me into sleepless nights didn't mean anything

anymore. I looked up the sky but saw no stars. I felt no fear. I felt I could do anything
and still remain unfeeling.
Then I remembered Tiya Anding. We used to walk together along stretches of
empty streets with nothing but towering lamp posts above us craning their necks as if
eager to listen. She would tell me about her husband, Tata Fernan, who used to berate
her about her smoking. Tata Fernan hated her smoking. But Tiya Anding brushed aside
all his words aside calling him a coward because he feared for her life.
"That old man just cannot live without me;" she said with a smirk on her face.
"And you?" I asked.
"You can say the feeling is mutual. We go a long way back. Had lots of fun together. He
was never a bore. So how is Lindoln?"
`Tiya Anding always had a way of shifting our conversation to my husband. She
remembered Lindoln whenever she spoke about Tata Fernan.
"Always too busy," I answered.
"If that man could just slow down a bit, he wouldn't be
missing out on things." Tiya Anding said, making a round billow of smoke
in the air.
I watched as the demolition team tore the house down, clouds of dust and dirt
went flying everywhere. I thought of Tiya Anding's similar emissions as a heavy smoker.
I watched as wooden planks were pried from the walls and the old, rusty roofing pulled
down. Doorposts fell like giant toothpicks against the heavy arm of moving machines.
Besides myself, children from nearby shanties were standing by, watching the men
operate their giant toys with ease.
When the entire structure finally torn down, I felt like I had lost a part of myself-an arm maimed or broken off in an injury. With a heavy heart, I headed back to the
house thinking about Tiya Anding and her words: "That old man just can't live without
me." Can I say the same about Lindoln? And can I live without him?
After lunch, I helped the maid get the laundry from the clothesline. After a few
minutes under the hot midday sun, I went back inside to the kitchen for a cold glass of
water. The feel of the cold pitcher in my hand made me think of the cold metal I once
wore against my breast. The feel of the steel brassiere was as comforting and
reassuring as the ice water running down my throat.

The sound of the ringing phone brought me back to my senses.


It was Lindoln.
"Hey, Pareng Jimmy will be coming over for dinner tonight. Can you prepare his favorite
rellenong bangus?"
"What?" I asked, still holding the cold glass in hand.
"I said Pareng Jimmy will come for dinner tonight..."
"Call again. The line is bad. I can't quite hear you." I put the phone down and leisurely
walked to the bedroom. And the phone rang again and again and again.
Sunlight was streaming in through the open window. The curtains lifted in the
breeze. It would have been a beautiful day if not for the incessant ringing of the phone.

CENTRAL MINDANAO
WORDS
by Angela Manalang Gloria

I never meant the words I said,


So trouble not your honest head
And never mean the words I write,
But come and kiss me now goodnight.

The words I said break with the thunder


Of billows surging into spray:
Unfathomed depths withhold the wonder
Of all the words I never say.

References:

http://jm92-philippineliteraryworks.blogspot.com/2012/09/introduction-philippineliterature_24.html
http://literarycompilationbyrejean.weebly.com/index.html
http://she-soriano.blogspot.com/p/cagayan-valley_07.html