Introduction to October 2019 Issue

Featured in this issue are six literary works—two poems, one micro essay, and three short stories. Four of them deal with love, a subject that is relevant regardless of what time of year it is. Most of them are distinctly set in the region, an indication of the growing consciousness among local writers to write local stories for local readers. All of them are well-written, whatever language they are in.

“Oh, My Mandarangan” by Vincent Carlo Duran Cuzon looks back on a love that failed, and “Handum” by Adrian Pete Pregonir yearns for a love to be fulfilled. Poetry editor Paul Randy Gumanao selected and reviewed the two poems:

Cuzon’s poem is a creative interlacing of folklore and the persona’s narrative. Here, the Kidapawanon poet features as the central setting of the poem a local landmark of Kidapawan City—the Mandarangan Trail of Mt. Apo. In Bagobo folklore, Mandarangan is a powerful spirit who dwells with his wife, Darago, in a great fissure in Mt. Apo. In the poem, Mandarangan is addressed as someone to whom the persona was lured and with whom had a serendipitous affair, which eventually did not prosper causing the persona to earn the ire of Mandarangan’s wife.

The poem ushers the readers through the thickets, warm vents, and foggy atmosphere of the Mandarangan Trail on the way to the peak of Mt. Apo, as it reveals a story of a fleeting and unfortunate romance with someone who is already committed to another. The poem is a must-read especially this month when the Mandarangan Trail is again open for tourists and trekkers for the annual Mt. Apo October Trek.

Ang binalaybay ni Pregonir nagalarawan sa madalum nga handum kag paglaum sang persona nga makaupod ang ginahulat nga pinalangga nga nagpasalig sa iya nga dal-on siya sa lawud nga [ila]/ ginadahum kag indi magauntat tubtub/ indi [siya] madala sa/ pantalan sang [ila] ginhawa. Matahum ang paghulagway sang iya nga kahidlaw. May sagol nga kabalaka ang iya nga handum kag ini mabatyagan sa mga imahe sang nagalupad/ nga mga ipot-ipot sa kahanginan, sang nagauyog [nga] kapunoan, kag sang wala untat/ [nga] pagtayhop sang amihan.

Kung san-o ang katumanan sang iya nga handum, wala pa sing kasiguruhan. Ugaling, tungod sa gugma, nagapadayon siya nga malaumon pinaagi sa pagpanday/ sang balay sang tinaga/ agud mangin isa/ ka binalaybay.

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Sa maikling sanayay na “Liko’t Lubak,” inilahad ni Allan Ace Dignadice ang kaniyang mga karanasan at pagmumuni-muni upang lalong makilala ang sarili at humantong sa isang desisyon. Payak man ang paksa, nakakaaliw basahin ang gawa dahil malinis at may indayog ang wika at matapat ang paglalahad. Ipinapahayag din sa sanaysay na ang mga paglalakbay ay laging para sa sarili at bumabalik sa pinanggalingan.

Mahitungod ang sugilanon nga “Ginadili” ni Hannah Adtoon Leceña sa usa ka Kristiyano nga babaye nga naay uyab nga Muslim, ug tutol ang iyahang amahan sa ilahang paghigugmaay. Nipadulong ang suliran sa bayolente nga pagpakigharong, ug dinhi nigawas ang matuod nga  kinaiyahan sa mga tawo. Pinaagi sa matud-anong dayalogo, nahimong buhi ang mga eksena sa hunahuna sa magbabasa.

Tungkol naman sa sapilitang pagpapakasal ang kuwentong “Bihag” ni Norsalim S. Haron. Sa isang kulturang malaki ang pagpapahalaga sa dangal, hindi bihira ang pangyayaring ito. Sa pag-usad ng kuwento, matutuklasang hindi lamang pisikal ang pagkakabihag sa pangunahing tauhan. Ipinapasilip sa akda ang mga kaugalian at paniniwala ng mga Maguindanon.

“Scars under Her Feet” by Angelo Serrano is a long short story about a girl and her adventure in a magical land. The quest she accepts, however, is far from simple or ideal. As she comes face to face with the villain, her perception of good and evil, of truth and lies, is challenged. Of the local writers his age, Serrano arguably has the best command of the English language.

These six writers are still in their teens or twenties, as most of the contributors of this journal are. If they persevere and continue to produce works that are of the same quality as or better than the ones here, the region’s literature will thrive even further. This journal has so much to be grateful for and look forward to.

Jude Ortega
Isulan, Sultan Kudarat

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