Issue 1 Contents

Introduction

Cotabato Literary Journal is not coming to life on its own. It is but a part of a literary wave that is currently surging across the region. . . . As we identify readers and performers for the poetry readings, we scout for aspiring and established writers who can be members and advisers of the local literary circles that we are forming. The ultimate goal is to gather all of the region’s poets, playwrights, essayists, and fictionists in one writers’ guild.

POETRY

Kutabatu by Rita Gadi

Nuri, / finely feathered falcon / swiftest scaler of the sky, / azure lash of wind across the valleys, / Qudarat’s carrier of messages, / forecaster, skin of kings, majestic linnet: / between the warrior and the gods, / flying being, soul of the clouds, / behold, today, the utter ruin, the funeral choir, / the breathing, bandaged vastness:

Four Kinaray-a Poems by Generoso Opulencia

Sa gakudogkudog kong kaugatan / Ang karamig kang salog tang kawayan / Daw wara gid pag-iban. / Gabaragtik sa banggirahan / Ang mumho sa gatarangkas nga dulang. / Ang kaluoy, Inday, sa aton ugsadan / Nga katong una marimasa / Kag masurusapdingan / Kang buta mo nga lata / Kada kaw mamahid / Kang imo kahig sa ugsadan / Ay, karon daw manunggal ron / Garulubid sa kauhaw.

Three Filipino Poems by M. J. Cagumbay Tumamac

Sa bingit ng pagkilala sa sarili’t pagkakaila, / nakaluhod ka sa mga butil ng asin ng pagtanda; / sa asing ipinanlalaban sa lansa ng mga isdang / binabalikat mo bago ang umaga ay magsimula. / Hindi mo naisip ang sariling pumapasan ng bigat / ng mga dambuhalang bariles. Tangi mong nagagagap / na kakambal ng dambuhalang kampilan, gong, at kalasag / si Tud Bulul nang ang matandang si Lenkonul ay nanganak.

ESSAY

Becoming a Hematologist by Noel Pingoy

I decided to pursue fellowship training in hematology after practicing internal medicine for a year in my hometown in Koronadal, South Cotabato. . . . While it lacks the historical charms of the old Filipino towns or the effervescent hullabaloo of the cosmopolitan cities, its strength lies mainly on a steadily germinating economy that seduces professionals and blue-collar workers alike, from as far as Luzon and the Visayas, to exploit its promise of a better life.

PLAY

Killing the Issue by Karlo Antonio Galay David

Raymond: I owe you no transparency, you’re not a registered voter. I wouldn’t owe you any transparency if you were. Arthur: Oh come on, Kuya, spill. For affection’s sake, if not for an FOI law. Raymond: No. Arthur: Even if I say please? (Walks slowly to position himself behind Raymond) Raymond: I said no. If you want to be in the know, enter politics. And besides, you’re tabian. If you know something, everybody ends up knowing about it. Arthur: Ah yes, having the knack for talking is one of my more flattering defects.

FICTION

Crimson Crescents by Gilbert Yap Tan

“Why are you playing with these palm leaves?” “This is not a toy. We use this to commemorate the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem.” “Who is Jesus? Is he a prophet like Muhammad?” “Jesus is the Son of God. Is Muhammad also the Son of God?” “Muhammad is our prophet. He founded our religion so we could praise Allah, the Holy Name of God. Allah has no son.” Confusion streaked across Bai’s forehead. “Is your religion different from ours?” Camar only smiled at her naiveté.

Ang Paborito ni Daddy by Nal Andrea Jalando-on

Kung magsaylo ang bata sa sunod naman nga mahampangan, halong man nga magsunod-sunod si Lester para indi siya mahalata sang manugbantay sini. Madugay niya na ini ginahimo kag ginalikawan niya nga maistorya ang ginikanan sang mga bata . . . Delikado ini nga pamaagi sang pagpaumpaw sang iya luyag, kag makasiling siya nga wala sang tao nga yara sa tama nga pinsar ang magabuhat sini. “Last na gid ni,” hambal niya liwat sa iya kaugalingon.

Touch Move by Karlo Antonio Galay David

“Problema talaga yang lolo mo . . .” Gihagisan niya ng tingin ang malaking picture ni Lolo sa ibabaw ng bookshelf ko sa kabilang gilid ng sala. Ito yung masamang tingin, makitid ang mata, pero nagalisik, ganito yan pag galit ang tingin. Yan si Lolo ko. Jaime Saavedra, tatlong beses governor ng North Cotabato. Noong panahon ni Marcos gitawag siyang strong man ng Cotabato kay halos lahat ng pulitiko dito sa amin hawak niya.

Editors and Contributors

Bionotes of Saquina Karla C. Guiam, Jude Ortega, Rita Gadi, Generoso Opulencia, M. J. Cagumbay Tumamac, Noel Pingoy, Karlo Antonio Galay David, Gilbert Yap Tan, and Nal Andrea Jalando-on

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