Maalikabok Ka Lang pero Kaganda Mo

Ni Gerald Galindez
Tula

Maalikabok ka lang pero kaganda mo,
lalo na sa mga hapon pag ginatamaan ka ng ilaw ng araw na nagalubog sa Daguma—
                                                                     ang korona mo ay nagabaga.

Maalikabok ka lang
         pero grabe kainit ang pag-alaga mo—
wala kang ginapili, wala kang paborito, giyakap mo lahat ng tribu.

Maalikabok ka lang
         pero kadami mong ginatago
         mga kayamanan sa iyong buhok,
         mga pakpak na ginto, apoy sa dulo ng mga yantok,
         mga perlas sa tawa ng mga masayahing tao.

Maalikabok ka lang
         pero kadaming nagaasa sa iyong paaralan
ang iyong industriya ay buhay sa mga pangarap ng iyong mga anak,
         ng mga babu at bapa, ng mga manong at manang, ng mga iyoy at iyay
                   gintahi mo ang mga malalim na sugat ng kasaysayan.

Maalikabok ka lang
         pero kalalim ng iyong ugat
         sa ’yo nagadaloy ang mga pinaghalong tula at awit at kulay,
                   ang mga sayaw na nagasabog
                             ang pinag-isang kultura na patuloy sa paglipad ay
                                       tulad ng mga ibon na tunay na nagamay-ari ng lupa.

Tacurong,
         maalikabok ka lang pero kaganda mo.

Editors and Contributors

CONTRIBUTORS

Midpantao Midrah G. Adil II is a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine student at the University of Southern Mindanao in Kabacan, Cotabato Province, but is currently on leave from his studies and working as a content writer for a digital marketing agency in Davao City. He served as an editor in chief of his alma mater’s official student publication and was born in Tacurong City, Sultan Kudarat.

Glenn M. Arimas is from Midasayap, Cotabato Province, and a first year student at Southern Christian College, where he writes for the official student publication. He also likes mobile photography and making videos for YouTube.

Gerald Galindez teaches language and literature at the senior high school department of Notre Dame of Tacurong College in Tacurong City, Sultan Kudarat. He was a fellow for poetry at the 2018 Davao Writers Workshop and the 26th Iligan National Writers Workshop (2019), where he won a Jimmy Y. Balacuit Literary Award. He is also the winner of the national poetry contest of the Pananaw magazine of the United Methodist Church in 2008 and of the 2017 Cotabato Province Poetry Contest. As a zinester, he wrote I, Alone and Ginapasaya Mo Ako and co-edited Kalimudan: Literary Works from Sultan Kudarat and The Best of Sulat SOX. He earned his bachelor’s degree in secondary education (major in English) from the University of Southern Mindanao in Kabacan, Cotabato Province. He also writes Christian songs.

Estrella Taño Golingay, of Surallah, South Cotabato, has a PhD in language education and is a retired professor of Notre Dame of Marbel University. In 1994, her poem “Si Nene at Ako sa Pagitan ng Gabi” won the first prize in the poetry contest of Home Life magazine.

Norsalim S. Haron is from Pikit, Cotabato Province, and teaches at Rajah Muda National High School in the same town. He is a graduate of Bachelor in Secondary Education (major in Filipino) at the University of Southern Mindanao in Kabacan, Cotabato Province.

Alvin Larida teaches physics and chemistry at Dole Philippines School in Polomolok, South Cotabato. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Notre Dame of Marbel University in Koronadal City, South Cotabato, and is currently finishing his master’s degree at Mindanao State University in General Santos City.

Ma. Isabelle Alessandra M. Mirabueno is currently a grade 12 (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics strand) student at the Quantum Academy in General Santos City, where she serves as the managing editor and editorial writer of the school publication.

Mubarak M. Tahir is a pure-blooded Maguindanao–Moro from Datu Piang, Maguindanao. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in Filipino Language cum laude at Mindanao State University in Marawi City. He won the third prize for Filipino Essay at the 2017 Palanca Awards, and his work has been published in journals, newspapers, and anthologies. Currently, he is a Filipino instructor at Mindanao State University in General Santos City.

EDITORS

Jude Ortega (Editor in Chief) is the author of the short story collection Seekers of Spirits (UP Press, 2018). He was a fellow for fiction in six writers workshops, including the 55th University of the Philippines National Writers Workshop (2016) and the 53rd Silliman University National Writers Workshop (2014). In 2015, he received honorable mention at the inaugural F. Sionil José Young Writers Awards and at the Philippines Graphic Nick Joaquin Literary Awards. He studied political science at Notre Dame of Marbel University in Koronadal City, South Cotabato, and currently stays most of the time in Isulan, Sultan Kudarat.

David Jayson Oquendo (Editor for Fiction) is from Polomolok, South Cotabato, and works in Davao City as an electrical engineer. He was a fellow for fiction at the 2018 Davao Writers Workshop and is a former editor in chief of the official student publication of Mindanao State University in General Santos City.

Andrea D. Lim (Editor for Poetry) is working as an editor for a publishing company in Cebu City while taking her master’s degree in literature at the University of San Carlos. She was a fellow at the 24th Iligan National Writers Workshop (2017) and is a former editor in chief of the official student publication of Silliman University in Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental. Her family lives in General Santos City.

Paul Randy P. Gumanao (Editor for Poetry) hails from Kidapawan City, Cotabato Province, and teaches chemistry at Philippine Science High School–SOCCSKSARGEN Region Campus in Koronadal City, South Cotabato. He was a fellow for poetry at the 2009 Davao Writers Workshop and the 2010 IYAS National Writers Workshop. He is a former editor in chief of the official student publication of Ateneo de Davao University, where he earned his bachelor’s degree and is finishing his master’s degree in chemistry.

Hazel-Gin Lorenzo Aspera (Editor for Nonfiction) is a registered nurse, artist, and writer. She spent her childhood in Cotabato City and is now based in Cagayan de Oro City. A fellow for literary essay at the 1st Cagayan de Oro Writers Workshop, some of her feature stories appear in the book Peace Journeys: A Collection of Peacebuilding Stories in Mindanao. Currently, she is Associate Director for Communications and Junior Fellow for Literary Essay of Nagkahiusang Magsusulat sa Cagayan de Oro (NAGMAC).

Jennie P. Arado (Editor for Nonfiction) is from Koronadal City, South Cotabato, and currently works for a newspaper in Davao City as editor of the lifestyle section. She earned her BA in English (major in creative writing) from the University of the Philippines–Mindanao and was a fellow for creative nonfiction at the 2016 University of Santo Tomas National Writers Workshop. Her story “Ang Dako nga Yahong sang Batchoy” won the South Cotabato Children’s Story Writing Contest in 2018.

Norman Ralph Isla (Editor for Play) is from Tacurong City, Sultan Kudarat, and a department head at Mindanao State University in General Santos City. He was a fellow for drama at the 2015 Davao Writers Workshop and at the 4th Amelia Lapeña–Bonifacio Writers Workshop (2019). Several of his plays have been staged in General Santos City and South Cotabato.

Meri Krismas, Langit

Ni Gerald Galindez 
Tula

 

Kasaya ng panahon ngayon                                            Krismas
Kadaming gift, makulay, ginabalot ng silopin—
Lingaw, makapa-excite, makapa-good vibes—

Pero hindi sa bahay namin—

Wala kami naghingi.

Pero kung puwede
Kahit konti lang sana 
Hininga, init
Konting tibok—pulso sa maliliit na kamay.

Konting init,
Konting buhay.

’Yon lang sana.

Kami pala ang magbigay ng regalo ngayon
Ibalot namin sa  karton, silopin
Kahirap buhatin
Luha ang nagatulo, hindi pawis

Kabigat.

Kahirap ipadala  sa langit.

Editors and Contributors

EDITORS

Eric Gerard H. Nebran is an educator and illustrator from General Santos City. He is currently a PhD Comparative Literature student at the University of the Philippines–Diliman. His research interests include orality, history, and literary productions of his hometown.

Jude Ortega is the author of the short story collection Seekers of Spirits (University of the Philippines Press, 2018), the chapbook Katakot (Balangay Books, 2018) and the zines Mga Kuwentong Peysbuk and Faded Jeans and Old Shoes. He has been a fellow for fiction at four national and two regional writers workshops. In 2015, his stories received honorable mention at the inaugural F. Sionil José Young Writers Awards and at the Nick Joaquin Literary Awards. He divides his time between Senator Ninoy Aquino and Isulan, both in Sultan Kudarat.

CONTRIBUTORS

Jennie P. Arado is from Koronadal City, South Cotabato, and currently works for SunStar Davao as editor of the lifestyle section. She earned her BA in English (major in creative writing) from the University of the Philippines–Mindanao. Her story “Ang Dako nga Yahong sang Batchoy” won the South Cotabato Children’s Story Writing Contest in 2018.

Hazel-Gin Lorenzo Aspera is a registered nurse, artist, and writer. She spent her childhood in Cotabato City and is now based in Cagayan de Oro City. A fellow for literary essay at the 1st Cagayan de Oro Writers Workshop, some of her feature stories appear in the book Peace Journeys: A Collection of Peacebuilding Stories in Mindanao. Currently, she is Associate Director for Communications and Junior Fellow for Literary Essay of Nagkahiusang Magsusulat sa Cagayan de Oro (NAGMAC).

Allan Ace Dignadice is from Koronadal City, South Cotabato, and a BS Electronics Engineering student at Mindanao State University in General Santos City. He is a former editor in chief of the official school publication of Koronadal Comprehensive National High School. “Hawla,” his play that appears in this issue, is his fifth published work in Cotabato Literary Journal.

Gerald Galindez is a senior high school teacher at Notre Dame of Tacurong College in Tacurong City, Sultan Kudarat. His poem “San Gerardo and the Exocotidae” is the winner of the 2017 Cotabato Province Poetry Contest. He has released two poetry zines—I, Alone and Ginapasaya Mo Ako.

Rustom M. Gaton teaches at Montessori Learning Center in Isulan, Sultan Kudarat. He grew up in the municipality of Bagumbayan in the same province and earned his Bachelor of Secondary Education (major in English) degree at Sultan Kudarat State University.

Alvin Q. Larida is a teacher at Dole Philippines School in Polomolok, South Cotabato, where he teaches physics and chemistry for senior high school. He is a graduate of Notre Dame of Marbel University in Koronadal City, South Cotabato, and currently finishing his master’s degree at Mindanao State University in General Santos City.

Hannah Adtoon Leceña is a high school teacher and spoken word artist from Kiamba, Sarangani Province. She was a fellow for fiction at the 2018 Davao Writers Workshop and at the 3rd Bathalad–Sugbo Creative Writing Workshop (2019). She earned her Bachelor of Secondary Education (major in Filipino) degree at Mindanao State University in General Santos City.

Andrea D. Lim is from General Santos City and currently working as an editor for a publishing company in Cebu City while taking her master’s degree in literature at the University of San Carlos. She is also a former editor in chief of The Weekly Sillimanian, the official student publication of Silliman University in Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental.

Kabacan Blues

By Gerald Galindez
Poetry

I.
Grabe kasilaw ang araw na nagalabas dahan-dahan—
Nagabaga sa likod ng Mount Apo—
Ginailawan ang malawak na basakan na ginto.

At lahat ng sungo na nagasupsop sa kanyang suso—
Nagagising sa nagasirit na tunog ng takore
Nagasabay sa nagakamang na tubig ng basakan.

II.
Ginapatugtog namin ang Chinese music bago mag-open ang Cybernet.
Nagapasok ang mga tao at magsabi sila ng “Open time, kuya.” Mag-nod ako.
Hawak ko ang kontrol, ako ang hari, isang klik lang,
Sendan ko ng warning message ang mga naganood ng porn, matakot sila.
Awtomatik, ako din ang DJ.

Pag ginapatugtog ko ang Gregorian chants at Enya, masaya-ah, pero magreklamo man sila.
Pag ginapatugtog ko ang Slayer at Pantera, masaya-ah, pero magreklamo man din sila.
Pag ginapatugtog ko ang April Boy at Willie Revillame, ayos-ah, pero magreklamo pa din man sila—

Sabihin nila, “Ano ngay yan, pang-weirdo man, yung uso ah, koya.” Take note, koya.
Pag tanghali, maraming tao, gusto nila ’90s, tunog kalye.
Kaya ginapatugtog ko ang Eheads at Rivermaya, ganun gud!

Ala-una hanggang alas-tres
Ginapatugtog ko ang “Beautiful Girl” ni Jose Mari Chan pag nagpasok si crush, si Moan.
Ginapatugtog ko ang “Ulan” ng Rivermaya o “Buhos ng Ulan” ni Regine pag nagaulan.
Ginapatugtog ko ang “We are the Champions” ng Queen pag nanalo sa pustahan ng Dota sila Ipo.
Ginapatugtog ko ang “Gitara” ng PNE pag nagpasok si Krabby Patty.
Ginapatugtog ko ang “Selling the Drama” ng Live pag nagpasok si Kuya Butch o si Kuya Coi.
Ginapatugtog ko ang Saosin, Hawthorne Heights, The Used pag nandyan sila Elp et al.
Ginapatugtog ko ang “MMMBop” ng Hanson pag nandyan si Kuya Jong.
Ginapatugtog ko ang “Name” ng Goo Goo Dolls, paborito ni Ate Leizel.
Ginapatugtog ko ang “Modelong Charing.”
Ginapatugtog ko ang “Antukin” ni Rico, kanta bago ang closing time . . .
Ginapatugtog ko ang “Closing Time” pag magsarado na . . .
At kadami pang ginapatugtog—
Big deal sa akin dati, lalo na yung “Barkado Ko” ng Isla Era—
Yun ang kanta namin,
Ginadaan sa mga lyrics ang mga damdamin.

III.
Kasarap maglakad sa ilalim ng mga kakahuyan ng USM.
Kadami mong maisip, bawat buto ng lawaan na nagahulog,
Parang isip mo, ginalipad ng hangin, nagaikot-ikot, makalingaw.

Kasarap maglakad sa ilalim ng mga kakahuyan ng USM
Lalo na pag naka-earphones ka, ginakanta mo ang lyrics
Naga-concert ka sa utak mo.

“Far Behind” ng Candle Box
Palagi, pag magklase ako sa CAS,
Sa lalamunan lang ang guitar solo.

Pag galing ka ng CED papuntang Men’s Dorm
5 minutes at 34 seconds yan eksakto—
Parang “Vampires Will Never Hurt You” ng MCR.

Ginalakad ko yan, pag nagapraktis ng pingpong
Habang nagahulog ang mga dahon
Habang nagadilim ang hapon.

IV.
Pag gabi
Nagaawas ng ukay-ukay at prutas ang Crossing Avenue,
Parang ilog ng laman, tela, at buto.
Nagabanggaan ang siko.
Maamoy mo ang hininga.
Malingaw ka sa mga ginasabi.
Malumos ka sa ingay.
Ma-high ka sa amoy.

V.
Patil ang buhay,
Buhay ang patil.

VI.
Lagi na lang, pag nagasakay sa tricycle na may sound system. Makasuya.

*Sad piano music with strings

Sometimes we close our eyes and just listen to the echoes of our hearts . . .

We all fall in love, and there are times when we love so much that we lose ourselves in our emotions . . . 

Many of us believe that love is forever, that love never dies, only to be disillusioned in the end . . . 

There is always a reason why we have to move on. When we have to say goodbye to the feeling we wanted to stay forever, let us not wave our hands with a heavy heart . . .

We should be thankful and happy not because we have lost love, but because, for once in our lives, that feeling called love lived in our hearts and made us happy . . .

Pagbaba sa Avenue, kalakas ng radyo sa mga boarding house. Makasuya.

VII.
“Nobela,” Join the Club,
Papunta na sa guitar solo
Bagsakan . . .

Hindi mo na kailangan ng droga o alak,
Nagalaro ang daliri at ilaw, sa sayaw ng tunog
Walang problema, walang away,
Ginaduyan lang ang lahat ng malungkot at masakit na awit
Parang ayaw mo nang matapos.

VIII.
Pag naglaki ka sa simbahan, sa sermon ng pastor,
Matutunan mo ang sikreto ng pagsilang at kamatayan
Matutunan mong makipagkamay habang nagatingin sa mata.

Nagasimba pa rin ako sa lumang simbahan
Kahit sa panaginip,
May mga alaalang hindi madaling malimutan.

IX.
“Sige na ba, magsama ka na sa Pisan Cave.”
“Sige ngarud. Sino ngay ang kasama natin?”
“Si Aila and friends.”
“Ah sige. OK!  Saan garud tayo magkita-kita?”
“Sa crossing lang!”

Naghuli kami ng mga pantat sa loob ng kweba.
Kinain namin.

X.
Kaibigan ko ang buwan.
Gibantayan niya ako sa aking paglakad sa malungkot na daan.
May aso at mga ibon akong kaibigan
Tahimik na nagasabay, pagliko sa simbahan.
Dahan-dahan lang sa pintuan.
Dahan-dahan sa pagtulog.

XI.
Nagalutang sa garapon ang nakalabos na katawan
Ginaikutan sa ilalim ng isdang maitim,
Klaro ang isip sa kwartong madilim,
Makaabot sa malayong lugar,
Sa mga oras na nangyari at mangyayari
Katalas ng utak, nagagawa ng sariling mundo

Dati.

XII.
Gipabukalan ni Lola ang baka at red beans
Gilagyan ng lamas, saluyot—
Gitimplahan ng mga bagay ng makapangyarihan
Mga bagay na nagabuo ng kalawakan.
            Bagay na nagpaamo ng mga bulkan—
Mga bagay na nagapagaling ng kaluluwa—
Ang luto ni Lola,
Hindi ko na matitikman.

XIII.
Nagaayos ng tambak ang mga tao sa basak
Ang iba nagakarga ng sako,
Mayrong naga-bike, mayrong naga-hike may mga dalang arado.

Galipad, gakalat ang mga dagami,
Maingay ang treser simula pa kagabi,
Nagasyawer ang mga nakasweter
            Sa pawis at tahop,
Ginahanap ng tiyan ang ininit.

At dahan-dahan ginailawan ng araw ang basak.
Nagabaga sa likod ng Mount Apo.
At lahat ng sungo na nagasupsop sa kanyang suso—
Nagagising sa nagasirit na tunog ng takore
                        Nagasabay sa nagakamang na tubig ng basakan,
Nagasakay sa sungay ng maputik na nuwang.

Editor and Contributors

EDITOR

Jude Ortega is the author of the short story collection Seekers of Spirits (University of the Philippines Press, 2018) and has been a fellow for fiction at two regional and four national writers workshops. In 2015, his stories received honorable mention at the inaugural F. Sionil José Young Writers Awards and at the Nick Joaquin Literary Awards. He is from Senator Ninoy Aquino, Sultan Kudarat.

CONTRIBUTORS

Jade Mark B. Capiñanes earned his bachelor’s degree in English at Mindanao State University in General Santos City. He has been a fellow for essay at the 2016 Davao Writers Workshop and the 2017 University of Santo Tomas National Writers Workshop. His “A Portrait of a Young Man as a Banak” won third prize at the Essay Category of the 2017 Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature.

Gerald Galindez teaches at Notre Dame of Tacurong College in Tacurong City, Sultan Kudarat. His poem “San Gerardo and the Exocotidae” is the winner of the 2017 Cotabato Province Poetry Contest. His poetry zine I, Alone was featured in the 2017 SOX Zine Fest.

Kwesi M. Junsan is a licensed veterinarian from Koronadal City, South Cotabato. Aside from writing, reading, and regular musings, he is taking MA Media Studies (Film) at the University of the Philippines Diliman and Sertipiko sa Panitikan at Malikhaing Pagsulat sa Filipino at Polytechnic University of the Philippines.

Mariz J. Leona is an AB English student at Mindanao State University in General Santos City. Her essay “First Aid” is the winner of the 2017 Sultan Kudarat Essay Contest. She is from Lambayong, Sultan Kudarat.

Mubarak M. Tahir was born in the village of Kitango in Datu Piang, Maguindanao. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in Filipino Language (cum laude) at Mindanao State University in Marawi City. He lived in General Santos City when he taught in the campus there of his alma mater. His essay “Aden Bon Besen Uyag-uyag” won the third prize for Sanaysay at the 2017 Palanca Awards. Currently, he is teaching at the Davao campus of Philippine Science High School.

Kuala’s Song

By Gerald Galindez
Poetry

After the film Tinimbang Ka ngunit Kulang by Lino Brocka

She buried herself in scorched earth
And heard the voices from the sun
She let the voices into her
And welcomed everyone
She came across on every street
They called her by her name
Kuala! Kuala! Kuala! The insane

All day in her ramblings
Her laughter never ceasing
The church and his half-hallowed halls
Has heard her rattle ringing
In dusty pathways and hilly passes
Her thrones are always found
Scattered on the lonely hills
And cogon-covered mounds

Her locks are all adorned
With crawling things that bear—
12345678More crawling things that
12345678Kiss the skull and gnaw the open sores
Her skin reflects the light of day
She drinks on putrid springs
When into town she wears the gown
That gives her fancy wings

Her eyes, they don’t settle
Her tongue, it doesn’t stop
From singing a song
Of a more colored past
When Cesar her love
When they rolled on the hill
He kissed her with fire
That was so hard to kill
Then when on a tree
A fruit came to sight
Her Cesar dissevered the box of their child

And that’s where Kuala started to sing
Her sorrowful song in the heart of that hill
Where she buried herself in the foot of a tree
With a rattle in hand
In perpetual glee.