Sa Kaunting Panahon

By Gerard E. Distor
Fiction

Isa, dalawa, tatlo . . . apat . . . lima . . . Malapit na. Kaunting panahon na lang . . .

Sadyang napakalambot ng mga palad mo, mahal kong ina. Dama ko ang init na humahaplos sa maliit kong katawan. Dinig ko ang matamis at walang katulad mong boses. Kay sarap pakinggan habang ako’y natutulog.

“Mila, ano na ang balak mo d’yan?”

Sandali, kaninong boses iyan? Tila magkahawig sa tinig mo, Ina. Ngunit bakit tila galit?

“Sandali lang, Nay. Pinag-iisipan ko pa.”

Ah, boses pala iyon ng aking lola. Sadyang napakagandang tinig din, katulad ng sa ’yo, Ina. Hindi na ako makapaghintay na masulyapan ang magaganda ninyong mukha.

Isa, dalawa, tatlo . . . apat . . . lima . . . Apat na buwan na lang, mahal kong ina.

Aray! Napukaw ako mula sa aking mahimbing na pagkatulog.

“Mila, gumising ka na. Nariyan na si Aling Mining.”

Ha? Malalim na ang gabi, ngunit ginigising ka ni Lola. At sino naman si Aling Mining?

“Nay, di ba sabi ko pag-iisipan ko pa?”

“Ngunit hanggang kailan, Mila? Maglilimang buwan na ’yan at bakat na sa iyong damit.”

Bakit tila lumalakas ang boses ni Lola? Ano’ng nangyayari?

“Bilis na, Mila. Naghihintay si Aling Mining.”

“Ngunit, Nay . . .”

“Wala nang ngunit-ngunit. Kailangan na nating ipalaglag ’yan. Nakakahiya na sa mga kumare ko. Baka malaman na nilang disgrasyada ka.”

Ano? Bakit? Bakit gusto ninyo akong mawala, Lola? Mahal kong ina, ipagtanggol mo ako. Huwag mong hayaang gawin nila ito sa akin.

Apat na buwan na lang, Ina, at lalabas na ako. Apat na buwan na lang at masusulyapan ko na ang maganda mong mukha at ang pagmamahal sa iyong mga mata. Apat na buwan na lang!

“Bilis na, Mila!”

Mahal kong ina, bakit tila ika’y umiiyak? Sinasaktan ka ba nila? Huwag mong hayaang saktan ka nila. Huwag mong hayaang mawala ako sa ’yo. Ipaglaban mo ang sarili mo. Ipaglaban mo ako!

“Sige,” isang salitang namutawi sa iyong bibig.

Bakit ka pumapayag, Ina? Hindi ka ba nasasabik na makita ako? Hindi ka ba nasasabik na marinig ang boses ko, mahawakan ang kamay ko, at mahagkan ako? Hindi mo ba ako mahal? Hindi mo na ba ako mahal?

Aray! Araaaay! Bakit nanlalambot ang maliit kong katawan? Ano’ng nangyayari, mahal kong ina? Bakit?

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Editors and Contributors

GUEST EDITOR

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.

REGULAR 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) 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 divides his time between Senator Ninoy Aquino and Isulan, both in Sultan Kudarat.

CONTRIBUTORS

Xaña Angel Eve M. Apolinar, 17, is a senior high school student (Humanities and Social Sciences strand) at Malalag National High School in Maitum, Sarangani Province. She was the champion of the spoken word poetry competition at the 2017 Munato Festival of Sarangani. She is also the president of the Supreme Student Government of her school and the junior governor of her province.

Adrian Arendon, 17, is from Tacurong City, Sultan Kudarat, and a senior high school student (Accountancy, Business, and Management strand) at Notre Dame of Marbel University in Koronadal City, South Cotabato. He has competed in five regional and one national schools press conferences.

Marianne Hazzale J. Bullos, 18, is from General Santos City and a senior high school student (Science and Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics strand) at the SOCCSKSARGEN Region campus of Philippine Science High School.

John Gied Calpotura, 17, finished junior high school at Sultan Kudarat State University in Tacurong City, Sultan Kudarat, and is now in senior high school (Humanities and Social Sciences strand) at Malayan Colleges Mindanao in Davao City. At the 2017 Sultan Kudarat Fiction Contest, the three stories that were declared as finalists were all his. He won for “Shoebox,” a story about war.

Gerard Distor, 17, is from Isulan, Sultan Kudarat, and finished high school at Sultan Kudarat State University. He is now a first year BS in Agriculture and Biosystem Engineering student at Mindanao State University in General Santos City.

Jo-ed E. Evangelista, 17, is a senior high school student (Humanities and Social Sciences strand) at Lagao National High School in General Santos City.

Mary Antonette P. Fuentes, 18, is from Koronadal City, South Cotabato, and a senior high school student (Science and Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics strand) at Sultan Kudarat State University.

Erron Marc A. Hallarsis, 18, is a senior high school student (Science and Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics strand) at Notre Dame of Marbel University in Koronadal City, South Cotabato.

Yumi Ilagan, 18, is from Isulan, Sultan Kudarat, and finished high school at Isulan National High School, where she served as editor in chief of the student publication for three years. She is now a first year Bachelor of Arts in Psychology student at the University of the Philippines–Visayas, in Iloilo Province.

Mark Vincent M. Lao, 18, is a first year BS Accountancy student at Notre Dame of Tacurong College in Tacurong City, Sultan Kudarat. His piece for this issue was a finalist at the 2017 Sultan Kudarat Essay Contest.

Adrian Pete Medina, 16, is a senior high school student (Humanities and Social Sciences strand) at Banga National High School in Banga, South Cotabato. His mentors include visual poet Epitacio Tongohan and speech choir poet Pat Villafuerte.

Bryant Lee N. Morales, 15, is a grade 9 student at Isulan National High School in Isulan, Sultan Kudarat. In 2016, he won the second prize at Hugot Isulan, a municipality-wide spoken word contest

Edzelyn Oñate, 16, is a senior high school student (Humanities and Social Sciences strand) at Systems Technology Institute (STI) in Tacurong City, Sultan Kudarat.

Reylan Gyll J. Padernilla, 18, is a senior high school student (Humanities and Social Sciences strand) at Lagao National High School in General Santos City.

Irish L. Petipit, 17, is a senior high school student (Humanities and Social Sciences strand) at Notre Dame of Marbel University.

Angelo Serrano, 16, is a senior high school student (Science and Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics strand) at Saint Lorenzo School of Polomolok in Polomolok, South Cotabato.