By Jerome Cenina

He rose with slough of despond.
His first woman slept in, gave in
into the reign of his innocence.

The soldier he knew for the first time
lost his home’s address
upheld another woman
and watched another child fall
asleep in cradle.

He starved in hunger
crossed the street for garbage foods
witnessed engines making the empty street lighted
and his soul was tintless.

One day, a sack was found
in the city raceway.
Full of dirt, there
the horrible man in the street
the beggar they deemed lifeless
has the face with the fullness of hope
that he might have one family
that one day there will be tears
on his box
with roses and candles
above his grave
before he totally waves goodbye
to the life he enjoyed but considered as misfortune.



By PG Murillo

Dili kuno ko kahibaw
makig-uban, kanunayong

tungod sa giatubang
nga suliran.

Apan ang kamatuoran: bisyo
nako ang pagkulit

og mga pulong. Ballpen ug papel
ang akong hinigiban
sa bisan unsang kahoyng
nitubo sa akong kasingkasing.
Kini ang pamaagi
sa pagpagawas

sa akong gibati nga mura ba og


ray nabuhi niining kalibutana.

Labaw pa kini

sa giingon nilang ‘Death Note’ 

kay usa kining paagi

sa pagpatay sa tinuod

kong pagbati.

Kem Ngà

By Ryan Christian Dulay Tuan

O, kem ngà ne kem tuha,
beye hlayuk yom kuy nawa:
beye heted yom nawa
la molos ne nawa la molos,
kem ngà beye hesbeweg
lem kuy hendem hol ye
mungol ne hol ye mudem.


Mga Bata
salin ni Sharmin Tanael

O, mga bata at matatanda,
huwag itong mamasamain:
tigilan ang ugaling di-kaaya-aya
at walang kagandahang loob,
huwag maging magulo
sa pag-iisip, laging makikinig,
at maging huwaran.

Sising & Ulyang

By Merhana Macabangin

Inenggey ka nin salaki.
Sinulob ko seka sa lima ko,
Ogeyd tinagak ako nin endo.
Dako seka tagaka.

Sa akin, ikaw ay kaniyang ibinigay.
Isinuot kita sa aking kamay,
Ngunit ako ay kaniyang nilisan.
Hindi naman kita iniwan.


Belyow uman ka gasakitan.
Uman ka pakadtatawa
Belyow bon uman ka banuntol sa ped.
Ulyang bo i katabang nengka sa langon.

Tuwing nasasaktan, ito ay lumalabas.
Tuwing ikaw rin ay humahalakhak
At tuwing kasama ay hinahanap.
Luha ang iyong karamay sa lahat.


San Gerardo and the Exocoetidae

By Gerald Galindez

Flying fish without a dying wish,
How you glimmer, shimmer.
Pearly scales set ablaze upon the sun,
Against the sunburnt skies,
Swooshing above the swelling waves
You caught my eyes to wander far and deep.
Flying fish,
you leave without a dying wish,
held my wonder of the sea,
the vast and deep eternal sea—
your eyes—
Flying fish.
Nimble fish.
You glide across the ocean wide
Brought me love, brought me joy
Ever since I was a boy
Of all the things I so enjoy,
Was your swift glide—
Your smooth and graceful dive,
He would point you in the sea line
I could barely track your flight.
He would let me see until I saw
Your crystal wings of awe

You held me in your silver fins
We dive the depths of trenches deep,
We reached the tides azure—
Where the sandy floors of powder white
Projects the dancing lights,

Flying fish,
My precious fish
My life, my friend,
Taught me how a life should end,
You hid your pains inside your scales so I could live
You let me swim, you let me breathe.

Your eyes—
Two keen orbs—
They reach the heart’s core
I’ve not spoken love to you—
Forever in debt to you—
Take your wings,
set sail
As I hear the ocean wail
her last ululating song—
golden coins for your journey long.


(Editors’ note: Indention for this poem cannot be reflected on our website due to our design template. Please contact us if you need the original format of this poem.)


By Allen Samsuya

(This poem first appeared in Dagmay: The Literary Journal of the Davao Writers Guild and won the first place in the Jimmy Y. Balacuit Literary Awards at the 2011 Iligan National Writers Workshop.)

We might not come back home for awhile to Cotabato
because there are more things to do than catch a bus
and travel a tedious six to seven hours. Imagine the hassle
of having to stop by a terrible total of ten terminals
and all for what? Once there, we’ll probably waste our weeks
on good-for-nothing visits to former classmates’ houses,
old friends, and dozens more of other people we used to know
so well, but now find hard to even barely recognize—
as when we chance upon them whenever we buy
our fruit shakes and burgers at Manong’s, or when we shop
for overpriced stuff at South Seas, or at nights when we party
and waste ourselves at Pacific Heights.

Eventually, we’ll overstay for some ridiculous reason—
say, in waiting for yet another class reunion and, hence,
wasting more time and money; or hoarding pirated DVDs
at Barter Trade, or pigging out on litson manok at Kitok’s,
or worse, overspending on fares for unending jeepney
joyrides—because you know as well as I do, back there
we have nothing better to do.

When over here, work is pretty much cramming right in front
of our faces. At my boarding house, for instance,
classcards from previous semesters, marked with obvious
INCs and 4s procrastinate somewhere in my room, perhaps
still waiting to be unearthed, then removed, or completed.
Unfinished fictions, half-written poems, and countless fragments
without epiphanies, or even form, are still willfully waiting
to be worked on to their necessary conclusions, because all things
must be seen through their conclusions—if not, then at least be
properly thrown away, or abandoned.

The way we too had been abandoned in that Cotabato
in our past, where we had practically found each other
among ruins of bomb-blasted buildings and burnt skeletons
of buses, among blood-bathed corpses along bloodstained
highways and starving mobs of beggars at the streets
kept barely alive by pretty much nothing but promises
of better days, rugby, and some discarded bread. But we
had found each other anyway, and had loved each other,
and ourselves, and everyone else we knew.

And in that place perhaps we had loved the most
probably because back there in Cotabato we had
nothing better to do.

Sometimes on the Road to Kidapawan

By Paul Randy Gumanao

(This poem first appeared in Dagmay: The Literary Journal of the Davao Writers Guild.)

Long have I been loving to love
a nameless, whose face remains
faceless amidst all attempts
of masking her the looks of every
leading lady in the romance movies
I so dearly enjoy in the afternoons
when there is nothing better to do but
to pretend to love, be loved, to imagine.
This is also one reason why I’d like
to travel home to Kidapawan.

In the van, I like it when I lean
on my own shoulder, thinking
it was your breath wafting on
my skin as I imagine you
sleeping, while I look farther, until I
forget you because of the rubber trees
and the occasional drizzles of Makilala,
the signals of the proximal embrace
of a mother, perhaps, or an old friend,
or of our high school memories
of little fondness. And there, memories!

Ah, another reason why I love
to travel home to Kidapawan.
The nearer I get, the clearer
you appear, smiling.

Slowly, I remember your name.