Sunday, October 15, 2017

My portentous 2010 article on the National University Bulldogs

It was middle of 2010 when I interviewed sports leaders of the National University at the "relatively new state-of-the-art gymnasium which wholly occupies the top floor of (its) one year old 8 storey high Main Building," for my article Know your UAAP school: National University for the Philippine Online Chronicles. (I can't post this July 6, 2010 article directly on Facebook, as it has a "blocked link." In fact, I just found out that it can't even be redirected from this blog! Anyway, here's the link, which unfortunately now leads to internet limbo: thepoc2/features/sportacular/features/8537-know-your-uaap-school-national-university.)

Some more of the then-auspicious quotes from the article, which hinted of much brighter days:

A case in point for the Bulldogs’ seriousness in its long-term plan is Alyja Santiago. At 6 foot 3 and only 14 years old, Alyja was UAAP junior women’s Rookie of the Year for the UST Tigers. Now she is a second year high school student in NU, joining her elder siblings Aleona and Axel who play for the senior women’s and senior men’s volleyball teams, respectively. It is only by next season when the Bullpups’ volleyball team will be unleashed to officially compete in the UAAP, and it will be three more years before she joins the pack of Bulldogs. So this year will be spent studying, training, and competing with her alma mater’s team in other less prestigious competitions. It will be a considerably long wait before she tastes UAAP action again. This notwithstanding, she and her school believe–along with other young recruits in NU’s incubator who are training while completing the required residency–everything will be worth the wait.
 “Right now the National University (NU) equals or even surpasses Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) and De La Salle University (DLSU) when it comes to benefits granted to scholastic athletes and coaches,” claims NU men’s senior volleyball team new head coach Oliver Almadro, formerly at the helm of the ADMU Blue Eagles team.
 “It is safe to say that NU provides the needs of our athletes,” shares men’s senior basketball team debuting head coach Eric Gonzales, fresh from his stint as assistant coach of the Coca-Cola Tigers in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA). [...]In June 2008, tycoon Henry Sy, through his SM Group of Companies, acquired a 60% stake in the educational institution. The SM Group in its website pledges “all-out support…to strengthen the university as an institution with new infrastructure, equipment and focus on academic excellence.” [...]
 It remains to be seen if and when the Bulldogs will eventually prove that the perennial UAAP top contenders are reigning on borrowed time. What is certain is that the NU community expects more bite than bark from their more ferocious Bulldogs this 73rd season, and that the Philippine Sports Commission can learn a thing or two about sports administration from the National University.
And now, we all know that the NU Bulldogs won the basketball championship of UAAP’s 77th season in 2014, and Alyja "Jaja" Santiago is one of Philippine volleyball’s brightest stars. ;)

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Was the killing field, green?

"Greenfields," by The Brothers Four, favorite song of my maternal uncle, Atty. Hermon C. Lagman (, labor lawyer, journalist, poet; desaparecido, on record as the first lawyer in the Philippines to suffer enforced disappearance under the Marcos dictatorship in the 70's. Perhaps ironic that, as in the song's lyrics, we "keep on waiting." And that he may have been buried alive in one of those -- and remains there, still.

This coming May, the 40th anniversary of what has been so far a futile search for his remains. Still, our family searches -- in fields green or otherwise.

Atty. Hermon C. Lagman
(Date of Birth: February 12, 1945, Date of Disappearance: May 11, 1977)

He was among the lawyers arrested after the declaration of martial law. He was kept in prison for two months without charges. From detention, he wrote to his mother Cecilia:
“At sunrise today, while standing idly in the morning cold, I saw two sparrows perched together … (They) looked at us human beings here, and I looked at them. They seemed to have more understanding than some men … At noon today, two clients came … They cried .. They will be calling the house for the schedule of their cases … I always dream here of all of you. We have a surfeit of energy for dreams.”

Sunday, April 2, 2017

On G.K. Chesterton, Cheese, and Poetry

The article G.K. Chesterton, the clown prince of Catholicism by Evan H. Harrington, published here in Aleteia last Apr 01, 2017, ends with the following quote from the legendary writer and intellectual:

The poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese.

If that is so, then (as my comment on the article), “(I guess I) should be more proud now that my poem (To Someone Who Along Was Not, lower half of inserted page), published almost 20 years ago (in Philippines Free Press), mentions ‘cheese’ in its very first line:

(Mixed feelings: While I remain grateful to the esteemed magazine, and still proud of the fact that it's my first published poem, I'm now quite embarrassed with this piece of juvenilia.)”

Here’s the complete list of my published poems, with links.

Thanks! :-)

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Photos of "Oriang," a new women's group in the Philippines, on International Women's Day 2017

Oriang, a new women's group in the Philippines, marched to Plaza Moriones, Tondo, Manila last March 8, 2017 in celebration of International Women's Day. ("Oriang" is the nickname of Katipunan revolutionary leader Gregoria de Jesus.) The following are the admittedly amateurish photos I took of the event.

At start of march (Jose Abad Santos St. cor. Recto Ave.):

End of program (Plaza Moriones):

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

's Complete List of Published Poems (All With Links!)

Advertisement: Check out my three-dollar (only) first full-length poetry collection, "Metro Manila Mammal" (Soma Publishing, May 1, 2018), here in Amazon!

Poets & Writers Directory profile
Goodreads author page here


Awards & Accolades:
Runner-up, Submittable's 2018 National Poetry Month poetry contest
Reader's choice award: Human Rights Online Philippines' 8th (2018) HR Pinduteros Choice Awards for HR Right-Up
Third Place, Tanggol Wika's DALITEXT 2018 poetry contest
Poem, "Accidental Book Burning," listed among The Best of Kitaab 2018
"Dead Drunk in Vientiane and Other Poems," listed among Eastlist 2016 Popular Asiatic Literature

from latest to earliest (dates mostly in Philippine time):

•           My Last Artwork - Black Bough Poetry Issue 2, July 20, 2019
•           First Shot of the Philippine-American War, Feb. 4, 1899" - Unlikely Stories Mark V, July 18, 2019
•           Poetry and Plumbing - " "
•           Tag-ulan Na NamanMarías at Sampaguitas, July 11, 2019
•           Kung Mabutas ang Kisame at Mahulog ang Dagang KumakaluskosMarías at Sampaguitas, " "
•           SumbatMarías at Sampaguitas, " "
•           At the TheaterBlogNostics, July 10, 2019
•           Perfect - Poetry Breakfast, July 8, 2019
•           She Doesn't Want Her Daughter to Think She's That Kind of Woman - Ariel Chart, July 2, 2019 (also featured in my poetry collection, "Metro Manila Mammal," Soma Publishing, 2018 and first published in Pacifiqa, July 9, 2015)
•           The Disciples Ask - Ariel Chart, July 2, 2019 (also featured in my poetry collection, 
'Metro Manila Mammal," Soma Publishing, 2018)
•           She's the Only One - BlogNostics, June 28, 2019
•           Hubrisious - Grey Thoughts Writers Club gallery, May 12, 2019
•           Soul Tango - Duane's PoeTree, April 30, 2019 
•           Passing by Atimonan, Quezon - Best Poetry, April 22, 2019
•           Last Rites at the Public Hospital's ER - Collective Unrest, March 27, 2019
•           Night Shift Snack BreakCollective Unrest, March 7, 2019
•           Mob Rule - Collective Unrest, February 28, 2019
•           Because neither subtlety... - (republished in) Derelict Lit, January 24, 2019
•           Empty Spaces(republished in) Derelict Lit, January 24, 2019
•           Lahat na lang pinapatay... - Tanggol Wika Facebook page, December 12, 2018, as third place winner in Tanggol Wika's DALITEXT 2018 poetry contest, and featured in Prof. Joel Costa Malabanan's article about the contest published in Liwayway, January 14, 2019
•           forest clearing at dawn - Rue Scribe, December 3, 2018
•           alone in a forest, midnight - Rue Scribe, December 3, 2018
•           creation story - Rue Scribe, December 3, 2018
•           Typhoon Mangkhut's Morbid Stats - Poets Reading the News, September 21, 2018
•       To Live, Love, Leave & Die Like My Favorite Hollywood Movie Character - The Broken      Cassette, August 15, 2018
•          A Den of Mannequins - Scarlet Leaf Review, July 19, 2018
•          Asphyxiation - Scarlet Leaf Review, " "
•          My Bedroom Door - Scarlet Leaf Review, " "
•          My Minor Exigencies - Scarlet Leaf Review, " "
•         Xmas Does Not Arrive in Metro Manila - Ariel Chart, June 16, 2018, nominated for Best of the Net 2018 (Also featured in my book, "Metro Manila Mammal," and first published in I am not a silent poet, December 13, 2017.)
•           What's in a Spanish Name - The Ofi Press, May 25, 2018 (page 14)
•           Accidental Book Burning - Kitaab, May 24, 2018, listed among The Best of Kitaab 2018
•           Wisp - One Sentence Poems, May 12, 2018
•           Dear Li'l Kaleb - Milk + Beans, April 20, 2018
•           Nocturnal, Almost - Eclectica, April 18, 2018
•           Shadow Play - Eclectica, April 18, 2018
•           A Fool's Requiem for the Last Submission - The Submittable-Centric Poetry Contest gallery,                  April 17, 2018 (Won as runner-up!)
•           Safe - Zingara Poetry Review, April 13, 2018
•           lost causes - Ariel Chart, March 14, 2018
•           hope, true & false - Ariel Chart, March 14, 2018
•           Drunk at the Koi Pond - In Between Hangovers, March 7, 2018
•           Translation into Tagalog of three lines from Dylan Thomas' poem, "And Death Shall Have                   No Dominion" - Human Rights Online Philippines, February 13, 2018; winner of the 8th (annual) HR Pinduteros Choice for HR Right-Up.
•           I Grew Up on Sesame Street (in a Neo-Colony) - The Ramingo's Porch  #2, Feb. 13, 2018
•           I Sent for the Clown, But... - Philippines Graphic, February 12, 2018
•           From Pedro to Juan - Philippines Graphic, February 12, 2018
•           Catatonia -, February 4, 2018
•           Dear Milo - The Poet Community, February 3, 2018
•           Remembering You - Ariel Chart, January 17, 2018
•           Unseen Wounds - Ariel Chart, January 17, 2018
•           Cold Stats - Poetry24, January 1, 2018
•           Self-defense - Poetry24, January 1, 2018
•           The Beautiful Presidential Granddaughter - Social Justice Poetry, December 27, 2017
•           Keep It Hot! - Riddled With Arrows, December 21, 2017
•           Xmas Does Not Arrive in Metro Manila - I am not a silent poet, December 13, 2017
•           That Schoolyard Bully -, November 27, 2017
•           Hot Sex in a Warm Place - Quail Bell Magazine, November 14, 2017
•           Small Creatures in My Palanggana - Philippines Graphic, November 13, 2017 
•           The Secret Vignette - Bombinate Zine, November 8, 2017
•           Justice - Tuck Magazine, October 27, 2017
•           It Will be Done - Tuck Magazine, October 27, 2017
•           How a Swan Dies - petrichor, October 2, 2017
•           The Transcontinental Post-Mortem Rhapsody - The Asses of Parnassus, September 27, 2017
•           The Last Shape Poem - Spillwords, September 16, 2017
•           The Cult of Apathy - Matter, September 15, 2017
•           Minor Miracle - Beneath the Rainbow, August 25, 2017
•           Unfortunate Son - Beneath the Rainbow, August 25, 2017
•           At Dusk - Beneath the Rainbow, August 25, 2017
•           At the Cemetery, After the Rain - Beneath the Rainbow, August 25, 2017
•           Found poem no. 4 - Me + You: Our Love Journal, August 7, 2017
•           Found poem no. 3 - Me + You: Our Love Journal, August 7, 2017
•           Found poem no. 2 - Me + You: Our Love Journal, August 7, 2017
•           Found poem no. 1 - Me + You: Our Love Journal, August 7, 2017
•           Corrosive Bloom - Ariel Chart, August 5, 2017
•           Raining on EDSA, Riding on a Bus - Anak Sastra, July 30, 2017
•           Troll - The Wayward Sword Resist issue, page 14, July 22, 2017
•           Judas Jeep - ALPAS Journal, Vol. 1, Issue 1 (page 20), July 1, 2017
•       To the mothers who lost their children to Typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan - Awake in the World,             Riverfeet Press Anthology 2017, June 29, 2017
•           Traveling Through Mountain Province - NatureWriting, June 27, 2017
•           Midnight Moon - NatureWriting, June 27, 2017
•           Empty Spaces - Outcast Poetry, June 23, 2017
•           The Gravity of Sadness - Wraith Infirmity Muses, June 4, 2017
•           Untitled - Haikuniverse, June 3, 2017
•           The Last Night - The Wayward Sword Challenging Submissions issue, page 9, May 11, 2017
•           My Fishy Romance - The Wayward Sword "  ", page 18, May 11, 2017
•           The Desperation of My Brethren - Anti-Heroin Chic, April 29, 2017
•           DUI - Anti-Heroin Chic, April 29, 2016
•           Landline - Eunoia Review, April 15, 2017
•           Taxation - Parody, April 1, 2017 issue (official date, but published later on June or July)
•           Kissing - "You" by Karlo Sevilla, Origami Poems Project microchap, Feb. 18, 2017
•           You - "You" by Karlo Sevilla, Origami Poems Project microchap, Feb. 18, 2017
•           The Lie - "You" by Karlo Sevilla, Origami Poems Project microchap, Feb. 18, 2017
•           Cough Syrup -  "You" by Karlo Sevilla, Origami Poems Project microchap, Feb. 18, 2017
•           Should've, Would've, Could've - "You" " " , Origami Poems Project microchap, " "
•           My Death Wish - "You" by Karlo Sevilla, Origami Poems Project microchap, " "
•           Screaming the Small Stuff - Outsider Poetry, February 16, 2017
•           This Afternoon, I Lost the Key - Outsider Poetry, February 16, 2017
•           Nagmerrie - Sub-saharan Magazine, February 6, 2017
•           The Neighborhood Exegete - Awakened Voices, February 1, 2017
•           The Answer - Rat's Ass Review, January 21, 2017
•           Trains (2010) - Communicators League, January 16, 2017
•           Summer Plunge - Spillwords, January 11, 2017
•           Delicate Cruelty - Philippines Graphic, December 26, 2016
•           It's Snowing in Manila ("R-18") - Philippines Graphic, December 26, 2016
•         It's Snowing in Manila ("PG-13") - Antarctica Journal, December 26, 2016 and its The 2016 Anthology of Poetry
•          Late Afternoon at the Fishpond - Peacock Journal, November 24, 2016, and its 1st Anthology: Beauty First, February 8, 2017
•           Kites and Balloons in the City - Peacock Journal, November 24, 2016
•           The Solitary Swing - Peacock Journal, November 24, 2016
•           How a Cove is Formed - One Sentence Poems, November 23, 2016
•        Misstep - Eternal Remedy, November 13, 2016, and its first anthology, Harvest, March 15, 2017
•           Cardboard Justice - The Five-Two, October 24, 2016
•           Ghost Debate - Yellow Chair Review's Horror 2016 issue, October 24, 2016
•           While Reading Poetry I Killed an Ant - Peeking Cat Poetry Magazine, October 23, 2016
•           Untitled - Haikuniverse, October 22, 2016
•          Filipino Catholics in a Passenger Jeep – PILGRIM, September 2, 2016, and St. Gertrude the Great Catholic Church newsletter, February 19, 2017 (the latter publication, without my         knowledgemuch less, permission!)
•           Because neither subtlety… – Razorhouse Magazine, August 31, 2016 
•           Vera Falls – Rambutan Literary, August 31, 2016 
•           Because fighting was his element – I am not a silent poet, August 21, 2016
•           fire fetish –, August 9, 2016 
•           To Francisco Guevara, poet, longboarder – Radius, July 26, 2016
•           Slicing Onions – Rat’s Ass Review, July 24, 2016 
•           Miracles –, July 7, 2016 
•           Dead Drunk in Vientiane – Eastlit, July 3, 2016, poems listed among Eastlit 2016 Popular Asiatic Literature
•           Leaving Quang Hiep Hotel, Hanoi (July, 2010) – Eastlit, July 3, 2016 
•           Metro Manila Miasma – Eastlit, July 3, 2016 
•           Untitled – The Fib Review, July 2, 2016 
•           Rustle – Shot Glass Journal, June 6, 2016 
•           The Truths of the Blind Elephant – Indiana Voice Journal, June 3, 2016
•           The Agricultural Worker's Ode to Labor - Indiana Voice Journal, June 3, 2016 
•           Missing Parents –, May 8, 2016 
•           Chalice – Spank the Carp, May 2, 2016 
•           Floating Coffins - I am not a silent poet, March 30, 2016 
•           Oktoberfest – I am not a silent poet, March 4, 2016 
•           The Face of Poverty – I am not a silent poet, March 4, 2016 
•           Shadow on Bathroom Floor – Philippines Graphic, July 20, 2015 
•           Wing envy – Philippines Graphic, July 20, 2015 
•           She doesn't want her daughter to think she's that kind of woman - Pacifiqa, July 9, 2015
•           Hallelujah for Our Holy Paranoia – Philippines Free Press, April 11, 1998 
•           To Someone Who All Along Was Not – Philippines Free Press, January 24, 1998 

And more forthcoming in Azoth Khem Publishing's Till Death: An Anti-Valentines Anthology of Poetry, Blood Moon Rising MagazineBoned, and A Nosh of Life

Thank you, 

  1.  my peers, who help hone my poems, in the 1) Modern Poetry Facebook page (mostly my classmates from the MOOC How Writers Write Poetry 2015 offered by The University of Iowa International Writing Program), and 2) Rat's Ass Review online workshop
  2. litmags, for publishing my poems;
  3.  Poets & Writers, The Review Review, Duotrope, Literistic, Six Questions For..., Submittable's Submishmash Weekend Edition, Trish Hopkinson, Every Writer, New Pages, Authors Publish Magazine, and other resources for writers that lead me to various international publications -- and make me prouder of having my work featured in them; 
  4. Origami Poems Project, for publishing my first print collection of poetry, You (2017),
  5. Soma Publishing, for publishing my first full-length collection, the ebook, Metro Manila Mammal (2018); and 
  6. whoever is lured into checking my blog and reading my poem(s). :-)

Thursday, February 18, 2016

There was a girl...

Ahh...this is my English translation of a Tagalog translation of a text originally written in English. (Get it?) Well, this morn I was reading this book and was profoundly touched by this certain passage of a text written in Tagalog, and ended up rereading and translating the words into English in my mind. I was so impassioned that I decided to write down my translation, as my preoccupation this first half of my day. So I finished my arguably-best effort in translating this gem, only to find out later, upon reading the editors' introduction, that my source text, a brief Tagalog -- yes, I'll declare it -- masterpiece, was originally written in English in the first place! The text is the last literary piece of the book. So next time, I'll read everything from first page to last. 

The passage, a childhood recollection during China's Cultural Revolution, is from the late poet and painter Maningning Miclat's brief memoir, "Pampinid na Salita," pages 89 - 99 of Beauty for Ashes: Remembering Maningning, from Anvil Publishing, Inc., 2001. ("Pampinid..." is the Tagalog translation, by her father Mario Miclat, of "Postscript," from Voice from the Underworld, also from Anvil, 2000.) 

It would be wonderful to read "Pampinid..." and its original text "Postscript," to contextualize and further appreciate the late artist's words (so please check out the links above). As for me, I have yet to read the latter, but I will. And I'm certain it's more beautiful than my humble translation.

And now, my tribute to Maningning: my rather impulsive yet very inspired labor of love this morning of February 19, 2016:

There was one young girl who was older than us and whom we treated as our elder sister. She was neat and clean in her appearance, she was beautiful, with round eyes. She was already studying, and this fact she boasted to us as we had not yet learned to read and write. At night, she would cry herself to sleep; she whined in a low and soft voice, and walked back and forth across our lodging rooms. After a few hours, she'd be sleeping on the floor. Her aunt would pick her up and carry her to her room. When she awoke and remembered that she had been crying, she would resume her weeping. But, sometimes, she forgot; she'd eat, wash her face, and when she suddenly remembered, would cry again and walk.
We younger children were amused to witness her endurance. But the adults told us not to be like her who was always sad, blaming her parents who left her to organize a movement and write political analyses and guerilla poems. She was like a conductor of her own orchestra, beating to the symphony of her sadness. Her crying was like a song. I would doze to sleep listening to her; in my mind, I'd start crying if she stopped crying. But I remained free as every child should be.

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Note: I only have one memory of Maningning, it was (I believe) midmorning of 1993 at the lobby of the College of Fine Arts, University of the Philippines - Diliman. She was standing still, brown, beautiful, looking at something, or someone...  

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Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Metro Manila Miasma

"I am here to propose a legend that says the city was once / a tribe of children / humming around in a circle / with embers at the center and cold hunger / for a story." - Ned Parfan

I, we, thrive within the Petri dish defined by your jagged boundaries, binding sixteen cities and a developing duck embryo, officially, squared by three suspended railroads plus the most ancient on soil, you are defined and simplified by two to three words and not much else, and undefined and unraveled by a million spectacles and cuss word puzzles. Tabloid fodder factory you are, and we line up for news about ourselves and the more suffering, or dead, victims among us. And I, we, your weary children: indifferent, passive, as our lungs fill up with your pneumatic smog, with barely a sniff, plow like the diminishing, extinct-bound carabaos (and trivia: sprawled inside Krus na Ligas, is the only functional rice field within you, which your steeled and cemented self may have forgotten.) 

Your redemption lies buried in one of your landfills, perhaps among the one hundred and fifty buried in Payatas, or underneath a garbage pile on one of your feces-strewn sidewalks. Your chalice of salvation dumped in a junkyard somewhere or sunk on a bed of your polluted rivers. In futile search of your desaparecidos, there are uncanny moments when incense mingles with the unified cry of your orphans, add to that those of the casualties of the recent Kentex conflagration (among others).

May all your churches, temples, buildings of worship, of whatever religion, serve as your thumbtacks, iron nails, staples, keeping you stuck to this earth, in place, that you wouldn't tremble too much in case of a violent tremor. We got, gathered, guts grinding from your gutters. And the (arguably) richest of your fiefdoms dreams of a tower that will be third tallest in the world (and soon fourth, fifth, sixth, and ad nauseam, as vanity of edifice complex goes). Indeed, you host these parasitic turfs that are no different from you: cabal of fools making fools of what they really are: 


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Happy New Year, everyone! 

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This blog is sponsored by Limitado
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