In which the author, with archaic language, does make most felicitious notice of the creation of a Twitter account, whereat his quotes, aphorisms, epigrams, or maxims in their own right have been and will hitherto be uploaded

To my much valued and well beloved Readers, Followers, Stalkers, Haters, and all such pleasant or unpleasant personages that now do read this here blog, Greetings.

Forasmuch as this blog and others (the Academia account and the Wattpad account) have hitherto served well as venues for the online publication of my nonfiction, fiction, drama, poetry, and thoughts political and intellectual of substantial length, as they do at present serve so well

Forasmuch as this same blog and the same aforementioned others, with the exception of the short poems, nevertheless prove inadequate as venues for uploading my quotes, aphorisms, epigrams, or maxims in their own right

And forasmuch as the quote, aphorism, epigram or maxim has been my first and oldest genre of writing, dating back to my earliest childhood

I therefore make most felicitous notice to you my good Haters, Stalkers, Followers, and Readers in readership hereto united of the most rightful creation of my Twitter profile for the resolving of the aforesaid difficulty. I can now be followed with the following handle:


Uploaded thereat will be my quotes, aphorisms, epigrams, or maxims as they have been written or as they do at present continue to be written. These works have hitherto been written in English and occassionally in Tagalog, but it is with the hope of exploring writing the form in other tongues – and of my general development in the form –  that I have so caused for the creation of the said Twitter profile.

In witness whereof I do make this blog post public. Let it be deemed good!


The Galay Compound in Kidapawan


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I’m back in Kidapawan to collect essays about my hometown.

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My grandfather’s house, built in the 1960s. It has terrazzoed floors, unpolished granite walls, and polished brick pillars. Inside are floors and banisters of polished wood.

I’m staying at the ancestral house of my mother’s family, at crossing Lanao along the highway. The Galay family has been here since before the War.

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View of the house from my balcony. Beyond the wall my great-grandfather’s old house could be seen. Built before the War, it is made almost entirely of wood. My great uncle’s youngest daughter, ate Maan, currently lives in it.

A street leading to the Encabo area runs between the compounds of the two branches of the family (I’ve always fancied calling it ‘Galay Street’). At the corner of this street along the highway stand my uncle’s convenience store, Daily Grocer and my great-uncle’s pasalubong center, Ga-Lor. The street slopes downhill to a stream, where our compounds end.

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Galays on both sides: Our compound is walled to the left by the new wall, while the vined wall to the right walls the original Galay compound, now occupied by my great uncle (It’s easy to imagine Dream of the Red Chamber in our home!). Galay property extends to the coconuts.

When I was young my mother would take us here in Lanao for Christmas, birthdays, or for the odd visit. We lived in one of the houses in our side of the family’s compound when I was in high school, only moving out when we relocated to Davao when I was in third year college.

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The house in our compound that my mother occupied. My mother planted the Staghorn growing on one corner of the balcony. The window to its side was that of my room.

Our compound has seen drastic change in the past few years. My uncle went about building a high wall, taming the downhill area (in my youth a wild Banana grove) to make a very long lawn, landscaping the gardens, and even building a pavilion. He also refurbished our old house to make it into a guest house.

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The balcony in the main house used to have a commanding view of Lanao, when the walls were still low. It’s still a great place to read and write.

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This statue of the virgin Mary is perhaps as old as the house, standing on a smaller pond. My uncle has since expanded the pond and filled it with large koi.

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The view downhill, with the new pavilion and the rest of the lawn visible.

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The elegant old chandelier on the drawing area. I remember it lighted once, but it no longer does. The wooden moulding in the background is in a motif recurring throughout the house.

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Our grandfather clock, set at the head of the raised floor where the rooms are for as long as I can remember. It is a grandfather clock in the literal sense because it belonged to my grandfather (my grandmother says it once belonged to his mother, my maternal great grandmother). My cousin has inherited the skill of tuning it to set the time.

Reblog: Bili sang Ati: Commodification of the Ati Culture in Dinagyang Festival

(Found this on Rappler’s X, a thorough and insightful look by Aljohn T. Torreta, Ma. Lailah Nae N. Muyong, and Rhea Jane D. Germia at a longstanding cultural problem in the Philippines.)


“We are just being used in the Dinagyang Festival.” With utmost conviction, Manang Raquel Mateo expresses her deep hurt and resentment towards what she claims to be an exploitation of their culture.

Manang Raquel is the tribe secretary of the Ati community in Brgy. Nagpana, Barotac Viejo. Being in-charge of the tribe’s cultural affairs, she, along with several members of the community, is claiming that they should have a participation in the celebration of Dinagyang festival given their heritage as Atis.

Since the Dinagyang festival’s beginning, Atis have been the main characters in the tribes’ competition of the world-class festival. The performers, commonly addressed as ‘warriors’, paint their bodies dark brown to represent the image of the Ati natives in celebrating the festival.

(Read the rest here on Rappler’s X!)

Flower bulbs

These skinned rocks on the earth
Will soon burst with spring leaves and blossoms:
Flower bulbs

Call for Submissions to the 16th Iyas Creative Writing Workshop

The University of St. La Salle-Bacolod (USLS) is inviting young writers to submit their application for the 16th IYAS National Writers’ Workshop which will be held on April 24 – 30, 2016 at Balay Kalinungan, USLS-Bacolod.

Applicants should submit original work: either 6 poems, 2 short stories, or 2 one-act plays using a pseudonym, in two (2) computer-encoded hard copies of entry, font size 12 pts., double-spaced, and soft copies in a CD (MSWord). Short stories must be numbered, by paragraph, on the left margin.

These are to be accompanied by a sealed size 10 business envelope, inside of which should be the author’s real name and chosen pseudonym, a 2×2 ID photo, and short resume. Everything must be mailed on or before February 19, 2016.

Entries in English, Cebuano, Hiligaynon, Tagalog or Filipino may be submitted. Fellowships are awarded by genre and by language.

Fifteen applicants will be chosen for the workshop fellowships, which will include partial transportation subsidy and free board and lodging.

This year’s panelists include Grace Monte de Ramos, RayBoy Pandan, D.M. Reyes, Dinah Roma, John Iremil Teodoro and Marjorie Evasco as Workshop Director.

Please submit your application to: Dr. Marissa Quezon, Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, University of St. La Salle, La Salle Avenue, Bacolod City. For inquiries, please email

IYAS is held in collaboration with the Bienvenido N. Santos Creative Writing Center of De La Salle University-Manila and the National Commission for Culture and the Arts.

‘Bantay lang lagi’: A Translation to Davao Filipin0 of ‘Vision from the corner of one eye’ by Luisa Valenzuela

Bitaw, ginahipo niya ang pwet ko – at kasigawon na talaga ako masyado – pagpanguros niya pagdaan ng bus sa simbahan. Good boy, sabi ko sa sarili ko. Baka din hindi niya gisadya, o baka hindi alam ng right niya na kamay ang ginagawa ng left. Nag-atras ako sa bus – lagi, nahanapan ko siya ng paliwanag, pero iba na din kung magpakuan pa ako uy – pero nagdami pa lalo ang nagsakay na pasahero, at hindi ko na magawa maglikay. Pag-isbog ko palayo, mas madali na nuon niya ako mahipuan, makum-ot pa gani. Bantay lang lagi ito ba..!

Gikulbaan na talaga ako masyado, naglayo na ako. Naglapit pa rin siya. Nagdaan ulit kami sa simbahan, pero hindi niya ito napansin: gitaas niya ang kamay niya hindi para manguros or what pero para trapuhan ang pawis niya sa noo. Gibantayan ko talaga siya sa gilid ng isang mata, patay-mali na walang nangyayari, o at least na hindi niya isipin na ganahan din ako. Hindi na talaga ako makalayo, at giuyog-uyog na niya ako. Kaya nagbalos ako, at gihawakan ko ang pwet niya.

Sa unahan banda nahiwalay kami ng isang grupo ng mga pasahero. Tapos nun nalayo ako ng mga nagababa sa bus – sayang gani masyado  kay 7,400 pesos lang intawon ang laman ng pitaka niya, tapos mas malaki sana ang makuha ko kung kami lang yun dalawa. Parang malambing baya siya. At galante.


Star Pond

On the fish pond’s surface:
The night sky is reflected, the koi
eat the stars