Filipino Jesuits Literary Blog

Saturday, October 29, 2005



ni Sch. Renel C. Dimacali, SJ

Halina't lumangoy
sa burak ng kamatayan
nang marinig taghoy
hangin sa sinapupunan.

Unos ng pighati't
nakasasakal na langit
pumaikot, pumulupot
sa pag-asang bubot.

Sabayan ang alon,
salungatin ang pag-agos.
Sisirin, iahon
kaluluwang nakagapos.

At mahinahong sagipin
ang nalulunod na bitwin.

Renel is a first year regent at the Ateneo de Naga University. He teaches Philosophy, French and Literature there. He is into poetry and music. He also likes partying and watching films. This poem was written when Renel was a Junior.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Mansanas at Dasal

ni Sch. Weng Bava, SJ

Ang pagtatalop ng mansanas
ay walang iniwan sa pagdarasal
Pinagninilayan ang hugis
at ang kulay bago balatan
(Ang sarili, sinasalamin, sinusuri)
Marahang hinihiwa ng manipis
ang balat
(Tulad ng marahang pag-aantanda)
Paikot ng paikot
(Tulad ng pagsambit ng rosaryo)
Umuulit, nagwawakas, nagsisimula
(patatawarin, mangangako, mambibigo)
Hanggang sa mahubuan ang katawan
(Tuwing magkukumpisal)
at malantad ang maputing laman
at maiitim na buto
(Gaya ng makasalanang taimtim
na nagtitika sa mga kahinaan)
Habang ang halimuyak
ay nanunuot sa balingusngusan
(Tulad ng alingasaw ng pagnanasa
at kasakiman)

At ang bilyong butil, gaano man
katamis o kaasim
ay sa bibig tinutunaw
na para bang pagkakasalang
sa biyaya ng awa, nauupos, nalulusaw

-- May 15, 2003

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Patungo Sa Abot-Tanaw

ni Katimugambalon

Unang Kabanata

Naglalakad kami ni Kara mag-aalas otso ng umaga ng isang makulimlim na Lunes. May dala-dala siyang isang supot ng butong pakwan na kanyang pinapapak samantalang ikinakaladkad ang kanyang mga paang ginagalis.

Tumingin siya sa akin at nagtanong, "Ano kaya ang gagawin natin ngayon, kuya?"

"Pupunta tayo sa Abot-Tanaw."

"Paano naman tayo pupunta doon?"

"Hindi ko alam. Pero nakikita naman natin, di ba? Basta maglakad lang tayo nang maglakad, tiyak na makararating din tayo doon."

Sinubukan namin ni Kara na maaninaw ang Abot-Tanaw. Tinanaw namin ang daan patungo doon: nang sa gayon, matantiya namin ang haba ng aming paglalakbay.

"Mga limang oras kaya."

"Siguro mga walo"

"Parang napakatagal naman iyon, kuya."

"Basta tiyak na makararating tayo."

Nagtinginan kami ni Kara. At kahit hindi namin tahas na binigkas, batid kong nagkaron kami ng kasunduang gagawin namin ang abot ng aming makakaya upang makarating sa Abot-tanaw.


Sakura (Cherry Blossoms)

by Jason K. Dy, SJ

I watch with my eyes closed--

with each ivory plucking
of the dawning breeze
accompanied by the soft, caressing brush
of the creeping light
as it pushes-presses-pulls the spell
cast by the passing night
away from the cherry tree
that slowly awakens from her deep slumber

on the silken string that ties the bridge
of heaven and earth,
of autumn and spring,

the cherry buds are blossoming
into pink and white oriental petals

then in their heightened beauty
falling one by one,
in chorus
steadily dancing to the rhythm
of nature’s flowering

marking their falling with ripples
on the still, quiet stream of water
where they are floating, flowing,
circling around ancient rocks,
cascading into eternal, renewed chants
of silence--

and I doze off to dream.

While listening to the ancient yet refreshing music
of the 13-stringed Japanese instrument called KOTO.
August 2, 2005


Wednesday, October 12, 2005

a turtle named benito, biking in the rain and letting yourself be loved

by Terence Christopher G. Ang

Benito, our default mascot in Alingal House, is a turtle whose age one can only guess. Legend has it that a member of the house brought him when he was smaller, and because of neglect, was left to the back-area where clothes are dried. Fortunately, this small enclave had enough supply of growing plants to feed the hungry reptile, enough to have allowed it to grow so much through the years. Many times, he remains hidden beneath foliage. Many times, you wouldn’t even notice he’s there.

But the rains bring out something magical in Benito. As the first pitter-patter of rain hit the roofs, he extends his long neck anticipating what is to follow. Soon, the shower comes, and a once immobile shell suddenly has legs taking it out from the shade and into heavy downpour. This is Benito’s dance. A dance of life. A dance to life. With his long neck wagging from side to side, he raises opposing legs high—one pair after the other—as he crisscrosses the little space that has become his own little playground. Above broken pots and old wooden stakes. Over the cistern cover. Through the rags and mops left behind. He continues his dance as the rain continues to wash over him.

The Magic of Rain

The last time I did this was around a month and a half ago. I think August was about to end then. As the clouds overhead started to rumble, I walked out into the garden anticipating the heavy rains that were about to come. Almost immediately, Gil and I struck on the idea of biking in the rain through the campus. It was so spontaneous for me. Gil was the veteran in these things. It was going to be fun.

As the first drops hit the roof, we rushed to get our bikes and rallied to get to the ramp quickly. We didn’t want to miss the part when the rain suddenly gets really heavy. Just in time, as we biked up Paseo de Reilly, all of it came down heavily on us. We continued our biking spree. Through Masterson. Around the Jesuit Residence. Down to the High School. Even around the grass oval several times. Back to Masterson. Right alongside the ISO Complex. Through the SS Parking Lot. Parallel to Katipunan. Up to the Grade School. Down Masterson again. We went around in circles through the campus, again and again, drenched wet in the rain and utterly enjoying this little escapade. Somewhere through this, someone shouted, “Hoy! Nakakainggit naman niyan!” He looked liked he really wanted to join us. I could only reply, “Ang sarap!” And indeed it was.

The rain fizzled out into a drizzle. We ended up in the middle of the flooded football field near Gate Two. There, we could see the tiny figures of students taking exams and listening to lectures in CTC as Gil tried to catch dragonflies as he did when he was a child.

The rain poured just as hard today. And as the first heavy drops hit the earth, a rush came from inside of me to go, go, go! Gil was nowhere to be found this time. But I went on ahead anyway. Down the ramp. Up Paseo de Reilly. Through Masterson. Down to the High School. As I went round and round the campus, a kind of peace settled in me. It made me feel good to be alive. I could only utter thanks. Thank you for this life. Thank you for allowing me to enjoy this. Nothing spectacular, yes. But thank you just the same.

Somewhere near the flooded football field, a little thought came to me. It’s nice to let yourself feel loved, ‘no? I could only smile.

Love Yourself

As I biked back home to get a quick bath and get back to work, a little memory surfaced. Sometimes, I text myself on the cellphone, as a way to express the negative things I’m feeling. For example, I texted myself past midnight towards the end of July how wretched and needy I was feeling. Or even as recent as a week or two ago, I texted myself how frustrated and upset I was over someone. These text messages lay together with the nice text messages from friends and people who care. Scrolling up and down the message menu shows how both positive and negative movements in me simply live side by side with each other. And I’m okay with that. I accept it.

But I remembered how my birthday came along, and people started texting me nice birthday greetings. Some were poetic. Others were corny. Still others were straightforward and simple. But they were all heartfelt and beautiful. Then came an alert on my phone. No more space for new messages. And so the dilemma was quite simple: Do I hold on to these text messages from myself, proclaiming how upset and bitter I have been? Or do I let little tokens of love and kindness in? There is a price, true. Would I be willing to give up the space?

Sometimes, it’s nice to let yourself feel loved, ‘no? I can only smile.

Terence Christopher Ang, SJ or "TC" as his friends fondly call him, is currently finishing his MA degree in Philosophy while teaching Philosophy subjects at the Ateneo de Manila University. TC loves to bike around campus, watch birds, explore nature. He is into photography and music. He is a member of the Himig Heswita, Jesuits who sing praises to God. TC calls himself the Recusant Pilgrim and the Insouciant Sojourner. Why? Visit his blogs and learn more about him.

Sunday, October 09, 2005


naaalala mo ba
ang nangyari noong una?

sabay sa daloy
ng mga taong paroo't parito,
may kani-kaniyang pakay,

sa gitna (o tabi ba?)
ng mga nagmamadali
at nag-uunahan...

nakatayo tayo
magkatabi sa mga
pinakipot na pasilyo
na tila tayo lamang ang laman,
tayo lamang ang nag-uusap
at nagkakarinigan,

naroroon tayo pero
ang roon ay tila hindi
roon, nakatapak ang paa
sa naiiba ngunit
iyong iyon din.

at kahit bago pa man
parang kay tagal na,
hindi miminsan ang
mga ngiti at sulyap
na hindi para sa atin,
subalit sa mga tunay
na magkakilala.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Sa Bagong Silang

Xavier L Olin,S.J.

pipikit-pikit pa ang langit
himbing pa ang hangin
sa hamugang himlayan
tambuling tilaok
sumiklab sa kalawakan!

bang-gad ang mga pastol
gayak-bas sa kubol-kubol
hawak-tungkod, lakad-lipad
buntot-takbo tupang askal
tungo sa Dakilang Hanap

akyat-baba bato-damo
tiyad-talon burak-lusak
gapang-hawak paltok-puno
tawid-daan ingat-kanal
luksumbakod hawingsanga

aali-aligid na ang singaw
kakanta-kanta Bahong Tagaakay:
Luwalhati sa Sangkalupaan!
sa wakas sumilang na
Tambakang Kaligtasan!

Xavier Olin, SJ or "Xave" is a second year Theologian from Naga City. Xave has an
AB degree in English Literature. Aside from poems, he writes short-stories and reflections. Xave's reflections are available via text messages. Xave is also the head of the Scholastic Vocation Promotions Team of the Philippine Province of the Society of Jesus.


ni Weng Bava, SJ

May kakaibang pakiramdam
Ang magsuot ng damit na hinubad ng mga patay
Nakahihindik isipin na ang mga may-ari niyon
Ay di mapakali sa kanilang libingan - Nagmamaktol sa paborito nilang kamiseta o pantalon o sa sapatos na pansimba

Minsan - nakadarama ako ng mga matang
Tumitingi't nanghihinayang sa polong aking suot
O kaya nama'y nakadarama na ayaw pang pawalan ng mga multo ang pantalong gustong-gusto ko
Na naglulupasay sa katanghaliang hangin
Siguro, ulyanin na ang mga matatanda o kaya nama'y ayaw nilang talagang lisanin ang dati nilang gawi

Maligamgam na kamiseta sa maalinsangang gabi’y nakikipagkapwa sa kaluluwang malamig
Pajamang mababakas pa ang marka ng ngalan ng kanilang amo,
O mga kumot na butas-butas dahil sa malaon nang paggamit,
Mga unan na bumubulong ng kanilang natiktikan mula sa ulo ng isang taong banal
O mga panyong pumahid ng isang laksang patak ng luha – Lahat ay saksi sa piping kaugalian
Na ang mga Patay ay nagpapaubaya sa mga Buhay

Subalit ang higit na nakababalisa sa lahat
Ay ang paniwala na ang sutanang walang habas ko kung isuot ay maaaring hinubad ng anim na beato

English version


There's a creepy feel to it
On wearing clothes that had been
Worn by the dead
A disquieting thought envelops you
That the owners are turning in their graves - Muttering
About their favorite shirts or jeans or the shoes they only wore on Sunday afternoons

Sometimes - I sense a pair of eyes
Looking grudgingly at the shirt I'm wearing
Or have that eerie feel that ghosts still wear
The pants I love as they flap wildly
Drying in the midday wind
Probably, the old are forgetful or they simply never want to leave their old ways

Warm shirts, on warm nights coagulate with cold spirits
Pajamas that still bear the faded initials of their former masters,
Or blankets that years of use have pecked holes on them,
Pillows that whisper what they spied from a pious man's head,
Or handkerchiefs that wiped a thousand drop
Of tears - All bear witness to the silent tradition that the Dead provides for the Living

But the most disturbing of all
Is the belief that the soutane I mindlessly wear was probably worn by at least half a dozen holy men