Liyab

Graduation Reverie

Graduation Reverie

IN MY peripheral view, I could see their tassels sway from the thrill of taking family and group photos. As everyone took pride in their hard-earned medals, I stared into the expanse of blue-hooded togas. I ruminated about our individuality and the experiences that brought us closer.   The atmosphere of…
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Last To-do List (Annotated)

Last To-do List (Annotated)

TO-DO LIST: May 31, 2024 0700: Breakfast.  “Kuya, dating gawi,” I said. Upon my request, the lugaw vendor prepared my usual order of plain porridge, tofu and egg. I wished I would also remember as well as he did. Garlic, chili oil and sweet vinegar; I seasoned well what I…
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Malayang Lumipad

Malayang Lumipad

maleta’y balot at may pangalang sigaw pinagugulong palayo sa tahanan ng kamay na naglalagalag sa paliparan sa muling pagpatapon sa malayong lunan   kakatok sa kapalaran, hihiling ng sagana kaakibat ay litrato lang ang makapipiling nang ilang taong ngayon ang simula buhat nang tumalikod sa mga abang supling   sa…
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Abandoned Slum and the Whalehead Man

Abandoned Slum and the Whalehead Man

The Whalehead Man wanders through a deserted slum somewhere in Metro Manila.  Abandoned spaces, abandoned memories. Gloomy is the sun, casting unmoving shadows.  The air was an alien thing, too, filled with suffocating silence. No human activity.  The Whalehead Man hears no heartbeat or breath: no rustling clothes or children’s…
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Fill the void

Fill the void

INSIDE ME, everything exists, like lousy tenants I cannot seem to kick out. And likewise, within places I have stepped foot in are remnants of me. My bodily fluids or my laughter replay inside the tenants’ minds. I wonder if it is as crowded over there as it is in…
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Remnants of an Old Time

Remnants of an Old Time

Ramon and his grandson Miguel had just arrived on the busy roads of Guagua with their car, having left Bataan two hours prior. Ramon planned to spend the Day of Valor by touring Miguel along the route the former traversed as a survivor of the Bataan Death March in 1942.…
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Tale of a Silencer

Tale of a Silencer

LOKU, A king’s tale.  Loku was the most feared king of all the isles. His subjects cowered, their mouths tied tight. His presence commanded others to bow their heads. The tyrant raised his sword to the sky. Loku towered over his kneeling subjects. Next to his feet, their produce rotted…
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Two navels as one

Two navels as one

Pastel skies were visible outside my room. The air I breathed inside the constraints of these four walls Was shared by four people I barely knew.   We exchange greetings in the morning as we depart, and state our dreams over dinner, Yet we still walk softly around each other…
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The Morning Crisis

The Morning Crisis

IF ONLY I had the courage to slip a “good morning” into his inbox, I would have finally justified my sleep deprivation. I can only imagine the sensation of waking up with his name and response etched on my phone’s screen every day instead of a message announcing the Zoom…
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A Dove Born of Ashes

A Dove Born of Ashes

Embers flickered of a dying, crumbling home. my fingers stained gray of sin, regret, and ruin of hope.   it crushed what  the flame broke what it took and what it left.   ashes upon ashes of what used to be reminders of lit matches  and scorched petals.   winds…
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