Tuesday, January 31
Shadow

Liyab

The sorter of letters

The sorter of letters

Literary, Liyab
by FRANZ ZOE STOELZL T. BAROÑA ANDENG SORTED countless mails since the first ascent of dawn. It was only fair for her to evoke a sense of weariness. At 7 in the evening, she departed from the Post Office and wandered along the entangled paths of Liwasang Bonifacio. Lampposts and lanterns contrasted the dullness of the plaza and accentuated the street vendors, beggars, and commuters who took refuge under the shades of ancient Narra trees. Unknowingly, Andeng stumbled upon an elderly lady sleeping beside a pedestal. A cup underneath her caught the attention of the young sorter of letters, prompting Andeng to open her purse and kneel down. "Nay, ito ho," Andeng muttered.  At first, she hesitated to place coins and pandesal into the cup. They may not be enough.  Suddenly,...
As the midnight dandelion blooms

As the midnight dandelion blooms

Literary, Liyab
by VON ZYRON P. ALIMORONG IN THE days leading up to New Year, Barbara’s parents would often talk about a strange firework that only appears once every 23 years. Its beauty can hypnotize anyone, they say, and leave them breathless. Its origin is unknown. Many had tried to look for the source, but it seemed to magically appear in the sky without any sign—other than a distant sound of a banshee scream. She had not seen it herself.  When she sat there on the swing atop a hill overlooking her hometown, all she had were her parents’ stories. She’d heard how its beauty would eat up the sky, like a green dandelion bursting out of nowhere. She knew how it granted wishes, including her mother’s. “Can we see it, please?” Her mother pursed her lips and smiled. “We would love to but ...
Deafening excitement

Deafening excitement

Literary, Liyab
by NICOLE DG. SAMSON  EVERYONE RAN around me, carrying plates of food and drinks. I had no appetite. Though the sofa was comfortable to sit on, it was hard to ignore the loud engines of motorcycles dragging pots and pans on the road or the kids with their plastic trumpets.  My sister sat beside me. She laid my head on her lap as she ate a slice of pizza on her flimsy paper plate. Her free hand scratched my scalp in an attempt to comfort me. On normal days, it worked, but those days were not deafening. “Seven! Six! Five!” My parents yelled from outside the house. My sister stood and left me on the sofa, joining the rest of the family. I stared at her paper plate with a slice of unfinished pizza. I wondered if filling my stomach would help alleviate the fear. “Four! Three!...
Burnouts and shunt wires

Burnouts and shunt wires

Literary, Liyab
by FRANCIS MIGUELL S. STA. ROSA HE STUMBLED as he journeyed to the España side, decorating the floor with his reading materials. Tired even of getting mad, he let out a big sigh and picked up the papers—and himself.  “Okay, slower now.” Christmas colors dictated the movement of the vehicles along the road, going slower as days went by. The commute time from the school to his house increased by half. The cold breeze caressed him every day, coercing him to rest.   However, the tasks knew no god. The past few months seemed insurmountable, and fragments of the enemy remain. The spirit of the season undeniably manifested itself in the surroundings, but he just could not fathom thinking about it—yet. “Kung iisipin mo, ‘di naman dati ganito,” said Ebe through his earphones. Hea...
The assemblage of yellow hues

The assemblage of yellow hues

Literary, Liyab
by HJADOEYA CALICA Under the flowing energy of the sun, Particles of perspiration by my flesh, Found its way to the knitted threads.   The queue of hasting feet,  The urging buttons of electricity, The cadre's arms away from its body— I was caught in the arrow without end.   As I penetrate the golden gate, The space of knowledge was unveiled.   Someone clasped me in their arms, Yet the pouring individuals divided us.   The lights in our heads flicker— Our radar could not rake our sector.   Right and left, Above the sea of heads, I seek their breaths, Harmonizing them with my steps.   On the brink of the falling chest, An accompanying crate heaved me.   Dawn to the gloom, ...
Into the abyss

Into the abyss

Literary, Liyab
by MARIA ALTHEA V. JAVIER GROUNDS CLAD in yellow gold. The unmistakable atmosphere keeps me in my senses.  The deeper into the campus grounds, the longer these dangling Christmas lights get.  Into the abyss of traditions, I find myself tantalized once again. Weight piles up on my shoulders, as arms suddenly envelop my lone frame. Toppled over by a sea of elongated arms, they attempt to enclose everyone, extending to a half-embrace. Their chatters are familiar, but I could not make out what they were saying. It was an abomination of deep and high voices, and I could only laugh along as if I understood.  I could only look ahead as their voices drowned out my impending exhaustion.   We tediously watch workers set up stages, defying all heights to make Christmas lights po...
Anak, kaya mo pa ba?

Anak, kaya mo pa ba?

Literary, Liyab
by HJADOEYA V. CALICA The brightest star coming to a trance, The flesh of my being made its stance. And suntanned bricked walls enhanced,   In my grime iris, I see my reflection in the window. Fossils above me pursue each other, Indefinite bonds walk through fiber.   Beyond the glass window,  The pacing footsteps rumbled the pavement. Eager steps to be in their solace, Cerise lights till thirty seconds.   In seconds, Sensation and composition collide. The friction of atoms poured, Fermented quill revealed its sword.   “Anak, ang mga bayarin.”   The reason I had to stay in this pit of wretched stench. The reason vicious remarks dwell in my stems. The reason I need to endure the dangling coin...
The three princes’ feast

The three princes’ feast

Literary, Liyab
by FRANZ ZOE STOELZL BAROÑA THE LEAST of all things Andre asked for was a last supper. "Anong balak niyo?" he asked his two friends. They sat on an elevated sidewalk near St. Raymund's Building, sharing what seemed to be a calm meal beneath all the passersby who painted the canvas of the campus in the dead of night. "Law school," Cesar responded, chewing on a chicken wing, "o kaya deretso trabaho, kung saan man palarin." "Paskong pasko, inaabala niyo yung kinabukasan?" Javier interrupted before realizing that he had already emptied his tupperware. Andre shifted his view to his beige, leather watch, and saw the hand point a quarter past the sixth hour. Cesar set aside the bottle of Sprite he had been drinking and leered towards Javier. "Magsalita ka 'pag nakakuha ka na...
A cat stood across the sunless street

A cat stood across the sunless street

Literary, Liyab
by VON ZYRON P. ALIMORONG There, across the sunless street, a cat there stood and looks ahead— with irises bright, like the skin of a sunset sky; with whiskers long and thin, like the softest brushstrokes of nature; and in its little yawn I see the kindness of the world enclosed within. And there it stood for hours on end— the firm cat does not mind the overcast— over the grayish town where Death had marched one day in nineteen-eighty two in the heated March. A mouse had passed by it and it did not move its eyes; the cat looks ahead— and waited with patience divine and hoped for the Kind and soldier-eyed Master              to return home. The sun had burned him, the snow had frosted his hair, the moon had grown twice as big, and streets had cracked thr...
Timeless

Timeless

Literary, Liyab
by NICOLE DG. SAMSON   A LOUD burst of laughter permeated the air as the trio walked down the streets. Children turned their heads in shock and the vendors in annoyance.  Ray stared at his friends and savored a familiar sight. It has been a long time since they have seen each other’s faces again.  A day out together has been in the plans for some time but was continuously delayed. Luckily, it was nearing the holidays, so they had the opportunity to return home.  They glanced over the area, a familiar street without the familiar chatter of schoolchildren. Curiously and woefully, they approached the rusted gates of their childhood.   “I can almost hear Ms. Bonifacio scolding us for being late,” Ray laughed. On the very same pavement, he remembered his entire cla...