EDITOR’S NOTE: This is one of the works in a five-part series in line with the Dapitan 2017 theme “Paglisan” or Departure. All works that are part of the series are written by the Flame‘s Letters staffers. HER MOTHER talked about him like how one would tell a bedtime story—hopeful, gentle, and with the presence of familiarity and a sense of longing. The child often observed how her mother’s eyes would twinkle in delight whenever her lips, in mid-utterance, would form her father’s name. She always brimmed with hope whenever she explained why he had to live oceans away, or how every December, she would try to convince her the boxes filled with new toys were never from Santa—but from him. Her stories were always softly told; she never mentioned anything negative whenever she woul
EDITOR'S NOTE: This is one of the works in a five-part series in line with the Dapitan 2017 theme "Paglisan" or Departure. All works that are part of the series are written by the Flame's Letters staffers. UNA MO siyang nakita noong nasa ikatlong taon ka pa lamang ng elementarya sa inyong lakbay-aral habang papasok ang buong klase niyo sa isang hayupan, kung saan dinig mo mula sa labas ang huni ng iba’t ibang ibon, gayundin ang paminsan-minsang ungol ng mga unggoy at iba pang hayop na nakakulong rito. Papalapit ka sa napinturahang pintuang-daan habang siya ay nakatayo sa tabi ng mga nagtitinda ng kendi at sigarilyo sa lansangan. Napansin mo ang heometrikong disenyong nakaburda sa dyaket niyang gawa sa abaka, at pantalong hanggang tuhod na kasimpula ng kaniyang turban. Batid mo an
Sa kislap ng watawat, Nakita ko ang kalayaan. Ningning ng bitwin at araw Kumakapit sa alapaap, Umaakit sa aking mata. (Perlas ng Silanganan) Ngunit kumupas ang asul, Sa pagdilim ng paligid. Isang himagsik, Laban sa pagsakop Ng sistemang Winasak ng salapi. Sumisiklab ang pula Katulad ng agos ng dugong nawawala (Ang mamatay ng dahil sa 'yo) Lumalabo ang paningin, Sa patuloy na gulo. Danas ng inang bayan, Hindi ko maunawaan. Sa kislap ng watawat, Nakita ko ang kalayaan. Ngunit ngayon, Ako'y namulat Sa tunay nitong kalagayan. (Sa dibdib mo'y buhay) F Words by VIVIEN CLARISSE C. LEYNES Photo by JANINE C. PEREA
Thomasians gather along España Blvd. Friday, Nov. 11 to denounce the Supreme Court's decision, which allowed the interment of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, Sr. at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. Photo by KATHLEEN MAE I. GUERRERO
Patois I understand the dialect on how the sky delivers suffering. Today it weaves a landscape that translates into pain. The light settles grandly on the shore where I come from, and the clouds are faint of blue and purple, almost drawing a bruise. Careful not to step on the puddles where the saltwater accumulates, I start to walk. I think about this space—with its infinite varieties, its potential to wound and preserve. I am unable to define the distance occupying the ocean’s nervous waves. I remain gripped with fear that something in me is permanently broken. I begin to swim. F Words by ANDREA JAMAICA H. JACINTO Photo by KATRINA MAE H. MARCOS
He returns to the time his father taught him how to swim in the ocean. As half of their bodies were submerged under water, he felt how the sole of his father’s left foot touched his right leg when he thrust to demonstrate a basic stroke. He watched him float and rotate his arms, sweeping the water to move forward. His father paddled a few meters away from him, creating waves that splashed all over his face. When he finished wiping his face with his hands, he saw his father making his way towards him. With droplets of water trickling down from his hair to his face, his father compelled him to do the same. As he was being observed by his father from behind, the nine-year-old boy tried to kick using his right foot, but exerted too much force with toes curled—creating tension for t
MARVEL My brother tells me that the sky is a blank canvas at this time of day but I never took notice of it. Maybe it is because I did not bother much to look up, or to look at anything else besides the ground. I went to the same place at the same time every single day to look for live clams, half-open bivalves , and washed up seaweeds. I looked, but I never wandered. There was not a time when silence enveloped the shore: the waves enter in turmoil, but through their course they become soft, like a set of dominos hitting one another in a continuous motion until the last tile. The wind hums to the water swaying, as they too come and go in short sequences. I move forward and tread on grains of sand, multicolored rocks, and crushed shells with my bare feet. The ground rustles softly...
You stand along the sandy shores of the azure ocean in front of you. In the far horizon, the radiance of the sun slowly weakens your eyesight. Clad in skimpy beachwear, you rush towards the water and plunge yourself deep until you feel your feet no longer touching the soaked sand. Alarmed by the realization, your body starts sinking. You raise your hands and wave them in incomprehensible motions, and you scream, only to let the water enter your mouth. The ocean has finally engulfed you and you slowly submerge to the bottom. Your lungs cry out for oxygen as you sink motionless. You try to open your eyes but the seawater stings and forces them shut. But in that brief moment, you perceive light, a combination of red and yellow, reflecting on the surface. Sud...
Tanaw Pinagmamasdan ko ang namumutla mong mga pisngi habang tumitingala ka upang tignan ang pinakatuktok na gulong ng umaandar na ruweda. Kinakagat mo ang iyong labi bilang pahiwatig na nagdadalawang isip kang manatili sa pila sa tabi. Maaaring hindi mo napapansin ang ngiti kong nagbibigay-katiyakang magiging ayos ang lahat at makakabalik tayo sa mismong lupang ating tinatapakan. Maaaring hindi mo nararamdaman ang paghigpit ng hawak ko sa iyong kamay habang papalapit tayo nang papalapit sa gulong na sasakyan dahil sa iyong pagkabalisa sa matataas na lugar. Nasa unahan na tayo ng pila nang ibaling mo sa akin ang iyong atensyon. Bago ka pa mag-umpisang magsalita, inuusig na tayo ng konduktor na pumasok sa gulong na walang laman. Magkatabi tayong umupo sa loob. Nakaluhod ako sa u...
Ang Mga Walang Pangalan Umaapaw na ang mga sari-saring bulaklak sa labi ng batong balon. Humahapon sa gilid, pakalat-kalat tulad ng mga taong nakikiramay sa matagal nang patay at kanyang kaluluwa’y gala sa umaga. Malamig na hangin hudyat ay gabi, pumapatid sa pagitan ng mga paa namin. Pawisang nakipagkumpulan sa tapat ng simbahan, tahimik na winawagayway ang plaka, protesta naming mga nakakaalala. Sa pangalawang kalembang ng kampana, nagsilabasan ang mga tao. Sa loob ng dibdib ko’y halos marinig ko na ang paunang musika ng Bagong Lipunan. Ilang rebulto at kuwadro sa museo pa ba ang dapat ipatayo para tayo ay makaalala? Ilang beses na tayong bumisita at nagpabalik-balik sa mga pruweba ng dati nating pagkawasak. Hanggang sa ngayon, hindi katumbas ng arok ng