Saturday, July 31, 2004


Beneath Agnetha's forlorn face, you can still see
The traces of the things that she had been through --
Chasing rainbows that weren't there,
Dreams that turned into gruesome nightmares

She once had been caught, you see
In the shameless confusion that is the dark world
Of the pill-popping inebriated lost people, trying to find
Solace in the magical promise that never was.

For years and years she roamed
Into the underworld of the dark unknown
Many times, she could feel in her skin
The impending doom that is just lurking within.

Then in her wailing despair, she found him
Who took her aging hand and guided her
To take the golden steps into the long march
To the path of quiet awakening from her sonorous slumber.

At times, she admits that she could still hear those familiar voices in her ears
And her tongue still misses the taste of those orange pills.
But she's home now in his arms, wrapped in comforts
Finding the peace that she could never ever find anywhere.

You could see it in her brown eyes that she's now a different kind
She could now talk about her life and her spiritual journey with utmost certainty
In the shade of the trees, boldly towering in her mother's garden
She made a pledge amid the stargazers' beguiling presence
Vowing that she will never be the same, a hollow person again.

Philippine Daily Inquirer/ YOU/ July 31, 2004

Saturday, July 10, 2004

Truth or Dare

Words have no meaning
Coming from your mouth that spews nothing but fire
I have learned to take them on the cheek
And turn a deaf ear and shrug a cold shoulder.
I am not blind you know?
I just learned how to cope without my colored glasses on
I don't know where exactly it all began
But I know that it was not so long ago
When I was bewitched by your uncanny charm
And fell into a spell that I thought I would never recover
But I was wrong my dear and so are you
And that is something that you should know
I am better without you though not that great you know
But I am coming to terms with my life now
And one thing is sure though,
When I finally get my bearings again
You will not be there.
Philippine Daily Inquirer/ YOU/ July 2004

Thursday, May 20, 2004

May Jane

I picked you up in the garden,
One bright May morning.
I inhaled and smelled your fragrance
Soothing and calming my restless being.

I have watched your beauty
As it faded and wilted into
The heat of my sweaty palms
Crushing my illusions
Breaking my fragile heart
Into a thousand bits and pieces.

A requiem for the dead.

Philippine Daily Inquirer/ YOU/ May 2004

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Sand man

I leave my heart in the sand
Where the waves
Can wash away
My misery.

Ever since you went away
My mind is in a
state of disarray.

I know that
I should never have
Loved you.

But what can I really do?

You will understand
Why I buried my heart
In the sand.

Phillipine Daily Inquirer/ YOU/ March 2004

Wednesday, February 11, 2004


Meaningless words
and empty feelings
-- Forbidden emotions.

Four-sided walls
and padded cushions
-- Nightmarish solutions.

Anemic bloodsuckers
and anorexic nutcrackers
-- Purveyors of hallucinations.

Muffled silence,
demented perception
in the world
of straightjacket

Baseless views
Fearless lies
Invalid reasons
Triumphed in the minds
of the absurd.

Poetic Voices/ May 2003

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Emotional Circle

Laughing out loud
crying in silence
Repressed emotions
trying hard not to cause
a commotion...

Tears in your eyes
Pain in my heart
Nerves of steel
pretending nothing
is real...

Dying hopes
Wasted ambitions
Losing one's soul
in the whirlwind
of corroded
minds of
the people of the lie.

A sure ticket
to eternal

Philippine Daily Inquirer/ YOU Section/ January 2004

Saturday, January 24, 2004

Architectural Plays

Schematic diagrams of damned souls
In uncharted sea of passion
Blue prints of seduction
Lost in the blue horizon

Silly thoughts, crazy ideas
Simple notions, moronic solutions
To the simple questions.

Building relationships
From the dust of creation
Is a simple excuse to damnation?

Bodies carved in stone
Saturated in oil of secretions
Making plans for the big summation

Graphic emotions, linear equation
Caught in a web of painless expression
Collapsing in the heat of spontaneous combustion.

Philippine Daily Inquirer/ YOU Section/ January 2004

Monday, January 19, 2004

Brush Strokes

Awkward landscapes and distant crooked buildings
Bathing nudes and aquamarine rivers
Calloused eyes and women of style
Deadly venomous asps and orange fruitcakes

Eager brushes by the pale trembling hands
Pained strokes on moldy canvasses
Propped on broken easel in a gray-wallpapered studio
Showcasing the best works that I can do

Blue trees on emerald forests
Overlooking the impressive blotchy- paintings
Inside the soft iodine-colored show room
Waiting for the chance for the final slap on the chin!

Resplendent smiles from the eyes of a mad man
Standing up against the world in soiled ragged clothes
Trying to savor the taste of yellowed moments
In hushed phantasmagoric silence...

I dreamed of Cézanne,
But the colors and stars are far from anything,
And the people are not themselves

So, I wept in throbbing pain and heartfelt sorrow.


*Special recognition/ Voicesnet Anthology V
*Two Moon Quarterly Premier Issue/ April- June 2003

Saturday, January 17, 2004

Invisible Touch

Love breathes air
In molecular ice clouds
of fantasy.
Gleaming silky slumber
of invisible crystalline dreams

The winds of apprehension
Is perceptible in the clouds

The quietude is beyond

As she inhales the mist
of eternity.
The Sidewalk's End
Volume 5 Issue 1
Four- Year Anniversary Issue (2003)

Friday, January 16, 2004

We Strike

THE night is very cold and damp. We are in position on the hilly portion of the road leading to San Leonardo waiting in ambush for the enemy to come out from the bushes. A tip from one of our informants tells us that a group of New Peoples Army communist rebels would be passing our area tonight en route to a plenum of the provincial party committee in the hinterlands of Nueva Vizcaya.

It is now close to 10 in the evening and our unit has been in position since 5 in the afternoon. But nary a sign of life except for the usual movements and chirpings of night birds and the sound of leaves of the trees brushing against each other as the monsoon winds sweep through their branches.

The sky is dark and it looks like the Philippine rainy season will start tonight. A perfect camouflage for our unit tasked to neutralize the enemy.

Then the night birds stop chirping. From a distance we could hear the dogs barking. There is a deafening silence among the members of the 7-man Army Scout Rangers team with their fingers ready on the trigger of their M-16s and M-14s as their eyes focus on the trail leading to the road from the jungle.

Another minute passes, then another long minute of anxiety for the rangers in the darkness. The tension is so strong that all you could hear is the sound of your own heart beating but the enemies are nowhere in sight.

Patiently, we wait . . . All of a sudden their presence is announced by the smell of burning tobaccos from their cigarettes. In fact, the air is heavy and filled by its aroma that only an untrained soldier and a fool would miss them.

From the bushes come the lead scout followed by their kumander and the rest of the kadres. Since our eyes are already adjusted to the darkness we are able to identify their leader as Ka Greg, the head of the provincial party committee. The rebels come out in groups of four and we estimate their strength to be about 30-strong, majority of which are only in their teens with three amazons.

As soon as the last kadre emerge from the bushes, I fire my baby armalite hitting Ka Greg in the forehead signaling my men to fire at the rebels at will.

The skirmish lasts about 15 minutes.

After the smoke of the gun battle clears, Ka Greg and 10 of his men including an amazon lay dead on the unpaved dirt road.

The rebels retreat while firing their guns at us to the nearby forest undercover of darkness carrying with them their wounded comrades.

We stay put and wait for our reinforcements to arrive and at sunrise return to our command post for a hot breakfast of fried tuyo, kamatis and sinangag.

The encounter is no big deal for us, for in the next few days, we will again embark in a search and destroy operations for the remnants of Ka Gregs unit. This is our life. Our story.

‘Walang personalan. Trabaho lang, ika nga. ‘

'We Strike and other soldier tales'
The Sunday Times Magazine
October 19, 2003