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Sunday, February 28, 2010

El Niño

El Niño--
Haiti connects with

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Haiku for Edna R. Faral

Birthday ni Sunz--
Nagpueondo sa pagsinaot
Ro mga dahon it mga Sunflowers

February 25, 2010

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

We beg a pardon

I take exemption to this article written by a Filipino on the case of Marilou Ranario, an OFW in Kuwait. I hope that this article will be read by the Philippine government officials so that she can be helped. I do not know any update on her case.--Melchor F. Cichon

Kuwait Times
Published Date: December 04, 2007
By Armineonila M., Staff columnist

Again, I'm on strike. This time though, it's a hunger strike. I lost my appetite after learning that another person, Marilou Ranario, has been sentenced to death. Believe me when I say that my being a Filipina or an expat, for that matter, has nothing to do with my present agony. There is a big distinction between patriotism and plain, clean-shaven humanitarianism. I am human, therefore, I am subject to feel empathy towards my fellow human. My distress has no racial reference whatsoever.

Ranario's act of wasting away another human being's life was considerably a human act, a nature of impulse when in a segment of the moment the mind begins to depart from the threshold of rational thinking. Nevertheless, one murderous act committed is never justified as a case of severe psychosis as anyone, even the sane ones, may suffer at the hands of transgression and may submit to criminal impetus when constantly provoked.

At the same time no one else but the victim, aside from God of course, can claim witness to the allegedly few seconds' of homicidal anger or grief or despair from the assailant. Who are we to predict the real scene of the tragedy? Who are we as but second-hand recipients of news and testimonies to throw stones on someone else's adversity? Were we present in the crime scene?

If we were, perhaps no crime had taken place as it is our natural instinct to stop it. Ranario has been accused of committing a sin and that is murder, this is a given as it is a sin to kill. But is it not also a sin to kill some more? Or let me put it in a legal term, to sentence someone to death? How should we call those sponsors who also commit inhumane violations? Sin no. 1: STEAL worker's rights. Sin no. 2: MOLEST their services. Sin no. 3: DISRESPECT their independence. Sin no. 4: KILL their
soul. So who has the biggest counts of crimes committed? Yet the victim is dead and that makes it impossible for that person to go to the witness stand and recount his/her faults.

Mercy is very elusive when it is available only in clenched fists. In a nutshell, only those attuned to their inner soul and conscience, those who are open for compromise and have a broad comprehension of the tendencies of human beings, are capable of giving mercy. We are often enraged by the misdeeds of others. We desire to stomp on the culprit and squish him / her to death to satisfy our moment's fits of fury. We feel ignited by our own egotistic drives that we fail to reconsider our thoughts and be
awakened by the reality that in fact we are not alone in this world, that we depend on others' misgivings in order to mirror our own imperfections.

Criminals who have been secluded from the rest of us 'free' people have already experienced that egotistic space inside their prison bars. I believe that's enough of a punishment, of being denied of their own freedom to move in society and to be stripped of the warmth they can only achieve within their own family's arms. Those who nursed anger in their hearts against criminals are clearly no different to these criminals who have nursed anger against their victims.

Albeit we, as foreign representatives of another race, are expected to respect the law that in one way or another, has included us therefore has the responsibility to protect us. We do not claim ourselves to be different as we dig on the same plate and discharge in the same toilet bowls. We all digest what is only tangible and that does not include gold or any silver coins.

Having gained an education from a religious institution, I was taught that God prohibits the act of killing. But here we are, mere humans, dictating someone else's death. Clearly, the law of God and the law of people do not complement each other. There is a clich� that goes "one's wrongdoing is never cured by another's wrongdoing". But we reject its meaning by our desire to be just.

All those convicted of heinous crimes must be confusing themselves with this dilemma while waiting for their last moments on earth. But then again, they owe someone else's life. So what better punishment could there be but that which is parallel to what they have committed. So the verdict should be "Kill the criminal" because murder is unpardonable. Indeed, it is unforgivable to kill. Therefore, should we?

My Tips in Poetry Writing

Melchor F. Cichon
October 2, 2008

Every poet has his own way of writing poems.

I have my way.

Generally before I write a poem, I read. Just anything. But if there is a book of poetry, I pick that up first and read it.

While reading it, most often an idea comes in.

Ideas come in like lightning. If you cannot record it, it will be lost forever.

Or if you can remember it, good.

So what I do is, I always bring a notebook, and a pen or pencil. Once an idea comes into my mind, I write it down.

Usually, this idea becomes the focus of my poem. If more related ideas come in, I continue my writing until I finish the poem. Otherwise, I just leave it there for future use.

I write my first draft as it comes from my heart. But once I revise it, the writing will now come from my mind. I become the first critic of my work.

And I revise it without mercy.

How many times do I revise my work? I do not know. Perhaps once, perhaps two. Or even more.

If I feel that I have molded it the way I wanted it, then I stop.

How do I know that it has reached the end of it? When I feel that everything that I hope to put in it is already there.

How do I revise my poem?

Is it wordy? If it is, I trim the adjectives that I believe should not be included in the poem. I prefer more action words. The shorter the sentence the better.

I check the spelling, the grammar, and the words and phrases. The whole sentence.
Is there unity? Is there logic in the arrangement of the stanzas?

Can I be understood? Are there words that are very difficult to understand? If there are, I change that to something that is easily understood.

Like Robert Frost, I prefer to use easy to understand words. Easy they seem to be, but they can evoke layers of meanings.

Let us take this poem:

Melchor F. Cichon

Inay, ham-at madueom ro gabii?
May buean, Toto, ugaling may galipud nga gae-um.
Inay, ham-at madueom ro gabii?
May bombilya ro mga poste't Akelco,
Ugaling may brown-out.
Inay, ham-at madueom ro gabii?
Ginsinindihan ko ro atong kingke,
Ugaling ginapinaeong it hangin.
Inay, ham-at madueom ro gabii?
Toto, matueog ka eon lang
Ay basi hin-aga temprano pa
Magsilak ro adlaw.
Indi, 'Nay ah!
Sindihan ko't uman ro atong kingke.

Here the words are very simple. But is it really easy? Does it evoke other meanings?

Does it dig your senses, your feelings, your conscience?

If I find that the word I used is abstract, I try to change it with concrete words—or words that have pictures. Abstract words are words that confuse the reader. Example, when we say, he is a well-known person, we do not know whether that person is liked or disliked. But if we say that person is famous, he or she is liked and well-known. Or to put it more convincing, let us put it this way: He is like Dr. Jose Rizal.

Concrete words describe things that people experience with their senses: red, cold, dog. A person can see red, feel cold, and hear the bark of a dog. This is related to image.

In using images in our poems, we use our five senses: smell (fragrance of a sampaguita), taste (the taste of heaven of durian), touch (soothing touch of mother), feelings (After you left me, a dull pin has been piercing my heart ), hearing (The sound of Jawili falls remind me of you).

Abstract words refer to concepts or feelings, like liberty, happy, love. A person cannot see, touch or taste any of these things. These abstracts words are common in greetings cards. That is the reason why poems in these cards do not reach the textbooks, particularly in anthologies. Many of the words used in greeting cards are clichés. Simply said, generally, texts in greeting cards have no poetic value.

Example: If I used flower, I change it to a specific flower like gumamila or sampaguita or rose. If I use tall, I change it to, say, flagpole so that the reader will have something to compare with it.

Look at these lines:

Good: She fells happy when she sees me.
Better: She jumps when she sees me.
Good: The palm of his hand is coarse.
Better: The palm of his hand is a cactus.

Here are some words that poets should avoid using when writing a poem.

Big, happy, tall, beautiful, great, little.

I also check whether I used a cliché. If I did, then that line should either be revised or be deleted outright. If I cannot create a fresh metaphor for that questionable line, I change the whole sentence.

Cliché is like a rose that has lost its fragrance and beauty.

A cliché is an over-used metaphor like: she is like a red, red rose. Here is a poem which is full of cliches:


Poor as a church mouse,
Strong as an ox,
Cute as a button,
Smart as a fox.

Thin as a toothpick,
White as a ghost,
Fit as a fiddle,
Dumb as a post.

Bold as an eagle,
Neat as a pin,
Proud as a peacock,
Ugly as sin.

When people are talking
You know what they’ll say
As soon as they start to use a cliche.

Here are some cliches that poet should avoid:

Being in the same boat
Building bridges
Clasping at straws
Cutting the Gordian knot
Earning brownie points
Getting a feather in their cup
Getting down to brass tracks
Missing by a whisker
Missing the bus
Muddying the water
Not having a crystal ball

I also check whether I used a passive voice. If I did, then I change the sentence into an active one.


Passive: My first visit to Miagao will always be remembered by me.

Active: I shall always remember my first visit to Miagao.

Many poets have been using poetic devices like assonance, metaphor, simile, irony, and other poetic devices. These devices really create great impression to the readers.

What is assonance?

Assonance is a repetition of vowel sounds within words like: "The rain in Spain stays mainly on the plain."

Naghapay ro baeay ni Inday sa binit it baybay pag-agi ni Moray.

What is metaphor?

A metaphor is a statement that pretends one thing is really something else:
nipa hut--
my castle atop a hill
a witness to my tears
*****by Edna Laurente Faral

Your smile is my sleeping tablet.

What is a simile? It is a statement where you say one object is similar to another object. It uses "like" or "as"

"I knew; the light that lingered in ordinary things
like a spark sheltered under the skin of our days--
The light was you;
It did not come from."
*****From "Her amazement at her only child" by Karol Wojtyla

What is irony? Irony is the use of words to convey the opposite of their literal meanings. It is also a literary style employing such contrasts for humorous or rhetorical effects.

Here is a good example of irony.

Ni Alex de Juan

Kanina lang
Puno ng pawis ang tansan
na nagyakap sa bibig ng Coke.
Naghalakhak ang tansan
na gin-aywanan ang bibig ng Coke.
Nagtambad ang kalawang
sa ilalim ng bibig ng Coke.
Gin-inom ni Xela ang Coke.
Si Xela ay nagdighay
pagkatapos mag-inom ng Coke
dahil gusto ng tansan na maulit
ang tunog ng kanyang halaklak
sa paglaho
ng kalawang
sa ilalim ng bibig ng Coke.

Another thing which I check in my poem is the injection of moral lesson. This device has been used in many of the traditional poems. I was once a judge in Hiligaynon poetry contest, and I noticed this mistake in many of the entries. So avoid this, let us leave that giving of moral lesson to the preachers. Our business as a poet is to present what we see, hear, feel, smell, imagine, and dream of. And if possible, inject a little opinion and leave the rest to the readers.

Another technique in creating great poem is by subverting the ordinary: Subverting is turning upside down. Here is a good example:

crossing a bamboo bridge—
a son holds
his father's arm
*****by Melchor F. Cichon

Using rhyme and rhythm is an effective way of conveying our feelings, but we must be very careful with them. For one, if we will stick to rhyme and rhythm, most of our ideas will be trimmed because we have to suit our words with them. This is the main reason why modern poets are now using free verse.

Using words thy, thyself, and other words common in the 16th century should be avoided, unless of course you want to be associated with William Shakespeare.

Great poems have conflicts, just like in a short story. There must be two opposing forces in the poem.

Let us take this poem:

Ang Matandang Ito
Rio Alma

Dahil mabigat ang liwanag.
Dahil pinakupas ng liwanag.
Dahil niluto ng liwanag.
Dahil tigib** ang bibig ng liwanag.

*Hukot is stooped
**Tigib--overflowing; overburdened

Here is another one:

Sa Bangketa
Ni Rio Alma

Kalansing ng barya
Sa basyong lata.
Simula ba ito ng kasaysayan
Hinggil sa walang katapusang pag-asa?
O pangwakas na himala?

Another element of a great poem is its universality. The more universal the theme and topic of the poem, the more each individual reader can identify with the poem. You can express individual hurt (or joy), for example, but the reader must be able to see it as his or her hurt (or joy) as well."

Let us take these very short poems:

Old pond
A frog jumps in
A sound of water

By Melchor F. Cichon

I will definitely go home
To our house
Where we can see the clouds
Through the roof.
I'm fed up
With the twinkling neon lights,
But I have not yet paid
For the earrings that I got
From Mama San.
I need them so my tinkling
Will be louder and my hips
Will be heavier.
Don't worry, John,
This Christmas
You and I will create a moon
And through the roof
We two alone
Will grasp its light.


There are some more tips that I can offer.

Some writers are afraid to show their works to other people. That is Ok because they say they write for themselves.

But great poets think otherwise. They show their works to their fellow poets—for comments.

All great poets have written hundred or even thousand of bad poems—poems that use cliches, faulty grammar, etc. But out of these writings, come a great one. And that matters most. And that makes all the difference.

Here is one poem that is included in Sansiglong Mahigit ng Makabagong Tula sa Filipinas, edited by Virgilio S. Almario, 2006.

Owa’t Kaso, Saeamat
Ni Melchor F. Cichon

Owa ako kimo magpangabay
Nga tipigan mo rang maeapad nga handumanan.
Hasayran ko man eagi
Nga ring tagipusuon hay may husto eang nga lugar
Para sa imong mga pagbakho.

Owa ako kimo magpangabay
Nga taguon rang euha agud madumduman.
Hasayran ko man eagi
Nga gusto mo eang magsupsop—
Samtang may ona pa—it duga nga mapuga ko
Sa atong kaeayo.

Owa’t kaso, saeamat,
Paris it pagpasaeamat it eanas sa bulkan
Sa lava nga anang ginabuga.

All great poets have received rejections slips. I have my share.
Rejection slips have many reasons. Our works might not be suited to the editorial policy of the magazine or journals. It could also mean that our works still need revision.

But rejection slips should be appreciated—they are energy for us to cross bridges to write greater poems.

Do you know that two other publishers had turned down the first manuscript of Harry Potter. But now every publisher wants to be the publisher of this series.

There are times when you cannot produce a line for your poem. Do not worry. Ideas come like seasons: rainy season and dry season. And when rainy season comes, try as much as possible to capture in paper those bountiful ideas. And when the dry season comes, just relax. Walk around. Smell the flowers. See a movie. Listen to your favorite radio stations. Read a novel. Or just lie down. And in your relaxation, you will be surprised that you have a new line to work on.

The second to the last tip I can offer is this:

Give a surprise ending:

Here are examples from a Hiligaynon luwa:

Sa ibabaw sang lamesa
May tiki nga nagadupa
Ginpudyot ni Lola
Abi niya ya maskada.


Sa tanan nga bata ni Nanay
Ako ang labing ma-isog
Kulas-kulas sa dapog
Una ako nanaog.


May manok ako nga bukay,
Ginbulang ko sa Janiuay;
Nagdaug pero patay.
Ginsumsuman ni Nanay.

My second to the last tip is: Revise, revise and revise your work until you are satisfied.
And finally, I always have dictionaries and thesaurus at my side to check the right spellings of the words I use and a thesaurus to select the right words.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Kon Ako Mangasawa

Kon ako mangasawa
Pilion ko ro sangka mangunguma
Owa't eabot nga maskulado ra eawas
Gaaeawas pa sa taeagbasan ro among bugas

Nag-ato si Lola Sa Kaeanasan

Nag-agto si Lola sa kaeanasan
Agod magtan-aw ku anang maeaisan
Ahay, anang hataeupangdan
Naubos eon gali't ani't kaeangaman

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Why Do I Write in Aklanon?

Melchor F. Cichon
November 18, 2008

Why do I write in Aklanon?

This is a simple question, but it took me time to compile my reasons why indeed I write in Aklanon.

When I started writing poetry, I wrote in English, then in Tagalog, then in Aklanon.

I wrote in English because I really wanted to improve my skills in English. It has been my problem on how to communicate effectively in English. Because of that I read books on English grammar like the one by Jean Edades, English for Filipinos. Together with a friend, we studied the English grammar, its preposition, and the actual writing in English. To try how effective my English was, I tried to write short letters to the editors of Manila Times, Sunday Times Magazine, the Philippine Collegian, and other national magazines. Some of my letters were published, of course with some editing.
Then I tried writing poetry in English.

But since I did not have any formal training on poetry writing I thought that the best way to write poetry was to translate Tagalog poems into English to see how poets write poems. So I translated the works of Teo Baylen, a poet laureate from Cavite.

Little by little, I learned some poetry writing techniques.

Then I tried writing in Tagalog as it was much easier for me to express myself in Tagalog than in English.

In the early 1980s, Dr. Leoncio Deriada came to UP in Iloilo.

When he learned that I was writing poetry, he asked me to show him some of my “masterpieces”, and he told me I should learn some more. He invited me to attend creative writing workshops.

And I did.

It was also through his encouragement that I write more Aklanon poems because it would be much easier for me to convey my ideas if I write in Aklanon. I accepted his challenge.

Before that, of course I was already writing in Aklanon. In fact my poem, Inay, is the first Aklanon poem ever published in the Philippine Collegian. When I transferred to UP in Iloilo, now UPV, I wrote a poem in Aklanon. This was published in Pagbutlak. That was also the first Aklanon poem ever published in that school organ.

There are other reasons why I write in Aklanon.

Aklanon as a language is still developing like any other language. In fact it has no spelling standard. Although we have three dictionaries that provide Aklanon words, I noticed that there are some words that are spelled in a different way like: Unga and Onga; Kon and Kun; Tagipusuon and Tagipusoon. There are also some deviations like ingko or mingko, paris or kamana, pero or piru, etc.

But I usually consult the A Study of the Aklanon Dialect, vol 2, Dictionary by Vicente Salas Reyes et al., 1969, if I am not sure of the spelling.

As I continued writing poems in Aklanon, I noticed my Aklanon vocabulary has been expanding.

And I also enrich Aklanon language by incorporating words from other languages into my Aklanon works. Example, cocoon has no direct translation into Aklanon, except that it is a house of a worm. But the Tagalog has, so I used higad when I translated the haiku of Rogelio G. Mangahas. Another word which I used is ham-at, from ham-an it. Now this word is well-known especially when I published the book entitled: Ham-at Madueom Ro Gabii, Inay?

Later I realized that I was not only writing for myself. Some people have noticed my literary works especially Dr. Deriada. When I published my first book of poems, Ham-at Madueom Ro Gabii, he recommended me to Gawad Pampansang Alagad ni Balagtas.

In a way, not only Aklanons have been reading my literary works but also other people especially so when I set-up the website Aklanon Literature I heard that in De la Salle and in UP Diliman, Philippine literature students discuss some of my works in their classes. Someone from the University of Santo Thomas wrote me a letter saying that she was writing a term paper on my Aklanon poems.

Through my writings, I have gained some friends not only in my province but also outside. As a result, I gained some cooperation with other writers. And perhaps if not because of my Aklanon works, Prof. Tomas Talledo would not have invited me to attend a conference on why people write in their native tongues. The conference was held on May 9, 2008 at U.P. Visayas Iloilo City Campus. Or probably, I should not be here after all.
And perhaps through my example, some Aklanons have tried writing in Aklanon. Now we can see some Aklanon poems in the internet. One book, Haiku, Luwa and Other Poems by Aklanons was published in 2004 through my encouragement.

With the help of the internet, I was able to communicate with renowned haiku writers outside of the Philippines. I translated Basho’s haiku into Aklanon. This way these famous foreign writers will learn about Aklan and Aklan’s literature.

My other reason for writing in Aklanon is to prove that there is a distinct Aklanon literature, not a subgroup of Hiligaynon literature. For many years, some people have thought that there is only one literature in Western Visayas until we the present writers have advocated that Aklanon literature is not a subgroup of Hiligaynon literature, but parallel to it.

Still other reason why I write in Aklanon is to earn money, although very little by being asked to translate Aklanon poems, short stories and other works for their theses or researches.

Lastly, I write in Aklanon to expose the social and environmental cancers that ferment in our country, and hopefully will prick the consciousness of our leaders. To me poetry is a social responsibility.

All the poems that you are about to read were written for a contest, and fortunately, they won prizes. Ay, Saeamat is one of the poems in the collection that won a writing grant in poetry writing in Aklanon from the Cultural Center of the Philippines. Eva, Si Adan won third prize in the regional contest sponsored by Sentro ng Wika, UP in the Visayas and the NCCA, while Si Ambong, Ati won first prize in the same contest, professional written category.

As you read my poems, you will notice that the incidents mentioned in the poems were based on Philippine history, current events and culture.

Ay, Saeamat cites the cycle of human life.: birth, marriage, and death. In each stage, Filipinos celebrate or honor it. In each celebration, Filipinos prepare foods for the visitors, either invited or not.

To add tension, I included this line: “Maski salin eon lang.” in the last line of the first stanza. To heighten the tension, I included the following lines that reflect the common incidents during Martial Law time:

Pirme eon lang abi nga linaga nga kamote
Ro ginapamahaw namon ni Nanay
Ay ginkangay abi si Tatay
Ni Hepe M sa Kampo K
Ay kuno nagpakaon si Tatay it limang katawo
Nga may bitbit nga sako
Ag sang dag-on eon imaw
Nga owa kauli.
Ag hasta makaron ra’y Tatay
Nga sanggutan
Hay owa eon

The second poem, Eva si Adan talks about man’s wrong perceptions about women’s capability and power. These can be seen in these lines:

Pero owa madumdumi't mga eaki
Nga maski si Mark Anthony
Hapatiyog-tiyog ni Cleopatra
Maski sa guwa it kama.
Owa nanda madumdumi nga si Gabriela gali
Ro nagpahaba't daean ni Diego Silang.
Ag sa Edsa kon owa ring kaeambong
Maghigot it rosas sa punta't armalite ni Freddie
Hay basi owa si Cory makasindi't kandila
Sa ermita't Malakanyang.

I wrote Si Ambong, Ati primarily for a contest. This poem won first prize in the written professional category. This poem exposes how lowlanders ostracize the Ati in Iloilo City, and in other provinces in Panay, and the neglect being done by our government toward the Atis. The persona hopes that the Ati will be given equal opportunity in education and other benefits being availed of by the lowlanders. Ambong in Kinaray-a is beautiful.

The first few lines portray the sad plight of Ati in Iloilo City:

Si Ambong, Ati—maitum.
Kueong ra buhok, gision ra eambong, ga siki.
Gakung-kong, kung-kong ka maeupsi nga eapsag
Gapakalimos sa Jaro Cathedral, sa J.M. Basa Street
Ay gintabog eon ra pamilya sa eugta nga anay ginaayaman nanda’t haeo.
Si Ambong, Ati, maitum, indi kantigo magbasa, indi kantigo magsueat
Maski ka anang ngaean ay sa andang barangay owa’t eskuylahan.
Si Ambong, Ati, ginasinggit-singgitan, ginadela-delaan
It mga unga kun imaw mag-agi sa daean ay maitum.
Ginapahadlok it mga nanay sa andang gatangis nga mga unga.
O sa mga unga nga indi magtueog.
Kon fiesta, ginataw-an si Ambong it salin nga suea
Ginasueod sa plastic o sa bag-ong bukas nga lata.
Kun bukon ngani, ginabagsakan it gate.
Agod makayupyop it sigarilyo, gapamueot si Ambong it upos sa kalye.
Agod makasamit it hamburger o juice sa pakite,
Ginapaeapitan ni Ambong ro nagakaon maski sin-o nga anang maagyan.
Pag-abot it gabii, maeugad si Ambong sa sidewalk o sa waiting shed
Kahulid ka anang maeupsing eabsag—
Mayad eang kun may karton nga banig ag owa’t baha o uean --
Agod magbaskug euman ra tuhod sa pagpakalimos pagka-aga.

Below are  three of my complete Aklanon poems:

Ay, Saeamat

Ay, saeamat
Ay may bunyag eon man
Sa among barangay—
Makasamit eon man ako’t
Sutanghon ag litson
Maski salin eon lang.

Pirme eon lang abi nga galunggong ag dayok
Ro suea namon ni Nanay.

Ay, saeamat
Ay may eubong eon man
Sa among barangay—
Makasamit eon man ako’t
Libreng siopao
May Coke o Pepsi pang pangtulak.

Pirme eon lang abi nga linaga nga kamote
Ro ginapamahaw namon ni Nanay
Ay ginkangay abi si Tatay
Ni Hepe M sa Kampo K
Ay kuno nagpakaon si Tatay it limang katawo
Nga may bitbit nga sako
Ag sang dag-on eon imaw
Nga owa kauli.
Ag hasta makaron ra’y Tatay
Nga sanggutan
Hay owa eon

Eva, Si Adan

Bangud ginabot ka eang kuno sa gusok ni Adan
Agud may anang hampang-hampangan,
Maistorya-istoryahan ag mapautwas-utwasan
Sa oras nga anang kinahangean
Hay abu eon nga ngaean
Ro andang ginsueat sa imong daean:
Salome, Magdalena, Maria Clara, Bagyo Esyang.
Bangud mahuyang kuno ring dughan,
Maski ro bagyo nga makaeuka't butong
Ag makapaeunod it barko
Hay ginapapangaean man gihapon kimo.
Pero owa madumdumi't mga eaki
Nga maski si Mark Anthony
Hapatiyog-tiyog ni Cleopatra
Maski sa guwa it kama.
Owa nanda madumdumi nga si Gabriela gali
Ro nagpahaba't daean ni Diego Silang.
Ag sa Edsa kon owa ring kaeambong
Maghigot it rosas sa punta't armalite ni Freddie
Hay basi owa si Cory makasindi't kandila
Sa ermita't Malakanyang.
Mayad gid sanda magpalitik kon paano
Ka eang mapasunod-sunod sa andang ikog.
Owa gid sanda gapalitik kon paano mo magamit
Tanan ring utok, eawas ag hueag
Para kita tanan makatakas sa linaw it utang.
Owa ka gid kuno't kalibutan
Sa pagdumaea't gobyerno o simbahan.
Mayad ka eang kuno maghibi-hibi, magkiri-kiri
Kon magumon ring hilo sa imong saeag-utan.
Kon abu ring hasayran ag kon maghambae ka't
Kontra sa sueondan nga anda man nga hinimuan
Isaea ka ka amasona ag dapat eang nga isilda.
O kon bukon ngani myembro ka't grupo ni Brainda.
Eva, tupong gid eang kamo ni Adan
Sa tanan nga lugar, sa tanan nga butang.
Kon ham-at imo imaw nga ginapagustuhan?
O gusto mo gid eang nga ipadumdom
Nga kon ham-at makapalingkod imaw it leon
Hay ikaw ro anang kaibahan.

Si Ambong, Ati

Si Ambong, Ati—maitum.
Kueong ra buhok, gision ra eambong, gasiki.
Gakung-kong, kung-kong ka maeupsi nga eapsag
Gapakalimos sa Jaro Cathedral, sa J.M. Basa Street
Ay gintabog eon ra pamilya sa eugta nga anay ginaayaman nanda’t haeo.
Si Ambong, Ati, maitum, indi kantigo magbasa, indi kantigo magsueat
Maski ka anang ngaean ay sa andang barangay owa’t eskuylahan.
Si Ambong, Ati, ginasinggit-singgitan, ginadela-delaan
It mga unga kun imaw mag-agi sa daean ay maitum.
Ginapahadlok it mga nanay sa andang gatangis nga mga unga.
O sa mga unga nga indi magtueog.
Kon fiesta, ginataw-an si Ambong it salin nga suea
Ginasueod sa plastic o sa bag-ong bukas nga lata.
Kon bukon ngani, ginabagsakan it gate.
Agod makayupyop it sigarilyo, gapamueot si Ambong it upos sa kalye.
Agod makasamit it hamburger o juice sa pakite,
Ginapaeapitan ni Ambong ro nagakaon maski sin-o nga anang maagyan.
Pag-abot it gabii, maeugad si Ambong sa sidewalk o sa waiting shed
Kahulid ka anang maeupsing eabsag—
Mayad eang kun may karton nga banig ag owa’t baha o uean --
Agod magbaskug euman ra tuhod sa pagpakalimos pagka-aga.
Si Ambong, Ati—maitum. Ra ele-ele, ra hibi, ra pangamuyo
Indi mabatian, indi mabatyagan it gobyerno sa siyudad it tawo.
Ra singgit it tabang hay singgit sa Pluto.
Si Ambong, Ati-- maitum, indi makit-an it atong gobyerno.
Kon Dinagyang, sa selebrasyon etsa pwera si Ambong.
Eutay kuno imaw sa mga bisitang dumueo-ong.
Si Ambong, maitum, ginatabog it blue guard
Bag-o pa man imaw maka-eapak sa gate it Atrium ag SM Shoemart
Kunta may Gloria nga magbatak kay Ambong sa libtong it kaimueon
Agod sa ulihi ro gobyerno may buwes nga masukot kay Ambong;
Agod sa ulihi makabakae man imaw it Levis o barong
Agod sa ulihi makaeskuyla man sa U.P. ra mga inapo;
Agod sa ulihi owa kana’t magtamay, owa’t magtabog
Kon imaw mag-agto sa SM City ag sa Atrium.
Si Ambong, Ati--Maitum. Apo ni Maniwantiwan.
Ag Filipino. Pares kimo, pares kakon.
Kon ham-at owa imaw sa listahan it mga Filipino nga dapat buligan?
Kon ham-at indi imaw makasueod sa atong ugsaran?
Kon ham-at indi naton imaw maagbayan?
Kon ham-at indi imaw makadungan katon magkaon sa restauran?
Siyudad man baea ra’t tawo, indi baea, banwa? Indi baea, banwa?

El Niño

El Niño--
berdeng mga golf courses
khaki nga kaeanasan

El Niño--
green golf courses
brown ricefields

Friday, February 19, 2010

Donated Wheelchair

donated wheelchair--
now, he moves around

Monday, February 15, 2010

Naghaeugay Rang Pila

rang pila
sa maeubog nga suba

my saliva
with the murky river

Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day
she hugs
her patients...

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Math Math Talabahan

Igto sa Math Math Talabahan
Ro balde nanda nga saeag-uban
Ro kagidgid indi ko gid malipatan
Owa gid nanda hakit-an

Nag-uli Ako Sa Aklan

Pag-uli ko sa Aklan
Nagbagtas ako sa Agcaliwan
Rang sapatos hay haaywan
Ginbaligya ni Tay Juan

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Daily Time Record

daily time record book
Agnes' name
occupies two lines

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Election Time

election time--
posts, walls, trees
full of campaign materials

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day--
ginakueang ro rosas
sa tindahan

Katapusan it Klase

katapusan it klase
o kwatro?

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Siniad-Siad nga Kaeangitan*

Siniad-Siad Nga Kaeangitan
(Strips of Heavens)


Melchor F. Cichon
February 7, 2010

This is a book of haiku in progress


Copyright Page

Table of Contents


his departure strips my heart
fiber by fiber
***May 18, 2014

Tabtabon Naton

Tay, tabtabon naton
ro mga hilamon nga nagabueabod
sa atong kurae

Let’s Cut Down

Father, let us cut down
the grasses that entwine
in our fence


gaeupad-eupad ka’t libre
sa harden ko alibangbang


you freely fly
in my garden butterfly


mahumok nga bagoe
it kuhoe

Rice Fields

rice fields—
soft shell
of a snail

Gabot nga Buesa

gabot nga buesa—
naghiyum eon lang ako
sa nagapangalimos nga Ati

Holed Pocket

holed pocket
I just smile
to the begging Ati

Adlaw Sa Among Baeay

pagkatapos it uean—
pinihakpihak nga adlaw
sa sueod ku among baeay

Sun In Our House

after the rain—
sliced sun
inside our house


sa nagakaeunot
nga mga daho’t narra


on the rotting narra

Ay, Gali!

ay gali!—
kon adlaw , boarding house
kon gabii, kasa


on daytime, a boarding house
in the evening, a brothel


sa paeaabuton nga super bagyo

Harvest Time

harvest time—
on a coming super typhoon

Mataeum Nga Tueok

landslide sa Brgy. Guinsaugan
mataeum nga tueok ku owak
sa kaparehong owak

Sharp Look

landslide in Brgy Guinsaugan
a sharp look from a crow
to another crow

Ormoc, Leyte

Ormoc, Leyte—
nagaeutaw nga mga troso sa karsada
kaibahan ku mga bangkay

Ormoc, Leyte

Ormoc, Leyte
floating logs in the street
along with human bodies


pagkatapos it uean—
gin-eunok ku nagdue-os nga eugta
ro mga panaghoy it Brgy Guinsaugan


after the rain—
the landslide engulfs
the dreams of Brgy Guinsaugan

Bagyong Kaloy

Bagyong Kaloy—
ginapanumdum ni Pinoy
ro nagubang tulay sa Nanga

Typhoon Caloy

Typhoon Caloy—
Pinoy remembers
the broken bridge in Nanga

Gulping Uean

gulping uean
gulpi man nga ginbaha
ro karsada

Sudden Rain

sudden rain
a sudden flood
in the street

Barangay Guinsaugan

Barangay Guinsaugan
gulping gin-eunok ro mga pamaeay
it landslide

Barangay Guinsaugan

Barangay Guinsaugan
suddenly, landslide
engulfs the houses

Gin-eunok It Eugta

Pebrero 2006—
gin-eunok it eugta
ro bilog nga eskuylaha’t Guinsaugan

Engulfs by Earth

February 2006—
the earth engulfs
the whole school in Guinsaugan


tatlong unga gakabit-kabit
sa mga sanga’t bayawas


harvest time—
three children cling
to the guava branches


nagdagsa sa baybay
ro may ninang balyena


a wounded whale washes out
at the shore


gatunod ro pihak nga buean—
ginakungkung ni Juan ra unga
sa ibabaw it higanteng billboard


setting half moon—
Juan carries his child
atop a giant billboard


ginriple ni Kagawad
ro unga sa ibabaw it tower


Kagawad fires a rifle
at a young man atop the tower

Bisperas It Bag-ong Dag-on

Bisperas it Bag-ong Dag-on
nanago sa idaeum it kama
rang Japanese Spitz

New Year’s Eve

New Year’s Eve
my Japanese Spitz
hides under my bed

Brown-out I

brown- out
maski ro daho’t saging


brown out
even the banana leaves
stand still

Bugas Sa Kalye

puting buean—
ginapueot ni Tatay ro nagakalhit
nga bugas sa kalye

Rice Grains in the Street

white moon—
Tatay picks up
the scattered rice grains in the street

Buko’t Magueang

buko’t magueang
ana akong ginpapanumdum
permi eang nga eab-as

Not Old

not old
he reminds me
just fresh always


ginpabaskug pa gid
ro tunog ku andang karaoke


they amplify
the sound of their karaoke

Buto’t Balat

samtang gahaeabuya’t eutay
ro mga amo sa kongreso
buto’t balat rang buesa

Bone and Skin

while the congressmen
throw mud at each other
my pocket is bone and skin

Call Center

Call Center—
baliskad ro adlaw
ni Vanessa

Call Center

Call Center—
Vanessa’s day
is upside down

Dati Asaw-Asaw

dati, asaw-asaw eang
makaron, bunok
pangaywang pagkita

Before, Only Drizzles

before, only drizzles
now, hard rain
the second meeting

Dominggo’t Hapon

Dominggo’t hapon--
gintabug it guard si Ambong Ati
paguwa’t geyt it mall

Sunday Afternoon

Sunday afternoon--
a guard drives out Ambong Ati
out of the mall


sa pihak it eatayan
may eatayan pa gid –
tao eang kon maeatayan ko pa


beyond the bridge
another bridge
I don’t know if I can pass through it

Eon Man

nagawagayway eon man
ro mga pueang bandera
sa Edsa

Once Again

again the red flag
at Edsa

Flower Horn

flower horn—
ginhaw-as sa tangke
ginsueod sa aquarium

Flower Horn

flower horn—
from the pond
to the aquarium


gintabunan king handong
ring eawas


your shadow
covers your body

Indi Mahawag

lamok, indi mahawag
rang pagsampae kimo
imaw rang hugot nga pagmahae

Don’t Worry

mosquito, don’t worry
my slapping
is my earnest love to you

Itum nga Eamang

itum nga eamang
gakabitkabit sa anang eawa—
ginatinueok it eaki

Black Spider

black spider
clings to its web
a man looks at it

Golf Course

Golf course—
perming berde
ro eanas, perming daeag

Golf Course

golf course--
always green
rice fields, always brown


ingko asin kaintok nga mga bituon
sa nagahumbakhumbak nga tubi


full moon—
salt grain sizes stars
in a rippling water


hari it karsada


smoke rules
the streets

Kanyon It Tubi
ro kanyon it tubi
sa Mendiola Bridge
tagok sa Pasig

Water Canon

water canon
in Mendiola Bridge
a sap of Pasig


si Flor nag-uli halin sa Singapore
sa sueod it kahon


Flor goes home from Singapore
in a box

Kiboe Sa Paead Ko

sa paead ko sa pag-inarado

Callous in my Palm

rainy season—
in my palm from plowing

Libacao Falls

ro Libacao Falls
gapinaypay kakon

Libacao Fall

Libacao Falls
keeps on waving her hand at me


gulping napaeong ro kingke
sa eangbon ni Lolo Itsong

Total Darkness

total darkness
suddenly the kerosene lamp puts off
at Lolo Itsong’s nipa hut


nagsaylo sa ibang rosas
ro alibangbang


a butterfly
transfers to the other flower


lovebirds sa hawla—
naglisu ra ueo sa pihak
pagkabati kang panihoe


caged lovebirds
they turn their heads to the other side
when they hear my voice


managob —
may nagsinggit
“Inaway! Guwa ro maisog!”

Deep Night

deep night—
somebody shouts
“Fight! Come out those who are brave!

Mayad Ka Pa

mayad ka pa puting buean
makita ka
buko’t pareho ku mga bituon

Better of You

better of you white moon
you can be seen
unlike the stars

Madangga Nga Hapon

madangga nga hapon—
ro eagiik ku rocking chair
ni Lolo Itsong

Warm Afternoon

warm afternoon—
the wreaking sound of Lolo Itsong’s
rocking chair


madanggang kahapunanon—
naghueag eang ro daho’t saging
pag-agi’t trisikol


warm twilight—
banana leaves move only
when the tricycle passes by

Manipis Nga Kagueangan

manipis nga kagueangan
naganipis ro boses
ku agila

Thin Forest

thin forest
faint voice
of an eagle


ginapaligsan ka eon ma’t
mga bombero


again the firefighter
gives you a bath

Morning Glory

sa barbed wire nga pensa
ro bueak it morning glory

Morning Glory

morning glory bloosom
in the barbed wire fence

Mt. Diwaldiwal

gainabu ro krus
sa sabak
it Mt. Diwaldiwal

Mt. Diwaldiwal

crosses multiply
at the foot
of Mt. Diwaldiwal

Nadusmo Si Inday

nadusmo si Inday
sa Baybay it Boracay

Inday Falls Down

Inday falls down
at Boracay Beach

Nahueog Nga Mansanas

ginpueot it kargador
ro nahueog nga mansanas

Fallen Apple

a porter picks up
a fallen apple

Owa’t Dawi

dominggo’t hapon—
nag-uli si Tatay
nga owa’t dawi

No Catch

Sunday afternoon—
Tatay goes home
without any catch

Owa Eo’t Anwang

owa eo’t anwang
nga makutuhan
it taeabong

No More Carabao

no more carabao
for the heron
to pick lice

Owa’t Tuba

owa’t tuba,
owa’t sigarilyo
nagakanta man gihapon si Lolo

No Coconut Dondy

no coconut dondy,
no cigarette
Lolo still sings

Daean Sa Kagueanga’t Libacao

daean sa kagueanga’t Libacao --
ro naeukang botong

Road To Libacao’s Forest

road to Libacao’s forest
fallen bamboo
blocks the way

Uean Sa Hunyo

paghueaw it bunok—
ro kaeangitan hay naeagpit
sa kwartong tueogan namon

June Rain

after the hard rain—
the skies are trapped
in our living room

Pagkatapos It Ilabas

pagkatapos it ilabas—
owa naduyog rang ayam
sa anang hawla

After Launch

after launch—
my dog did not feel sleepy
in its cage

Pagkahueaw It Bunok

pagkahueaw it bunok
ro paea nagsaka
sa ibabaw it dahon

After the Heavy Rain

after the heavy rain
the red ant
climbs on top of a leaf

Naghapon Ro Owak

naghapon ro owak
sa surab it talibong—
Adlaw it Trabahador

Crow Rests

crow rests
on the cutting edge of talibong—
Labor Day

Pagtakeas Sa Bukid it Antique

ro hugom ku Rafflesia
una pa gihapon sa anang paino-ino

Scaling Antique’s Mountain

Rafflesia’s scent
lingers in his mind

napuno’t plastic ag karton
ro karito ni Juan


plastics and cartoons fill up
Juan’s cart

Pinabay-ang Eatayan

pinabay-ang Mendiola Bridge—
ro gabinalikbalik nga ugayong
ku natumbang raleyista

Abandoned Bridge

abandoned Mendiola Bridge--
the returning wailing
of a fallen rallyist

Puting Buean

puting buean sa Maeara—
maeamig nga hangin
ag ro primero natong haru

White Moon

white moon at Maeara—
cool wind
and our first kiss

Puting Salampati

sa Edsa—
nahueog ro puting salampati
sa Edsa Shrine

White Dove

at Edsa—
white dove falls
at Edsa Shrine

Queen of the Night

tungang gabii—
amat-amat nga nagbuskad
ro Queen of the Night

Queen of the Night

slowly the Queen of the Night

Ro Kanyugan

ginpangtapan ro kanyugan
para sa mga hotel ag restaurant

The Coconut Plantation

flattened coconut plantation
for the hotels and restaurants

Sa Among Kwarto

sa among kwarto—
nagapahuway man ro lamok
sa sueod ku among muskitero

Inside Our rom

inside our room--
a mosquito also rests
inside our mosquito net

Sa Geyt It Ultra

Sabado’t agahon—
naeunot ro mga handum ni Maria
sa geyt it Ultra

At Ultra’s Gate

Saturday morning—
Maria’s dream crushes
at Ultra’s Gate

Sa Ibabaw It Mt. Apo

sa ibabaw it Mt. Apo—
gaeapnaag nga mga plastic bag
ag bukas nga lata

Atop Mt. Apo

atop Mt. Apo—
scattered plastic bags
and opened cans

Sa Ibabaw It Tulay

sa ibabaw it tulay
gatueok ro estudyanteng Koreano
sa maitum nga suba’t Iloilo

Above The Bridge

above the bridge
a Korean student looks
at the black Iloilo River

Sa Kagang It Sampaguita

kagang it Sampaguita—
madasig ro pagkamang
ku hamtik

At Sampaguita’s Twig

Sampaguita’s twig--
a black ant
crawls fast

Sa Saeod

sa saeod
ro kada tueo it tuba
may rebolusyon

Inside A Saeod

inside a saeod
for every drop of tuba
a revolution

Sa Sampaguita Garden

sa Sampaguita Garden—
owa gaeupad ro mga alibangbang
sa andang hawla

At Sampaguita Garden

at Sampaguita Garden—
the butterflies do not fly
inside their cage

Sa Tunga’t Kalye

Dominggo’t hapon—
gahampang it basketbol
ro mga unga sa tunga’t kalye

At The Middle of the Street

Sunday afternoon—
children play basketball
at the middle of the street


daeag nga hangin
sa idaeum it pakpak it taeabong


the brown air
below the heron’s wings


ginapugaan ni Gloria it simuyaw
ra ay Juang daang nina—
bag-ong ugsad

Philippine Lemon

Gloria squeezes lemon juice
at Juan’s old wound—
new full moon

Siniad-Siad Nga Kaeangitan

salampati sa hawla—
siniad-siad nga kaeangitan
sa chicken wire

Strips of Heavens

caged dove —
strips of heavens
through the chicken wire


ham-at permi ka
nga madaeum?

Rice Bin

rice bin—
why are you always


ro mga plastic sa pangpang it Akean


the plastic at Aklan River bank
waves at me


sangkakutsarang silak
halin sa agahon hasta sa pagsikaeum

Rainy Season

rainy season—
a spoonful of sunshine
from morning to dusk

Talipapa It Droga

Dominggo’t hapon—
madasig ro bakeanan
sa talipapa’t drogang maeapit sa munisipyo

Illegal Drug Store

Sunday afternoon—
brisk sale of illegal drugs
at the store near the municipal hall

Tinubang Saging

tinubang saging—
ro gabantay nga amo
ginabantaya’t amo

Chopped Down Banana Tree

chopped down banana tree
another monkey watches
the watcher monkey


madangga nga hapon—
sa idaeum it mangga
gatong-it ro mga nanay


warm afternoon—
under the mango tree
mothers play tong-it


pagtaob ag paghunas
it eawod


the high and the low tide
of the sea


ro eaking unga gapakalimos
sa baybayon it Boracay


a boy begs
at Boracay beach

Tunog It Landslide

pagkatapos it linog—
indi eon ako makatueog
tunog it landslide

Landslide Sound

After the earthquake—
I cannot sleep
the sound of landslide


indi eon kita makita
sa idaeum it Iloilo River

Full Moon

full moon—
I can no longer see you
under the Iloilo River

Dominggo’t Hapon

Dominggo’t hapon—
mga tueo’t dugo sa bueangan
ro habilin eon lang sa Texas ni Mayor

Sunday Afternoon

Sunday afternoon--
drops of blood on the cockpit
all that remain of his Texas


indi gid magrellebo
si Anaiza maski kinse minuto ang

Late Afternoon

late afternoon
Anaiza refuses to relieve her colleague
even just for 15 minutes

Sa Yuhum Mo

bangud sa yuhum mo
halipatan ko
rang tinumkang nga tagipusuon

Your Smile
because of your smile
I forget
my pounded heart


gatan-aw it baeangaw
sa ibabaw ku isaea pa nga baeangaw
sa rayang agahon


viewing a rainbow
over another rainbow
this morning

Eon Man

sa indi makita nga suba

over an invisible river


Inay, ham-at
pagkatapos it uean
owa magsilak ro adlaw?


mother, after the rain,
why did the sun
fail to shine

Brown Out II

pati ro tapu-tapu sa book shelves

Brown Out II

even the dust in the book shelves
keeps still

Kabayong Panggabii

kabayong panggabii—
ra handong
nagtabing sa handong ko

Night Mare

night mare---
its shadow
touches my shadow

Sa Baeay Ko

sa baeay ko—
ro lamok
ro gahari

In My House

in my house—
the mosquito


nagbahoe ako
sa korte it kahon

Water Melon

water melon—
I grow
to the shape of a box


gasinunod ro gaeum
sa likod ko


keeps on following me

Pasig River

Pasig River—
ro kasag nga nakaeunok it grasa
ginkaon ko man

Pasig River

Pasig River—
I eat the blue crab
that drunk grease


agahon it tagmaeais—
gin-uyog it hangin
ro tun-og sa dahon it saging


morning of corn season—
the wind shakes
the dews at the banana leaf


sa tunga it kapaeayan
mga eanggam

Rice Field

rice field—
in the middle of the rice field
are rats


ro maestro nga buaya
indi maghalin
sa Suba it Pasig


the master crocodile
does not like to leave
the Pasig River


sige ro tong-itan
sige man ro binakae it beer
sa tindahan


goes on
so is the buying of beer


ro lamesa
perming puno’t bisita


the dining table
is always full of visitors

Tapos it Fiesta

pagkatapos it fiesta—
balik sa galonggong
ag dayok

After the Fiesta

after the fiesta—
back to roundscad
and shrimp paste

May Gatas Pa

may gatas pa ro bibig
ni Lolo Itsong

There’s Still Milk

Lolo Itsong’s lips
still has milk


nagdapo ro mga
manogkanta sa eangbon namon


come around in our nipa hut

August 15

naghinaba ro linya
ku manugwithdraw
it kwarta sa bangko

August 15
the line
of the bank withdrawers


indi magbuhay
ring kahumot
hay bue-on man it Hapon


not long after this
the Japanese will also get
your fragrance


abu pa gihapon
nga amo


there are still enough

Buksi Eon

buksi eon
ring briefcase

Open Now

open your briefcase

Sa Ulihi

sa anang ulihing pag-adyos
anang gin-aywan
ra kamatayon sa Bagumbayan

In His Last Farewell

in his Last Farewell
he left his death
in Bagumbayan


pagkatapos it girab


after the lightning


nanago rang ayam
sa kwarto ko


my dog
hides in my room

Sa Pwertahan

sa pwertahan it katedral
ro gapakalimos

At the Door

At the cathedral’s doorsteps
line up

Owa’t Ligtas

sa kada level
may nagapakalimos

No Escape

every level
a beggar

Owa’t Sueod Nga Pugad

mga handum
sa owa’t sueod nga pugad

Empty Nest

in empty nest


June Bride—
naghoneymoon anay
bag-o sanda nagpakasae


June Bride—
after their honeymoon
they got married

Krus it Manduyog

gasiga ro Krus
sa ibabaw it Manduyog
Biernes Santo

Manduyog Cross

the cross
at Manduyog Hill shines--
Holy Friday

Maski Sa Hawla

maski sa hawla
ro lovebirds
sige ro andang pagkinanta

Even Inside the Cage

even inside the cage
continue to sing


indi magtangis, ginatos nga mga unga
ro matan-aw king alukaba


don’t cry—
hundreds of children
will see your shell at the museum

Katre nga Kinamatyan

katre nga kinamatyan
ginhumead na ra mga paead
bag-o na ginpiyong ra mga mata


he opens his palms
before he closes his eyes

Sa Pihak Ku Yuhum

sa pihak ku yuhum—
ro handong
it kahapon

Behind The Smile

behind the smile—
the shadow
of yesterday


ham-at maeapuyot
ro baybayon


why is the seashore


ginlinas ni Nanay
ro alimatok

Harvest Time

harvest time—
Mother crushes the leech
under her feet

Sa Panamgo

sa panamgo—
ro mga rayalista
nag-uli nga maea ag owa’t bukoe

In the Dream

in the dream—
the rallyists
go home dry and without swell

Inanod Ro Gae-um

pagbut-eak it adlaw—
inanod it hangin
ro gae-um

Sweeps by the Wind

the wind sweeps
the cloud

Ay, saeamat

ay, saeamat—
nahugasan gid man it taob
ro mga baeas sa baybay

Thank You

thank you—
at last the high tide
cleans the sand in the shore

Baeas Sa Boracay

baeas sa Boracay—
sa kada kislap ku bituon

Sand of Boracay

sand of Boracay—
it sparkles
in every twinkle of the star

Bag-ong Dag-on

Bag-ong Dag-on
ginrebot ko
rang kumpyuter

New Year

New Year
I rebooted
my computer


nagsueod ro aninipot
sa among baeay


a firefly
enters our house

Dominggo’t Agahon

Dominggo’t agahon—
ginakutkot ku ungang eaki
ro lahar nga nagtabon sa katedral

Sunday Morning

Sunday morning—
a boy digs in the lahar
that covers the cathedral


ginbayaw ni Gabriela
ro koronang barbed wire


Gabriela raises
the barbed wire crown


gindelete ko ro ibang icon
sa desktop ko


I delete some icons
in my desktop

Madueom Ro Palibot

madueom ro palibot—
ginsiad it linti
ro keangitan

Dark Surrounding

dark surrounding —
the lightning slices
the heavens

Sa Atong Kwarto

sa atong kwarto—
ro kahumot ku ilang-ilang
una pa gihapon

In Our Room

scent of Ilang-Ilang
still lingers
in our room

Brigada Eskwela

Katapusa’t Mayo--
ro mga pumueoyo nagasililhig
sa haeampangan it eskuylahan

School Brigade

end of May--
the residents sweep
the school playground’s debris

Adlaw Sa Among Baeay

pagkatapos it uean—
pihakpihak nga adlaw
sa sueod ku among baeay

Sun in Our House

after the rain—
slices of sun
inside our house

Kada Eak-ang

sa Mt. Everest—
sa kada eak-ang pasaka
kadaeag-an it Pilipino

Every Step

at Mt. Everest—
every step upward
a Filipino victory

Adlaw It Minatay

Adlaw it Minatay—
mga pantyon
ginatapuna’t mga hilamon

All Saints Day

All Saints Day—
covered with weeds

Pagkatapos It Bagyo

pagkatapos it Bagyo Yoling
ginsilhig ni Nanay
ro mga dahon sa karsada

After the Typhoon

after Typhoon Yoling
Nanay sweeps the leaves
on the street

Ugang Pueang Rosas

ugang pueang rosas
sa tunga kang libro—
gatunod ro ugsad nga buean

Dried Red Rose

dried red rose
between the pages of a book—
setting full moon


sa rayang Paskwa
owa’t sueod rang lamesa
pero puno rang tagipusuon


this Christmas
my table is empty
but my heart is full

Sa Bubungan It Mt. Everest

sa wakas!
natanum gid man ni Leo Oracion
ro bandera’t Pilipinas sa bubunga’t Mt. Everest

Atop Mr. Everest

at last!
Leo Oracion plants
Philippine flag atop Mt. Everest

Uli Eon, Tata Goloy

uli eon, Tata Goloy —
hakumpuni eon ni Sunflower
ro kanga

Go Home Now , Tata Goloy

go home now, Tata goloy—
SunflowR has already fixed
the cart


gatan-aw it baeangaw
sa ibabaw
ku isaea pa nga baeangaw


watching a rainbow
on top of another


Pacquiao-Larios Mano-A-Mano--
owa’t nagpaeupok
it pusil ku adlaw ngara


Pacquiao-Larios Mano-A-Mano—
nobody fires a gun

Matimgas Nga Uyas

Matimgas nga uyas
Bunga ku sakripesyo mo
Ag ikaw ro uhay

Full Grains

full grains
fruits of your sacrifices
and you are the stalk

Painting ni Amorsolo

painting ni Amorsolo
sa taga mansyon, kadungganan
sa taga-barong-barong, pangtakip-butas

Amorsolo’s Painting

Amorsolo’s painting
to those who live in mansions, an honor
to those who live in shanties, a covering


paghawod it botong ro adlaw naghayag

The Bamboo

the sun shines
when the bamboo

Bag-ong Dag-on

pauli it asawa
ra hilong nga bana

New Year

carefully, a wife holds
his drunk husband
towards home


anang ginasilhig
ro mga eawa sa anang eangbon

Keeping Her Nipa Hut

sweeping away
cobwebs in her nipa hut

Pagkatapos It Paskwa

pagkaaga it Paskwa
ro mga karsada
nakapahuway sa mga tikang it tawo

After Christmas Day

the morning after Christmas—
the streets rest
from footprints

Mahanging Hapon

mahanging hapon
naghapon ro alibangbang
sa palda ni Lola Soriang

Windy Afternoon

windy afternoon
butterfly rests
on the shirt of Lola Soriang

Sa Rayang Agahon

sa raying agahon
sa Malampaya Sound

This Early Morning

this early morning--
oil spells
at Malampaya Sound


sa kama ro haagyan
ni DH Ana sa Lebanon


DH Ana experiences
war in bed
in Lebanon

Sa Euyo Kang Asawa

sa euyo ni Pilma
maintok nga bituon
sa gahumbak-humak nga tubi’t Maeara

Beside My Wife

beside Pilma--
tiny stars
in a rippling water of Maeara

Isaeahanon sa Taytay Ridge

isaeahanon sa Taytay Ridge
ham-at buko’t perming
ugsad ro buean?

Alone in Taytay Ridge

alone at Taytay Ridge--
why is the moon
not always in full?


ro hunas ag taub
sa eawod


the rising and the falling
of the tide

Pagkatapos it Baha

pagkatapos it baha—
linugaw ag sardines
para sa ilabas

After the Flood

after the flood—
porridge and sardines
for lunch

Kaueogot Nga Tig-ueoean

ro gapanago nga buean ag ako
nga tig-ueoean

The Hidden Moon and Me

the hidden moon and me
I hate this
rainy season

Mayon Volcano

Mayon Volcano—
ra baga nagpaperpekto
ku anang cone

Mayon Volcano

Mayon Volcano—
its fury
perfects its cone

Bangod Sa Lebanon Imaw

bangod sa Lebanon imaw
nagpanamgo eon lang ako
nga imaw man gihapon rang kahulid
Because She Is In Lebanon

because she is in Lebanon
I just dream
that she’s still my bed mate

Sa Anang Handong

sa anang handong
ro itum nga anay

In Her Shadow

within her shadow
a black termite

Madueom nga Palibot

madueom nga palibot—
nga tubi’t eawod

Dark surrounding

dark surrounding
curling waves
of the sea

Nagtaas Ro Buwis

nagtaas ro buwis
nagtanas ro export
nagtaas man ro korapsyon

Increased Tax Collection

tax collection increases
exports increases
so does corruption


kaeamay —
gabueongguan ro guyon
sa pinggan


ants bump each other
in the plate

Ginapingga Ni Ati

ginapingga ni Ati
ro eangit ag eugta—
madueom ro palibot

Ati Carries the Heavens

Ati shoulders the heavens
and the earth—
dark surrounding

Owa’t Ginhambae

owa’t ginhambae si Tatay
paghalin ko sa baeay—
pero puno it mensahe

No Message

Tatay said nothing
when I left—
but full of messages

Tueok Ni Tatay

tueok eang ni Tatay
nga baey 50A
Tatay’s Look

Tatay’s one look
a quite


ro mga bag-ong abot
nga mga OFW halin sa Lebanon


newly arrived OFW
from Lebanon
waves their hands

Nagnipis Ra Dueonggan

nagnipis ra dueonggan
sa pagkutaw sa tubi
it Lebanon

Thinning Ears

her ears become thinner
in wading
the waters of Lebanon


nag-eapak ro tagasaw
sa eapak ko—

The Red Ants

the red ant
steps on my footsteps--
sinigwilas season


ro hutik
it kagab-ihon


listen --‘
the whisper
of the night

Owa ma’t Problema

owa ma’t problema
kueang eang
ro humay ag suea

No Problem

no problem
except there’s not enough
rice and fish


kaueogot nga eamig
owa ka abi sa euyo ko

Rainy Season

rainy season—
irritating cold
because of your absence


kon amat indi ko masayran
owa eon gali’t gatas rang unga


at times I forget
my child has no more milk

Daho’t Mga Niyog

daho’t mga niyog
sa sangka direksyon eang

Coconut Leaves

coconut leaves
In only one direction

Si Lola

Si Lola
gatabok sa karsada
nga hasta sa hawak ro baha


crosses the street
in a waist-deep water

Gabii nga Pagpueopamasyar

gabii nga pagpueopamasyar
ra paghipos
nagpapanaw kakon nga isaeahanon

Night Strolling

night strolling
her silence
makes me walk alone

Ro Ugsad

ro magnobyo

Full Moon

full moon
come out


owa’t sueod nga tubi
ro among banga


rainy season
our jar
has no drinking water

Morning Glory

galingling ro bueak
it morning glory
sa gabuteak nga adlaw

Morning Glory
morning glory’s blossom
at the breaking sun

Owa’t Streetlight

owa’t streetlight
owa man it houselight
sa baeay ni Panoy

No Streetlight

no streetlight
no light too
In Panoy’s house

Landslide sa Leyte

landslide sa Leyte—
nagflashed it V-sign
ro mga unga sa mga naga-agi nga sundalo

Landslide in Leyte

landslide in Leyte—
children flash V-sign
to the passing soldiers


it mga Akeanon
ro kaeangitan

Holding Up

hold up
the skies

Oil Spill

oil spill—
ro kahumot
It eutong mangga

Oil Spill

oil spill—
the fragrance
of ripe mangoes

Manugpueot it Basura

eon man—
gahueat ro manugpueot
it garbage truck

Waste Pickers

the waste pickers wait
for another garbage truck

Kaibahan si Pilma

kaibahan si Pilma
kami’t ugsad nga buean

With Pilma Tonight

with Pilma tonight
we create
our full moon

Kabuhi sa Uling

ra ginframed nga uling

Life in Charcoal

her framed charcoal
brings out
her life

Arrival Area

sa streamer—
gaabi-abi si Pres. Arroyo
sa mga bag-ong baganihan

Arrival Area

on the streamer—
Pres. Arroyo welcomes
our new heroes


sa tunga it aeanyon
mga matambok nga eanggam

Harvest Time

harvest time—
amidst the golden rice
healthy rats

Oil Spill II

oil spill—
ro baybayon it Guimaras

Oil Spill II

oil spill
the shorelines of Guimaras


ginpadueom it bunker oil
ro baybayon it Guimaras


bunker oil darkens
Guimaras shorelines

Inaywan nga Kwentas

Ro silak nagtueok
Sa gin-abandonar nga kwentas—
Ro itum nga baybayon

Abandoned bracelet

sunshine looks at the
abandoned oil-coated bracelet—
the black shoreline

Nasunog Nga Baeay

nasunog nga baeay
gintig-isaisa ni Rona Mahilum
nga ilibre ra mga manghod

Burning House

burning house—
one after another
Rona Mahilum rescues her siblings

Oil Spill

oil spill
the shorelines of Guimaras

Abandonado Nga Globe

ku silak
sa abandonado nga grasahong globe

Abandoned Globe

the sunshine looks
at the abandoned

Abuhon Nga Agosto

abuhon nga Agosto--
euha ro nagsunod
pagkatapos it oil spill


bag-o magtubo
ro paeay--
ro bagaas

Pagkatapos it Paglimpyo

pagkatapos it limpyo
ku baybayon it Guimaras
nagbaealik ro mga turista


ro mga trabahador sa oil spill
owa gid magreglamo sa pagpunas it mga dahon--

Ro Gaagi Nga Daeaura

ro gaagi nga daeaura--
ginbuoe ni Tatay
ra anang tigawnan


ginpuna na
ra eaya

Oil Spill III

oil spill
namatay ro corals
nabuhi ro researchers

Oil Spill III

Oil spill—
The coral die
The researchers survive

Magaeumon nga Septembre

magaeumon nga Septembre
sa likod it anwang
nagtueo ro anang euha

Grey September

gray September
at carabao’s back
his tears fall

Abuhon Nga Agosto

abuhon nga Agosto—
euha ro nagsunod
pagkatapos it oil spill

Grey August

grey August—
tears follow
after the oil spill

Bag-o Magtubo

bag-o magtubo
ro paeay—
ro bagaas


before the rice
can sprout—

Pagkatapos It Limpyo

pagkatapos it limpyo
ku baybayon it Guimaras
nagbaealik ro mga turista

After Cleaning

after cleaning
the shorelines of Guimaras
tourists return


ro mga trabahador sa oil spill
owa gid magreklamo sa pagpunas it mga dahon—

New Moon

the oil-spilled worker
never complains of wiping leaves—
a new moon

Ro Gaagi nga Daeaura

Ro gaagi nga daeaura—
Ginbuoe ni Tatay
Ra anang tigawnan

Passing Clouds

passing clouds—
father gets back
his hook and line


ginpuna na
ra eaya


he mends
his fishing net


Nagpunto si Seana
Agod humuton ro rosas

Sean Marie stops
to smell the roses


nga buwas-damlag
sa preska nga puting rosas


a shining dawn
on a fresh white rose

Back cover

Melchor F. Cichon

He was born in Sta. Cruz, Lezo, Aklan on April 7, 1945. He is the youngest child of eight children of the late Desposoria Francisco and Jose N. Cichon of the same place. Dr. Leoncio P. Deriada calls him as the present leading Aklanon poet.
After finishing the elementary grades at Lezo Elementary School in Lezo, Aklan, he studied at the Mindanao Regional School of Fisheries in Rio Hondo, Zamboanga City. From there he went to U.P. Diliman to study fisheries. He continued his studies at Manuel L. Quezon University where he majored in library science and minored in English. He finished his Master in Library Science at U.P. Diliman with a fellowship grant from UNDP and his Master in Management at U.P. in the Visayas in Iloilo City. He took his Certificate in Governmental Management also at the U.P. in the Visayas.
He is married to the former Pilma Dollolasa of San Remigio, Antique with whom he has four children: Melchor, Jr., Vanessa, Ranel Vincent and Eugene.
The poet is now working as College Librarian at the College of Fisheries Library, U.P. in the Visayas, Miag-ao, Iloilo.
He attended the U.P.Miag-ao Summer Creative Writing Workshop, the Cultural Center of the Philippines-Liwayway Publication Creative Writing Workshop in Baguio City, the National Summer Creative Writing Workshop in Dumaguete City and the Third Iligan National Writers Workshop and Literature Teachers Conference in 1996. He represented Aklan in the 1995 and 1998 National Writers Assembly held in Intramuros, Manila.
Some of his poems have been published in Hiligaynon, Yuhum, Philippines Free Press, Philippine Graphic, Home Life, Ani, Philippine Collegian, Aklan Reporter, Philippine Panorama, Pagbutlak, Dagyaw, Bueabod, Banga, Patubas, Busay, and Media Watch. He won first prize in the first Home Life poetry contest in 1994. He is also the first Aklanon CCP grantee for Aklanon poetry in 1994. He edited Bueabod, the poetry journal of Aklan Literary Circle, together with John Barrios and Alex de Juan. He won third prize in the Sentro Ng Wikang Filipino, U.P. essay writing contest in 1994 and won second prize (Aklanon category) and third prize (Filipino category) in the 1994 All West Visayan Poetry Contest sponsored by the National Commission for the Culture and the Arts. He won third prize in Hari/Hara Sang Binalaybay (King/Queen of Poetry) 1998 poetry contest sponsored by U.P. in the Visayas Sentro ng Wikang Filipino.