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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Pagtueod Ku Gabii

Here is an Aklanon translation of my poem, Pushing The Night. It was translated by
Nynn Arwena G. Tamayo

Pagtueod Ku Gabii
ni Melchor F. Cichon

Makit-an mo imaw sa libot-libot
Eambong gunit-gunit, nakasiki
Nagatueod ku anang tiko nga karito
Sa pagpangita nga owa it daya
Sa bulag nga banwa.

Ginasindihan na ro kingki
Sa anang gabot-gabot nga baeay
Agud i-tueod ro gabii
Apang sige nga paeong ku hangin
Kaangay ku anang karito
Padayon ro anang pagtueod ku gabii
Agud mahangpan ro kaaganhon.

Passing Shadow

knife in hand
I go upstairs to see
the passing mysterious shadow

Monday, April 19, 2010

Political Butterflies

two political allies
now they bang
each other

Sunday, April 18, 2010


I heard a holy mass this morning at the SM City, Mandurriao, Iloilo City with Fr. Jonas Mijares as the celebrant.

This morning his homily focused on how we react to a person's actions.

And he classified them into three groups.

There are people who live by their first impressions.

And this impression is lasting. So we have to be careful with our actions, or words we say to our newly met person or group of persons because that impression will either be advantageous to us or not. If the impression is negative toward us, we will surely get a negative response from these people. They will be cold to us the next time we meet them. They will not cooperate with us. If the impression is positive, they will warmly welcome us, and they will easily cooperate with us.

But there are other people who live by their last chance. These are the people who give a chance to people who committed them a wrong doing. And always think that people will always realize their mistakes, and later on will correct them.

And there are still other people who live by indefinite chance, indefinite opportunity, indefinite boundary. These are the people who have big hearts, who live by the spirit of His words. These are the people always forgive and forget the wrongdoing they get from other people.

Now where do you belong?

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Rainy Days Are Coming

climbing up the wall
rainy days are coming

Nasyon It Mga Politiko

nasyon it mga politiko
may ginsugid ka nga matuod
kaina sa rally?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Kalantiaw Code

I am so honored that an eminent Philippine historian has quoted my poem and published it in a national newspaper, Philippine Daily Inquirer.

Below is my "haiku" that Ambeth R. Ocampo quoted in his article "Revisiting the Kalantiaw Hoax", in his column "Looking Back", Philippine Daily Inquirer, p. A15, April 14, 2010. Unfortunately, he distorted the 3rd and 4th lines. He also said that this work is a haiku.

"Pag-agto ko sa Batan. Ha kita ko si Ambeth Ocampo. Ginpaeapitan na si Datu Kalantiaw. Nagkaea to ero an dangueo. (When I went to Batan, I saw Ambeth Ocampo. He approached Datu Kalantiaw. Both scratched their heads.)”

For the benefit of my readers, the above poem is a luwa and not a haiku. Here is the correct version:

Pag-agto ko sa Batan
Hakita ko si Ambeth Ocampo
Ginpaeapitan na si Datu Kalantiaw
Nagkaeatoe ro andang ueo

In this particular article, he said that "Each semester when I discuss the pre-Spanish Philippines in my undergraduate classes, we all have a big laugh when we discuss the Code of Kalantiaw. For example: Rule III states that if you are excessively lustful you will be condemned to swim in the river for three hours for the first offense, and lacerated with thorns for the second!"

Of course, I did not have a big laugh when he said that the above poem is a haiku and when he distorted the Aklanon words. I pity him for his ignorance of our language, Aklanon, and our literature. I am afraid however when Aklanon words are distorted by a national figure like Mr. Ocampo and published them in a national newspaper like the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

I do not know if Mr. Ambeth Ocampo and his undergraduate students will have a giant laugh if they discuss the Code of Hammurabi.

Here are seventeen example laws, in their entirety, of the Code of Hammurabi, translated into English:

* If anyone ensnares another, putting a ban upon him, but he can not prove it, then he that ensnared him shall be put to death.

* If anyone brings an accusation against a man, and the accused goes to the river and leaps into the river, if he sinks in the river his accuser shall take possession of his house. But if the river proves that the accused is not guilty, and he escapes unhurt, then he who had brought the accusation shall be put to death, while he who leaped into the river shall take possession of the house that had belonged to his accuser.

* If anyone brings an accusation of any crime before the elders, and does not prove what he has charged, he shall, if a capital offense is charged, be put to death.

* If a builder builds a house for someone, and does not construct it properly, and the house which he built falls in and kills its owner, then the builder shall be put to death.(Another variant of this is, If the owner's son dies, then the builder's son shall be put to death.)

* If a son strike his father, his hands shall be hewn off.

* If a man give his child to a nurse and the child dies in her hands, but the nurse unbeknown to the father and mother nurses another child, then they shall convict her of having nursed another child without the knowledge of the father and mother and her breasts shall be cut off.

* If anyone steals the minor son of another, he shall be put to death.

* If a man takes a woman to wife, but has no intercourse with her, this woman is no wife to him.

* If a man strikes a pregnant woman, thereby causing her to miscarry and die, the assailant's daughter shall be put to death.

* If a man puts out the eye of an equal, his eye shall be put out.

* If a man knocks the teeth out of another man, his own teeth will be knocked out.

* If anyone strikes the body of a man higher in rank than he, he shall receive sixty blows with an ox-whip in public.

* If a freeborn man strikes the body of another freeborn man of equal rank, he shall pay one gold mina [an amount of money].

* If the slave of a freed man strikes the body of a freed man, his ear shall be cut off.

* If anyone commits a robbery and is caught, he shall be put to death.

* If anyone opens his ditches to water his crop, but is careless, and the water floods his neighbor's field, he shall pay his neighbor corn for his loss.

* If a judge tries a case, reaches a decision, and presents his judgment in writing; and later it is discovered that his decision was in error, and it was his own fault, he shall pay twelve times the fine set by him in the case and be removed from the judge's bench.

* If during an unsuccessful operation a patient dies, the arm of the surgeon must be cut off.

Retrieved: April 15, 2010


I lifted these reactions from the Facebook of Ambeth Ocampo (Retrieved: April 23, 2010):

Christine Mae F. Sarito I am just so proud that Mr. Melchor Cichon is mentioned in Prof. Ambeth's column today about the Kalantiao hoax...Mr. Cichon is one of the library personnel in the University of the Philippines Visayas Miagao, Iloilo Library where I finished college. Eventhough Prof. Ambeth may not be welcome in Aklan, I know for sure that he is more than welcome in other parts of the Philippines. My sister works in the condominium you are staying Professor, and I just so envy her every time she mentions that she's in speaking terms with you...I should have given my sister my copy of "Rizal Without the Overcoat" so that you may sign it Professor. ^_^Thank you very much for enlightening us with your researches. Truly, we are thankful that we have you in this lifetime.
See More

April 14 at 10:15pm

Al F. Dela Cruz

I beg to differ from your assumption, ma'am. Batan and its nearby municipalities are renown for its hospitality. Even the Augustinian missionaries had observed that during their time of evangelization, our forebears where the most hospitable, peace-loving, highly-cultured people in the peninsula (cf. R. Morales Maza's The Augustinians in Panay [... See More1987]). Of course, the professor is always welcome here in our place. We tolerate dissenting opinions even to the point that "mag kaea-eatoe ro among ueo" (our heads would be itchy).

April 16 at 8:48am · Report
Christine Mae F. Sarito

I wrote "eventhough Prof. Ambeth may not be welcome in Aklan" because it seems to be implied in the column. ^_^
I did not mean to generalize...

April 16 at 6:56pm · Report

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Alumni Reunion

Grand Alumni Reunion--
Are you Melchor?
Sorry, I'm Arnold.

Empleyado It Gobyerno

May kilaea ako nga empleyado
Kon sa tsimis daug pa ro radyo
Pero kon hanungod sa trabaho
Mas makupad pa sa bao.

April 14, 2010

Monday, April 12, 2010

Grand Alumni Reunion

Grand Alumni Reunion--
smiling to fellow alumni
not knowing their names anymore

Melchor F. Cichon

Lezo Elementary School, now Lezo Integrated School Grand Alumni Reunion, April 9-10, 2010
Mr. Herbert Retonio, LES/LIS Alumni Association President delivers his message.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Aral Sea

Aral Sea--
once a fishing area
now a graveyard of ships

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Easter Sunday

Easter Sunday--
no one greets an Ati
Happy Easter