Total Pageviews

Search This Blog

Monday, September 30, 2019

The Rising Sun

The Rising Sun
Melchor F. Cichon

The rising sun
Turns into sunset
Each time I recall those moments
When we watched the breaking of dawn
As we celebrated our first meeting;
The passionate kisses we had
While dreaming of our rainbow.
It’s like being bitten by a hundred red ants
When I remember those moments we shared
At Boracay Beach.
Now heavy rain is pouring
In my room.

Sunday, September 29, 2019


Melchor F. Cichon
2019, revised

Pyesta sa Lezo, Aklan.
May Tagalang bisita si Sariah, si Rosie.
Sa lamesa makita ni Rosie ro litson, estopado, KBL, ag iba pang mga manameng putahe. Bangud sa kagutom haeos gaeaway-eaway eon si Rosie sa nakita nana nga pagkaon.
Mangan-angan, naghambae si Sariah: "Ilabas eon!"
Gulping tumindog si Rosie ag nagpaeapit sa pwertahan.
“Ooops!”, hambae ni Sariah. “Saan ka pupunta!”
“Uuwi na.Sabi mo kasi, labas na!”
“”Hindi! Sa Aklanon, ang ‘ilabas’ ay pananghalian, hindi lalabas!”

Melchor F. Cichon

Pyesta sa Lezo, Aklan.
May Tagalang bisita si Sariah, si Rosie.
Sa lamesa makita ro litson, ag iba pang mga putahe.
Mangan-angan, naghambae si Sariah: "Ilabas eon!"
Biglang tumayo si Rosie at pumalapit sa pintuan.
“Ooops!”, sabi ni Sariah. “Saan ka pupunta!”
“Uuwi na.Sabimo kasi, labas na!”
“”Hindi, sa Aklanon, ang ‘ilabas’ ay pananghalian, hindi lalabas!”

Wednesday, September 25, 2019



It's not the past
That blocks by pen
Each time I sit to immortalize your name.
It is because of your polished heart
That tightens my mind
Each time I hold my pen.

Beloved, words are hard to grasp
When the heart is filled
With a burning love.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019



Don't wake me up
If only to see a twinkling star.
Don't wake me up
If only to catch a falling rainbow.

Wake me up
Only when we together
Will paint the message of a full moon.
Or catch a falling star.

What is beauty around us
When our hearts are an ocean apart?
Love, there's so much to appreciate
If you will only hold my hand.

Sunday, September 22, 2019

I Wonder

I Wonder
by Melchor F. Cichon

I wonder
How I could paint
A picture that speaks reality
The way you visualize it.
I wonder
How I could write
A poem that creates a lasting dawn
The way you understand it.
I wonder
How to do things
For you
Without creating any misunderstanding.
Oh, how I wonder
How not to make you wonder
That I am in love with you.


Melchor F. Cichon

The moon keeps on shining bright
After we've called the Beta Way our own.
But the music of the waterfalls
Seems to have been playing in its half-tune.

I stay an hour before my mirror
Awaiting for your visit.
But once I see you knock on my door,
I feel a negative throb in my soul.

Ecstasy has filled my dreams
Which I have no wish for its end.
But once I feel the rays of sun,
I begin to shrug and sigh.

Wait...Please give me a day or two
To give you my golden reply.

Saturday, September 21, 2019


The following luwa were written by the 4th to 6th Grade School pupils of Agtatacay-Gutao Elementary School, Dingle, Iloilo during my Poetry Writing Workshop to them on Sept. 17, 2019 as part of the Extension Activity of St. Paul University Iloilo. 

Nagkadto ako sa Iloilo,
May nakita ako nga negro;
Ginpakdol ko ang iya ulo,
Nagbukol ang ulo ko.—Reva Valenzuela
Nagkadto ako sa Iloilo,
May nakita ako nga kalbo;
Ginhabuyan ko siya sang alo vera,
Para magtubo ang buhok niya.—Tiah Paudong
Nagkadto ako sa Iloilo,
Nakita ko si Lolo;
Ginpakdol ko ang iya ulo,
Natabug sa Kalibo. –Aira
Nagkadto ako sa harden,
Nakita ko ang kanding;
Ginhampak ko ang iyang kitin,
Nagkitin-kitin.-- Jan Paul Talamera
Didto sa poste,
May bukaw nga nangiti,
Sinalo sg ate,
Abe na tsukolate.—Lorenz Idong
Nagkadto ako sa balay ni maninay,
May nakita ako nga baybay,
Naglangoy ako pero indi gali ako kahibalo.
Nagtakas na lang ako.—Pearl Joy Ladoing
Didto sa Banati,
Nag-uran ka iti.
Nagdalagan ang mga ati,
Abi nanda tsukolate.—Joshua
Sa babaw sg poste,
May amo nga parangisi.
Nahadlok ako mag-agi,
Basi sukton na ako kinse. –Trexy
Ang akon crush dako mata;
Pirme lang loslos ang iya palda;
Siya gintawag nga Miranda.
Kun siya akon makita gapula akon mata. -- Miranda
Didto sa babaw sang doldol,
Gakanta ang apa;
Gapamati ang bongol:
Welcome to Agtacacay-Gutao Elementary School.—Miranda
Nagkadto ako sa Mindoro,
May nakita ako hanggod ulo
Kag may nakita pa gid ako nga barko.
Ginsakyan ko ini, nagtuwad ang barko. –Edison Apede
Nagkadto ako sa Negros,
May nakita ako nga murto;
Nakibot ako,
Iya gali ato sg lolo ko.—Dulce
Nagkadto ako sa balay sang akon pagkaisa,
Dala ko ang akon bola;
Ang akon pagkaisa naigo sa mata.
Kinulbaan ako basi akigan ako sang iya mama.-- Claire Caballero
Gusto ko sanang kunin ang bolpen mo,
Pero dumating ang Nanay ko.
Hindi ko yon tuloy nakuha.
Tumakbo na lang ako.--Khrishia Lyn
Nagkadto ako sa Iloilo,
May nakita akong kalbo;
Ginsumbag ko ang iya ulo,
Natabog sa karaha.
Gin-adobo na lang sg Nanay ko.—Alicia Rose
Nagkadto ako sa balay Ni Tatay Juan;
Ginbubudan ko ang iya sulog nga manok.
Gintusik niya ang akon ilong.—Unknown
Nagkadto ako sa Mindoro,
May nakita akong babaye,
Kun nakatalikod daw si Sharon Cuneta,
Pero kun nakaatubang daw si Elizabeth Ramsy.—Francis John Muyco
Nagkadto ako sa tulahulaan,
May nakita ako nga kalansay;
Ginsipa ko iya lawas,
Ginlagas ako ka white lady.—unknown

Sunday, September 08, 2019

Aiza B. Beso

About Me by Peter Solis Neri

In the column of Peter Solis Neri, an Ilonggo columnist and a Palanca awardee, he wrote this piece about me. I do not really know the exact date. I got this from the online edition of Panay News in 2006.  The title of his column is Pink. Mel


Melchor F. Cichon
An Aklanon Poet
by Peter Solis Neri
Panay News, Iloilo City
February?, 2006

By profession, Mel Cichon is a librarian. He is the head librarian of the College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, University of the Philippines in the Visayas based in Miag-ao, Iloilo.
But Mel is also serious about writing poetry. In addition, he likes to write profiles of successful people, and local history. He claims that most of his published works were written while traveling from Iloilo City to Miag-ao, and back.
Melchor F. Cichon was born to a poor family. Although his father was the municipal treasurer in the town of Lezo in Aklan, feeding and sending to school eight children proved too much for the older Cichon. To make it worst, Mel’s mother was sickly so she had to be constantly admitted to the Aklan Provincial Hospital.
Growing up in such impoverished conditions greatly affected Mel’s studies. In fact, while in the elementary, he had to repeat Grade 5 because he could hardly read. But that incident encouraged him to value his studies even more. So after two more years, he graduated from Lezo Elementary School.
Then, he had to stop schooling because his parents could not afford to send him to high school. Fortunately, his elder brother Manuel found employment at Zamboanga General Hospital in Zamboanga City. Upon learning that Mel was out of school, he encouraged his brother to go to Zamboanga to continue his studies. And that’s how Mel graduated first Honorable Mention at the Mindanao Regional School of Fisheries in Rio Hondo, Zamboanga City.
It was in Zamboanga that Mel realized that he had an inclination to creative writing, especially in Filipino. When his English teacher learned about it, Mel was chosen as one of the staff members of their school organ.
Because there were no other colleges of fisheries in the Philippines then (1963), his parents decided that Mel would go to UP Diliman.
It was in Diliman that Mel’s interest in writing was developed. Instead of joining student organizations, he spent most of his time in the library reading books, magazines, journals or just anything to improve his vocabulary, and to learn the techniques in writing. To test his skills, he would send letters to the editors of the various national newspapers like Manila Times, Manila Chronicle, and magazines like Focus Philippines, Philippines Free Press. He also sent poems and letters to the editor of the Philippines Collegian.
Most of his letters and poems were rejected by the editors. But some were lucky to be published. Thus, he saw his byline in the Philippines Free Press, Weekly Graphic Magazine, Mod, and in the Philippine Collegian.
Because his parents could hardly send his monthly allowance, Mel had to work a little harder than most. His first employment was at the canteen of the Narra Residence Hall, one of the dormitories in UP Diliman. There, he would serve rice to the students at dinner time. His duty at the canteen would start from 5 pm, and end at around 8 pm, Mondays to Fridays. He did not receive any compensation, he said, but he had free breakfast, lunch, dinner, and merienda from Monday to Sunday. That solved his food problem.
After working at the Narra Residence Hall for one year, he was transferred to the UP Main Library. It was at the UP Main Library that Mel was exposed to so many reading materials, including those that were not open to the general public. It was also in that library that he met many editorial staff of the Philippine Collegian. Through his connection with them, he was able to publish the first and only Aklanon poem ever published in the famous student newspaper. It was entitled “Inay.”
It was also in the UP Main Library where he met Mithi, the son of Teo Baylen, the poet laureate from Cavite. Through Mithi, his poem “Oyster” was first published in a book, Kalabaw at Buffalo.
Mel credits his mother as the first influence in his writing. “Although my mother could hardly read and write, she taught me some songs like Ahay Kalisod and Dandansoy. The rhymes of the lyrics of these songs stayed with me until now.” Mel also adores Robert Frost. “His poem, The Road Not Taken, looks so simple and yet so meaningful. So I said I want to write poems of this kind, simple yet with deep meaning.”
But the person who greatly influenced Mel was Dr. Leoncio Deriada, the Palanca Hall Famer and Metro Bank Awardee. “It was Dr. Deriada who practically twisted my arms to improve my writing skills. It was he who encouraged me to join creative writing workshops. It was he who encouraged me to send my works to various magazines and to join poetry contests. In short, it was Dr. Deriada who molded me as a poet.”
Mel has won several regional and national awards. Some of his works include Ham-at Madueom Ro Gabii [Bakit Madilim ang Gabi?] (1992), Haiku, Luwa and other Poems by Aklanons (2005), and Philippine Oddities. He co-edited the special Aklanon issue of Ani, a literary journal of the Cultural Center of the Philippines, and the pamphlet, ILA Lang Na Tanan (aton man ina gihapon…) 2002 of the Ilonggo Literature Archive, Inc.
Mel is also the co-author of the first extensive book on Katipunan in Aklan published by the National Historical Commission. He maintains the website, Aklanon Literature (
Mel’s awards include: First prize, 1994 Home Life Poetry Contest; First Aklanon CCP grantee for Aklanon poetry, 1994; First prize, regional poetry contest sponsored by Sentro Ng Wikang Pilipino, UP in Visayas, 2002; First Aklanon recipient of Gawad Pambansang Alagad ni Balagtas Award presented by the Unyon ng Manunulat sa Filipinas, 2001.
Mel was a UNDP-NSTA-UP fellow to a one-year Post Graduate Training Course for Information Specialists in Southeast Asia, in Diliman, Quezon City in 1982. On July 22, 2004, he received the Chancellor’s Award as the Most Outstanding REPS (Research, Extension and Professional Staff) of the University of the Philippines in the Visayas.
Currently. Mel is enjoying writing Aklanon luwa, haiku and other poems. Some of his haiku can be read in his blog, Mel also writes profiles and other articles on fisheries and other topics. These can be seen in
“I usually write my poems while riding on our shuttle bus from Iloilo City to Miag-ao, and vice-versa. And then when I reach home, I revise them, once or more times. But before I begin to write, I first read poems or any other reading materials. This way, my mind is tickled, and then I compose my own poems.”
As to that boy who had to repeat Grade 5 because he could hardly read, well, he grew up to finish his Master’s Degree in Management from UP Visayas in 1982, and Master in Library Science from UP Diliman in 1986.
Melchor F. Cichon is a librarian by profession. But guess what? The librarian is also a poet!

by Melchor F. Cichon
rainy afternoon
a spoonful of sunshine
between dawn and dusk

cool morning—
the smell of garlic bread
reaches the street boy

Sunday morning—
A boy digs in the mud
That buried a cathedral

(Published in Heron’s Nest, September 2002.)

A Letter
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.

(1st Prize Winner, Homelife Poetry Contest, 1994)
Ham-at Madueom Ro Gabii, Inay?
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.

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 mor magamit
Tanan ring utok, wawas 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—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.
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?