Di Achichùk: Poems and Images from Batanes

“A beautiful, moving example of the poetry of place.” Winner of the 2020 Gintong Aklat Award for Poetry “If culture is a form of survival, then Merina not only enriches Philippine poetry but also enables Ivatan culture to thrive in a language that his tillage has made hospitable.” –John B. Labella “Among our best poetsContinue reading “Di Achichùk: Poems and Images from Batanes”

For My Cousins Who Will Choose Who They Are

FOR MY COUSINS WHO WILL CHOOSE WHO THEY ARE running home this evening I look for the san gabriels to find only a faint line above the haze a razor-black definition of home running and, before I can help it, my mind rushes in fills the rest with detail and reference so that I seeContinue reading “For My Cousins Who Will Choose Who They Are”

The Change Giver

THE CHANGE GIVER The Change-giver drops four pisos into my hand swivels hips sideways calls out the next stop Ortigaaaaaaaaaaaaaas one hand worrying the frayed edge of a trouser pocket switching back and forth coin against the railing one click means stop two clicks go sige dire-diretso hangang sa dulo The Change-giver paces the smallContinue reading “The Change Giver”

A Deadly Quake Tests Batanes’ Tradition Of Resiliency

I WAS ON OUR FARM when the ground began to shake beneath me. I raised my arms to steady myself against the motion. From the rise, the forested hills seemed to sway around me. The narrow cement path I stood on was littered with brush I had just cleared. I was putting in a new irrigationContinue reading “A Deadly Quake Tests Batanes’ Tradition Of Resiliency”

Death is a Night Wind: How José Rizal’s immortal poem haunts the Philippines today

The Caravan Magazine, June 2018 | IN THE DAYS BEFORE HIS EXECUTION, a 35-year-old Filipino named José Rizal leaned over a wooden desk and wrote 14 stanzas in neat Castilian handwriting on a paper about the size of his palm. He folded the paper twice and tucked it inside a gas lamp. On his sisterContinue reading “Death is a Night Wind: How José Rizal’s immortal poem haunts the Philippines today”

Indonesians on Obama’s ascendancy from Menteng to the White House

YOGYAKARTA, INDONESIA – As he delivered his historic acceptance speech in a Chicago park, Barack Obama paused at one point to speak directly to the world community. “And all those watching tonight from beyond our shores,” he said. “To those who are huddled around radios in the forgotten corners of the world: our stories are singular,Continue reading “Indonesians on Obama’s ascendancy from Menteng to the White House”

Filipino farmworkers’ 1965 strike a pivotal moment in California

In the new film, “Cesar Chavez,” there’s a scene where a group of Filipino farmworkers are attacked in a labor camp in Delano. It’s a brief scene, but a pivotal moment in the United Farm Workers’ movement. It was September 1965 and tensions were rising in the region between established growers and a migrant workforce.Continue reading “Filipino farmworkers’ 1965 strike a pivotal moment in California”