Masaringaya*

She is so beautiful. You can never get tired of looking at her. She makes the sky bow down to her. She stands tall and proud of where she is and what she represents. She is an endless, timeless symbol of what Mother Nature has given us. She does not stand there as a mere object for viewing pleasures nor as a mere background for photo ops; she stands there, confident of who and what she is. She stands there as an emblem, as an icon to her people. She makes every Albayano proud to be an “Oragon.”




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Cardboards and Dirty Coins

I woke up with a burning and shooting pain at the back of my head and a confusion. It must be the streaks I sniveled finally setting in. The street was cold and dark. I couldn’t tell if it was dusk or dawn. The cement dust, the city damp and alcohol-soaked urine in the moss-covered pavement were all I could smell—and something metallic, like dirty coins in your sweaty palms, that was almost a taste.

I stood up straining my hands up against the rough wall. It was screaming BAWAL UMIHI DITO. I folded the cardboard I slept in and huddled it under my armpit. How did I end up here? Another gang war! I hurriedly searched my body for icepick or homemade gun wounds but I had none. I agonizingly gasped for air. It was what I feared most.




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