Daily Archives: 01/02/2013

Butterfly Net Moment 1

I can’t think of anyone who has ever managed to capture a field mouse that was trapped in a bathroom using a butterfly net. It was obviously as terrified as I was. No, no photos to prove it, I had my hands full. Here is one from a South African website:

photo from biodiversityexplorer.com

It was a  cute mouse with white stripes on its back. Probably the same one that was teasing our house-imprisoned cat, Caspian, by running back and forth along the side of the the glass sliding door. A mouse with a sense of humor deserves an open field and not a bathroom prison – or poison!

So I let it out at least 50 metres away from our door. No doubt it will find its way back to cause more mischief. 🙂

Here is my silly doodle of it. haha

field mouse

Awit Amats – 1 of 14 Love Poems from Baha-bahagdang Karupukan and Alien to Any Skin

awit amats buwan

Awit Amats

Lasing na lasing ngayon sa labis-labis
na kalungkutan ang langit.
Kay pula ng kanyang iisang mata,
dugo lamang ang nakikita.

Walang talim ng bituin
na hindi tumarak at nanatili
sa madilim na kaibuturan
nitong langit.

Ang mga batang nagbalak
magtaguan, pinakaripas pauwi
nitong pasuray-suray na titig
ng buwan.

Kaming mga binigo lamang
ang may lakas-loob
harapin ang katinuang
tinabunan ng hapdi,

Bigkasing pag-ibig
at pag-ibig pa rin
ang nakalalango, nakababaliw,
ang tanging magpapalaya

Sa mga paniking
nakabitin, nagpapabigat
sa mga sanga ng damdamin.

Patawarin ang mga lasing.


This poem appears in Baha-bahagdang Karupukan which was shortlisted for the National Book Award in the Philippines.

This is the first poem in my “14 Love Poems” set for matangmanok readers. 🙂

The following translation was written with the help of poet Jefferson Carter who has a new book out, Get Serious. Thanks, Jefe!

Drunken Song

The sky is reeling drunk.
Its lone red eye sees
nothing but blood.

The stars held back
not a single dagger,
they plunged their blades
into the sky’s dark heart.

The children who wanted
to play hide and seek
were sent running home
by the swaying gaze of the moon.

Only those of us doomed
have the courage
to seek sanity
amid suffering,

to declare that love
and love alone
can intoxicate like this,
make you lose your senses,

the only thing that will free
the bats that weigh heavy
on the branches of feelings.

Forgive them, drunks.


14 Love Poems – an introduction


For 14 days I will be posting love poems from my two books published by the University of Santo Tomas Publishing House, Baha-bahagdang Karupukan and Alien to Any Skin. Call it a promotional gimmick, a teaser of sorts, to find new readers. Yes, that’s mainly what it is. But it’s also a declaration that despite all the evils, all the wars, all the human rights violations that take place in various parts of the world, it is love that sees us all through. Not anger. Not hatred.


Get on the ride. But be warned. This can get muddy.

Oh, and if you are in Manila, my books should be easy enough to find in various bookstores. Mary Martin Booksellers and Kabayan Central also stock them online. I have a few copies of Alien to Any Skin left with me in Cape Town.

After I complete posting all 14 poems – and if I manage to translate them with some help from readers and friends, that would be a total of 28! – I intend to make them available as a free sample ebook/pdf. If you are interested in receiving that, please subscribe to this blog and post a comment here.  It would be great to hear any feedback from readers. Maraming salamat!

Here is a list of the poems as I post them.

Awit Amats


Ganoon pa rin ang mga Salita

The Climb

Ang Sabi Mo

Mountain Province

Night Gown

Water Renders

Kakambal-Kaluluwa / I Don’t ever Wish to Get Used to This

The Scar Examined at Midnight

Banaue, Bontoc, Sagada