Tag Archives: Duterte

So NaDuterte

Today, in my country of birth, the current president appears before the lawmakers of the land, and before the entire nation. This is the same president who vowed to defend and protect the citizens of the country and adhere to the constitution. This is the same president who, soon as he took to power, violated the most basic rights of the poor and defenseless.
Today he speaks as if he were the hero of the land. Each of us, in our own minds, try to be the hero we dream of. Duterte’s greatest hero, as he has declared and proven by his actions many times over, is the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos who silenced critics by sending them to prison, if not to the grave.
Duterte’s so-called war on drugs, in a mere three years, has gone way beyond what Marcos himself managed to do.
I wrote the following poem last year as a first draft. The second draft did away with all that is so blatant in the piece and, in a way, turned out to be a better poem. But it didn’t retain the anger and condemnation I wanted to convey. That poem is due to appear in a South African journal, the New Coin.
Today, as I cannot join any of the protest rallies in my country of birth, I decided to share this poem here, and perhaps on my Facebook author account.

We Cannot Allow the Dead to be Silenced

The man who curses shall be cursed
to live forever in the stories we shall tell
our children. They will not fear him
or his twisted reincarnations.

Our children shall not be shaken
by his threats. His attack dogs
with teeth of bullets cannot make us
turn away and flee.

Though the dead may be left
unclaimed in morgues
or dumped on the side of the road,
their faces bound with packaging tape,

they will never be silenced.
The veins on their exposed necks
and stiffened arms will turn to roots.
And we who fight to remember

the cruelty inflicted upon those
we can no longer hold shall bear
bitter fruit to be shoved
down the tyrant’s throat.

-o-

The title of this post may look odd to those who are not familiar with the play on words Filipinos like to employ by borrowing from another language. A rough translation would be – aside from SONA (State of the Nation Address) – “Done in by Duterte.”


https://www.rappler.com/nation/updates-duterte-state-of-the-nation-address-july-2019

https://www.rappler.com/move-ph/235870-groups-hit-duterte-admin-performance-ahead-sona-2019



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Duterte’s Rape

bullet for duterte

That’s the title of a new poem that might be included in later editions of HOW TO MAKE A SALAGUBANG HELICOPTER & OTHER POEMS.

For the mean time you can read it on the Facebook page of my amazing publisher, San Anselmo Publications.

HERE IS THE LINK TO THE PAGE.

Photo of bullet from Wikimedia.


Walang Matris ang mga Mambabatas

Walang Matris ang mga Mambabatas

             1

wala silang gunita
ng balat na iniuunat
sa bawat udyok ng paglaki
ng lamang hinabi ng mga pintig,

lamang nanahanan
nang ilang buwan,
nagpupuyos na kumawala
upang salubungin ang daigdig,

nag-uumapaw sa pagtataka
gayong panig-panig
ang panganib

             2

wala silang gunita
ng pangamba at tuwa
sa mga unang pakikipagbuno
sa hatak ng lupa

ng munting katawan
hanggang sa wakas
makatayo sa mabuway
na mga binti,

bumitiw sa gabay
at buong giting
na buhatin ang isang paa
samantalang naninimbang

ang kabila
upang subukan
ang unang hakbang,
manghang-mangha

             3

wala silang gunita
ng pagpigil-hininga
samantalang nakatalungko,
halos di-tumitinag
sa pag-aabang
ng baha-bahagyang
paghimpil
ng tila babasagin

na mga pakpak
ng tutubi

             4

bugtong:
walang matris
walang puso
walang utak
walang kaluluwa
panay bulsa at bunganga
sino sila?

Image by Garciabillyjoe – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=61272452


Night is not a cover: 9 farmers killed and burned in Sagay City, Negros Occidental

noy2

9 Farmers massacred and burned in Negros Occidental, the Philippines

On Saturday night, nine farmers were killed, including two teenagers, in Negros Occidental in the Philippines, my country of birth. News that isn’t news. This massacre isn’t unique as so many previous killings had taken place under previous presidents. But none of those presidents were as blatant and brutal about wiping out groups of people as the current one, Rodrigo Duterte.

The war on the poor and defenseless continues.

MORE DISTURBING DETAILS on the National Federation of Sugar Workers Facebook page.


Hindi Dahil Babae – a response to Rebecca T. Añonuevo’s post on Facebook regarding Duterte as dictator

Hindi Dahil Babae

“If this man is a dictator, he is one dictator who upholds the rule of law.”
– Rebecca T. Añonuevo

Itong si Ate B, dalawang taon nang
hindi naghihilamos sa umaga.
Ayaw niyang magwakas ang mga panaginip
na ipinangako mula sa bituka ng magdamag.

Kaya hamog ng muta ang kanyang mga mata
kahit tanghaling tapat na. At kung magbuka
ng bibig, tila binabangungot. Buo man
ang mga pangungusap na ipinupukol,

lasag-lasag naman ang kahulugan.
Lantad-litid sa panginginig,
kay hirap nang maaninag
ang dating makata.

-o-

My apologies for not having a translation of this. One day, perhaps.


Peter Horn didn’t think his poem would one day appear as a precursor to Duterturds


Duterte’s dead

httpss.yimg.comnyapires1.2S30Kp_tWv.YqcaDoYQR8dg--YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjtzbT0xO3c9NDUwO2g9Mjc3O2lsPXBsYW Tony Perez photo of chick on top of coffin 17426098_1307916249295099_709865950848

photo by Erik de Castro found on Yahoo News

Duterte’s dead

are squirming with worms
that take the place
of forensic investigators.

They seek the shortest
and most efficient way
of exposing bone.

To those unacquainted
with the language
of final repose,

the worms render
each body
nearly identical.

Duterte’s dead
have lost the need
for food and water,

for the rare solace
of undisturbed moments
at the toilet.

Hope leaves no trace
in their hollowed skulls.
Only the living carry

that weight as they navigate
the mute streets, the dark
alleys, the witnesses

to the carnage.
Is there really
no memory in heaven?

-o-

The world seems to be on a tailspin – so-called leaders are intent on taking entire countries into variations of hell on earth. In my country of birth, it has been reported that over 8,000 people have been killed under the reign of President Rodrigo Duterte. Among the victims are children, innocent bystanders, and relatives who could not point to the whereabouts of a supposed target.

I entered this poem in the current Goodreads.com poetry competition. I don’t know if the good judges will choose it as a finalist, but I just wanted to put it out for as many readers as possible.

In the Philippines, there is a practice of not wiping the tears that fall on the coffin. It is also believed that if one places a young chick on the glass of the coffin with some seeds to peck at, those responsible for the death will never find peace.

The photo is credited to Erik de Castro, image found on Yahoo News.