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Literary

A Letter To Cupid

He was sure that the man was perfect for her but why did she walk away? Cupid checked his arrows to see if they work. With his target locked, he released the string with grace and let the arrow flew through the wind and into a man’s heart.

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Artwork by Tricia Jardin

When Corazon was young, her mother told her a story about a being named Cupid, she said that he was sort of an angel that shoots people with arrows and if you get shot by him, you instantly fall in love. As a child, Corazon was awestruck by romance, especially how people would buy flowers, chocolates, and huge stuffed bears for their partners. 

Growing up, she wondered about love, she fell hard and fell out of it in the same way. She was convinced that it wasn’t entirely her fault, maybe Cupid had a bad aim that led her to a bit of misfortune. If there was a list of ex-lovers, hers would be long enough to wear as a scarf.

Corazon had a heart like a child’s, even in her twenties, she still looked at the world with wide-eyed innocence. One morning while walking in the neighborhood streets, she bumped into someone. Her mind immediately made everything pink. The air felt nicer, the warm rays of the sun made their faces glow golden, “his smile could launch a thousand ships” she thought. The man asked for her name. Instead of her name, she said “Have a nice day” as she scanned the area like she was looking for something––or someone then continued to walk away leaving the man confused.

Cupid was fond of Corazon, he liked the way she beamed at everyone, charming them with her innocence. He still remembered the time when Corazon’s mother told her about him. Nothing is purer than a child’s amazement at something so complex, he thought. He followed her around and tried to strike anyone who he thought might be perfect for Corazon which was a mistake. He couldn’t help it, he wanted her to meet somebody badly.

Corazon’s action shocked him. He was sure that the man was perfect for her but why did she walk away? Cupid checked his arrows to see if they work, they are sharp and filled with magic, he tested them out on a few pedestrians walking by. With his target locked, he released the string with grace and let the arrow flew through the wind and into a man’s heart. In the same direction came a woman, with excitement, he aimed at the woman and once again shot an arrow. He watched the two move closer to each other. 

There was nothing wrong. His bow and arrow worked fine. Was Corazon immune from his powers? 

“I’ll try again tomorrow.” he said with eagerness and flew home. 

Corazon grew tired of love and the things that come with it but more importantly, she was convinced that Cupid meant more harm than good. She wanted him to stop meddling in her life. So, she grabbed a pen and paper and started to write a letter. 

Dear Cupid, 

I suppose you already know my sentiments. You are an archer with good aim and every time you strike me, I can feel it. I have been feeling these since I can remember. You’ve given me countless possible forevers but they don’t feel real at all. Love is complex and relationships don’t have to be on life support. Getting struck once or twice is enough but if you get struck more than a hundred times, the heart goes weak and so does the mind. You see, I was thinking that it would be best if you stop now. You have done quite enough and for that, I give my thanks. Sometimes, I know you mean well but now, I am not sure anymore. There’s this feeling inside of my chest that keeps telling me that nothing is genuine anymore. Maybe I need some time alone, to say the least. 

Sincerely, 

Corazon

After reading the letter––Corazon’s last plea, Cupid puts down his bow and arrow and retires for good despite being heartbroken. He still looks over Corazon from time to time. He witnessed her walk down the aisle, marrying a good man and finally settling down. 

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Literary

This Thing

Swallowing the sun and rain
But myself still remains
Soaking up all my validity
It eventually shifts my reality

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Photo by Matthew Henry on Unsplash

I don’t know when it came
For there is no one to blame
On the other side of this face
There, standing with disgrace

This is a source of danger
A voice of a slipping reminder
Is this probably the truth?
Feeling estranged from my youth?

Conflicted with my ideals
Finding what would appeal
My mind that was in blight
Would eventually find its light

All alone this body is terrified
This takes over just to terrorize
Authenticity has been eliminated
Like the luster being defeated

Lies ahead were vivid hues
I was blinded, but I would choose|
Reaching out to that lucidity
Maybe to achieve serenity

Leaving this catastrophe
Can’t be done casually
But possible with a tenacity
Evacuating from that apathy

Swallowing the sun and rain
But myself still remains
Soaking up all my validity
It eventually shifts my reality

Not anymore fragmented
This, that has been connected.

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Literary

Still, The Land Dreams

In the guarded fence made of
steel,
They will not be silenced. 

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Artwork by Patricia Jardin/TomasinoWeb

The pearl of the orient seas
was muted, chained in absolute obedience
a forsaken motherland weeps.
But among the close-eyed sheep,
There are those who refused to blink. 

In the guarded fence made of
steel,
They will not be silenced. 

Gabriela Silang from the North
led thousands of men and
feared by the hands that dared them.
Andres Bonifacio,
in the tangled woods lies not the leash
a hidden cause; wolves baring their teeth.
Teresa Magbuana from the South,
the Visayan Joan of Arc, a sharpshooter
of the three-headed beasts. 

They spilled ink and words began to
breathe.
It bends, whispering, “we’re here…” 

Dr. José Rizal,
phantoms chased the ink, it laughs
because even Death has eluded it.
Graciano Lopez Jaena,
botod, loved dearly by the masses
revelled until the friars sneered.
Marcelo Del Pilar,
smooth easy-teller of tales
a guide-post, words map of streets. 

The motherland carries timetables of heroes and heroines
wounded whispers and dreams.
August 31st, the youth walked
on the path of ghosts.
the trees rustles, the land laughs.
A cycle begins: 

When freedom is in tatters,
when the streets of cities
have habits of making people disappear
when blood is shed on the asphalt
the heroes began to sing and
mirrors reflected a long history:
                            The people will not be silenced.

 

by Johanna Leelan Gee

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Literary

Ang pulso ng binibigkas

Ang wika ay susi upang makakalap ng kapangyarihan.

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Artwork by Patricia Jardin

Ang wika ay susi upang makakalap ng kapangyarihan. Instrumento ito sa pagkilala ng daloy, sa panliligaw ng panig, at sa paglalakbay ng isip. Ganunpaman, magkaiba ang mundo ng mga salita at ng mga sinasabi— hindi lamang tainga ang dapat na nakikinig at hindi lamang bibig ang dapat na nagsasalita.

Sa bawat pagmulat ng mata sa kasalukuyang lipunan, marami ang oportunidad para mahasa ang sariling lengguwahe. Lumitaw man ang pagkakaiba ay hindi dapat patabain ang pangamba; kapatid ng takot ang paninikil at pagkubli. Ang hatol sa pag-aagwat ng wika ay hindi kasalanan, bagkus ay ang kalayaang magmay-ari ng boses at ang patuloy na pagkatuto.

Mahapdi nang iniiwanan ng oras ang kaniyang mga ginagapangan at hindi ito tumitigil. Ang paglalakbay ng isip ukol sa patutunguhan ng Pilipinas ay matagal nang gutom sa tugon. Ilang bukang-liwayway na lamang at may wikang maglalahad ng mga salaysay ng daloy at distribusyon ng panig. SONA ang magtatanghal kung naitahi bang mainam ang mga kwento ng Pilipino sa kwento ng Pilipinas. Nakababad kaya ang wika ng may kapangyarihan sa wikang makapangyarihan? 

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