RUSH HOUR AND GOOD NEWS RUSHING

October 28, 2012

Rushing to the provinces everybody is, while kids who have absorbed Western culture awaits for some round of trick or treat. During my younger years (I am still quite young), we would rather have scary story sessions near Manay Miring’s sari-sari store (the adults occupying the makeshift chairs at the store front). A CASURECO post nearby and a coconut tree serving as light and shadow, we would take turns talking about all sorts of aswangs and elementals. In fact, I could say that people from the barrio have amazing story-telling skills.

My neighbors will never forget the time when my mother rushed from our house to join them at the sari-sari store. She said I was looking at the terrace, jumping up and down on our bed exclaiming: “Ay si Lolo! Ay si Lolo!” And my Lolo Pio was already dead.

Looking back, I say that I really did see him. He was smiling and wearing his brown military suit.

Now this is getting scary. I better go back to some literary updates. Just learned today that my poem “This is a Dream” appears in today’s Sunday Times Magazine. It’s one of my latest poems in English employing the so-called surrealist technique. It was really fun writing it. It goes like this:

“THIS IS A DREAM

and you have dreamt of this before,”

says my dark skull, my eyes groping

for reason in the theater of my mind.

“This is the view when you fly. All just a part

of a dissertation of a man who developed

the method for human vertical landing,”

says the Professor Omniscient of my dark skull.

And my eyes could see clouds, treetops

and a man dropping like lightning from the sky.

To me, the most strangely familiar scene.

“This is the grounds of your elementary school

when they installed these giant metal balls

that go rolling to places: Under the floor,

above the pavement, across the basketball court.

Each roll and turn, part of a mechanism

of this giant lock of a school.

Now this smart backpack kid

runs about the place: From the hallways,

basketball court, quadrangle.

All the while expertly eluding the metal balls

and their—lasers, until he reaches the gate.

He catapults himself above its pointed crown,

landing on that street of San Jose. He would walk

until he reaches a highschool boardinghouse

where he sees a boy consoling a girlfriend

right outside of a familiar restroom.

A teacher was there too after rushing

to academize the counseling.

My mind’s eye, convinced

that this has happened before,

recalls not when.

“This is the grounds of your elementary school

when they used to tend crocodiles,”

says my dark skull. Convinced

that this was a dream,

I made a schoolboy jump

at the swampy playground

only to find the water turn red with panic.

“Don’t worry, this is a dream

and you have dreamt of this before.

The boy must have made a mistake here

for safely, he walked aground

in that other dream.”

There. I did write the poem after waking up from a dream. I hope to include it someday in my first collection of poems.

Meanwhile, there’s a repeat of last week’s Dionatext Kontra Depresyon experience. After winning as Finalist, I found myself sending more entries. And again, I am one of the finalists. Here’s the press release from Foundation for Advancing Wellness, Instruction and Talents, Inc.(AWIT, Inc.):

FRANCISCO MONTESENA IS THE FOURTH AND LAST
TEXTMAKATA NG LINGGO IN FOUNDATION AWIT’S
DIONATEXT KONTRA DEPRESYON CAMPAIGN

Francisco Montesena — the second poet from Angono, Rizal — is the fourth and last Textmakata ng Linggo with his diona:

Nang malaglag ang dahon
may mga bagong usbong
luntian at mayabong.

Montesena will join the elite group of Textmakata ng Linggo in the past — Filiffe C. Anorico of Angono Rizal (Week 3), Joel Costa Malabanan of Bacoor, Cavite (Week 2), and Ruel A. Solitario of Bagong Silang, Caloocan City (Week 1).

This week’s finalists chosen by the judges — composed of poets, psychiatrists, and psychologists – among almost a thousand entries include:

Hilahod ang negosyo
inonse ng kasosyo
di Mesiah ang gatilyo!
JOEL COSTA MALABANAN OF BACOOR, CAVITE

Unos ma’y rumagasa
At bumaha ng luha,
Palad ko’y iyong bangka.
JOSE JASON L. CHANCOCO OF NAGA CITY

Basag na baso’t pinggan
Hinahong nalimutan
Bubuo’y pagmamahal.
JORGE WALTER M. LADERA OF LUCENA CITY, QUEZON

Apoy mula sa bulkan
Ginawang gintong tunay
Ang mga dinaanan.
DIA MARMI P. BAZAR OF OROQUIETA CITY, MISAMIS OCCIDENTAL

The Makata ng Linggo will receive Php 4,000.00 cash prize and other suprises while weekly finalists will get 500.00 worth of cellphone load.

During the awards night, the Board of Judges led by National Artist Virgilio Almario will announce the Textmakata ng Taon who will receive the trophy created by poet/sculptor Raul “Tata” Funilas. It will be held on Tuesday, October 30, 2012, 6pm at the Conspiracy Garden Cafe, 59 Visayas Avenue, Quezon City. For details, please contact 0920-6139377 (Foundation AWIT) or 4532170 (Conspiracy Garden Cafe) or visit http://www.facebook.com/Foundation.AWIT?fref=ts.

There. Congrats to Kiko Montesena for bagging the first prize and goodluck to the four Text Makata ng Linggo when they compete again for the top prize.

Depression is no joke. It could last for months and if it persists, medication must be resorted to. Else, the patient might contemplate suicide and might just pursue it. So this is a good project by AWIT, Inc. Just as they are popularizing diona as a poetic form, they are also raising public awareness on depression as a deadly mental ailment.

Let me give you some more Diona Kontra Lumbay:

Lungkot ay terorista.

Kung loob ay may bomba,

Buksan na ang maleta.

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