mocker, boxing is dead…

okay, here he is
sitting in the corner
of his house
unwinding from tiresome job

set in free sport palming cold
beer down
24/7 store

cost high these days

big fight offered free in live tv
pacman vs horn

an hour later
he stood at the window
staring on bottles
laying empty on the grass

another clear skuldugger

mocker took the ring belt for dirty tricks


Somewhere far not near


No one will ever know who he was

As he carried tools in an uncrowded place

It was on his mind, his child dream 

Perhaps from an unseen friends

Talking at them sometimes as if they were there, and built it, believed, they would appreciate, moss creep at the bark

Ant came out from the inlet, and the rain fell from the tree top, for what reason he left

And abandoned the forest


Ghost of small people, weary from a journey of the unknown

Went inside the barstool, then 

Ordered ale

They chatted in the dark, with some occasional mirth

Slivered shaft of moonlight , drifting 

The floor board while the entire tree groan

Then they paused, staring far not near

Beyond  the mythical

Lasted for quite sometime

As they heard some young voices

Peeking at the window

Putting bread and butter 

At the tiny table 

Nah, not again this kind, an old

Fellow with a yellow scarp wrapped

Upon his stone kneck protesting


Parents holding some VCR

a gift for their kids to treasured as they grow up and uploaded in social media 

Big television company swarmed the area

Firefly Forest featured in primed time segment for the first time

Asking, who’s the genius behind

He saw everything what’s going on at his masterpiece and smiled

 Faced the other side

Of his bed imagining a small boat floating somewhere,

Somewhere far not near.

Four women discover that believing in magic is the medicine they need to overcome their personal struggles and tragedies after they find fairy homes in the forest.


breaking the silence 

day and night we heard our bell toll

Aren’t we all tired? O people in the South

another war 

and thousand of bullet rained inside our closet

Bomb had burned down our houses

and this extreme foreign ideology’s​

What is wrong at our heart

What is wrong with all of us 

why we are divided, O brown race

We don’t cursed 

And I did, when I 

Witnessed beheading in late night news

letting it toss in the river

and fresh water salmon bit flesh

Of a headless man

blood drifted with the rain 

their skin, hair, intestines, and soul

bone grimace under the pale moon 

a beautiful world

​The Last Five Days

Day Five : a beautiful world


Henry laid on Jake’s arm.

“ kill me now.” He whispered. Jake were trembling, blood had soaked his shirt. “ Please..” , he asked pleading. He could feel his fathers suffering. “ I can’t take it any longer. “

Marissa shook her head. Bein doesn’t know what to do. 

Some men responded immediately had chased the suspect.

 “ Give me the gun Jake. “ Bein said when his senses regained.

Jake aimed the gun on Henry’s heart. 

“ Do it, real quick..” He coughed blood. Bein protesting. Marissa already fainted. 

This is what you dreamed Jake, it’s your chance, his mind were debating.

This man is a monster. He is a monster…a monster…a monster…a monster…

A child were silent, looking at the water. He felt like he was on top of the world.  He wasn’t afraid to fall. The young man hand were strong. He make sure the child is safe. Another child sitting not far. He was smiling, looking at them. Took a stone from the water bed and put it on his pocket.

The water was clear, and everything were in deep green. 

The trees, grasses, mountain, and even the ocean. The man adjusted the child on his neck. Asking if they’ve seen that salmon circling peacefully. The child giggled. He repeatedly exclaimed at his little voice, Papa. 

The world is unfair. Why it always has to be this way… Everything on it was hypocrisy. Everyone had to be so cruel against anyone. Anyone who never done a thing so wrong to anybody and wanting only to be happy… Only with the people he love, people he cared, more than anything else on this world. That’s why he joined the separatist leftist, for people like him, been scrutinized, been looked down. He was Lumad, noble blood had run on his veins. Men that protects nature by preserving it. For them people staying peacefully at the middle of nowhere, where the sun reign in the sky and the ocean and the forest. But how so greed the world. They put buildings, mining, factory, that spit crude at the heart and it bleeds. 

A loud thud, gun thrown at the side. Jake carried his father at his arm and put him gently at the car.  Bein hold a pressure on the wound to slow down blood loss. Marissa on her husband’s hand. She kept on telling Henry to hold on, praying silently.

Jake shirt had stained with blood. He hadn’t change. He was at the table of the cafeteria of Mindanao Medical Hospital. Scribbling some note. He can’t believe why all of these had happened. He continued writing at that state and when he put down the pencil his eyes were teary. 

The sun started ascending in the horizon. A beautiful world against all odds.

A nurse approached, informing him that Doctor Velez wants to see him. 

She told him that Henry response at the medicine is a good sign, and will survive the crisis.

He was a fighter, she added.

                   The End


Herbert Siao

November 04, 2016

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Last Rain

​~ continuation of unedited short story. 

War dance of the Manobo tribe in Mindanao had been feared by Spanish colonizer during the end of their reign at Philippines. The tribal warrior beheaded every white man they’ve seen at their land. Spaniards forced to plead at Luzon and Visayaz island.

 Although the setting happen at recent time, there’s still incidence of war dance.

Day Four : Last Rain


For many years had gone, they were reunited.

Their Mom told them that her prayers already been answered. Henry hadn’t touched liquor for so many years. Bein and Jake had forgiven him. They were dining at the table just like before. 

After the meal, they lighted a lantern and it floated, shedding light at the sky.  At 12 midnight they celebrate Christmas for the first time with joy in their hearts.

Relatives comes to visit and dine with them. Giving gift and exchanging kissed. They prayed together, a Lords prayer.

After it, they were talking at the chair when the dog barked outside. Henry went up and surveyed if there’s still a visitor. 

He saw a silhouette of man standing outside in the dark. He can’t see clearly who it was. It’s like holding something, then it moves a circular dance.  It’s erratic movement shuddering and babbling a chant.

Singing a war song for their god. The shadow dances at imaginary tune. He went outside and put a turban on his head. Jake and Bein noticed, Henry closed the door. 

“ Pa?  What’s going on? “

There is no answer. Jake grabbed the gun on the closet and went outside, he felt something isn’t right. When he adjusted his vision in the dark.

The two figures were circling each other like an eagle hovering in mid air.

He could hear Henry’s voice spoke on their native tongue. They were chanting and their feet were stepping something he tried to recall what it was.

The chant sounded as a wind passing on the bamboo leaves and a river sloshing. The other man is holding a kampilan where he brandished it upward.

War dance—

It’s too late for him to react, a tribal sword hacked deeply at his father left shoulder. 

The man retreated and run away, zigzagging at the bush. Screaming wildly and fade at the nearby trees. 

Jake run at his father and catches him before it hit on the ground. Bein were speechless and in shocked. Holding a kerosene lamp that dwindled at the soft breeze and put it at the ground and checked Henry’s condition. Henry breath weakly, uttering a silent prayer for Sarimbar. Jake asked him not to leave and cursed that Sarimbar isn’t true, and that he should stay. Marissa were frozen at the doorway.

The moon came out for the first time. Henry looked at the sea, it was calmed.

Jake held up his head, last rain landed on his cheek.

The owl hooted a long sad moaned at the tree branch, then it flew.



Mano Po (Blessed Me)

​Day Three: Mano Po (Blessed Me)


The wind was particularly cold and Jake still thinking what his father had said. He noticed himself that he thinks more often this few days and wrote nothing. He had this idea of young boy whose father been killed in the storm. 

At first, he was excited. He was staring on the wave, how it sometimes so selfish and took lives. It was a 20,000 words. At first, he thought, it will be a good length story of a novel but his mind can not pump a single thing. He had suffered a writers block. He been distracted when he came home and the pained back from his childhood were unbearable. He thought he already escaped at it, and he’s wrong.

When the night came, only few stars shown at the southern turquoises sky of Mindanao. The sea behaves violently wild. Waves snarling and it crashes at the shoreline.

His father already in the bed. The radio transistor squeaking. Anchor man announces a tropical depression brewing in the Pacific is already a typhoon. It continue to speak some recent events but his mind were gone already elsewhere. A music went into the air.

It was an old Christmas song, old compared to their little lives on this world, so little that he can’t help himself saddened how it gone quickly.

He thinks of his older brother Bein, where it was now— at this moment.

It’s been 16 years since he left that night. It was raining—

It’s always raining on this part of the world. The rain he thought will made you smile. The clouds started to turn dark, usually…

It seems the world solemn, and everything turned into a dim gray fields. The butterfly will go elsewhere. The birds hide in nest with its youngsters. The wild deer went into caves. Feeling so sadly remembering the green grass. People will stayed inside the house. Lovers hug each other from the cold. While some looking at the window in solitude and feel blue.

He cried when Bein told him he had to go somewhere. He don’t understand what he meant. Now that he was on this stage, he still puzzled, why people had to leave. They left despite of your protesting. It so selfish but he need to understand everything. He had too.

He climbed into his bed and closes his eyes. He laid for almost an hour and can’t sleep. A chirrups singing. He heard his father changes the channel. Then turned it off. 

Candle glowering inside his room then it ceased followed by darkness—

The next day, he expected to see his father at the side of his Mom, cheering her. How she felt so sad when her boys went away. No mother in this world who doesn’t feel sad when their child, at young age scattered. Marissa had been on all of these. 

She loves Henry even the first time she saw him. Her father died when she was young, and grown up at her aunt who had no child. Her mom can’t support her and decide to gave her for adoption. Henry sitting infront on her at the library. He was reading and caught her looking at him. They were freshman in college. He was shy, sat erect in a gentleman manner. He smiled at her then continued on his reading. They became friend at first then Henry courted her after. He was so kind and a good loving husband, but changes is inevitable. He had changed after the death of their third child. He been tortured by the military men while their child is dying at the hospital. He was a good citizen on this country. They said that they were under martial law and everyone is subject for treason. 

Jake already had made his mind. He went at the kitchen and found out that his father went at the barangay hall. His mother only in the table with his aunt attending her. He took her hand and put it on his forehead and kissed it. A sign of respect honoring their parents. 

His aunt told him that there was a shipwreck last night. 

Henry standing at the window when he saw a distress signal coming from the boat. He informed immediately the official in the barangay and they rescued everybody.

Henry came inside all wet. He had fish on his hand. Jake walked near at him and took the fish and placed in the basin.  Henry were surprised at his unexpected behavior. 

Jake took his hand and put it on his forehead and kissed it. 

He said, ” Papa…” Henry cried and Marissa had joy on her heart. She threw her gazed at above. She been asking it for so long. All wounds were meant to be healed.

They cried while the rain is pouring outside. Hard deafening rain…

 “ I’m going to fetched your brother. A sailor in the barangay hall had told me that your brother is alive and well. He had family already in Koronadal.”

Jake told him he wants to come but his father told him he better stay with his mom.

 It would be a perfect Christmas.

Time to forgive…

and forget—


The Storm

Continuation of draft, unedited short story, The Last Five Days.

Day two: The Storm 


Henry at young age, he had everything. 
An only son on a family that had Spanish blood from his patriarch that left Spain for new colony in the Pacific. 

Las Islas Filipinas which been named honoring the great king Philip II of Spain by Villalobos on expedition era.

His grandfather fell in love at the serene beauty of the frontier and decided to stay, calling it a paradise. Jumps off one night when their ship continued to head north of the country. His heart were captured on a shy maiden Cecilia. A daughter of a wealthy Chinese seafarer who had a mixed Lumad blood that intermarried with the local.

 It was dangerous for a pale man in the region but for the sake of love he stayed. He befriended the native and the local Datu of Manobo tribe, the grandfather of Cecelia. 

During the heat of tranquility of resisting Moro, they forced to evacuate to Cotabato. A last stone fortress of the Spaniards.

Life those time is very difficult but nothing had hindered them on their love. They marry and have a son, Rafael Romero, who was born at the walled city. 

Rafael had been in coconut industry and increased his property through opening a timber land and developed it for agricultural farming. In order to protect it, he sent his only son to go for college in the capital.  

Henry who was young at that time met Marissa also pursuing  business course while he was taking up law at University of Santo Tomas. They married and decided to settled back deep South in the country when they graduated. The beginning is okay, nothing they had to worry. A large portion of land in their family were entrusted to him. He managed it and he became more wealthier than his father.

Bein came followed by Jake but their their third child caught pneumonia during the typhoon season back in 74. He rushed it at the hospital in the city by boat for a long night cruising the murky sea. Then forcibly picked up by military  men for interrogation soon they anchored in General Santos Port. 

When he was released the following day, the child is dead.

That is the time he begun to joined secret meetings. He drunk every night and let Jake and Bein who was at young age that time march like a military cadet in front of him cursing the government.

Then beat them with a rattan if they gotten mistakes. Even with no reasons, he slapped them and attacked the two boy with that stick and they were wailing at great pain. 

He was ruthless… heartless… a monster.

That supposed, he will be the one will protect them, love them, nurtured that he cannot gave because of his misfortune and hatred at what had happened.

 “Your grandfather and most of us had answered the patriotic call on this land ever since. We were lurking in the dark at night holding our gun with kampilan against our enemies, against the merciless military government that sometimes abused their power. “

Henry stood right next to Jake who were watching the entire sea while the sun descending dramatically down the edge.

He glanced at his father. Hair were already all gray white. The face thin and receded back deep on his jaw bone. A cataracts had almost seized his left eye, bubbling audible words. He wanted to hugged him. He wants to forgive him on everything he did to them and forget the past.

” Look! Our Muslim brothers had already working in the government. No more reason you still holding that grudge. “

 “ But not for us …  they do not recognize our struggle. “

“ For what? For what? And why? Look at what you have done on this family.”

Henry touched his shoulder and squeezed it gently. He never added a word on their conversation. He gazed momentarily at the place. How he grow up here happily with his mom and how he been a good son to his father. He was sorry for everything. What they were fighting for, of being a leader of the leftist group, that he left when he realized that it is all wrong, to causes his house in shambles. His Bein who still missing, to Jake and to his third child, why it died despite of how he wants it to be alive.

A large patch of cloud gathering in the sky. Lightning flashed, forking and brewing. 

Another storm and an endless rain on a bleak dark world. He went inside and thunder roar.