An Elegy To A Prose



It was like a whisper –
My wife delivered the sad news –
“Your grandfather was dead.”-
And so he was –
Her eyes were awfully sad –
Touched me gently –
She knew how hard this for me –
He was old –
I thought he never would –
The time I started to noticed him –
He was like a relic –
He talked about the war –
How the Japs chased them at the
River and hid on water lilies
All night long –
How they lucky to be alive –
How he befriended the
American soldiers –
How the world war started –
How it end –
The indifference over religion –
The Muslim and the Christians
Killing each other –
The greatness of the past President –
How Marcos summary
Killed hundred young
idealist, painter, journalist, artist, and even common people
During his Martial Law regime
They called this event as :
” Dekada 70″
The darkest epoch on us a nation –
How they gunned down Ninoy
Who said, “Filipinos are worth dying for.”


How my uncle had survived
A gunshot wound on his leg –
From an ambushed –
Had joined the New Peoples Army
Taking up law at Siliman University –
There they indoctrinated him –
“Our army are not human
They were dogs” –
He said to my grandma and
they discussed –
Walked limped –
For the rest of his life –
“He wrote a long letter to
Imelda.” , he narrated over and over –
” A LOooonngggg one. ” ,
Grandpa said exaggerating –
Then we giggled.
The first lady
Help him pay the hospital bill
Exchange of his ideology –
Grandpa supported him –
The brainy in the family
Decayed with the system –
Sometimes he told us,
How he
Comes on this land –
How he
Answered the migration call –
In the Southern Philippine –
My Grandma and him
Still in honeymoon when —
They walked away from their home
At Aklan and settled here –
To a land unknown to him –
He loves democracy-
He went to street and joined the protesters –
To end up injustices –
I always saw him went to where
Was the picket assembly –
Even he had lots of grey hair
On his head and wore a
wrinkled face –
He went to street
To overthrew Marcos –
To impeach Macapagal –
And even Estrada Administration –
He tilted the land –
Grow coffee beans and Avocado –
Ate and drunk the wealth of his toil –
He sniffed the salted air of the Celebes


As he stood at the
Cliff of Matutum –
Sometimes they sold fruits
In the
Public market –
Those days of the early 60’s –
While my mother was still young –
Then we came –
My cousins and us –
We sat at the table –
Trembling at dawn –
During summer vacation –
Grandma prepared hot milk –
Then he walked near beside –
Stared on us –
Preached the narrative of his life –
He was proud, and strong –
He loves us even he doesn’t say –
I could felt it beneath his snobby eyes –
As I perceived –
He was a learned man –
Even he didn’t go to school –
Our pillar collapsed –
My knees gave up –
I sat on a bench –
My body drenched by cold sweat –
My eyes drawn beyond the wall –
Like I search things on the mirror –
Tears starting to lined on my eye –
I could still
Those time when I was a kid –
An innocent face –
Stared back from the reflection of the clear pond


“Eat it..”, my older cousin whimpered –
Holding his fish line with a dying
Red worm,
Wriggling beneath the cold fresh water –
Salmons circling at it like a shark –
We wore straw hat –
And a checkered polo –
And the place were awfully cold –
It’s the saddest place in the world –
For me,
I knew the feeling,
I am used of it –
There’s nothing there
Only those big wide trees,
Cattle ranch,
Thousand acres of  Dole pineapple
Plantation owned by American Co. –


How it change its color to a
Fiery field of red blades during harvest –


And the rain
And the cold
If my parents allowed us to curse,
Maybe I would love to mutter ;
” DAMN! This place and DAMN! this cold! ” –
We forgot time went by –
It was already 2 in the afternoon –
“Let’s go home!”, I don’t recall who said it –
We walked briskly –
Hold big salmon on our hand –
We were afraid –
The sky already given up from the dark –
The rain started to pour –
Then we saw him –
He was there
Signaled us to halt –
Tending his carabao
At the mud pool –
At six in the evening –
We gathered on the sofa –
Only the flickers of light emitted
Down the city of General Santos –


He sat on the dark corner –
Listened the radio transistor –
And the song started to sung
Louie Louie
I cried silently at the dark,
I don’t know why –
What was that on that song –
That made me depressed –
I was 6 or 7 years of age that moment –


After then –
The radio announcer talked about the cold front,
The storm build up over the Pacific –
Rain came
And the storm
And we startled at the loud roar
Of thunder
Inside the room
We laid there side by side
No electricity
No candle light in the dark
There’s this song –
Played again in the air
Louie Louie
Damn the world was torn apart
During school days
He went to city
At school
He asked us sometimes –
How things going on –
He bragged about it –
To his neighbors –
At Tieza about us –
We went there occasionally –
There was this shelves with 30
Or more books –
I sat there often –
On my primary years at Public North
Elementary School –
Read carefully –
Those stories about the Greeks –
The Trojan War –
The Arabian Nights –
The Filipino contemporaries –
That’s the reason
I love to stay in the library –
Wherever city I went –
Hand gripped a yellow
Mongol pencil –
Scribbling some words on crumpled papers –
And hid it somewhere –
At college he went to our house at Silway –
He is very ill –
My mom and us cared him –
He watched the world news,
Trying to know –
What was happening around
The whole world –
I read silently Doveglion


Near beside him –
I already had a family –
He was weak –
I knew his end was coming –
I touched his head often –
Kissed him on the cheek –
Looked at him on his fading eyes –
He breath weakly and coughed –
How I love my old man –
My son likes to play beside him –
He was on his death bed –
Then my wife –
Was standing right in front on the workplace –
She looked at me in the eye –
I knew a painful smile –
Of people who tried to say
That… It’s okay…
Life should be that way…
No one lives forever…
She whispered softly on my ear –
” Grandpa is gone…”
Even she started to hugged me –
Even if she didn’t say a word –
I knew it would come.
And I wasn’t there beside him.
I wish…
I be at his side…
And say…
How much we love him…
How much I thank him…
How he taught us to be brave…
I wish I was there so…
I could whisper… It’s OK Grandpa..
And hold him firm…
And feel how he still hold us back…
Even he already gone.


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