The Gift of Independence

A Privilege, A Responsibility

Our independence is a gift to us from our ancestors. Unlike other gifts, the price they paid for it was eternal. People such as José Rizal, Andres Bonifacio, Emilio Aguinaldo gave their all in a white flame of sacrifice on the altar of their nation. They lived, suffered and died for their noble cause, knowing they might never see the next sunrise. Still, they fought on.

Andres Bonifacio said: “In the fury of your struggle, some of you might die in the midst of battle, but this is an honor that will be a legacy to our race and our progeny.” Together with Jose Rizal and countless others, their words of inspiration fill our minds and hearts like blood clots of revelation from the wounds of humanity. They, like many others, answered the call of our native land—the call of freedom.

We should look back on the glories of the past with profound pride, remembering the sacrifices as we till the fields that have soaked up blood from countless battles, as we idly cruise through cities that stood witnesses to the marks of history and as we look upon the faces of our fellowmen, knowing that it is for them they fought. Lives were lost all throughout the dark moments of history and yet these moments are the ones that have further strengthened our patriotic love for our motherland.

Our independence is tempered by a responsibility. This responsibility calls for all of us to work hand in hand to make sure that the efforts of the heroes behind our liberation will not have been in vain.

Because of our freedom, we are now of a mind to make our own personality as Filipinos. We shoulder the responsibility of creating our own history to add to the golden pages of time.

Some say that the age of heroism is past. But if we observe closely, we will notice that at one time or another, someone, somewhere is bringing new meaning to the name Filipino. We will all stand firm, fighting for God and country. After all, for what greater or nobler cause is there than to fight than the ashes of our fathers and the temples of our gods? An age without a name is equal to one hour of sweet liberty.

The Philippines is no longer an obscure blot on the map. We have passed the test of time as the Centennial Celebration has doubtless proven. The Philippines is enjoying a century of independence, but we must also move out of the past and into the hands of the new generation.

Our country is a work in progress. As citizens of this country, we must do all we can to help. The people are the nation and it is up to us to keep the torch of freedom burning.

(This an inspirational essay for teenagers in the Philippines, my country)

A Symbol

Colors and depths, shape

Responding to my gaze

Or not

Ignoring the weight I put on them

Because they are not real

A window

A door

A comparison

A symbol

Watching me as if they had divine right

They tell all my secrets

If I cannot sleep

Then I cannot lie

As touch meets touch

So too does look meet with liquid reflection

A three-point star of onlookers

Who observe silently

Cloudy with a foreign intake

The salt tears that escape

And sometimes an inner light which shines them forward

The eyes become a vision.


My nature is not appeased


I cannot be subdued

and will not allow you to forget me,

while you can deny your eyes

and close yourself from the world.


Your Will may be indomitable,

Even though the greatest mountains crumble.

The rains may be always storming,

I will not let that blank out the sun.

The jungles may be ferocious,

Even though the lion is still just a…



after all.


Those who fear their dreams in the dead of night,

know they are much more alive than a dream of the day.


Our vision in sight is only

that which passes through the pupil.

I will trade you my sight,

for a thimble of truth.

She’s Got

she’s got

motivation dripping

from ambitious palms

her fingers are moving so quickly

why can’t she just be calm?

please find her patience,

though sometimes it’s deceived

she’s still just a little lady

with a tiny bit achieved.


she’s got

frantic music

playing in her ears

her voice is now so quiet

could she be coughing up her fears?

please find her angel

it’s been gone so long, you know

it seems there’s been some mistake

she’s lost her soul in snow.

Bart’s People

Yes you too can be one of Bart’s people


A rebel

Blaspheming God and man

and if you can

making trouble for other people

A steeple

An idol

to evil

A weevil

of malice

A palace

of destruction


into the lives of others

chocolate centre


but the heart

is what counts

and if you can change the heart

then black will go

and you will no longer be one of

Bart’s people.

My Filth Is Hidden

I shove all my filth in the closet

And you don’t know the difference.

I hide all my clutter

And you think me clean.


I have practiced this façade for so long

And now you can’t see through it.

I disguise all my garbage

And you think what’s left is me.


I once was transparent

Once you could see right through me.

But then I discovered this smile and these words

Could hide it all from you.


Deep in that corner,

In that dark corner I protect,

Lie all my secrets

Lies all my filth

Lies all my sin.


But I put on a smile and you don’t know it’s there

I tell a story and you forget

I show you my desk and you think me clean

And you can’t see through me

For all my filth is hidden.

Twilit Dusk

In an effort to civilize Nature,

I, one twilit dusky day,

with the aid of pruners and the family’s black dog,

set off through the prairie;

through the blossoming grasses of the prairie,

toward my childhood destination:

the tree fort.


There, surrounded by the trees,

the grape-vine–entwined trees,

I trampled the weeds

and pruned back the vines until

I could stand no more;

for the biting gray insects,

the bloodthirsty insects, had won.

They were more diligent than I.


In an effort to civilize Nature,

I, one twilit dusky day,

set off back through the prairie,

through the blossoming grasses of the prairie,

through the droning bees’ noise of the prairie;

and, pausing a moment here and there,

I gathered a bouquet:

To take Nature again into Civilization.


Do you hear me?

The wind whispers my name as it chills your spine,

shakes your body with cold.

You deny my acquaintance,

but I know you well.

I am that voice in the night you dare not listen to

for I whisper of could-bes, should-haves and ifs.

I am the feverdream of a poet;

his earthsense, his madness.

I hold your life in the palm of my hand,

and slowly I clench each finger.

Ever so slowly a flame is snuffed.

A star bursts; a display of terrible despair.

Planets move to my music

and are born, later to die.

I am the rust on farm equipment

left to weep red tears in the rain.

I have eaten away the wood’s paint;

the gold plate on a charm I’ve tarnished.

I have blurred the granite’s words, the face of its master.

A fading angel bows and murmurs “God bless.”

All things I make tolerable,

yet I am feared beyond all else.

A clock ticks

as a serpent devours his tail,

a wolf, the sun.

The wind whispers my name

as you despair of falling asleep;



Tears flood out of my eyes

I go red and angry

I shout, I scream

But no one hears me

I know it’s useless

but I scream again

I feel faint

The tears I shed

Like scattering the evil

I feel cold and empty

I feel alone

I am alone


My tears are never-ending

My tears fall like blood

As I think of it all

I cut deeper and deeper

More tears are shed

I wait for someone

To comfort

But no one comes

My tears seem to take the pain away

But my thoughts merely

replace the pain


The pain I feel

is stronger than iron

Stronger than bone

The pain just crushes me

I sit in the corner

crushed by the intense pain

I can only imagine happiness,

Thought with each tear

the memories slip away

further and further

My tears begin to dry

My wound is but left.

Symphonic Silence

Listen! Do you hear it?

Symphonic silence when the world has quit.

No clanging cymbals of lying words,

Crescendos and diminuendos that rate the absurd.

No trumpeting threats of surrounding men

Or choral shouts of false “Amens.”

No staccato images of other lives

Or beating drums of another’s drive.

No confusing documents with strings attached

Or messy notes to be dispatched.

No blaring horns of other guys,

Just gentle winds that reach the sky.


Listen carefully and soon to commence

Is this wonderful orchestra of symphonic silence.