Habal-habal Ride in Cagayan de Oro

Now you can say, it is this habal-habal ride
In Cagayan de Oro, this city that tries
to sleep but can only fake it at sometime
in the night. Like you, like everyone else
strangers and residents who need to watch
the breaking of day to await what is left
after praying for mercies to the patron saints
in their glory and inaccuracies. It was
the Wednesday of the ashes when planed in
to see for the first time what moorises
keep to keep us from this aloneness
so deep we forget our birth names
but remember only the aliases
we answer to as our way of revolting
what is there to revolt with thought
and word but never deed.

On this night, you declared you freedom
from this cheap lodging place without
the windows but have walls all over
and the announcements of God's grace
for its billboard, way past the endlessness
of streets unpaved as of yet. The scene
was like your dream when you woke up
with the call of morning noise
the frenzied steps of domestic helps
answering to the dire call of coffee
and its promise of relief. It is your story
as well, your tactic for each day
of flowing on and on.

On this night, you take the habal-habal
wherever it goes and there, in those roads
going to the remote feelings of the poet,
you saw what is there as a reason to live.

Back from the habal-habal ride,
you go to your speech and animate
the slide show that today you present
for all the world to not understand
that the life of a poet is seeing
even in the instertices of loneliness.

Cagayan de Oro, Philippines

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