FAO Editorial


Two important events mark our lives as Americans of Philippines descent this month and the coming months: the health care law, a response to the social justice issue of health care in this country, and the elections that will be held in the Philippines next month.

In both events, we are implicated.

Their implications issue out the need for us to hope for the better, believing that hope is one spring of the soul we can indulge in and we can hold onto even as we get past life’s Fall, with all its connotations.

We are still reeling from all the literal hardships that have come to visit us even in this land of prosperity and dream.

We are still reeling from the ugly reality that has hit us hard when that American Dream we have been pursuing has suddenly turned unreachable, its pursuit now almost impossible, with less and less of access available to us for us to reimagining it in our mind as in our life and in our daily struggles.

In the homeland, the story is not better off: the images on the streets, the images on the newspapers, the images from the news are a mixed bag of hope and frustration, despair and illusion, virtue and vice.

In so many ways, it seems that this new homeland we have come to, literally and metaphorically, to eke out a life that is something more colorful and better and grander, has become elusive at best.

In so many ways, it seems that the homeland we left behind has not learned to molt into a republic of vision, preferring instead to remain a republic of sorrows and grief and servitude.

The new health care law is a thought in grandiose terms, its intentions marked by a distinct sensitivity to the connection between social justice and health as a public good.

The elections in the Philippines, on the other hand, remains a stage play, with no plot that is clear but a lot of entanglements, with the almost mysterious because open-ended sub-plot lines of political promises.

And there is much misery too: the roads claim the dead, in the deep of the night as in the sunlight clarity of daytime.

Two entanglements, these, and we watch from the sidelines, and we can only watch from the sidelines, kibitzing as much as we can, as we are rendered spectators in all these spectacles that assault us each day.

How do we move on past these bombshells of the everyday is a question that begs an honest response, a wideness of vision, and a critical engagement with that conversation that could show us the way out of these traps that are not of our own making.

It is our obligation to ask this question—and beg for an answer, or answers.

Because our obligation is not only to the present but to the future as well, in much the same that our obligation is not only to the current season, but also to the one that comes after.

Especially in this time of Spring, when the sunshine welcomes us in its glory and the thought of coming to life again from the Fall of “the falling of leaves” and the “hibernation of the universe” and the “dormancy of the colors of flowers” becomes a thought that ignites in us some reasons to look forward to the Summer of warmth and gaiety and joy.

It is resurrection told anew: it is resurrection in life as in the need to hope for something better especially when the debates in the health care law will come from everywhere and the dark and dreary dramaturgy in Philippine politics will confuse us some more.

“The future belongs to those who give the next generation reason for hope,” so says Pierre Teilhard de Chardin.

We believe him.

We need to give reason to the next generation of Philippine Americans to hope, in all the seasons of our life, in this season of Spring or in the coming Summer, or in this time of the Christian narrative of resurrection they call Easter.

Happy Easter to all!

FAO. April 2010

Kalihi Station of the Cross

Kalihi, Honolulu, HI, March 27, 2010


By A Solver Agcaoili, written for Nakem Youth

(All members of the community will sing the hymn; they are expected to sing in all the parts with the ALL role as well as the community with the responsorial part marked ALL)

Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?

Introduction: Jeffrey (JA)

Kakabsat--siblings in Christ the Messiah, who came among us, lived in this life in the flesh, become part of our story and history.

Christ, the child of the Namarsua, the Creator, is the child of the God that does not end, the Creator that will continue to sustain us, in suffering, in death, in the coming to life again of our bodies and spirits.

Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?

Christ said, when two or three are gathered in Christ’s name, there is Christ among us, there is Christ in our midst. Let us honor Christ’s presence among us by this ceremony of breaking of the bread and the sharing of the water of life.

The bread and the water are symbolic of the life we share in our faith, the life lived in earnest because it is based on hope and justice and light.

ALL: (Raise the pandesal/bread and water; lay your hands over them)
Namarsua, the God of our life, confident in your promise of your presence among us, your presence in our midst, bless this bread and water so that they become the source of our nourishment of mind and body, spirit and soul.

CM 1: We offer this bread to those who produced it.

CM 2: We offer this water to the universe.

CM 3: We offer this bread to the hungry and disposed.

CM 4: We offer this to the health of the world and nature.

JA: We ask all this in your name


(All will get a piece of the bread and drink of the cup from the same bottled source; everyone will eat and drink at the same time.)

JA: Let this bread and water nourish our body and spirit.

ALL: Let God bless this water and bread. Amen.

Community Member (CM, with a series of numbers for community participation)

JA: The first station of the cross: Jesus is the midst of suffering in the Garden of Gethsemani

CM 1: Lord, even as you go through suffering in the Garden of Gethsemani and even as we go through the same suffering, we ask you to remember us.

CM 2: We are anguished by the continuing divide, Oh God, between those who have the resources to get by in life and those who do not have enough like us.

CM 3: Even as we suffer, even as we witness all these economic injustices, even as the poor like us and even as the poor among us continue to hope for a better life, dear God, Namarsua iti langit ken daga, Namarsua iti biag, make haste to help us.

CM 4: Come, make haste to help us, heal our community, heal our Kalihi, heal our people, and heal our lives, even as you yourself, Christ the Messiah, suffer in our name.

JA: This we ask of you, our suffering Christ.

All: Amen.

JA: The second station of the cross: Jesus is betrayed by Judas and arrested.

Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?

CM 1: Everyday, there is betrayal in our midst. We betray ourselves, we betray our God, and we betray our Namarsua, the creator of life, by our decision not to act to correct the injustices around us. With the furlough, we betray our youth. God of justice, come give clarity to our education.

CM 2: Even as you were betrayed, Oh Christ, even as you were arrested, we see all these betrayals in our midst.

CM 3: We pray that you remember us even as you hear condemnation. We pray that even as you were condemned, release us from condemnation of the social inequities in our in communities—our being condemned to hold multiple jobs just to get, to endure the condemnation of selling our labor for the minimum wage that is not even sufficient to make our life decent.

CM 4: We pray that you have us all in mind, your sisters and brothers, even as you were bussed with the kiss that signaled your betrayal. We pray that the 30 pieces of silver is not going to be what our worth will be but our worth will be an eternal life with you.

JA: This we all pray

All: Amen

JA: The third station of the cross: Jesus is condemned to death.

Were you there when they nailed him to the tree?
Were you there when they nailed him to the tree?
Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when they nailed him to the tree?

CM 1: We pray to you, Oh Christ, we pray that we will be spared of the wages of sin and death, even as we become aware of the many forms of death and sin in our communities.

CM 2: With our life, we are also condemned to death. Because of the unevenness of our access to the resources of our communities, because of disparities in incomes, because of the disparities in our access to the goods of our social life, we are also condemned to death. We pray that those who do not look like us, that those who do not love like us, that those who do not think like us will see hope in you.

CM 3: We are condemned as well, true. But we will not accept this condemnation because we know, our Namarsua, the creator of life, the harbinger of our hope, the promiser of our redemption, that you have been condemned to death because of us.

CM 4: Because of your passion, because of your willingness to go through it all, because of your promise of a new life for us and our condemned communities, we will rise with new hopes again and again, Oh God of life.

JA: This we all ask our brother the Christ to intercede for us so that our hopes will continue to be alive

All: Amen

JA: The fourth station of the cross: Jesus is denied by Peter.

Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?

CM 1: Christ, our brother in faith, we pray for strength

CM 1: Dear Christ, even as Peter denied Christ out of fear and because of fear, because of the threat of persecution, because of the lack of moral courage, with you abiding love, lead us to the light.

CM 2: Lead us to where we should go and keep us with your guidance we are show our solidarity with our people and with other people, as we show our solidarity with the people of Guahan—the Guamenians—with the Chamorro people, with those communities that are affected by the build-up of military bases in Hawaii and the Pacific.

CM 3: Give us the strength, Oh Christ, so that we will not lost sight of the need to be just and fair with others, even as we need to fight for justice and fairness everywhere, in communities undergoing repression.

CM 4: We pray for the moral courage not to betray the very causes that make us alive and authentic human beings, the courage to be true to our calling as children of God and your sisters and brothers in faith.

JA: All this we ask of you in the name of the Spirit that nurtures courage


JA: The fifth station of the cross: Jesus is judged by Pilate.

Were you there when they nailed him to the tree?
Were you there when they nailed him to the tree?
Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when they nailed him to the tree?

CM 1: Acting: Hear, hear you people, this is your Christ!

CM 2: Free Barabbas, not him!

All: We are not going to be Pontious Pilate!

CM 3: Hang him!

ALL: Free Barabbas!

ALL: Hang the Christ!

CM: Hang the bogus, the impostor!

CM 4: Dear Christ, we ask for the forgiveness of our trespasses!

ALL: We ask that we will not forget the sufferings of the native Hawaiian people—the Kanaka Maoli—and the injustice done against them even as they continue to struggle for their sovereignty and freedom.

CM 5: We ask that the struggle of the native Hawaiian people—the Kanaka Maoli—their struggle to make sense of their history, to make sense of their community that has welcomed us in generosity of spirit, will enlighten all other people in the same path to freedom.

JA: We ask all these in the spirit of truth and acceptance, of solidarity and community, of peace based on justice and fairness and non-violence.

ALL: Amen

JA: The sixth station of the cross: Jesus is scourged and crowned with thorns

Were you there when they pierced him in the side?
Were you there when they pierced him in the side?
Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when they pierced him in the side?

CM 1: Everyday is the crowning of thorns on us as well.

CM 2: This economic meltdown, Oh Christ, is causing a lot of anxieties among.

CM 3: This recession, not of our own doing, is taking hold of our daily lives. It is making our burdens heavier, our days more heady.

CM 4: Remove these from us, Oh Christ; take them away from our shoulders.

JA: Let this crowning of heads with suffering, let this carrying of troubles and burdens be an occasion for your grace, Oh Christ, our kabsat in the faith.

ALL: Amen

JA: The seventh station of the cross: Jesus takes up his cross

Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?

CM 1: We offer this station of the cross to all our social activists present in this gathering. It is through their light that we see better, that we see the road ahead. It is through their walking with us that we feel uplifted.

CM 2: Oh Christ, let this activism be the virtue of our life as people of the Creator. Let this activism be the energy that will make us see more fully in the round our true vocation to the nurturing of each other and our communities.

JA: Let your light shine upon us, Oh Christ.

CM 3: Let us take up our cross as well so we will learn to walk bravely the road to you.

CM 4: Let your light shine upon us so that in our activism, your guidance will continue to be upon us, the light of your justice will keep us, the light of your truth will steady us, and the light of your grace will strengthen our resolve to do more for others and our communities.

ALL: Amen.

JA: The eight station of the cross: Jesus is helped by Simon to carry His cross

Were you there when they nailed him to the tree?
Were you there when they nailed him to the tree?
Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when they nailed him to the tree?

CM 1: Help us carry your cross, Oh Christ. With your grace and blessing, may we come to a fuller understanding of the mystery of your suffering even as we try to understand the mystery of suffering in our midst.

CM 2: We have come to know the violence in our families and we have not done enough to carry the cross of the victims.

CM 3: We have to know the violence of the social media of which we have become consumers and we delight in them, never seeing our role in the perpetuation of this same cycle of violence.

CM 4: We have not helped carry the cross of the poor. We have allowed the sick alone and deserted. We have not offered our shoulders to the lonely in the hospices and in retirements. We have not addressed the burden of homelessness, the lack of jobs, the lack of alternatives to this misery and poverty that we have to know so well.

JA: Dear Christ, our Namarsua, the creator of that which is us and that which will be, help us see our role as your children who must care for each other, who must show concern for each other, who must keep each. Teach us the way to you so that we will see that we are each other’s keeper, and so that we will maintain our resolve to make our communities safer.

All these we ask of you

ALL: Amen.

JA: The ninth station of the cross: Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem

Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?

CM 1: Christ, our brother, we dedicate this station of the cross as memorial to all women who succumbed to death because of violence. With this memorial, we pray that women will come to understand that the bigger issues of justice and peace are out there even as we acknowledge that the individual violence that we are remain to be a problem as well.

CM 2: Let this station of the cross be our way of recognizing the unwavering faith of all our women, their faith in the Namarsua that nourishes life, the faith in the God that does justice, that faith in the God, all knowing and all fullness, that redeems us from all these ignorance, callousness, apathy, indifference.

CM 3: Even as the women meet you, Oh Christ, show us the way to meet you as well.

CM 4: Show us the way, Oh Christ, to transcend the mundane, even as we are not going to forsake our duty to renew the world. Lead us to a full meeting with you, like the women of Jerusalem, like the women in our communities who have not stopped believing in the power of our love.

JA: All these we pray

ALL: Amen.

JA: The tenth station of the cross: Jesus is crucified

Were you there when they pierced him in the side?
Were you there when they pierced him in the side?
Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when they pierced him in the side?

CM 1: We offer this memory of this station to all those who have gone before us, those who have died believing that God will reward them with a new life.

CM 2: We offer those who die a thousand deaths so others will have a good life, so that others will have the chance to live, so that others will live in God’s grace.

CM 3: We pray for those among us whose parents, relatives, or family members have departed. We pray for Kat, whose mom passed away without seeing Kat, our dear sister, graduate from college.

CM 4: We pray that Kat will find the courage to keep going in life even as your crucifixion reminds us of the peak of suffering.

We ask this of you

ALL: Amen.

JA: The eleventh station of the cross: Jesus promises His kingdom to the repentant thief

Were you there when they laid him in the tomb?
Were you there when they laid him in the tomb?
Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when they laid him in the tomb?

CM 1: Dear Christ, we know of your promise of eternal.

CM 2: Make us see, Oh Christ, that this promise of eternal to the thief is promised the same way to us.

CM 3: We believe in the sanctity of your Word. By your Word, let us come to life, to grace, to voice, to solidarity with others, to a communion with you.

CM 4: Help us, Oh Christ, so that by our deeds, we will become a promise to all others, so that we will become agents of your grace.

JA: We ask this of you

ALL: Amen.

JA: The twelfth station of the cross: Jesus entrusts Mary and John to each other

Were you there when they nailed him to the tree?
Were you there when they nailed him to the tree?
Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when they nailed him to the tree?

CM 1: By Christ entrusting his mother to John, let us have the courage to entrust our faith with each other.

CM 2: Let us have the grace to accept that our sisters and brothers are entrusted to us.

CM 3: It in the same light that those who are sick and poor, those who are homeless, those who have nowhere to turn to, those young people who need counsel—let them come to us, in the way you have allowed those who need your counsel to come to you.

CM 4: Make us the vessel of the Spirit so that those whom you entrusted to our care will be cared for by us.

JA: All these in your name

ALL: Amen.

JA: The thirteenth stations of the: Jesus dies on the cross

Were you there when they pierced him in the side?
Were you there when they pierced him in the side?
Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when they pierced him in the side?

CM 1: Even as you died on the cross for our sins, we offer this station to all our young people who need not go through crucifixion and death, who need not go through suffering, who need not suffer more than what they can handle. Let them come to voice, Oh Christ, and let them learn to pave the way to you for us all even as we learn to listen to what they say to us.

CM 2: Our young are our hope. Let them be redeemed by the promise of your death. If they have to go through life, let them carry their cross with grace, with the wisdom of your truth, with the light of your love.

CM 3: Let our young people know that life is the tear on your eyes and the smile on your lips, the smirking on your face, and the laughter of your joy.

CM 4: Let them see that you, our Christ, who has uttered the truth of salvation, is the same Christ that uttered the truth of the heaven that we have to build on earth.

JA: This we all pray

ALL: Amen.

JA: the fourteenth station of the cross: Jesus is laid to the tomb

Were you there when they laid him in the tomb?
Were you there when they laid him in the tomb?
Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when they laid him in the tomb?

CM 1: We now come to a memorial of your death. We lay you on the tomb and cover your grave with a stone.

CM 1: But we will always remember that we are the community of faith that inherited your good news, the sacred word you revealed to us.

CM 2: By your death, Oh Christ, shall you rise again to reveal to us the fullness of your truth,

CM 3: The light of your glory even as we remember the wars in other lands,

CM 4: The death that happens in our places,

CM 1: The tragedies and natural calamities that visit us,

CM 2: The heavy weight of war industry and militarization and tyranny and hunger in other lands

CM 3: The cross of everyday that we bear to eke out a life,

CM 4: The promise of redemption that we hope as ours in the end.


JA: You have heard our supplication, Oh Christ, hear the prayer of your people, makes haste to clear our heart and mind in anticipation of your glory.

CM 1: By your death so shall you come back to us again,

CM 2: Rising in glory, rising in glorified body,

CM 3: Rising with the eternal spirit of the Creator,

CM 4: Rising with the full vision of heaven that awaits us, the heaven whose seed we nurture in this life.

JA: We memorialize your death, but we await your resurrection.

CM 1: We remember our suffering, and by your grace, we go through the same death that you go through,

CM 2: But by your promise of redemption, we know we have been saved from us these tragedies.

CM 4: Even as we memorialize the entombing of the tomb of Christ, we remember always that there is that hope for the coming to life of our sibling, our kabsat, in the faith,

CM 1: The child of our Creator who came among us to live like us, in flesh and blood, to live like us in our history and culture and language,

CM 2: The way Christ lived in the history of our faith, in the culture of the Jews, in the language of the Jews.

CM 3: We pray that through this memorializing of our programs for diversity, for cultural pluralism and for the celebration of our various heritages, the Christ of history will be remembered more and more.

CM 4: We pray that with our coming to our language, we come more and more to our voices as various peoples of God, we come to voice, this voice that we are because it is the voice from the Word that is sanctified, made holy with our participation in history and our own cultures and languages.

JA: Dear Christ, our sibling, our kabsat, the Son of God who is God of languages, of history and culture, listen to our prayers, and listen to our supplications. We have come here as a community to celebrate your death, a celebration that leads into that hope that is the very reason of our faith: your coming to life again.

Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?

By the washing of the feet of our sisters and brothers, may we understand fully what we have come to do today: that by your death, we are to minister to each other, that we are to serve each other, that we are to dispense, from our own hearts and souls, care and concern for each other.


JA: By the washing of your feet, remember that you have been cleaned and that you have been anointed to minister to others.

CM: Amen.


Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?

Gameng introduction-PART 2


ni Aurelio Solver Agcaoili

Iti pakasaritaan a literario a relihioso, adda dagiti tradision a nakapuon kadagiti meditasion ti tao iti relasionna iti Namarsuana.

Dagitoy a meditasion, kas koma ti nabileg a meditasion iti Qoheleth, nga iti maysa kadagiti mennamenna ni Reverendo Baloaloa ket dinakamatna nangnangruna ti kaadda ti panawen dagiti amin a bambanag, ket maysa a panangriing iti papel ti tao iti daytoy a dakdakkel a narativo ti kinaparsuana, ti relasionna iti mortal a biag, ken ti lugarna iti finitudo dagiti amin a gandat ken ambision, kasta met dagiti sirmatana numan pay dagitoy ket nagmaris a kas bullalayaw.

Adda panawen ti amin, kuna ti Qoheleth, nga isu met laeng ti maaw-awagan itan nga Eclesiastes.

Ket daytoy a panangipatigmaan—a nasamay met a leksion kadatayo tapno iti kasta ket maanagtayo ti kayat a sawen ti kaadda ti panaggibus dagiti amin a bambanag tapno iti dayta a panaggibus ket ti panangrugi manen, kas iti siklo ti biag a mangrugi iti pannakaipasngay sa agtunda iti isasaklang iti Dios, nga iti isasaklangtayo ket awit-awittayo ti maysa a namnama nga iti masungad nga aldaw, iti nairanta a panawen, ket mapasamak ti panagungartayo.

Iti panagbasbasak kadagitoy a mennamenna ti autor, malagipko ti naunday met a panawen a pannakisangsanggolko iti Namarsua, panawen a naibaut iti panagadal iti seminario, panawen kadagiti trabajo nga apostolado, ken panawen tapno analisaren no ania ti nakairantaak iti daytoy a biag.

Dagitoy a realidad ket dadakkel a saludsod a ti sungbat dagitoy ket klaro a maadaw kadagiti klarado a panangilawlawag ni Reverendo Baloaloa iti librona a Nailangitan a Gameng.

No iangkla ti diskurso ti libro iti dakdakkel a diskurso ti pakasaritaan ti literario a relihioso, agsublitayo kadagiti sinurat ni Juan dela Cruz, ni Theresa de Avila, ni Carlo Caretto, ni Thomas Merton, ken adu pay a relihioso a mannurat.

Kadagitoy a panagmennamenna, adda dagiti substativo a tema a sentral kadagitoy a sinurat.

Dagitoy a tema ket addaan kadagiti sentral a pangngarig a konseptual ken imahinativo, kas iti “cloud of unknowing”—ti ulep ti di pannakaammo—kadagiti sinurat ni Juan dela Cruz a mangipaspasimudaag ti kinali-ing ti biag ti tao, ti kina-li-ing ti ammona, ti pannakasapul nga agsanggir isuna iti misterioso nga ammo ti Namarsua.

Ken ni Theresa de Avila, ti panangipennek iti amin nga isip—ti panangisentro iti amin a biag iti Namarsua—daytoy ti bugas ti amin a kalat ti tao, ti kaibatogan ti amin a kinaasinnona, ti pakabuklan ti kinataona.

Kenni Theresa, masapul a paksiaten amin a banag a mangiwalin kadatayo iti panangtuntontayo iti dana nga agturong iti Namarsua.

Adu dagiti rason no apay a maiyaw-awantayo—kas iti pannakaiyaw-awantayo, no dadduma—uray no iti agmatuon, kas kuna dagiti adu nga Ilokano: maiyaw-awan iti agmatuon.

Adda rason kadaytoy a patigmaan: iti tropiko a lugar kas iti Ilocos, ken iti Hawaii a nakaisadsadan itan dagiti adu nga Ilokano, adda ti nakalawlawag nga init, nga, iti oras ti agmatuon, ket kalawagan iti amin a lawag.

Ngarud, awan rason a ti maysa a tao ket maiyaw-awan ta adda met ti lawag, ta makita ti dana, ta masierto ti papanan.

Ngem adda maysa a di nalawag: nga iti panangsurot iti dana, saan laeng a ti pisikal a lawag ti masapul no di ket ti lawag met nga adda iti panunot, ti lawag nga adda iti isip, ti lawag nga adda iti panunot.

Kas iti lawag nga adda iti puso.

Kas iti lawag nga adda iti barukong.

Kas iti lawag nga adda iti kararua.

Dagitoy a lawag ti masapul iti panangtunton iti naisangrat a dana nga agtunda iti maysa a biag a sinukog ken minarisan ti sursuro a ti laeng Sao ti Namarsua—ti Sagrado a Balikas ti Apo a Mannakabalin-Amin—ti makaited.

Iti maysa a vision—maysa a parparmata—sinaludsod ti Namarsua ken Tomas de Aquino no ania pay ti kayatna.

Kastoy ti insungbatna: Awanen, awanen, Apo, awanen, sika laengen ti kayatko.

Ammotayo a ni Tomas de Aquino ti maysa kadagiti higante nga intelektual iti pakasaritaan a medieval, ti maysa kadagiti sanggir ken teddek ti tradision a
Kristiano kadagidi a panawen.

Kayatna a sawen, naapit amin ni Tomas ti pammigbig.

Kayatna a sawen ket napasamak amin dagiti tinagtagainepna a masagpat iti adal, sursuro, ken ammo.

Ngem saan nga impagpannakkel daytoy ni Tomas iti Namarsuana ta ammona a no anian man ti naragpatna ket naragpatna daytoy babaen iti grasia ti Mannakabalin.

Kadagitoy a tradision a makitatayo met ti bugas ti kuna ti maysa pay a relihioso a mannurat: Saan a makaidna ti pusok, awanan daytoy iti talinaay ken talged, no daytoy ket saan a sika ti paginanaanna.

Iti kontemporario a tradision ti panangmennamenna ti pammati, napan ni Carlo Caretto iti disierto ti Sahara tapno sadiay, iti lengguahe ti ulimek ken panagmaymaysa, ket sadiay a denggenna, sadiay nga imudinganna, ti nabiag gapu ta makabiag, a Sao ti Dios.

Ken ken Thomas Merton, ni Carlo Caretto ket maysa met a nangato ti adalna—nagadal iti filosofia ket nagun-odna ti kangatuan nga aldaw.

Ngem iti maysa nga aldaw, natimudna ti awag—ti extraordinario nga awag ti Namarsua kenkuana tapno tallikudanna ti agdama a biag.

Ngarud, napan nagindeg iti disierto ti Sahara, kadagiti walangwalang a paset daytoy tapno sadiay ket agbalin a sapatero.

Ket iti nakisang ken napobre a biag iti disierto ket maimatanganna ti kaadda sadiay ti mangbitbitbit nga ima ti Apo a punganay dagiti amin a punganay ken tartaraudi dagiti amin a tartaraudi, ti Apo a pakabuklan dagiti amin a gandat, tagainep, im-impenen, an-anek-eken, pammateg, panagayat, pakabuklan dagiti amin a panagbirbirok iti kaipapanan, pakadagupan dagiti amin a panagkalkallautang ti kararua tapno iti kallautang, tapno iti walangwalang, sadiay, sadiay, iti walangwalang ti puso ken kararua, sadiay a makita ti rupa ti Namarsua, sadiay a matimud ti nakalimlimbong nga awagna kadatayo.

Kastoy met ti kapadasan ni Thomas Merton, nga iti rugina ket maysa met a profesor ti literatura.

Ngem iti baet dagiti amin a mortal a pammadayaw ken pammigbig ti gimong ken ti lubong, natimud ni Merton ti awag ti Namarsua, ti awag a sagrado, ti awag a binukel ti silensio, ti ulimek, ti panagmaymaysa, ti panagsolsolo a kadua ti makapunno a pannakikadua ti Namarsua.

Ket ti ulimek, dita, dita a naawatan ni Merton ti pakabuklan ti lengguahe ti Namarsua kenkuana: Umayka kaniak, umayka kaniak, ket iti ulimek addaak sadiay.

Kastoy ti gameng nga adda iti daytoy a libro a Nailangitan a Gameng.

Ti gameng ti pannakaamiris nga addatayo iti baet ti panawen ken purok, iti baet ti tiempo ken lugar, iti baet dagiti sanaang ken garakgak, iti baet ti bagi ken kararua.

Ti gameng ti pannakaamiris a saan laeng a ditoy a biag ti pakabuklan daytoy a biag.

Ti gameng ti pannakaammo, iti udina, a saan laeng a datayo ti umaw-awag iti Namarsua, a saan laeng a datayo ti mawaw, a saan laeng a datayo ti agur-uray a dumngeg kadagiti makabiag a Saona.

Nga adutayo nga umar-araraw.

Nga adutayo nga agur-uray.

Nga adutayo nga iti ulimek ket adda sadiay ti Apotayo a Namarsua, tapno iti dayta met laeng nga ulimek ket maited kadatayo ti pakabuklan ti Saona kadatayo.

Nga adutayo, kas ken ni Reverendo Baloaloa, kas kadagiti kas kenkuna, adutayo a mangpadpadas nga agimula kadagiti puspusotayo kadagiti nabiag a bukel ti pammati.

Nga adutayo a mamati nga iti panagrusing dagita a bukel ket ti maysamaysa a panagsampaga dagitoy—ken iti udina ket ti panagbungada tapno makaitedda iti baro a bukel tapno iti siklo ti panagmula ken panagapit ket maitukit ti bukel, santo agsaringit, santo rummuar iti daga tapno sarangtenna ti init, ti angin, ti tudo, ti bagyo.

Tapno tumibker daytoy.

Tapno makabukel kadagiti baro a bukel.

Tapno makaited kadagiti baro a bukel nga iti umno a panawen ket maitukit, santo maimula, santo agtubo, santo agsaringit, santo dumakkel nga agsampaga.

Nailangitan a Gameng: daytoy ti pakabuklan daytoy a libro nga umuna a produkto ti mennamenna ni Reverendo Baloaloa.

Maysa privilehio ti kaaddak iti umno a panawen ken lugar tapno maam-ammok daytoy a pastor ti arban.

Kunak a nairanrana ti panagam-ammomi.

Kunak a daytoy a pannakairanrana dagiti pasamak ket narigat nga ibuksilan no kasano ken apay.

Ngem kas kuna met ti Sagrado a Balikas, awan ti ‘no apay’ a di ammo ti Namarsua: nga amin a ‘sarita a mainaig iti apay’ ket ammona, nga ammona dagiti rason, nga ammona dagiti amin a gapu, nga iti imatangna ket dagitoy bambanag a narigattayo nga ibuksilan ket lohikal dagitoy iti imatang ti Namarsua.

Ngarud, maysa a darikmat ti grasia daytoy a panagkrus ti danami ken Reverendo Baloaloa, panagkrus iti dana a nagtunda iti daytoy a pananakabukel ti datonna kadatayo a Nailangitan a Gameng.

Introduksion: Nailangitan a Gameng


Aurelio Solver Agcaoili, PhD
Universidad ti Hawaii

Ti naunday a panagserbi ni Reverendo Walter T. Baloaloa iti komunidad dagiti migrante iti Maui—ti agarup uppat-a-pulo a tawen a pannakisangsanggolna iti Namarsua tapno iti kasta ket maiwaragawagna dagiti sagrado a balikas a mainaig iti pannakaisalakan ken iti kari nga agnanayon a biag—daytoy ti ultimo a testigo ti kinapudnona iti daytoy a nakaawaganna pagministruan iti biag.

Iti nabiit a pannakilangenlangenko ken Reverendo Baloaloa—pannakilangenlangen a nilimitaran ngem pinabaknang met laeng (a) ti naminsan pay laeng a panagkita a personal; (b) ti naruay a sinnungbat iti email; (c) dagiti iduldulinko a sursuratna kadatao iti panawen ti Paskua ken dadduma pay espesial nga okasion, ken (d) ti awag iti telefono—nakitak ti extraordinario a posibilidad dagiti rumrummuar a kolumna iti Fil-Am Observer a pagpapaayak ita a kas jefe ti editorial.

Asideg ti pusok kadagiti agpapaay iti Namarsua gapu iti personal a rason: Iti maysa a paset ti panagkabannuagko ket ti maysa met a tagainep a sapay ta maysaak kadagiti maawagan nga agserbi iti Namarsua.

Pinadasko a tinunton dayta nga awag babaen ti panagadalko iti seminario.

Ngem ammok idin, kalpasan ti naunday a panawen a panangisaganak iti bagik nga agbalin a misionero: a saan a para kaniak daytoy.

Kadagidi met a panawen, napigsa ti kidag kaniak ti panagsurat, sa ti panangisuro. Saan a dagitoy ti aramidko iti seminario no di ket ti panagtaming kadagiti masaksakit.

Klaro ti maysa a realisasion para kaniak: Agpada a namaris ti lubong a pagin-indegak no makasuratak idi ken no addaak iti sango dagiti adalan tapno iburayko ti ammok. Dayta ti namkuatak a nagdesision a din agtuloy iti panagministro.

Iti ipapanawko iti seminario, dita met a naluktan ti sabali pay a ridaw ti sabali a panagministro—a panagpaay ti kayatna a sawen—iti nagan ti Namarsua.

Nagbalinak a formador iti seminario, ti kaunnaan a formador a laiko a kaduak dagiti papadi tapno iti kasta ket matulongan dagiti papadi iti panangformarda kadagiti seminarista babaen iti perspektivo ti laiko a kas kaniak. Kasta met a dayta ti nangrugian ti naunday a panawen a panagpaayko a kas manursuro iti seminario—panangisuro nga iti udina ket saan laeng a maysa a seminario ti nagpaayak no di ket uppat.

Kadagitoy a padas a nagsakdoak iti adu nga adal ti pammati—ad-adal a saan laeng nga iti libro a makita no di ket iti nabaknang a padas dagiti kapada nga agdaldaliasat iti nagan ti pammati.

Dagitoy met laeng a padas ti nakasursuruak a mangbigbig iti enerhia nga adda kadagiti sabali, enerhia a nailatang iti pannakapasantak iti nain-espirituan a biag, maysa a biag a di naisina iti karit ti aginaldaw a panagbiag.

Daytoy nga enerhia ti nakitak kadagiti sinurat ni Reverendo Baloaloa.

Iti umuna unay a panagkitami idiay Maui—nakakaskasdaaw nga umuna a panagkita, kunak koma—nariknak ti enerhia nga adda kenkuana, enerhia nga agliplipias, enerhia a masapul a maiburay iti sabali, enerhia a makaited iti enerhia iti sabali la ket ta dagiti umawat ket addaanda iti managyaman a puso ken nakalukat a kararua.

Daytoy ti nangiruanganak iti idea nga ilibro ni Reverendo Baloaloa dagiti artikulona.

Adda maysa nga espesial a privilehio nga adda kaniak, privilehio a mainaig kadagitoy a sinurat ni Reverendo Baloaloa: ti privilehio nga extraordinario nga adda iti maysa nga editor, maysa a privilehio a mabalin nga iladawan babaen iti panagengkuentro ti dua a lubong dagiti kapampanunotan ken isip: dagiti pampanunot ken isip ti mannurat ken dagiti pampanunot ken isip ti editor.

Makunatayo nga iti daytoy nga engkuentro, adda met dua a lubong nga ageng-engkuentro: ti lubong ti mannurat, a maysa a privilehiado a lubong, ken ti lubong ti editor, a masapul a kariten a kankanayon ti lubongna tapno masirpat ken makita ti lubong ti mannurat.

Espesial daytoy nga engkuentro para kaniak.

Umuna, masursurotak ti inspirado a kalat dagiti sinurat ni Rerendo Baloaloa gapu iti personal a padasko iti seminario a nagadalak. Kasla dumdumngegak a kankanayon kadagiti makagutigot a sermon dagiti papadi iti seminario wenno kadagiti simbaan a pakaisar-ongak no kasta idi nga agbirbirokak iti lugar a mabalin a makatungtongko ti Namarsua.

Maikadua, saan a narigat a lansaden dagiti “adalem a balikas” ni Reverendo Baloaloa ta addaan dagitoy iti klarado a direksion ken kayulugan, a kaaduanna ket naadaw kadagiti babasaen iti Baro ken Daan a Tulag, ken kasta met a naadaw kadagiti tinawenen a padasna a kas ministro ti Namarsua.

Daytoy nagtibnok a ramen dagiti sinuratna ti nangpadaeg kadagiti linaon dagitoy a mennamenna tapno iti daytoy a kinadaeg ket ti pannakaitag-ay ti isip para kadagiti nainsagraduan a pampanunot iti nain-espirituan a panagbiag.

Ti Relihioso a Padas ken ti Lengguahe nga Ilokano

Iti nakasurat a kolonial a pakasaritaan dagiti mennamenna iti relihioso a padas dagiti Ilokano ket mabalin a mairamut iti Doctrina Cristiana, umuna idi 1620, sa nasunotan, iti isu met laeng a katekismo, iti sumaruno a version daytoy idi 1621.

Madakamat ti panangiladawan a “kolonial a pakasaritaan” gapu ta agsipud ita, awan pay ti sistematiko a panagadal maipapan iti literario a pakasaritaan dagiti Ilokano kasakbayan ti historia a manipud iti kolonial nga okupasion dagiti Espaniol a nangrugi idiay Ilocos idi 1572.

Sipud kadagitoy a siglo, numan pay nabaknang ti oral a mennamenna dagiti Ilokano maipapan iti relihioso a padasda, nakisang dagiti apit iti naisurat a literatura a relihioso.

Nasurok nga uppat a gasut a tawen—ket no iraman ti kolonial a presensia dagiti Amerikano kalpasan ti ipapanaw dagiti Espaniol idi 1896 iti Filipinas kalpasan a mafirmaan ti Tratado ti Paris, gasutgasut a tawen ti kaawan lagiptayo kadagitoy relihioso a padas.

Adda dua a gapu:

Umuna, awan agsursurat, laiko man wenno dagiti ministro. No adda naisurat, naisurat kadagiti lengguahe a di met us-usaren dagiti Ilokano.

Maikadua, adda kitakit dagiti makabael nga agsurat nga agsurat iti mennamennada nga aramatda ti lengguahe dagiti arbanda.

Konektado dagitoy a rason ket kas iti kawar dagitoy a komplikado.

Ti di-akulturado a panagipapan iti pammati, panagipapan nga esensial ditoy ti papel ti lengguahe nga us-usaren dagiti arban iti panangiwaragawag iti Naimbag Damag—ti Sagrado a Balikas ti Namarsua—ket maysa kadagiti di mailibak a ramut dagitoy komplikado a situasion a nagbunga iti panagbaybay-a dagiti mannurat nga Ilokano a mangisurat kadagitoy nabaknang ken makabiag a mennamennada maipapan iti relihioso a padas.

Ditoy a makita ti importansia daytoy a libro ni Reverendo Baloaloa—ti historikal a kontexto daytoy tapno iti kasta ket maikur-it, iti permanente a wagas, dagiti kapampanunotan dagiti Ilokano maipapan iti kina-Kristianoda.

Awan libro a kastoy—ti koleksion dagiti mennamenna—nga ammok a naipablaak iti Hawaii ken iti Estados Unidos numan pay adda dagiti panagpadas a kakastoy iti wagas a di antolohia.

Iti kasta, daytoy ti kaunnaan nga aramid nga addaan iti kastoy a forma.

Ilokano iti Exilo ken Diaspora

Iti padas dagiti Ilokano nga immay ditoy Hawaii—iti padasna nga aglaylayag iti dua a pagsasao, dua a pagsasao a mangmangted iti paripirip iti dua met laeng a lubong—importante ti kritikal a panagmennamenna iti nakaiyanakan a pagsasao dagiti imigrante. Importante ti Ingles iti sibiko a paset ti panagbiagda; kasta met nga importante ti Ilokano iti paset ti panagbiagda a nakabubon iti puso, isip, ken kararua.

Babaen daytoy a balabala ti panagilibro, doble a maiparipirip ti importansia dagitoy a mennamenna:

Umuna, imbitarannatayo dagitoy a kapampanunotan tapno iti kasta ket maitag-aytayo ti isiptayo iti nainlangitan a realidad.

Maikadua, daytoy nga imbitasion ket saan nga agbanag nga estranghero gapu ta naibalikas—naisawang mismo—iti lengguahe a maawatan dagiti naimbitaran iti funsion ti Sagrado a Balikas ti Namarsua.

Kayatna a sawen, daytoy a panangbigbig iti lengguahe dagiti imigrante a kameng iti arban iti simbaan nga adda iti panangudir ni Reverendo Baloaloa ket maysa a panangited iti respeto iti fundamental a karbengan dagiti imigrante iti lengguahe ken kulturada, lengguahe ken kultura nga inikkan met ti importansia ni Jesus Cristo babaen ti panagsaksina mismo ken babaen iti dina panangiwaksi iti kultura a nakaiyanakanna.

Ti Namarsua ket Namarsua iti kontexto ti historia—iti balabala mismo ti pakasaritaan ti tao.

Ti Namarsua ket Namarsua iti ikub ti tiempo ken lugar ti tao—ikub a mangiparparipirip iti papel iti lengguahe ken kannawidan.

Ngarud, daytoy a panagsubli dagitoy a mennamenna iti lengguahe dagiti Ilokano ket wagas ti kinapudno a mangbigbigbig iti partikularidad ti padas dagiti Ilokano iti Hawaii—ket iti Estados Unidos, dagiti Ilokano nga exilo, dagiti Ilokano iti diaspora: dagiti Ilokano nga uray pimmanawda iti Ilocos ket kanayonda met agsubsubli iti naimeng ken natalged a taeng ti lengguaheda nga Ilokano.

Meditasion iti Kontemporario a Kinailokano iti Hawaii

Uray no saan nga intension ni Reverendo Baloaloa daytoy, dagitoy a mennamenna ket meditasion met iti kasasaad ni Ilokano a kas imigrante, Ilokano a kas siudadano iti Amerika, ken ni Ilokano a mangidekdeklara iti pammatina iti Namarsua a nangparsua kadagiti amin a lengguahe ken amin a kultura.

Babaen kadagitoy a mennamenna, mabalinan ni Ilokano a sirpaten, nga asintaduen—manen ken manen—ti pammatina iti lente ti lengguahena.

Mabalinna a sirigen a napnuan ayat ken pannakaawat nga iti panagtalawatawna, nga iti iyaadayona iti nakayanakanna nga ili, nga iti panagkalkallautangna, masinununuona a dagitoy a padas ti panagbanniagana ket pangngarig met iti padasna a panagbanniaga iti pammati, ti padasna a kas peregrino iti naikari a biag nga agnanayon.

Daytoy nga addang ti libro—nga addang met ti autor—ket addang a nalawag a panangaramid iti dana, maysa a dana a maaramid laeng babaen iti panangaramid iti umuna unay nga askaw.

Gapu ta umuna nga askaw daytoy, pundo ngarud a maysa daytoy nga aramid a panagbusat.

Iti kasta, maysa ngarud daytoy a panagbukat kadagiti manamnama nga adu pay a kaingin, adu pay a kinelleng, adu pay a desdes iti nagan ti pammati ti mawaknitan, maisagana, madalusan, mabusatan.

Introduksion iti libro a Nailangitan a Gameng, Reverendo Walter T. Baloaloa, TMI Global Press, 2010

There are rough roads in the journey

The roads are not even
in the journey
to other cities,
other countries,
other memories.

The unpaved land
is all over the place,
its contours that of
an ugly face with crooks
and crannies looking
like foxholes in a desert
where war is fought
each dire moment.

We trip some of the time
to remind us of
the need to fall
on the wayside.

We remember the wound,
on the knee as on the spirit,
and the sorrow we keep
in our pockets.

It has to be.
There are no sweet
and holy angels
on the road.

There are no mothers,
there are no medicine men
to give us the dirty bandage
but these robbers and cheats
who sell our copious tears
to those who believe
in instant miracles.

Today you feel betrayed
by it all, by all these
these lessons in double deception
that can only come
from highway thieves.

They are not the road makers
but those who gather around
manholes ready to push you deeper
and deeper into the crevices of journeys
of the last searching self.

Hon, HI

Losing your lane on a freeway

Today, you lost tract of the sun,
its rays, bright and blinding, telling
you of other ways to get to the hunt.

We live in cities, true, but we
are savages for that which saves
us from having all the trouble
in these dire times when to travel
is to move with unsteady feet
like the unsure hand on the steering
wheel when mornings come as distractions
from the good life we should receive.

You have lost your way before
in this same freeway by the stretch
of fields and burial sites
the Hawaiian people say we have
no right to cement, make monstrous
visions out of rails and streets
jungle pavements where we rush
to navigate what silences we need to learn
when we reach the place where we work,
all of us, from the time we set foot
in search of what we did not have.

You lost your way today
when one car did not give
you the chance to move another lane
but push its way to rush ahead
and hit the road one more time
so its driver can sell his sweat
to hotels and tourists and to the sites
and scenes for sale in this city
you have come to.

You take the other route, longer,
with a view to the mountainside,
the sea on your right spilling out in
early morning brilliance, pearly
and radiant, with the luminescence
of a falling star.

You remember to make
the sign of the cross,
one mechanical duty of your hand
you have not done for a while.

Hon, HI

Masala dosa at Maharani

For Julius Soria and Lydia Abajo

It is a monthly ritual, this
regathering with our bruised bodies
and homing selves
we are about to lose in exile.

We go to Maharani to make time
for each other even when our lives
intersect with our worries
for what happens in the homeland.

It is the season of elections and death,
a national pastime we remember too well,
and with the masala dosa, we take courage
in imagining that, like tonight's pouring rain,
something good will come out
of this elaborate culinary ceremony
we gift to each other
and to ourselves, with each spoonful
of cardamon and cinnamon
and those other herbs that fill
our minds with hopes in multiples
of faith for each countryman
and for this easy friendship
we nurture the way we taste
this foreign food we will always
remember by the busy Beretania.

In the meantime tonight,
we celebrate this early evening hours
with the light rain on the sparkling
streets of our heavy, heady days.

After saying grace for the masala
chai that erases what aftertaste
there is, political and raging, in the buds,
we dream of a strange homeland, that, like
this rare night, will offer abundance
to our people in need who know
only famine and regret we have tried,
really tried, to leave behind.

Hon, HI

Losing the Words

We lose the words many times
from places we have come
like migrant birds unable
to flap their wings to search
for spring sunshine. In moments
of hesitancy, we are the blank
stares we remember on walls,
ruined and standing by the wayside
to remind us of journeys
we have gone through
across tragedies we have not redeemed
from the laughter of our broken hearts.

We lose the words
and in the infinite mercy
of love, we come to our sense
of what love can gives us back.

Today, we turn the homeland
into a phrase to start to recall
what we have not dreamed of
for a long, long while.

It is is like this sudden urge
to make that phone call
to a daughter, young still
but younger when left behind,
to say Good Morning after one
sweet dream of abundance,
the numbers in lotteries
we want to buy next time around
to spite the president and her men.

Hon, HI

Galeria dagiti dios

Iti kalkalsada ket ti galeria dagiti dios
ita kas idi pungay dagitoy amin
a ladladingit ket ti republika
ti ngatangata nga ita ket katkatawa.

Kasta unay ti pamsaakanda
kadagiti tagainep, makautibo
kadagiti bessang, sa kadagiti avenida
nga armado kadagiti karatula
dagiti kari nga iti agsapa maumag.

Kastoy ti buya nga am-ammo
iti ili. Manipud kadagiti pagsikuan
ket ti benditado nga altar
a kaibatogan ti apagapaman.

Hon, HI

Agpamrit ti Angin

Agpamrit ti angin ditoy Manoa,
iti patag dagiti agngangabit a rikna
itatta a darikmat ti panagmaymaysa
dagiti pampanunot nga iti adayo
ket aglayag, kas panagem
kadagiti sabong nga iti agsapa
ket agukrad tapno sibbarut
ti allawig ti ayamuom, idaton
iti altar ti dios a mannabidong.

Iti tawa, kasta unay ti pamsaakan
ti agpamrit nga angin ti bakrang
ti bantay. Arrabisenna dagiti muyong
sana iwaneswes ti sagawisiw
dagiti billit a bulbullagaw.

Ita ket ti orasionmo: ti ballatek
nga iti panarapar ti rabii a maul-ulaw
ket ti maiwaneswes a lallay:
ay, adayo ta adayo ti ili a naggapuan
dagitoy amin a linas ti lagip
nga ita ket iti panaas daytoy
ket iti pus-ong nga agkiet!

Hon, HI

A Country from my Window

A grieving country appears from my window,
my own, forlorn and destitute. It is the clouds,

hazy and uncertain before the blustery winds
that make the treetops dance to the tune

of alleluia. It is our way, as it has always been,
of swaying to what alien force of bad histories

we have got, on our tables as in our memory.
We have lived far long into the faraway distances

of our dreams coming in between peaceful revolutions
and mourning for our dead, kins and brothers,

as well as our old gods who no longer respond
to our supplications even if we kneel in prayer

from morning to forgetfulness. We have come
a long way from where we first began to declare

what love for a homeland is from epitaphs
of secret words we uttered to last a lifetime

and more even if the fallowed fields we grow
our hopes do not yield the goods we seek.

A country, sad and sadder, appears from my window.
It is afternoon over here and the hours are sad

like the clouds running through the dark skies
in this Manoa of a day I remember to sing.

Hon, HI

A Bag Lady at Spalding Speaks

Today I am a living witness
to what recession of love
and social justice means.

It is death to our beautiful dreams
of dancing to the tune of goodness
we have not met along the road,
this dance delicate and delicious,
even in these times of want.

I am this bag lady with my
smile announcing my coming
or your later afternnoon existence,
which is which, escapes me now.

A moment ago, in your class
pelting capitalism with its lies
its centuries of deception making my woes
and anguished heart into things,
you talked about your regrets in leaving
your homeland, the exile in you
in search of what cannot be found
from the sad place he comes from.

You are a bag man of memory,
I know, the nostalgia you gather
each day from teaching
what liberty is left after deducting
all our collective sorrow.

I used to be a dance student, you see,
and then went on to nursing school
to care for the downtrodden that gather
the refuse of the wealthy from their trash
to care for the sick and the poor
and those ready to die and I am 65
and I have nowhere to die
as I have nowhere to live
except to fill these plastic bags
with the refuse of the young:
soda cans in various shapes
and misshapen possibilities
hoping that with five cents
tagged in each
I could buy myself some drink.

And now you come,
telling me you have more of these
from the 4th floor, those you
picked from your wanderings
from corner to corner in this earth
and now these are all mine.

You think you do not need
them even as I wish I could have them all?

You think you do not want
them these cans that will promise
me a meal in the morning
until I can extend it to kingdome come?

What do you teach?

Do you teach about the ways of men
that brings about this want I do not know
one I have never known in my lifetime?

I have become a bag lady now
and each afternoon
I look into bins, green or black,
they do not matter to me.

I look into their insides spilling out
what food I can order from McDonald's,
a senior's coffee perhaps,
the tumbler for refilling until
I have all the sugar in my shrunk body
the taste of soya creamer
and the bad cholesterol that makes me forget
I am hungry for the anger
I have not found.

Thank you for the bag of empty cans
for the possibilities I will have
for the morrow that I hope
will still come.

Tomorrow afternoon
I will see you here even as I see you
each afternoon passing by.

Say, say, what do you teach?

Say, what hidden sorrows you include
in the life of repentant exiles?

I want to come to your discussion,
share the knowledge I have gained
from picking from the rubbish
of mankind. I am bag lady,

and I wish that you will give
me the chance to tell my story
to come to voice with my song,
a dirge indeed, to make me cry.

I speak and it is evening, young
with so much promise in this valley
where the rainbows always come.

In the small hours between now
and the moment that I lose my tongue,
I go look for love in bins and this betrayal.

Hon, HI

This War in Our Loins

War is a drug. The Hurt Locker

We are men and this war
in our loins makes us so.

We become hunters of other men
and their good thoughts of kindness

and their salving fears
making them come to kneel

before reason and its shadows
and their knowledge why they hate

the derring-do we have in strange cities
them who see the moon differently,

red crescent and courage in the iridescence
of that afterglow we do not see

but exists in between believing
and raising our hands in prayer

even as they do the same
in whispers, before early sunrises

and after when, in the long lines
of waiting for home away from home

they spell freedom with their callused
hands marked for the betrayal

we are about to commit.
It is this gospel of war

we announce in codes
of the masculine that we are.

And in the holy mourning
by the morning of grief we deny

that it has come, the enemy
concocts a word that enchant

us so war will not become us
so war will not become our name.

This war in our loins
makes us men and we are not.

Hon, HI

Dogo Nahawa

It is official, this number of dead
men, women, children, dreamers,
dreams. And this homeland
of the Dogo Nahawa where terror
is everyday now, offered for morning
meals and news and the gospel
of false lullabies. Bodies, rotten
and rotting, must go back
to the gaping whole of an earth
that knew kindness and love.
But now it is all over,
this ritual of grief on the face
of the sun that knows how
to weep far longer than rain
or the breeze. Hundreds are dead
one morning from machete
and bullet and this betrayal
only believers can do,
their prayers for gods who cheat
on all of us for the life
we need to live.
It is all over, this story
of the Dogo Nahawa.
It is in my homeland,
the country I left behind
in order to see it coming
everyday, on papers and TV screens
and from the rumors of peace
and quiet from peacemakers
who sell tanks and drones
and bombs and hatred
for profits that do not know
the meaning of a poem
or a revolution or a prayer
for quick relief.

Hon, HI

Kararag iti Daga

Villagers from Dogo Nahawa watch as health officials cover the bodies of people killed during religious clashes, in a mass grave in Jos, Plateau State. UN chief Ban Ki-moon and Washington have led calls for restraint in Nigeria after the slaughter of more than 500 Christians, with survivors telling how the killers chopped down their victims. AFP, March 8, 2010

Awatem, sika a Daga,
tanem ar-arapaap
kas iti bagi nga agrupsa,
awatem, iti nagan ti ladingit,
iti nagan ti amin a leddaang,
ta ditoy, iti barangabang
ti kakastoy a pannakaiyaw-awan,
ditoy a dinto manasanas
ti kaeskan ti salakan.
Ditoy a nagruting ti ayat,
ditoy met a nalaylay
ti immula a sayaat,
ta ngamin, iti nagan makatalimudaw
a dios, ditoy a marakrak amin a paripirip
ti agnanayon a ragragsak.

Ngem ita, iti aldaw ti panagitabon,
ita ti panaglunag ti rikna
nga iti nabayag a tiempo
ket nagbalin a sabidong.

Hon, HI


Saan a sumrek ti maysa a tao kadagiti sarsarming, "Ti Daniw ti Mannaniw," Jean Cocteau

Agiballatek sarsarming kadagiti imahe
ti lawag nga iti rabaw ti soltero a lubong

ket ti daniw a maimansayag, aguray
kadagiti umras, ti uppat a pulo nga aldaw

a kararag simmina a gasat. Makapurar
ti nataengan nga init iti barukong

ti agkabannuag nga aldaw.
Iti kada apros ti biudo a lamiis

iti sellang ti rabii, sadiay ti agbiag
a ragsak, mangrugi kadagiti amin

a rugi ti panagbirok iti paniolito
tapno iti igid ti mata ket ti tumbog

a lua dagiti amin a parparato.
Appupuen kadagiti mawaw a dakulap

im-imahe dagiti sarsarming.
Iti panangibalud kadagiti ladawan

ket ti masansan a panaginsasaan
tapno maammuan ungto ti kapay-an

dagiti napusaksak a sabsabong
nga iti panagruruting ket agiyatang

ayamuom a naarkosan iti malaylay
a nagtagiruting a biag a masayang.

Anian a pannakaabbukay ti rikna
ti sagut ti busel nga iti agnanayon

ket ti pammateg nga agkukutel
no kasta a ti baro a sarming

ket ti agmaya nga ayat a ditoy
nga iti agnanayon agpasindayag.

Hon, HI


Yeah everybody wear da mask but how long will it last. From, "The Mask"

Far off, in the distance
between a merry memory
and this sad loss, personal
as in the freezing rain
on my old man's face
the fierce wind on my neck,
I see you with your mask.
It is fear itself, this presence
of colors from the early morning
light of Waipahu reaching out
to the Kapolei hills, barren
and waiting for warmth,
this mask of you coming
into a form, shape, substance
and offering itself to the absent sun
in these islands that dreamt of you
going away into the temples
hidden by walls of secrets
even as you dreamt as well
of landlocked journeys
of happy hills and verdant valleys
and merciless mountains
from the fruitless adventures
of your father abandoned by love
who had come a long way
from his only war
he never waged, his uniform,
dark khaki to allude
that crisp sound of firing his first riffle
against the enemy with no name
and the indebtedness of his soul
to fields fallowed by betrayal,
a cold one, calculating
and tangential against his fidelities
he alone knows like this mirage
he could not figure out
where it comes from
as if a whirlwind had come to whip
the plains and there leave behind
the seed to rot, the bird of prey
awaiting the skeletons of plants
that would not bear fruit.

Somewhere, in those proud peaks
touching the gray clouds. is the sulking
self looking for a mirage that would not come,
no, not today, in these dire times
of allusion and illusion where the word
you speak is the bronze bullet you bite.

Your wounds are everywhere in your
father's body, in your man's body,
in your rebel's body, in the nobody's
quality of your speech even as you declaim
the virtues of poems you write
for our forgotten liberties.

You ran away from all these
only to end up in the same beginning
where the revelation of nothingness,
in the leaf of the blade as in the edge
of an alien life not lived, is real.

Hon, HI


Yeah everybody wear da mask but how long will it last. From, "The Mask"

Agpapada amin dagitoy iti alintatao:
ti panaggangganat, kas pagarigan
dagiti rikna nga iti punganay dagiti babawi
ket ti narasi a katkatawa a para iti angin
sa kadagiti bulong iti pantok ti Bantay Bimmaboy
nga iti kapanagan dagiti sao a para kenka
ket ti sabangan dagiti maul-ulila a lailo
dagiti mamanso nga ima
tapno, kadagiti manglimlimo a puso
ket dagiti dalan nga agtunda iti walang
ayat nga awanan kaasi, kas iti waneswes
ti allawig nga agnagan iti rungsot
tapno kadagiti agpakpakada a lawag
iti makiin-innagaw a sipnget ket sika.

Daytoy ti akemmo kadagiti segundo
nga ikutmo ti apagapaman nga alinuno
ti rugso: sika ti puseg dagiti mababain
a kinatao tapno iti kagay ti sipnget
ket ti lamolamo a bagi a mangtagtagiiliw
kadagiti makusen a lino, pungan, urok
panagkamata dagiti perreng gapu ta sika.

Kastada: dagiti immadayo kadagiti asideg
a pangapatan ti panagdistierro
kadagiti amin a kinukusit a lagip
ti pannakipagili. Ditoy ti pammateg
a di agruting, kas iti kalgaw
a di agar-araraw iti arbis, arimukamok,
tudo, layus, bagio, ginggined:
aminen a mamagkintayeg iti bangkayen
a namnama tapno agsubli a di umaddang
iti lugar a pinanawan, din ipirpirit
saanen a bunga dagiti parparmata.

Hon, HI

Baybay ti biag

"Life is like the surf, so give yourself away like the sea." Luisa, in Y Tu Mama Tambien

Baybay ti biag.
Wenno kas kadagiti allon
a nagawit sansanaang ti universo.
Adu a lua manipud kadakami
iti bangir dagiti kapanagan
iti bangir ti plakda nga init
mabannog a mangin-inar
kadagiti kadaratan a mangitanem
batbatibat panagmaymaysa
a panagbirbirok panawen a bukod
tapno kadagiti rupa ti langit
sadiay, sadiay a maani dagiti paulo
ti daniw a mangiladawan
ti panagidaton iti bagi.

Adayo koma nga amang
ti panagtalanggutang
ngem kas kadagiti dalluyon
kadagiti didigra ti law-ang
masapul ta masapul
ti panagallaalla uray dagiti linabag
ti masakbayan nga ita
ket putputaren dagiti atang
iti altar ti exilo a nagan.

Ket kas iti managpabus-oy
nga allon iti ngiwat ti Paraiso
ditoyka a sumrek iti baro a biag
manipud iti punto ti panaglayag
tapno umadayo ken agpasag.

Hon, HI

Arimasamas, 2

Ita ti maikadua nga aldaw
ti panagpasikal ti mabugi
a namnama. Agriingka
iti idda a pinaturog ti rabii
ket iti agsapa dagiti pul-oy
iti Waipahu ket ti sumingsingising
nga init iti Diamond Head
iti nawaya nga aplaya dagiti ragsak
nga iti naminsan
pinaay dagiti saosao
maipapan iti higante a dalluyon
wenno allon manipud iti baybay
ni buteng kadagiti aldaw
a di masinunuo ti nakem.

Adda dagiti damag
iti panagpapatay iti ili,
kadagiti umili kas kadagiti ubing
a darepdepda, maikali dagitoy
kadagiti narabaw nga abut
ti madagdag nga amak
amangan ta kadagiti sanaltek
ket ti panagbebessag:
mariput ti danag
kadagiti sangi kas iti agbebessag
a bibig ken ti agattaet a balikas.

Lagipen ti ili kadagiti amin
a pananglipat: kriminal, kriminal,
husga ti timek kadagiti suli
ti tanem ti naitabon nga isem.

Hon, HI

Arimasamas, 1

Ditoy adayo, ditoy a sumingising ti init
Kadagiti agkettang a bantay,
Agur-uray iti marsaak a buteng

A kadagiti ul-ulila a baybay ket ditoy
A nagkamang tapno kadagiti baniaga a dalluyon,
Ditoyta kadagiti pantok a mangandingay

Berde a danum a darangen ti asul
A langit nga iti apagapaman
Ket sakruyen ti lawag ti mababain

A bigat, ita a ti tsunami ket agayab
Kadagiti kararua dagiti tarukoy
Ken dagiti dalumpinas a bato

Nga iti irut ti sipnget iti agmurmuray a daya
Ket ti bannawag nga ipasngay ti agsiuman
A katawa: Ita ti aldaw ti ginggined, makaaripapa

A padas ti panagkayetket tapno iti linabag
Ti baro a panagkiet ket ti rusok a di metten
Makaanges, di makasariwawek.

Manglaglagip latta datao nga immadayo
Kadagiti kakastoy a ladawan a parparato
Iti ili a pinanawan. Kadagiti lakasa

Ti lagip ket ti mabibbibi a puso
Nga iti damag ti didigra agpaspasanaang.
Kas iti kaniak, iti konsierto dagiti sirena

Nga iti agdudungsa nga aldaw
Ket ti pul-oy a kadagiti kabakiran
Ket di man laeng agkiray.

Kasano ngata dagiti narungsot nga allon
Iti sabali nga ili, kadagiti agbilbilang
Iti pimmusay, kas iti naggapuan

Nga agikali uray kadagiti agpakpakaasi
Nga allilaw a ti lasag daytoy
Ket ti marirriro a tarumpingay?

De-rosas ti maris ti ubing nga agsapa
Iti mangwakwaknit a parbangon
Ti sagrado a salakan a managsaksakbay.

Hon, HI