Categories
Fiction

The Symphony of Frogs

The frogs sing a symphony at night.

Especially after it rains, when the earth is still wet, the mountains dripping and the foliage and the corn fields are still soaked with rainwater, the frogs sing a symphony. Their obnoxious sounds blend and coat each other until they become one, coherent concerto in the blanket of the dark night.

Papa tells me that they’re singing to thank God for the rain, Mama tells me they’re just singing in glee as they splash in the mud.

Categories
Fiction

The Slaying of the War Crab

The twin moons, which rose anew from the Eastern Sea, reminded Uway that he had failed to fulfill his purpose five rice harvests ago, that he must return to do what he had not done—what he was not able to do. On the day that he faced the War Crab, he was a warrior. He rushed at his adversary armed with his spear and the courage of one that had bested many warriors and war-beasts alike. He had thought that he could have won.

Though it was armored and large, the Crab moved fast and its strikes swept everything around itself—felling trees, devastating homes, and crushing the beached boats underneath its weight. Uway moved faster. Leaping high above and ducking below in search of gaps in the Crab’s carapace, he stabbed at every crevice, every crack, every sign of weakness however small, until the Crab bled its blue blood over the sandy soil. Although many of his stabs found their mark, none were deep enough. 

They battled from morning till twilight. Under the noon-light heat, Uway felt a soreness in his chest and the dryness of his lips. He moved slower. Jumped lower. Yet, he chose to ignore those and did again what he did hours before, but it was him whose cracks and crevices had begun to show. He lacked the speed to move out of the Crab’s strikes in time. The Crab’s spikes scraped him as he ducked. Its claws hammered too close to where Uway was. In his attempt to land after a jump, his knees buckled, twisting his joints and muscles. Still, he went on. But he did not make assaults anymore, for everything he did was to avert the Crab’s attacks.

Categories
Fiction

The Call of the Dead

2017

RAPID AND RHYTHMIC firing of heavy machine guns fill the air. Every second is a stream of bullets unleashed. Every bullet pierced human flesh it found, striking and shattering bones that came along its way, severing veins. The burst of gunfire tore through the silence that wrapped everyone in peace that midnight. Explosions erupted from every direction. Bombs roared as it plummeted from the sky. Smoke rose. Nipa huts were set on fire. Women and children were helplessly dragged on the ground. 

“Run!” A woman, with tears in her eyes, shouted at the young boy.

Categories
Fiction

Nataran

ANG PAGBANAGBANAG SA hanayhay nga kabukiran ang nakita ni Hugo. Hangtod nag-anam-anam og pakita ang gabon nga milugdang ngadto sa nagkabulingit nga yuta, sangko sa pagkaklaro sa mga giwang sa buntod sa Hantag, sa Kabuwaw, ug sa Alimpatongan, nga naglibot sa iyang payag.

Iyang gipangsaboran og mga sapal sa lubi ang binuhi niyang mga manok sama sa basilan, bantam, bisaya, ug kaber.

Pagkahuman, misulod siyag balik sa iyang payag aron magdung-ag. Plano nga sabakongan ni Hugo ang bugas-mais og mga sinip-ak nga kamoteng gitawag og kabutho.

Categories
Fiction

Nanaghoy ang Dahili sa Ginbiktan

TALAGSAON ang iyang pagka dahili. Morag gisapnay lang siya sa mga bukton sa bungtod sa Sagkaon. Dili sad siya lisod lugsongon o sagkaon.  

  Dinhi ko gitisok, miturok, og mitubo sa Sityo Dahili uban ang pagbangon sa Adlaw sa sidlakan nga pirme nakong malantawan sa unang bentana sa among payag. Dinhi unang nanalingsing ang linghod nako nga kinabuhi ug kinaadman uban sa mga tinubdan: ang katubhan, ang kamaisan, ang kasagingan, ang bayabasan, ang mga kakahoyan, ug ang mga payag, nga bisan sa ilang kawad-on, nagpabiling mitanday ug nagpa-uraray sa Dahili.   

  Ang unang tinubdan sa Dahili mao si Ingko Ignacio. Ang pagpangayo nakog kamunggay sa labong nilang nataran gisubakan sa daghan niyang mga sugilanon. Kaniadto kuno sa panahon sa Hapon, ang Dahili agianan sa mga Pilipinong sundalo nga nanagka sa bungtod sa Sagkaon. Pero bisan dugay naman tong giyera, hangtod karon daghan pa man gihapon didto ang manaka sa bungtod. Daghan na pod ang wala mamalik og lugsong. Kadaghanan kanila mga lalaki, mga amahan nga sinaligan ug mga haligi sa panimalay. Asoy kini sa otsenta anyos nga tigulang nga nagsigeg pahulay sa silyang tuwang-tuwang sulod sa iyang payag. Pinaagi sa iyang kamunggayan, akong nakutlo ang mga sugilanon nga misumpay sa nagkahanap nga kagahapon.