Categories
Fiction

Taglunod, Tagsunog

The First Arcology

When they had begun building the arcology it didn’t have a name. Many had not heard the word before, did not know the origins, and their minds fashioned an Ark of incredible size. It was beyond language and therefore beyond imagination. 

They were the dreamers with means. They wanted to dream their way out of the impending doom that came with the floods that always every year seemed to grow higher and higher, scorning every tired, inadequate effort to tame them. They had cast their dreaming eye upon the dark, clogged rivers and the worn cement of sinking cities, saw the cobbled houses on stilts with their patchwork roofs that lined the waterways and sewers and said We will make for them a new kind of city to unburden the old. When they closed their dreaming eyes they saw the arcology, able to feed itself and power itself, an organism not unlike a tree, needing nothing else but good land and the cooperation of all its parts, ready to survive into the new age. 

Categories
Fiction

The Ticket

Boys grow up to be men. And it’s men who cause all the trouble. They’re the ones who shed the blood and poison the earth.” – Stephen King, Sleeping Beauties

ONE SUNDAY MORNING, the world woke up without women. No man really knew what happened. Were they abducted by aliens? Were they all kidnapped by a mogul? A male news anchor on TV screamed, “We’re happy the transgenders and intersex who are biological glitches are gone but where the hell did our wives go?” News on the Internet kept announcing reward money from Caucasian men for any one with leads as to where their wives and children have gone. Even the male presidents and prime ministers did not know where their wives went or where they have taken their children. One Sunday morning, the world woke up without women. Of course, wherever the women go, the children go with them. 

As to Rolando Magsaysay, a Filipino with a sound mind and body at age of 35 years old, his world suddenly become at a standstill. He woke up expecting her wife and children at the dining table waiting for him to join their breakfast. Instead, he found the house empty. There was no laughter and heavy steps from their seven-year old daughter Charo and his three- year old son Gabrielle. There was no kitchen smelling like pancakes and coffee. There was no one but him. 

Categories
Fiction

Walang Susing Musoleyo

Nilalampaso ni Titser Jane ang sahig ng musoleyong putikan dahil sa pag-ulan kagabi. Ginawa nila itong panandalian na silid-aralan para sa mga batang nakatira rito sa sementeryo ng Brgy. Mayapis. At hindi sila ngayon makapagklase dahil sa kapal ng putik na pumasok sa loob nito. 

Kasalukuyan siya na tinutulungang maglinis ng mga bata na kaniyang tinuturuan. Nilapitan siya ni Chelsa na tila balisa.

“Titser Jane sabi po ni Loloy na sabi raw po ng Mama niya kapag namatay raw po ang tao nagiging lupa ‘pag matagal nang nakalibing. Tinatakot niya po kami Titser Jane,” sumbong nito habang pinipilit na hindi maiyak.

Categories
Fiction

Solferino’s Talisman

His father, Sol, was stronger than a bull. Arturo knew that because his father tried to raise him to be the strongest. When he was a boy of five, his father began training him in the art of arnis. With a pair of rattan sticks, they’d strike at the black rubber tires tied to the trunks of palm trees outside their house for hours on end. Then they’d rest under the mango grove nearby and drink fresh coconut milk and eat the soft white meat straight out of the husks. All the while, he’d hear his father talk about their family’s heritage—that their forefather was a warrior and a hero, the island’s founder—that Solferino Borinaga, after whom his father was named, was among the earliest practitioners of the ancient art of stick-fighting in the world. His father believed that arnis should be the country’s national martial art as it was the oldest and used by their heroes in fighting against the invaders from the seas.

Sadly, such history was forgotten by the Borinagas as the century passed, and it was a shame they’d never had one in their line becoming an arnis world champion. His father told the young Arturo he could be the first one. But instead of the getting interested with the art of stick fighting, Arturo was so weaved inside Solferino’s stories that he’d run to the harbors and dive deep into the sea; when he’d surfaced, he’d witness the old battles happening all around him. So he never refused a practice no matter how bad his blisters got, for they were the only times he’d hear stories about Solferino—his sons, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren—their whole line of ancestors who lived and died for the island.

Categories
Fiction

Quaranfic

Tondo 1

“Nay pwede na lumabas?!” Napabalikwas sa higaan si Jeng-jeng nang makarinig ng mga naghuhuntahan at naglalarong bata.

“Oo, ikaw na lumabas para bumili ng ulam at marami pa kong isasampay. Yung kapatid mo papasukin mo na rin dito!” 

Agarang tumayo si Jeng-jeng at kinuha ang barya mula sa ina.