Waray nagbunga dida han katsirak 
an santol ha bungsaran.
Sugad hin maaram na hiya 
nga paprehas na la 
an tiabot nga mga adlaw–
paningkamot nga makakaon, 
makabayad hit mga baraydan, 
makapanalipod, makatalwas 
sunod na la anay an karagtatawa, 
an girok, an hiyom han kalag.

Ugaring, padayon man la gihap 
an pagrabong han iya kadahunan 
sugad han may ada la gihap 
nanganak, igin-anak 
naghigugma, hinigugma 
nangawat, ginkawatan 
nanguwat, gin-uwat 
nagpreso, ginpreso 
nagpatay, ginpatay

Bangin la sunod nga tuig 
magbunga ini hiya 
bisan may pandemya pa 
Sige la, basta tindog pa hiya 
may pamumulaton pa

Translated by Merlie Alunan

The santol tree in our yard
failed to fruit last summer.
As though it knew the days forthcoming 
would be just like those that had gone before–
same toil to put rice in the pot,
pay off the old endless debts,
protect one’s own, keep safe
from dangers of all kinds, holding off
one’s need for laughter, the craving 
to scratch the neural itch, the pleasures of the soul.
Its leaves growing full and lush, as though 
aware that birthing goes on, babes born, 
love still happens and the beloved exists,
that thieves prey on their victims without fail,
that felons cheat the unwary, that jailers 
remand the guilty to their dungeons,
the prison cells fill with their numbers,
that murderers everywhere teem as usual
and the murdered die in scores.
Will it fruit next season, I wonder,
will it bear despite this pandemic? 
As long as it’s upright, I suppose,
still rooted on earth, there’s hope.

This literary piece is part of Katitikan Issue 3: (Re) Imaginations.

By Jenelyn Garcia

Jenelyn V. Garcia is the Dean of ABE Tacloban. She graduated from UPV Tacloban College and passed the CPA Licensure Exams in 1996 . She was born and raised in Dulag, Leyte, has recently ventured into visual arts, and is an ardent dog lover. She is a fellow of the 19th Iligan National Writers Workshop and the 2nd Prize winner of the 2016 Pasidungog Makabenta. She is the incumbent President of KATIG Writers Network Inc., the organization of literary writers in Eastern Visayas.

6 thoughts on “Santol”
  1. Beautiful piece. And just like the santol tree, we will persevere. Tomorrow might just be better and brighter for us.

  2. one’s need for laughter, the craving
    to scratch the neural itch, the pleasures of the soul.
    Its leaves growing full and lush, as though
    aware that birthing goes on, babes born,
    love still happens and the beloved exists,

    Gusto iton na part ma’am 💕

  3. Sulibangko, matuod gud it kabaskog hit puno dire aada la ha lawas di ngani man ha iya mga dagku-dangkuan nga mga sanga. Sugad man, dire la, an siday. Salit, salamat han ugat! Niyan, kami an manmumunga, buwas, kami na in makagpaugat❤

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