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SUMMER KISS OF PETALS

AT the peak of the tropic dry season, Tuguegarao City in Cagayan province in Northern Luzon simmers, then seethes and sizzles beyond human body heat, even convulsing at fevers over 45 degrees Celsius that can, in ordinary humans, shrivel gray matter.

“Man is,” as natural historian Loren Eiseley would have it, “an expression of his landscape”—as hillsides and mountain slopes girding the city and its fringe towns are now as tempting as the fashionably smooth-shaven pubic mound of a maiden of modern times. Not a whit of decent stand of trees, just shriveled-dry chokes of cogon grass for foraging of cattle, goats, sheep or such livestock.

Findings show that it takes a stand of 100 trees to lower ambient temperature by one degree.

It’s likely that the locals would rather get the hots; better than catch colds. Or maybe even wrest a measure of relief from the dry season’s blast furnace breath; even increase available oxygen in the environs for the breathless, the aged, the infants and infirm t…
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WIT IS SWEET, LAUGHS WIN IN LOVE

Hype Shares WITH a whit of editing (and a few snippets of bon mot), I got this Agence France-Presse story laid down pat in 2014 as a story for the page I was putting to bed, ah,  it keeps its cogency and urgency to this day. Whew, a broadsheet page entails grappling with 3,000 words, and for four years, I grappled with 6,000 words six days a week; that really had my head swimming and giddy and groggy:

"EVERYONE can sense what’s between the thighs; too few have sense between their ears.

"Homely ones oozing a sense of humor appear to get the better over their good-looking but dull peers in the Philippines' dating game, according to a pre-Valentine's Day survey published on Thursday.

"Given a choice, nine in 10 adult Filipinos told survey group Social Weather Stations they would pick 'a man/woman who has a sense of humor.'

"Ten percent want 'a man/woman who is good-looking but has no sense of humor.'

"It's more interesting to be with someone …

KASI NANLABAN

Lambot sa imo?

Aesop's fabled frogs ask for a king

The bellyaching below went to a scrotum-crunching pitch.


Sore at the din of whines streaming off a pond, an incensed Bathala stormed down from heavens to face a gaggle of 54-million strong croakers who wanted an audience with the deity.


“And what is it that you, pitiable pestering crackpots turning this pond water into whine, what is it you whine for this time? I have already given you a king! A king that you all deserve,” thundered the deity. “You insufferable nincompoops can only get what you deserve. Did I not make myself clear on that point?”


Chorus of croakers whined some more: “We want a fresh mandate of heaven. A new deal is what we deserve. Whatever you gave us was an insufferable computer game addict whose only lasting legacy bequeathed to us was a word annoying--noynoying.”


“You only get what you deserve,” reiterated the deity.


“And we deserve a fresh mandate of heaven, do we not? Not the log you have tossed down here. It’s rotten and would rot some more,” bellyached the thr…

For the BIEN ALIGTAD souvenir program

Bakting sa panahon ng Facebook at cellphone
DALAWANG kaluluwa ang gumagalugad sa Pambuan (tubo po dito ang aking mahal na ina’t lola), isang bayan sa Gapan—hilahod at gapang sa hirap ang mga Hapones nang upakan sila ng tagarito, kaya tinawag na Gapan, lungsod na po ngayon—sa lalawigan ng Nueva Ecija ng Gitnang Luzon: 1.


Ang patrong San Roque na palaging may kasamang aso sa paglalakbay;

Bakting, sintu-sinto na katumbas ng village crier; may hawak na kuliling o munting kampana upang tawagin ang pansin ng madla sa hated niyang kalatas—ang kamatayan ng isa nilang kanayon, kaanak, kaibigan o kakilala; kalian ang libing ng yumao at ilang kuntil-butil hinggil sa namayapa.
Lunas sa karamdaman o kapansanan. O kalutasan sa suliranin ang hatid ni San Roque—sinumang dilaan ng kanyang mahiwagang aso ay magkakamit ng himala. Himala na lulutas o lulunas.
Peryodistang pulpol na naghahatid ng malungkot na balita ang bakting… uuntag, aantig sa luha’t lungkot, hinagpis at hagulgol.
Bakting. Bagting. Magkau…

HENESIS

FADE IN

1. INT.
HUT.
Karimlan sa dibdib ng dampa na buong lamyos na itinataboy ng malamlam, banayad na umiindak na sindi ng lampara.

Unti-unting aagos ang paksang himig, ‘Nasaan Ka, Irog’ ni Nicanor Abelardo o ‘Hatinggabi’ ni Antonio Molina, basta may malamyos na katangian ng oyayi o awit sa paghehele ng sanggol.

Pananaw ng pitong-taong-gulang na si TARANG ang lente ng kamera—na mula sa inaantok na kisap ng pilik-mata, magiging magaslaw, mabilis upang ipahiwatig ang pagdaloy ng rapid eye movement (REM) sleep… yugto sa bingit ng ulirat at malalim na paghimbing.

Mula sa asul-lunting ubod sa sindi ng lampara, tila bukal na bubulwak ang liyab ng apoy, aagos na tila batis… itatambad ang mga aninong nangakaluhod; unti-unti, malamyos na titindig, iindak sa bawat kislot-kilos ng apoy—sina TATAY, NANAY na kilik sa kanyang baywang ang dalawang-taong-gulang na supling, si ISANG; ang manghihilot na si TIA ORANG; ang babaylan na si TIO LONGHINO; ang balong si PAULA; at ang aligaga-sa-larong musmos, si T…