Postcards From Taboan

Ang salin sa kainit sa imong kamot
akong gikuptan samtang gapaabot
sa imong tagad, apan sama sa mga lampara

sa Divisoria, kapundiron imong mga mata.
Unta, mahabwa na ang tanang buot ipadayag
nga nadan-ok pa sa tutonlan.

-Ton Dapusala

Ton’s poetry is beautiful. I met this guy in Taboan’s Spoken Word Poetry competition. He was the guy sitting at my right, Jude Ortega sat at the opposite. They were both fellows from the previous batches of Iligan Writers Workshop.

“Nagamit na nimo ang ‘Ulan ug Bagyo’ na dugay ra nakong gitaguan nga metaphor. Samoka nimo oi.”

Those words were the first few words he said to me after I performed on stage. I laughed as I didn’t know what how to respond. I felt sorry for using the metaphor first. After the chit chat, we exchanged insights about the contestants and how others lacked imagery in their poetry and other whatnots.

In Taboan, I met different types of poets and writers. They varied in preference and style, but they were all unified in one thing : The zeal to elevate Filipino Art. I silently wished I had that same intensity too, the urge to fight for a cause, the desire to be one with the “artists.” But the passion never occurred, only superficially. I sometimes feel morose about having no genuine passion for something. The thing about being causeless is that you float. Too unsure of what exactly I have been doing. I did the craft because I loved doing it. I felt the urge to do it. I didn’t do it for a cause or some holy zeal for the country’s betterment. I did it and I am doing it out of selfish aspirations. I am doing it for my own sanity. 

Now tell me, is it wrong to do so?

In Taboan, I learned to be patient with my phone’s faltering internet. Life in the boondocks desensitizes you from the world of wifi and technology. I was forced to be happy with the scenery. I was forced to look and be mindful. I was forced to look at the varieties of trees, how they were carefully plotted and planted. I was forced to appreciate the coldness and stillness of the whole Bukidnon scene. People were not in a hurry. People patiently waited. People greeted strangers “good morning” and “good evening.” People smiled. People laughed and you can hear silent whisperings from students scattered at the school’s lawn.People ran and chased each other.

I was forced into having real conversations with people, and these conversations turned into weeping sessions and honest talks. 

Atleast, for a little while, I get to think. I get to meet people. I get to be People. 

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From Maramag to Valencia. A little roadtrip in search of a coffeeshop.

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The coffeeshop in the middle of the bukid.







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It was worth the little get-away.

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The Bukidnon trees were properly placed. Like chess pieces, perfectly ordained. 

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Central Mindanao University made me homesick for a city  I have never been. You see things here. The kind of seeing that really sees. And feeling that really feels. 


In Taboan, you don’t really forget. You just get to see things…and people.

photo credits to :

Floraime Pantaleta / Kim Alejandrino



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