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Follow her as she prepares and partakes the "bread for the stomach" in http://beforesixdiet.blogspot.com/ . And while you are full at it, she offers you the "bread for the soul" in her travels by foot and by thoughts in http://footandfire.blogspot.com/ Happy Reading!

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Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Habang Wala Pa Sila: Mga Tula ng Pag-ibig

Habang Wala Pa Sila: Mga Tula ng Pag-ibig
By Juan Miguel Severo
Abs-cbn Publishing Inc, 2016
Poetry with illustrations, 120 pages

I never heard him yet doing his spoken poetry but when I opened the first few pages, he got me by first impression with his Basang Sapatos, he likened the heaviness of losing a love with the heaviness of his steps when his shoes are wet. Plus maybe, it's rainy season so I bought and read this collection.

"Anak, nagmahal ka.
Dapat masanay ka nang maglakad
nang may mabigat na paa." 

There are "trying hard" attempts in some pieces like in Naniniwala Ako, Maliwanag ang Langit, Malamig ang Gabi, and Parating Huli but Severo got me fully in a surprising number of pieces like in Bago Ka Umalis ng Bahay and Karaoke. While I understand that his pieces are meant to be heard as a tale, I didn't get bored with the length or by some Filipino words I just met. Most of the time, I smile and breeze through the reading as heartbreaks are indeed breaking. And to just smile because you see some truth in the written words is to empathize.

My favorite pick among the collection is Corregidor, Bataan where he sought answer to his question why he can't replace the old love of his love likened to a war-torn Corregidor, and ended up realizing that to choose love is to make another landmark. For me, there lies the poetry.

"Ganito kaming iibig.
Pipiliin parati ang magmahal.
Magsusulat kami ng bagong kuwento." 


"Kung mayron mang pumasyal sa aming 
dambana o guho, nakatitiyak ako.
Pinili naming magmahal at hindi kami nabigo."

I also liked Guimaras, though it is a bit sleepy yet lyrical tale which owes of course to the lifestyle  pacing of  the province. He talked of being alone in the morning, remembering his love in the afternoon, understanding his being alone in the dusk, and his resolve to be return home being at peace with being alone. Just when I already accepted his resolve, his last line invites hope for her return to him.

I. Umaga
  xxx "Pinagbabayaran ko pa rin ang pag-iisa"
II. Hapon
xxx "Sakaling matagpuan mong nababasa na ng ulan 
ang iyong buhok, kamay ko 'yan: 
humaplos sa 'yo."

III. Dapit-hapon
xxx "Nilubos ko ang pagtitig sa araw
at hindi niya na 'ko kayang bulagin."

IV. Gabi
xxx "Uuwi ako sa lungsod nang panatag sa pag-iisa."

It could have ended there, but he added:

"At sapagkat ako ang gabi, ang sinasabi ko sa 'yo:
pagdating ko'y sasakluban kita.
Sapagkat ako ang gabi, ang sinasabi ko sa 'yo:
dito ka sa 'kin, humimbing ka."

Lastly as a writer myself, I can relate with "Kerida," where he likened his muse to a kerida who sometimes refuses to come to him although she should come to him under the circumstances of aloneness and midnight, but of course, one can't really force a natural flow of thoughts and emotions. I myself made a poem entitled "Infidel" where when there's writer's block, I feel I should rather be at work, and when the muse came and I have to rush for work, I feel I should write.

Back to this collection, I am happy that this is a short collection, otherwise, I will be shouting "enough" of these unending circles of love and heartbreak and love and heartbreak and love.