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Archive for the ‘balak’ Category

An invitation

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Written by Romel

May 8, 2013 at 3:12 am

Posted in balak, beauty, love, poetry, tula

The thrill of literary romance

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From the Hungarian writer George Konrad’s memoirs, A Guest in my Own Country: A Hungarian Life (2002) a tale of an unlikely but endearing romance with his first wife, Julia:

When I first met Julia Langh, who would be my wife from the autumn of 1960 to the autumn of  1976, she had floated into the Kisposta Cafe trailing blond hair and rustling  black rain-coat and wearing a white blouse with a turned-down collar. She had just come from university — where she had been accepted thanks to her perfect gimnazium record and a captivating articulateness — and entered the cafe, a first-year student in French and Hungarian, suppressing her timidity and wondering, “My God, what happens now? Who is that old man, that twenty-seven year old?” She was not quite eighteen.

I would show up at six a.m. with notebook, pen, and ink, as if punching a time clock. It allowed me to watch the rendezvous, generally hurried, that took place before work.
….from that morning on, Juli and I saw each other practically everyday for sixteen years. I could always be assured of stories: she is the kind of person whom elaborate things happen to, or who can make them happen. For her part, she did not appear to find the stories of the aging welfare officer and part-time proof reader tedious and had no qualms about putting the  necktied knight in his place when the stories turned into analyses. She was obviously free of all dishonorable intentions.


And then this poem from Osip Mandelstam, translated from Russian to English  by A.S.  Kline, and which the poet wrote for his wife Nadezhada:

This is what I most want

This is what I most want

un-pursued, alone

to reach beyond the light

that I am furthest from.

And for you to shine there-

no other happiness-

and learn, from starlight,

what its fire might suggest.

A star burns as a star,

light becomes light,

because our murmuring

strengthens us, and warms the night.

And I want to say to you

my little one, whispering,

I can only lift you towards the light

by means of this babbling.

Written by Romel

April 8, 2013 at 6:01 pm

One for poetry month

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Haiku ng pagsinta


Sa  seda

ng iyong mga kamay,

halik ng mga pangarap.


April 5, 2013, 12:33 am

Written by Romel

April 4, 2013 at 5:58 pm

Posted in balak, beauty, love, poetry, tula

Tagged with , , , , ,

On Possibilites and Limitations

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Amsterdam’s  Museum of Modern Art — the Stedelijk Museum — housed Picassos, Warhols and De Koonings (apart from the works of many other modern masters). Which is one of the reasons why for the better part of 2007 towards the end of my graduate studies,  I spent many Sunday afternoons there (at its temporary quarters that is) , to write  my master’s thesis .  There was a restaurant on the 6th floor, if memory serves me right, where one could grab a beer or juice to relax after hours spent in the exhibits. But cash-strapped, I brought for merienda home-made  sandwiches and cheap 1-liter orange juice in tetrapak.

This graduate school memento many pounds ago  prefaces the fifth installment in the SIX BIG QUESTIONS project of Gideon Strauss, senior fellow of the Center for Public Justice.

As a guest blogger, I answer six questions. I’m now on my fifth.  The post answers the question, what possibilities are afforded to me and what constraints are imposed upon me by my time and place?  Click here for my previous post.

Written by Romel

November 24, 2011 at 12:04 pm

Where do I belong?

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Please don’t laugh at the photograph.
That’s really me four years ago,  in a country where regular hair cuts were beyond  the means of a graduate student subsisting on starvation-level scholarship stipend.

And yes, the guy I’m talking to in the photo  is the man himself, Mr. Jose Maria Sison.

I thought this photograph would make an intriguing  introduction to the fourth  installment in the SIX BIG QUESTIONS project initiated by Gideon Strauss, senior fellow of the US-based Center for Public Justice.   Along with  several bloggers, I  reflect on six questions in 250 words or less and post my reflections on his blog.

The fourth question: where do I belong? And my response may be found here.  Click here for the third  installment.

Written by Romel

November 21, 2011 at 3:03 pm

Who am I?

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It’s not a movie by Jackie Chan (which I love, by the way) but the third installment in the SIX BIG QUESTIONS project. This project was initiated by Gideon Strauss, senior fellow of the US-based Center for Public Justice.   Along with  several bloggers, I  reflect on six questions in 250 words or less and post my reflections on his blog.

Who am I? Here’s my answer. Click here for the previous installment.

Written by Romel

November 18, 2011 at 3:20 pm

Posted in Bagares, balak, beauty

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What do I believe?

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This is the second in the  SIX BIG QUESTIONS project initiated by Gideon Strauss, senior fellow of the US-based Center for Public Justice.

This time, I outline what I believe as a person of faith in 250 words or less. Click  here for the link to the first post.

Written by Romel

November 17, 2011 at 2:20 pm

Posted in Bagares, balak, beauty

Tagged with , ,

The things I love

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Gideon Strauss, senior fellow at the Center for Public Justice, asked me to participate as one of several guest bloggers on his blog. In this SIX BIG QUESTIONS  project inspired by the thought of  his friend Steven Garber,  the guest bloggers are asked to list down the things they love and then, to answer the other FIVE  big questions:

What do I believe?

Who am I?

where do I belong?  

What possibilities are afford to me what constraints are imposed on me by my time and place?

What contributions am I called to make?

Here is my response to the first question: What do I love?

Written by Romel

November 16, 2011 at 4:04 pm

What moves me

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Yes, I sometimes catch myself crying over a sad movie. Small injustices stir me to anger. Poetry moves me. At church, I get a lump in my throat and mist in my eyes over a well-loved ancient hymn. I love to walk under the shade of the acacia trees on UP Campus. I thrill to the sight of a golden sunset. A rare book I find hidden in a pile of forgettable books at a used book shop get me all excited. Above all, your pretty face could make my head turn.

Written by Romel

September 27, 2010 at 5:04 am

Posted in balak, love, Uncategorized

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Ngiti ng buwan
(pasintabi sa makatang si Ted Kooser)

Kung hindi ko man nasumpungan
ang iyong ngiti
sa kabigatan ng maghapong abala,
sana, gaya ng makata’y
maging magaling ako
sa pagbubuhat ng kalungkutan;
Kung ang mukha ko ma’y
isang maskarang habi
ng mga aninong ngayo’y
lumulukob sa akin,
nawa’y ngiti pa rin ng buwan
ang pasalubong ko sa mundo
ng aking takipsilim.


Written by Romel

February 14, 2010 at 3:12 pm

Posted in balak, hinagpis, tula

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