Haribon sweeps down beneath the thick clumps of clouds and glides towards Pantaron mountain. He then alights on the high branch of his wonted Lawaan Tree abode towering atop a cliff that drops steeply down a great river, the source of the waters of practically the entire plains and valleys of the Big Isle.
Author Archives: DON J. PAGUSARA
From the topmost branch of the tallest lawaan in Pantaron, the king eagle Haribon observes everything that happens in the plains and valleys below, as though by his eyesight he measures the entire breadth and length of the Big Island. He even notices the goings-on beneath the roofs and canopies of the forest – the big and small creatures crawling on the ground. Nothing escapes from his keen and sharp eyes.
The literary virtue of the balitaw in ancient times manifests mostly in the arena of courtship wherein the boy and the girl engage in verbal joust rendered in song. The boy, of course shows his skill in versified lines of the song his romantic intentions to which the girl answers with matching skill her inquests into the real intentions of the suitor. And a musical debate ensues. If the boy is able to subdue the defenses of the girl by his superior arguments in verse narrative, then he wins the heart of the girl.
Let us render celebratory tribute to our mother tongue through a prideful exhibition of its virtues in poetry and songs. It is in poetry and songs the rare charm of a language manifests in the excellent use of its distinct idioms. The balitaw is one such literary genre which has journeyed through the ages and survived across the tyrannical terrain of our colonial experience. Its precious virtues are here shown to glorious verbal sculpture in the Cebuano tradition as both a song and as a poetic construct.
I hear you cry, Marawi! Across the mountainslopes, hills and plains, The winds, heavy with the moist of tears, On their wings the bundles of your grief,
Reached me at the threshold of my heart And perturbed my conscious communion With the hours of the Ramadan.
More and more sectors, groups and individuals—and oh, a considerable number of the lawmakers in Congress!—have expressed their calls to President Duterte to resume the scuttled Peace Talks. They lament the squandered chance of this nation’s lifetime!
Forgetting the past is an unforgiveable pitfall ever to befall a nation or a race. It provides certainty to a repetition of past errors or wrongs—a repetition that allows for even more serious and far-reaching consequences.
Certainly each of these people’s revolts in separate islands and at different times has its particularity in terms of motivation and specific cause or reason.
There’s no better way to excavate the long-buried cry of the Earth’s brown child than on this day of his reflection—or celebration? —of his mortality. He is aware of this as often as he settles himself in bed at night to sleep, but comfortable in unperturbed confidence that he has even in his most slumbering forgetfulness a likeness who does not perish, his immortal other-self, what he calls his soul.
The country is now blest to have a President Duterte who has taken a principled anti-imperialist stance as opposed to that of all past presidents.