Don J. Pagusara joined the “salubungan” of disaster survivors from Visayas and Mindanao, last November 5, 2014 at Tacloban city.

A germ of anger is whispered by the wind

To the heart of the calm ocean

Where it was seeded at its deepest

And soon grew into a whirlwind,

Churning and whirling and churning

And whirling in dizzying swiftness

Until it turned into a gigantic oceanwave

That surged ferociously with inexorable force

Over the bounds and edges of the brown islands.


Hearken we did to the sweeping wrath

Of the roaring mammoth oceanwave

Rolling from the vortex of the ring of fire,

Ravaged entire stretches of sandy beaches,

Drowned the falsetto  cries and moans spurting

Out the crevices, potholes and mouths of earth,

Seeped into nooks and caverns of the heart and soul,

Pricked the conscience and sensibilities of the race—

Turbulent rivers of the peoples’ uprisings.


Across the lands and seas of the benighted race

Throb … throb … throb  … throb the dream

Long buried in the breast of misery,

Long silenced by the deluge of night,

Seeking for the long lost voice of defiance

To sound like the crescendo hymn of  harpstrings

That explodes into shrapnels of rebel music..!

Every bit of its tremor felt as warmhearted touch

Of the long-dreamt dream of national liberation

Nested in years of agony and pains of slavery.


Behold the bouncing onrushing throngs of people!

Racing after the streaming glow of  dawn,

Upraising thousand torches  in their hearts,

Resounding in chorus the song of freedom!

Echoing their baritone cry for justice, their shrill cry

Demanding release from the bonds of gnawing poverty!

Press your ears on the veneer walls and sagging roofs

Of the bunkhouses, their transient homes, and feel—

Feel the pulsating wounds of their tragic fate.


Marissa’s words recount  the daily scourges

Mirrored in the tears dammed in her eyes:

The horror of impending demolition by government—

Considered eyesore to be hidden from the eyesight

Of the visiting Holy Pope in January next year—a clear

Outcome of criminal neglect of their plight by the State.

And tales that leak from the lips of Jennelyn, a housewife

From barangay Baras,  reveal a tone of protest, “Good if

A livelihood awaits us in the place  where we’re going

To be transferred. ‘Tis very hard  to be jobless. . .no means

Of living.   And the politician’s  promises are not fulfilled!

Their  words should have been matched with action!“.

Then this apt synthesis from a tricycle driver:  “It’s hard

To be poor.  We’re always the victims of tragedies”.


And so after a year of being in underwater of memories

Of the storm surge that denied them life and the delight

Of sunrise, the little hopes that glisten in the rainshowers

And mists, they’ve dared to catch with open palms upraised,

Their lips quivering with wrath that have closed them into fists!

Tightly clasping, waving high the banner of invincible Unity,

Onward marching, heedless of hindrances on the way

Towards the portals of morning, their will welded strong

Their eyes glowing with formidable faith the Sun in all its

Radiance would  burst forth to herald a glorious tomorrow. . !

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