Bamboo shoots

bamboo grove
Poems like this are like a bamboo grove, planted and nurtured by half-forgotten old folk, relentlessly tossed by the wind and rain, their foliage shed in the worst seasons of drought. But hopefully they’ll endure, for children to discover the ancient nooks and crannies where they will play and build their own dreams.


Many years have carved these slopes.
It was around this time in March when
North Wind tarried on, defying summer thirst,
and a thousand shoots of green rejoiced.
They’d passed the test, and cried for joy, and raced uphill.
And we, who nurtured them, were about to shout
our wildest greetings when the thought struck us: Continue reading “Bamboo shoots”

A linguistic philosophy for intellectualized Tagalog

IRAIA thoughts
IRAIA thoughts

After many years of writing alternately in Tagalog and English, I noticed that I am now more at ease in English, although I can still write fluently in Tagalog. On self-reflection, I realized the reason for my strong English bias is that I want to reach an intellectualized audience even if they too are Filipinos like me. The unspoken premise is that Tagalog is much less intellectualized than English, and so it has become more precise, concise, and easier for me to write intellectually in English rather than in Tagalog. Continue reading “A linguistic philosophy for intellectualized Tagalog”