Monday, February 26, 2007

Strengthening Malaria Control Program through Community Empowerment

More than a report, this is a personal essay, a reflection on the program we'd been running for almost 3 years now.. * and because lately poetic lines plotted a rebellion against me, but i got one alternative- archiving..

While most Filipinos are endlessly talking about our deficit democracy and inefficient governance, children and women are dying in the hinterlands per 30 seconds. Either they are innocent victims of NPA-military encounters, warring tribes, and infectious disease like malaria. Citizens have choices on what to do with problems like these in their respective communities, which I will classify into two common praxes. The one that is popular is to launch street rallies and vigils against the incumbent administration to change the present system; the other one which is unpopular and less practiced in my generation is going to grassroots communities and live with the people. I chose the latter because I believe it is more proactive. I chose to work in conflict-affected areas in Mindanao in order to improve rural health of our neglected brethrens. Together with the Tropical Disease Foundation (TDF), Roll Back Malaria (RBM), the Global Fund Malaria Component (GFMC), public health agencies and the tribal groups, we build villages with community-based health programs focusing on malaria prevention.

Through involving and empowering, we re-invent health programs to reach and capacitate the poorest sector in rural areas where health services including skills and information became easily accessed, where Indigenous People (IPs) learned to own management of their health, and malaria which kills many women and children is trimmed down.

The essay is divided into three sections. First is the context of malaria as a medical problem in a socio-political realm, second are the strategies we initiated to prevent it, and third are recommendations in moving forward.

I. The Burdens of Malaria

A member of the Ata-Manobo tribe in Davao del Norte, Mindanao remembered well how the community suffered from too much headaches, fever, chilling, and vomiting for weeks. Without access to right information, and basic health service Ata-Manobos became accustomed watching their tribe members dying from the strange disease.
World Health Organization (WHO) reports that about 500 million cases of malaria occur every year and more than one million of those infected die.

Malaria kills an African child every 30 seconds and by the time you read this, two children already dies from malaria.1 Though malaria is currently more prevalent in Africa than Asia, Asia harbors a global threat in the form of the epicenter of multi-drug resistant from Plasmodium Falciparum,2 which is currently overtaking much of the tropical world.3 In the Philippines malaria is the eighth leading cause of morbidity and mortality where 11 million Filipinos are at risk of the disease. A worldwide eradication program was started in the 1970s, but there have been no significant improvements in malaria control in the Philippines for the last ten years. In fact the spread of the disease may have worsened in the last five years.4

As experienced, the problems I encountered in running a malaria control project are programmatic, social and behavioral aspects.


Malaria, caused by the Plasmodia parasite is transmitted to human beings through mosquito bites. If infected, one experiences fever, chilling, headaches, profuse sweating, vomiting, and death if not treated. One can prevent it by simply using treated mosquito nets every night; however for many decades the disease remains a top cause of human mortality.

In the Philippines, during the 1970s when malaria hits a village, DDT spraying or fogging is done to every household in order to wipe out the mosquitoes. Symptomatic diagnosed to be positive were given medicines. However, anopheles mosquitoes developed resistance against DDT insecticide and malaria positives became immune to anti-malarial drugs. It was found out that DDT spraying was no longer effective to control its spread and that drug combination has to be prescribed to drug resistant patients. Fogging and medication did reduce malaria morbidity in a span of time but the spread of it continues. Detection and diagnosis was also poor. Malaria centers which conducted blood smearing, detection, consultation and treatment were isolated to people’s lives because it is not accessible. The vector movement was not detected and the widespread continues. Like the case in India, field operations to control malaria are impeded by parasite resistance to anti-malarial drugs, operational problems in spraying, staff shortages and financial constraints.5 Malaria Control Program (MCP) also suffers from the national prioritization of the government. In the Philippines, where health is a privilege, health department is allocated 1.07 % from the total income.6 The amount is divided into different programs such as tuberculosis, AIDS, research, dengue, malnutrition and many others. Consequently MCP became a health delivery oriented program, delivering tasks and output according to what is available. There is nothing wrong with this on the first note, but the absence of something holistic creates dependency among those who are affected by the disease. Like malaria clients were created, clients were tolerated and infect one another. The insufficient resource for an effective health care system was further aggravated by inequities of funds allocation between health care institutions located in the urban areas compared with those located in the rural areas.


Malaria is a widespread disease mostly suffered by poor people in rural areas; women, children, farmers, loggers, and even soldiers. Anopheles mosquito lives in streams and brooks in areas where “road ends.”
It means people affected by it are from remote areas where health services and infrastructure are not accessible, where health workers who are paid 100-300 pesos a month have to cross rivers and mountains to diagnose patients, where IPs in their isolated culture blames the disease to spirits, and where policy makers who prioritize development projects at the metropolis least allocate budget for health. The disease remains to be persistent because of poverty and discrimination. For many years important factors that contribute to the social burden of malaria was ignored. Such factors include the influences of culture, beliefs, and political context that are known to affect perceptions, individual behavior, social structure, and social action. Such socio-cultural factors significantly influence the observed distribution of health and illness, and that issues of power relationships, inequity, marginalization, and racism affect how malaria are created, distributed, and treated.7
The disease is irrevocably connected to rural poverty and its vicious cycle; it does not stand alone as an isolated issue in people’s lives.8 Clienthood became a part of the vicious culture of poverty and it persists because important factors such as socio-cultural are not considered as contributory to it. Clients are tolerated here because there is thick wall between implementers and recipients. The wall blocks both parties to see other alternative sources of power to solve community problems.


Policy makers frequently believe that the people already know enough about malaria and there is no need to commit further resources on finding out what the people actually know and do to prevent the disease. The failure of MCP for the past years was due to this conventional attitude towards malaria. The concept of the community, health providers and policy makers was always reactive, which means they only get alarmed when an epidemic occur. Another is cultural traditions, where most people affected by it are not aware of its cause, transmission and preventions. People in hinterlands, who practice slash and burn culture, often migrate from one place to another making them a potential vector of the disease. IPs who are communal in many ways shared the disease to children, and pregnant women without realizing it. Clients are tolerated in this aspect because of limited information. And by keeping malaria a medical thing tolerates community members to submit the problem to medical people only. It is a natural tendency for people to be dependent if they knew nothing.

The three components are interconnected to each other making the disease a major impediment to economic development.Several studies have documented the economic consequences of malaria at the household level, primarily in communities engaged in subsistence farming. Studies suggested that malaria is delaying the economic development of countries that are most severely affected by the disease.9 Controlling malaria then is a tool for economic development helping people to be more productive and contributing citizen. I will discuss how citizens are formed through malaria control program.

II Strategies

Case Detection and Treatment – Breaking the Walls

Diagnostic centers are usually located in the centers of the municipality and are not accessible to malaria symptomatic living in hinterlands. The distance of these areas from the center ranges from 20-30 kilometers that consists muddy terrains and long rivers. Instead of the IPs going to the centers for diagnosis and treatment, malaria microscopy centers are brought to their place. This is revolutionary on the programmatic side because the poorest and farthest among are reached by health services through community management. In order to do this we need to tap the people living in the distant areas.

Together with rural health unit personnel we organized community members to build Barangay Malaria Microscopy Centers (BMMC). Skilled volunteers from the IPs are chosen from every community to be trained as Microscopist who will collect blood smears, examine slides through microscopes and treat diagnosed patients. Pools of health volunteers are also trained to conduct active case detection using rapid diagnostic test (RDT) in far-flung areas.

We recognized the willingness of the community to help prevent malaria, which is one of their felt needs. Through Bayanihan system clan members volunteered to bring materials such as coconut leaves, wood, bamboo stilts, to construct the BMMCs. The RHUs provided construct materials such as cement, nails, and galvanized roof. Tribal leaders also asked assistance from neighboring tribes to help construct the building. Through consultations and dialogues, we facilitated the division of tasks and responsibilities. Clan members are assigned to take care of the logistics such as the microscopes, laboratory supplies and anti-malarial drugs inside the center while the women's group maintain the cleanliness of the center. Quarterly meetings are conducted to check and monitor the process of managing the center. The center that was originally built for malaria became a total health center, and became a venue for literacy class, and livelihood seminars. Other problems such as tuberculosis, malnutrition, Filariasis, and other communicable diseases are also treated inside the center. Visitors are now very surprised to see that after passing long rivers, climbing mountains and walking difficult terrains there is a functional building for health at the heart of the forest. It is my source of pride to able to help establish a center that saves peoples lives.

Presently, those persons who manifests symptoms of malaria developed a habit of visiting the center for check-up and diagnosis. As outcome more and more individuals are easily detected with malaria and are given prompt treatment limiting the vector to spread the disease. The clan and neighboring tribes became conscious of malaria symptoms, and preventions. And consequently after seeing the initiative from the ground, legislative officers through our constant lobbying appropriated budget allocation for improvement and maintenance of the buildings and honorarium for assigned Microscopist.

Reaching out to them is the initial stage of breaking two cultural walls. One is the culture secluded by mountains and rivers, another is the culture of service providing walled by development assumptions, and pre-conceived notions. Reaching out is the stage of integrating health service in a secluded culture, where technocrats learn to discover a new source of power.
It’s a work less chosen that taught me that in fact I had choices in life. Breaking cultural walls is empowerment and disempowerment at the same time. It empowers my mind as a service provider by the new information shared and also it disempowers seclusion and clientele treatment of community members.

Vector Control - Strength in Unity

Likayi ang Malarya- Gamit ug Moskitero Kada Gabii” (Prevent Malaria- Use Mosquito Nets every Night) are campaign lines we used to mobilize local government units, community members and private sectors. The use of treated mosquito nets has dramatically decreased malaria cases all over the world. Bales of mosquito nets are delivered in hinterlands through carriage, motorcycles, horses, and bamboo rafts.
The delivery alone would be impossible if the IPs did not help us carry the commodities, if the tribal chieftains did not coordinate with the leftist government in the hinterlands, if the warring tribes did not agree to postponed Pangayaws 11 if the military are not informed of our purpose, if health volunteers refused to walk difficult terrains across rivers and mountains. Health program is a neutral ground in conflict-affected areas however proper coordination and linkages must be observed. As an IECO it was my primary task that all institutions are properly coordinated and organized to avoid misunderstanding that may aggravate political and cultural conflicts which existed for a long time. Malaria which seems a medical issue for many is very much connected to peace. In fact before the project implementations there were dialogues and tribal consultations on maintaining peace during malaria-related activities.
Communities are provided with insecticide treated nets to protect them against anopheles mosquitoes. Giving bed nets were consultative, informative and participatory in processes. Tribal leaders were tasked to conduct regular information, education and communication (IEC) campaign on malaria and ensure that bed nets are not used as drying mats for copra, fishing nets, curtains and as good for exchange. Every eight months bed nets are impregnated with insecticides. Every one in the community is vigilant to prevent misuse of the bed nets given. Other form of vector control is stream clearing where leaders mobilized community members to clean the breeding places of anopheles mosquitoes.

The malaria control program in many years operated as “us” the medical teams and “them” as clients. The “them” as those people affected by malaria, as those institutions working in the affected environment, as those vital socio-political elements were not reach to be a source of power or to be empowered. The team recognized the great resources of them, and later realized the greater capacity of “we.”

Social Mobilization – Building Social Infrastructure

In realizing the capacity of we, different partners are created to overview the MCP implementation. While organizing people at the grass roots community, I am also organizing people in the government, private sectors and other institutions to create a working team to support initiatives from the ground. Breaking cultural walls is as difficult as building a support infrastructure. While I am disempowered of my metropolitan culture in dealing with IPs I have to be empowered in order to influence people in government positions, policy makers and private sectors to support our initiatives.

From the provincial down to barangay, malaria actions Committees were created to over see the MCP implementation. There is Provincial Management committee, municipal and barangay action committees. It is no longer the sole responsibility of the medical unit to control malaria but different sectors are involved. The policy makers, health workers, teachers, church and purok leaders seat together to plan and implement malaria related activities. Soc Mob strategy links up different sectors of the community at all level bringing together the affected sectors and those who have the capacity to solve it. We are building the needed social infrastructure to sustain and improve health services.

Health Promotion – Art as a Tool to Communicate

Health promotion is the creative side of the project. We use visual, print and performing arts as tool to inform, educate and communicate to IPs who has different language and culture. Activities under health promotions are community theater presentation, consultative making of resolutions and ordinances for malaria related activities, personal sellers training, lectures, school symposium, and production of print, video and audio materials. All these are simultaneously done with the people in the community. The challenge for me was to device materials that explain the science and clinical aspect of malaria into cultural terms that they can easily understand. I thought I am creative enough to do this, but again I have to unlearn arts the way I learned it from the university and learn to what can be culturally appropriate. In community theaters, IPs plots the story, organized the actors and mounts the production, the I and they dissolve into us.

Winning Results

The project has started operating at the field last September 2004. Given the short span of time the results are remarkable. They are the following:
• Morbidity and mortality dropped in the year 2006.
• Case detection has increased to 100%.
• Number of cases has dropped since 2003.
• Positive patients received early diagnosis and prompt treatment.
• Community members developed a habit of going to the centers for regular check-up.
• Community members recognized the value of mosquito nets to be worn every night.
• Local Government Units (LGU) in provincial, municipal and barangay levels have increase their budget for budget for Malaria Control Program.
• Technical Working Group (TWG) from the province to municipal down to barangays is created to oversee MCP implementation.

People in conflict affected areas disengaged themselves from the state and develop their own, making the whole community more divided. The state-citizens relationship which is very weak in the Philippines is further aggravated. By emphasizing to people who are victims of political and cultural conflicts that they are citizens of this country and that their basic needs are being take cared, the state-citizen relationship is strengthened.

III. Moving Forward

Resource Mobilization through Mosquito Nets

The discovery of Olyset nets was cited by Time Magazine in 2004 as one of the amazing discovery of human technology. The very fabric of Olyset nets are treated with insecticides and need not to be impregnated every six months. This lessens the burden and costs of health workers and community members from impregnating bed nets every six months. However Olyset nets are not yet accessible to many because it is costly and made outside from the Philippines. The RBM and GFATM project should produce more Olyset nets for the community. In turn the local community can develop a pool of resource or revolving fund by enterprising the nets. The community members must contribute a monetary amount to every mosquito net handed to them. The committee that was created in the community shall be responsible to collect, keep and plan for the utilization of the money. In case of epidemic, and emergency needs the community may use the revolving fund instead of asking and waiting for government subsidy. The revolving fund can also be use as capital for other income generating activities which will double the amount and benefit the community.

Capacitating People

The driving force of the project is people empowerment through social mobilization. The project in order to be sustained should move on from the concept of “reaching people” into “capacitating people.” What many of development projects are doing is reaching out, yet problems come back after the project cycle end. Malaria was believed to be eliminated in 1980s but resurges in 2000 and in fact cases have worsened. GFATM and RBM projects 14 together with local institutions after reaching out should focused more on capacitating communities to access and support the development of a total health care system. For example managing an enterprise needs capacity building. What was suggested in keeping the revolving fund may not succeed if people are not equipped to do it properly and efficiently. If not capacitated, the revolving fund may become a source of internal conflict within the community. Capacity building such as leadership and resource mobilization will help the committees created sustained their organizations.

Learning Points

From my experience one can learn the many faces of community participation and empowerment. Community participation recognized information as a source power and capacity for people. New information is learned through breaking traditional walls which can be concretized by engaging the civil society to act a felt-need. Empowerment is unlearning in order to learn new, is giving up something in order to give more. It does not happen over night but a process in the community. Empowerment that solves problems started with I, and them but should transform into we as citizens. In malaria, it started with the resurgence of the disease, then by tapping and involving people making MCP a community-oriented program. Later it transformed from us as service providers and them as once client into we as citizens revolutionizing MCP into a community-managed program.

Every community problem is connected to a larger societal problem like peace, globalization or environmental degradation. By acting to a certain problem, one indirectly contributes to lessen the burdens of a larger one. If I will be asked about my definition on a working democracy and governance, which are important issues in my country now, I will answer, “be a citizen not a client, in my case I started by controlling malaria.”

In looking for practical solutions to solve community problems, one has to go out from the box and live and learn with the practical world.

End Notes
1. last accessed:03/24/06

2.P. Falciparum- the most common malaria parasite found in Asia.

3. Kidson, C. and K. Indaratna. Ecology, economics, and political will: The vicissitudes of malaria strategies in Asia. Parassitologia 40: 39-46, 1998.last accessed 8/15/2005.

4. Baquilod, Mario. 2004. Malaria. Medical Officer V11. Infectious Disease Office, Department Of Health, Philippines

5. CSharma, V.P. 1999.Current scenario of malaria in India. Parassitologia 41: 349-53.last accessed 8/15/2005.

6. Source: Tropical Disease Foundation, Philippine Budget as of 2005.

7. Jones C., and Williams, C. (2003). The Social Burden Of Malaria. what re we measuring?

8. Jones C., and Williams, C. (2003). The Social Burden Of Malaria. What re we measuring? Department Infectious and Tropical Diseases/Disease Control and Vector Biology Unit, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, United Kingdom; Malaria Epidemiology Branch, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia.

9. Utzinger, J., Y. Tozan, F. Doumani, and B.H. Singer. The economic payoffs of integrated malaria control in the Zambian copperbelt between 1930 and 1950. Tropical Medicine and International Health. August 2002, vol. 7. No. 8, pp.657-677.last accessed 8/15/2005.

10. last accessed:03/24/06

11. Pangayaw- a cultural practice of warring tribes where every living organism is killed in an encounter, they consider this practice as a right to kill.

12. Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM) and Roll Back Malaria (RBM) are international organizations funding developing countries to reach out to people affected by Malaria.a

Tuesday, February 20, 2007


They slaughtered this in Baguio, but i cant help it i just love my first short story, it reminds my innonence/naivety (in choosing a material) and whenever i read this it never fails to brighten my day with hehehehehehehehehe.

Nanunuot sa katawan ng kisame ang malamig na buhos ng ulan at hindi mapakali ang bubong ng bahay sa pagsalo ng mga patak nito.

Mula sa mga maliliit na butas pinagmamasdan ko kung paano pinapasok ng tubig ang katawan ng kisame; unti-unti, tuloy-tuloy. Marahan nitong hinahaplos ang bawat bahagi ng kisameng gawa sa kahoy. At sa bawat bahaging dinadaanan nito ay nag-iiwan ito ng kakaibang kulay. Iniiwan nitong mamasa-masa at pinalalambot ang kahoy na sumusuporta sa bubong ng bahay. Matanda na ang bahay na ito, minana pa ito ni inang kay lolo. Halos mag-iisang taon ko nga itong hindi nadadalaw mula nang maisipan kong ituloy ang pag-aaral sa lungsod. Mabuti na lang at nand’yan ang tiyahin ko, siya ang tumitingin sa bahay. Binabantayan nya ito lalo na pag ganitong umuwi ako.

Bigla na lang naging mapusok ang buhos ng ulan. Ang unti-unti’y naging malakas hanggang sa nanunuot na rin sa aking kalamnan ang malamig na buhos nito.

"Winston bago ka matulog maglagay ka ng balde sa mga tumutulo dyan sa kwarto mo."

Pasado alas dyes na pala.
Hindi ko namalayan ang ikot ng orasan. Sampung stick na ng sigarilyo ang naubos ko, hindi ko man lang namalayan kumakalat na ang tubig sa sahig. Gusto kong kumuha ng balde at itapat sa tumutulong kisame. Gusto kong punasin ang basang ikinalat nito pero, para bang kaylayo ng pinaglalagyan ng balde mula sa kwartong kinahihigaan ko. Mas gusto kong nakahiga lang habang pinakikinggan ko ang tiktik ng mga butiki, ang kokak ng mga palaka, ang tagaktak ng mga patak ng ulan. Nakahilata ako at ayokong bumangon dahil higit sa lahat mas gusto kong hawakan ang titi ko.

Matagal-tagal ko na rin itong hindi ginagawa. Ngayon lang. Hinahaplos ko ito ng marahan, hinay-hinay, tuloy-tuloy. Binabate, binabayo ng marahan, hinay-hinay, tuloy-tuloy. Iba talaga ang sensasyong dulot ng kwartong ito sa akin. Parang katulad noong ako’y trese anyos pa lamang. Dito mismo sa kinahihigaan ko. Kunwari natutulog ako ngunit ginagawa ko ito sa loob ng kumot. Kunwari may kinutkot ako sa bulsa ng aking puruntong pero sadya ko itong binubutasan para dumeretso ang kamay ko sa loob. Naalala ko ang sabi ni inang “si Winwin habang tumatangkad nangangayayat .”

Namihasa ako sa maraming paraan. Minsay nakahiga, nakadapa sa banyo, sa pader o minsan sa katawan ng saging. At hindi ko nakakalimutang uminom ng gatas ng Liberty o sabaw ng buko.

Winwin ang tawag nila sa akin noon, patpatin, iyakin, may gatas pa sa labi.
Si Winwin yung umiyak nang magpatuli kay tatay Laryo. Si inang, naiinis ako kapag sinusundo niya ako sa eskwelahan kung umuulan, kapag kinukurot nya ako sa harap ng maraming tao. Kaya tuloy natutukso akong binabae, puti raw ang bayag ko. Nang minsang nakipagsuntukan ako, katakut-takot na nobena at dasal ang dinaanan ko kay inang.

Pero, nang gumradweyt ako ng hayskul maraming nagbago. Nang tumuntong ako ng kolehiyo, maraming nagbago. Nagtrabaho ako bilang waiter sa isang panggabing restawran. Malayo yun sa bahay namin, malayo yun sa mga mata ni inang at doon andami kong natutunan. Yung erotika ng Abante at Bandera na pinakatagu-tago ko pa sa kama, doon pambalot lang ng tsinelas. Yung mga napapanuod ko sa beta, nakikita ko ng totoo sa mismong mga kasamahan ko sa trabaho. Sinabi ko sa kanila yung sinabi sa akin ni inang na “yan baga ang dahilan kung bakit makasalanan ang tao.” Tinawanan ako, bata pa raw ako at hayaan ko na lang daw at masasanay rin ako.

Naisip ko, ganito pala sa siyudad andami ko palang hindi alam. Andami ko palang dapat matutunan. Naisip ko, oo nga naman, disi nuwebe anyos na nga pala ako. Hindi na ako yung batang kinukuhang Konstantino sa mga sagala, yung batang handang magsaulo ng mga nobena at pabasa ni inang. Tumanda na ang batang ipinaglihi sa patron ng San Roque. Naisip ko andaming nagbabago pag tumatanda ka.

Naalala ko ang sabi ng kaibigan kung si Tonton, “ P’re pag binata kana dapat matikman mo ito” habang dinidilaan nya nag hubad na katawan sa magazine. Si Tonton nga naman masyadong mapusok, kinukuha lahat ng naisin n’ya, parang walang problema sa buhay hindi nagseseryoso. Ayaw ni inang ng ganun, ayaw n’ya sa mga taong mapupusok, ayaw n’yang maging kaibigan ko si Tonton.

Kumusta na kayo ni Ester, aba’y palay na ang lumalapit sa manok, tukain mo na. Yan ang palaging sinasabi sa akin Tonton. Naalala ko ang kapitbahay kong si Ester. Mula ng malaman kung may gusto siya sa akin lagi ko na siyang naiisip lalo na kapag nasa kuwarto ako at may kinukutkot. Palagi kong tinatanong sa sarili ko, paano ko kaya siya hahalikan, ano kaya ang lasa ng lips nya, ano kaya ang kulay ng kanyang utong. Kung hahawakan ko ba siya sa dibdib magagalit kaya siya, maputi kaya ang hita nya. Si Tonton, minsan dinala niya si Ester sa bahay isang hapong wala si inang. Umuulan-ulan noon at naiwan kaming dalawa sa kuwarto. Tumutulo ang malamig na patak ng ulan sa labas, habang tumutulo rin ang pawis sa aking noo. Naalala ko yung nakita ko sa beta, pakiramdam ko bumubulong ito sa akin, “ dilaan mo yung tenga, kagat-kagatin mo yung labi, hanapin mo ang dila sa loob, namnamin mo ito at, dahan- dahang halikan mo ang kanyang leeg, pababa, pababa.” Naalala ko nagkakahiyaan kaming dalawa ni Ester. Hindi namin alam kung ano ang gagawin, kung sino ang mauuna at ano ang uunahin. Nang magtama ang gaming paningin, tiningnan ko si Ester ng mabuti, ang kanyang buhok, ang kanyang mata, ang bilog n’yang ilong, ang malalapad n’yang pisngi, ang basa n’yang lips. Ahhh, napakaganda pala ni Ester para siyang artista. Matagal kong tiningnan ang kanyang labi, parang kaylambot, kaykintab, napakapula. Parang kaysarap namnamin at kagat-kagatin, parang biko ni inang. Idinikit ko ang aking mga labi sa kanyang mukha, at naramdaman ko ang mga maiinit nyang hininga. Napakabango niya sa mga oras na iyun parang pinipig, bakit ba ngayon ko lang siya naamoy. Napakabilis ng pangyayari, hindi ko namalayan natatanggal na ang aming damit, ang aking t-shirt, ang kanyang sando, ang aking shorts, ang kanyang hapslip. Kinse anyos ako noon at naalala ko… masunurin si Ester.

Naalala ko ang sabi ni inang, “anak dapat pag-aralan mo ang nilalaman nito” habang inaabot nya sa akin ang makabagong testamento. Si inang matapos n’yang malaman ang nangyari sa amin ni Ester sinugod n’ya ito sa kanilang bahay habang pinaluluhod niya ako sa mongo sa harap ng altar. Gusto talaga ni inang na balang araw may magsabi sa akin ng “mano po father.” Mula noon iniwasan ko na si Ester at si Tonton. Pakiramdam ko nakagawa ako ng malaking kasalanan sa mga anghel at santo.

Pero kahit ang mga mukha ng anghel at santo ay nagbabago rin pala. Nagbabago rin ang kanilang mga ngiti at damit, siguroy depende yun sa tumitingin. Yung takot ko sa kanila, sa luma at makabagong testamento, nagbago ang lahat ng iyun lalo na nang mawala si inang. Naisip ko hindi hawak ng tao ang kanyang bukas, andaming nagbabago pag tumatanda ka. Saka mo malalaman ang mga iyun pag tumanda ka na. Ang nakita kong mahalaga, hindi ka nagsasara sa mga pagbabagong nagaganap at naiintindihan mo kung bakit ito nangyayari. Saka ko rin naintindihan kung bakit nag-asawa ng maaga si Ester, kung bakit ganun si inang, kung bakit ganun na lang pinandirihan si Tonton nang magkasakit siya ng tulo. Mabagal ang takbo ng buhay sa bukid. Matagal bago maintindihan ng tao at matanggap ang mga pagbbagong nagaganap. Parang lahat ng tao iisa ang pinatutunguhan, ang mag-asawa, ang maging magsasaka, ang magsilbi sa simbahan at magkaroon ng debosyon sa mga santo, pinarurusahan ang mga sumusuway , ang mga mapupusok. Mas naintindihan ko rin kung bakit kinakailangang gawin ng mga katrabaho ko sa restawran ang napapanuod ko sa beta. Mabilis kasi ang mga pangyayaring nagaganap sa lungsod. Lahat ng bagay binibili walang libre. Parang palaging umuulan, kailangan mong habulin ang bawat oras, ang bawat minuto dahil kung hindi mababasa ka.

Sabi ni inang “ si winwin habang tumatanda nagbabago ang ugali.”
Si inang talaga makaluma.
Si Tonton nga naman napakapusok.
Mabango pa rin kaya si Ester?

Ahh, magsisitapos na rin sa kolehiyo yung mga katrabaho ko sa restawran
Naalala ko kung paano unti-unting pinalalambot ng ulan ang kisame ng bahay . Gaano man ito katigas, lumalambot din pagdating ng mga araw, nagbabago ang hitsura. Dahil siguro hindi maiwasan ang pagtulo ng mga patak ng ulan, katulad din ng tao nagbabago.

Winston matulog ka na at huwag mong kalimutang maglagay ng balde sa mga tumutulo dyan sa kwarto mo.

Nakita kong umaapaw na ang tubig sa sahig, ayoko mang bumangon ngunit kailangan kong punasin ito.

-December 2000-

Friday, February 16, 2007

Ang Kapaspas sa Flashdisk

Sa usa ka 512MB’ng USB
nga murag kinatawo nako kadako
katingad-an kaayong nasulod ang akong
kagahapon, kasamtangan ug kaugmaon;

- ang atong mga balak ug sugilanon
nga tuig natong gitipon, usa ka folder

- ang akong terminal reports nga maoy
gapakon nako inig 15:30 usa ka folder

- ang akong mga methods ug findings
nga pila ka bulang gipausab-usab ni propesor,
usa ka folder

- ang akong mga kaguol, kalipay, kakulba
kakuyaw nga mupatik unta sa blogs,
usa ka folder

- ug labaw sa tanan ang atong mga hubong hulagway
ug sex videos, usa ka folder

Kagahapong nagtinanga ko, nabilin nako ni
sa opisina ug nasakpan nimong misuksok
ang akong USB sa laing computer

imo ning gidukdok,gilabay uban sa na-saved
na unta natong kaugmaon.

-February 17, 2007

Monday, February 12, 2007


Siyam ang buhay
ng pag-ibig ko sa iyo;

walong beses itong pinatay
ng iyong pagsisinungaling,
walong beses ko itong binuhay
sa paniniwalang may
biyaya ang naghihintay;

sa ikasiyam nitong buhay
inutusan mo ang pusakal
kong pag-ibig
na sunggaban ang aking hapunan
at dahil gutom
umakyat ito sa mesa,
kinagat ang ulo ng tamban,
binitbit ang buntot ng tuyo,
at dinilaan ang malamig na sinabawan,
ngunit pagdating sa iyong pintuan
ay humalakhak ka lang at
binuhusan ng malamig na tubig
ang pusakal kong pag-ibig,
sa galit ay pinutol ko
ang ulo nito at pinaanod
sa maitim na kanal
sabay luha at sigaw

Tarages kang pusakal ka!

Gugmang Iniring

Taas ang kinabuhi
sa akong gugma nimo;

kawalo nimo gilubong ni
sa imong mga pagpamakak,
kawalo ni nako gibanhaw
sa paglaom nga masantos
ang gahulat ug gapailob,

sa ikasiyam nga kinabuhi
gisugo nimo ang nag-iniring
nakong pagbati
nga sungkabon ang akong
mga tinakluban;
ug tungod kay sirok sa imuha,
mikatkat ni sa lamisa,
gitangag ang ulo sa tamban,
ug gitilapan ang mga subak ug utan,
pag-abot sa imong pirtahan
imo ra man kahang gikataw-an
ug gibubuan sa mabugnawng tubig,

sa akong kapungot
akong giputlag liog ang iring
ug gipaanod sa kanal
dungan syagit ug hinaot
nakadungog ka,

Nnnggayawa kang iringa ka!

-Feb 12, 2007-

Sunday, February 04, 2007


kalibuhan na sa mga dahon
ang nangatakag sa nataran,

kalibuhan na sa mga punuan
ang gitadtad ug gisamaran,

kalibuhan na sa mga tagok ang
miawas sa inadlawng-adlawng pagtaping

kapila na ba nagbag-o ang dahon sa goma
dinhang nagsugod tag pagpamakwet sa

kalibuhan na
sama sa kwarta,
sama sa langsang goma,
ing-ana ang giyera

-September 2003 -