“Poetry is the journal of the sea animal living on land, wanting to fly in the air. Poetry is a search for syllables to shoot at the barriers of the unknown and the unknowable. Poetry is a phantom script telling how rainbows are made and why they go away.”
— Carl Sandburg, from The Atlantic, March 1923.
Poetry has a special part in the literary collection and publication of Sulu Garden Foundation because, we believe that poetry has powerful energy excavated from the deepest emotions of the poets. It has the ability to influence society, widens our perspectives, and a great way to turn deep thoughts into passionate lines. Thus, we are elated to share some poems contributed by our friends.
Jose "Ping" Nierves
A tribute to Lapulapu, our first hero…
A HERO LIVES
by Jose “Ping” Nierves
Our children lightly know him
Until a whisper raise a voice and echo
The glory for him who loves the land
More than anyone could bear and care
That no words could tell
It is for us to share and flair.
The name and face our little ones knew
In tales that the chef thrills to fry or grill
He takes us to this place where we pride
To keep the streets we delight
To walk and swim in peace as we please.
Heaven or hell, our journey is worth
The life he dreamt for all whose worthy
Of the blood the spoilers shed
On the shores of Mactan where the cries
ran long and high but shortly died.
We never knew freedom until he raised
His sword to slay Magellan
He knew freedom fairly well ahead of time
More than love could claim and justify
I think you know why.
Now we struggle to keep it on hand
And need the sword of our hero once again
To slay the hands that corrupted our land,
Sold us and leave us empty and hungry
Until our little known hero comes.
This epic we need to hand it to our children
To stir the likes of Rizal, Bonifacio, and You
Whose body and soul were offered to keep
Our color and pride we don’t hide.
Hear our cries.
We knew how to walk free
After he raised his sword to suppress
The invaders we all despised.
I don’t know how he died
But I want to remember how he lived.
I like to call it the life and not
The death of a hero, who knew
Real freedom we always love
Our children to keep and understand.
Don’t let it go.
Now tell me,
Who deserves to take the trophy
500 years overdue?
About the poet:
JOSE “PING” NIERVES, Coordinator for poetry
He wanted to be a doctor when he was young and remained to be just a dream. He was drafted by the Armed Forces of the Philippines and was assigned to an Artillery Regiment in 1975. After the military, he studied accountancy, customs administration, Law and education. He is a professional mathematics teacher, a writer, poet and composer.
He is pursuing his Master’s Degree in Educational Management and Mathematics. He also worked in cruise ships. While exploring the seven seas, he wrote poems to entertain guests and was declared resident poet of the “World Discoverer,” a US exploration ship. He was recognized as an “Emerging Poet of Miagao” by UPV Literati, a Poetry Society in the University of the Philippines Visayas. He also collaborated with International artist Timo Roter of Hamburg, Germany in three different shows: “Vigil” – Manila in 2015 and two other shows at the Princess Olayra Gallery at Sulu Garden entitled “Legends and Possibilities.”
Additional performances was in 2018 with another German artist Christian Rothmaler and the “Pangaean Project” in 2019 with Australian-based poet, Eunice Andrada. Today, he had written over 300 poems and is still actively writing as a resident poet of Sulu Garden.
NATION OF MANY ISLANDS
by Naftali Primor
We are the people of the Sulu Sea
We’re the people of the corals and the blue reefs
We’re the people of The Philippines
Filipinos, graceful to friends
Yet, chopped off our enemy’s head
On the rocky beaches of Cebu and Mactan
We prepared Magellan to his death
No body was left, no remains
Our islands are open to all
But no place for conquerors
Our Nation is consistently forming
And reforming and merging and splintering again
To be one
Of endlessly rich cultures and beliefs
From the provinces of Visayas and Mindanao
All the way to Manila City
We, the indigenous islanders
Victorious over Magellan’s fleet
We are the people of the future
About the poet:
NAFTALI PRIMOR was born in 1943 in Russia, the only child of Fela Pacanowski and Abraham Przemyslawski who escaped the Nazi holocaust and were deported to Siberia. A scientist by heart and profession, it wasn’t until the age of 64 that he began to seriously write poems.
The turning point was finding an old photograph in his late father’s wallet of him and an unknown woman. The intensive search for clues led to stormy poetry writing in Hebrew and in English.
NP’s poetry blog consists of over 2200 pieces of poetry in three languages: in Hebrew, English and Polish, in 2020 his poetry was published in Poland. See in: http://primor.org.il/
Currently, he is the research director of SIS-Shulov Innovative Science, Rechovot-Israel, heading a project named: “Venoms For Humanity”. He is now living in Jerusalem with Lisa, father to Sharon, and Inbar, and a grandfather of five.
THE LEGACY OF THE PHILIPPINES
by Gloria Korn
Our legacy is written on the shores of the Philippine islands
In the waters of the seas and oceans here where the Magellanic invaders died
It was the Lapu Lapu chief himself who fired an accurate shot from the bow
Laying down the enemy side by side
The chief’s mother struggled through fears in her sleep
Embracing her son, she said: do not be afraid we will be a free Nation
I wake up… I see a Filipino flag of multicolored flutters in the wind
Shines with the sun and watches the children bathe in the rays and remembers the bravery of the Filipino hero’s
In the white independence triangle as white as the coastlines of the Philippine seas
three stars above Mindanao, Luzon and Visayas a blue as the azure of the Philippine seas
It flows with the light of the Islands facing upwards, towards freedom it’s remembering our ancestors heroes
The Philippine flag is a commitment to care for our historical symbols for ours values to:
Equality and respect to diversity, to the land of the Philippines to the beauty of the Sulu Gardens
Our identity served on the plates we are an old port
Lapu Lapu remains in our souls
In our blood and in our bodies we are His Nation
About the poet:
SLAWA KORNACKA (Gloria Korn) lives and works in Warsaw, Poland, a mother to a son. Gloria completed legal and postgraduate studies in finance and accounting and eventually worked in the Legal Advisers Team with specialization in employment
and human resources in Poland and abroad. She is also a realtor and had granted a license to run her own accounting enterprise.
Since 2005, she has been successfully practicing journalism, also writing poems and small literary forms. In 2010-2015, she was the editor-in-chief and publisher of the cultural and news portal. Currently she is mainly devoted to poetry. Her poems are included in many anthologies, including the “Anthology of Polish Poets”.
BATTLE OF MACTAN
by Myrna Alcera
Paano kung pwede nating balikan
Tunay na nangyari sa Battle of Mactan
Lapu-lapu pinatay si Magellan?
Masasagot yan sa tulang aking pinaghandaan.
ANG PAGDAONG NI MAGELLAN….
Sa paghahanap sa Moluccas, sa iIsla ng Samar napadaong
Dumating mga Espanyol sa islang kung tawagin ay Homonhon
Nabatid ni Magellan, mga katutubo’y mahinahon
Kaya naman nakasilip ng magandang pagkakataon.
Rajah Humabon ng Cebu naisip kaibiganin
Mga kasunduan agad inihain
Ikalat ang Kristiyanismo sa ating lupain
At pasakop sa kapangyarihan ng Hari ng Spain.
Rajah Humabon at Datu Zula napahinuhod
Sa krus ng Kristiyanismo sila’y napaluhod
Pamilya, kamag-anak at nasasakupan
Lahat sila napaniwala ni Magellan.
BAKIT MADALING NAPASAKOP SI RAJAH HUMABON?
Si Rajah Humabon ay pinangakuan ni Magellan
Na lahat ng datu ay kanyang pamumunuan
Nakahandang tumulong si kanya si Magellan
Upang matupad ang pangarap, sa anumang paraan.
Pinadalhan ng mensahe lahat ng mga datu
Nagpahayag ng pagsang-ayon mga kasamahan dito
Maliban sa isang datung matigas ang ulo
Napag-alaman pangalan niya’y Datu Lapu-lapu.
Nag-usap ng masinsinan ng kanilang malaman
Tutol si Lapu-lapu at hindi pasasakop kahit kanino man
Lalung-lao na kay Magellan na isang dayuhan
Kaya naman si Lapu-lapu determinadong lumaban.
Nagplano ng pagsalakay hukbo ni Magellan
Rajah Humabon nag-alok na siya ay tulungan
Pero sadyang mayabang na tao si Magellan
At sinabing ” Rajah Humabon, manood ka na lamang.”
ANG BATTLE OF MACTAN
April 27, 1521
Ang pagdaong sa isla Mactan ng mga dayuhan
Hindi nila alam, mga mananandata ng Mactan, sa kanila nakaabang
Nagplano si Lapu-lapu paano sila lalabanan
Kaya naman si Magellan, nasorpresa ng lubusan
May “chismis” pa akong nalaman
May bastardo palang anak itong si Magellan
Pangala’y Francisco Rebello, unang namatauy sa labanan
Kaya naman nagpuyos sa galit itong si Magellan!
AYON SA TALA NI ANTONIO PIGAFETTA
‘STRATEGY’ NI MAGELLAN
Pinasunog ni Magellan mga bahay sa dalampasigan
Sa gayon, mga katutubo, isasalba mga kabahayan
Nguni’t sa dami, hindi pa rin nakayanan
Naigupo pa rin nila mga tauhan ni Magellan.
“STRATEGY” NI LAPU-LAPU
Mga katutubo gumamit ng palaso o pana
Nilagyan ng lason at pag sa iyo’y tumama
Tiyak walang ligtas, tamaan ay kawawa
Mahal sa buhay, tiyak magluluksa!
Dayuha’y may mga”armor” sa pana’y panangga
Mga mandirigma binti nila ang inasinta
Maraming nahagip ng mga panang may lason
Kasama na rito si Magellang nananakop.
NAG-ATRASAN…. ANG PAGKATALO…
Utos ni Magellan magsibalik sa barko
Mga natitirang magigiting na tauhan nito
Walang nagawa, kahit hindi nila gusto
Si Magellan, naiwan, sugatan at naigupo.
Habang papatakas nakita ni Pigagetta
Ang makahulugang tingin at sulyap ng mga mata
Ni Magellang nagsasabing, “salamat at ligtas sila
Nakabalik sa barkong dala-dala.”
MALUNGKOT NA WAKAS…
Maraming saksak at taga, tinamo ni Magellan
Iba-ibang “version” mababasa sa mga talaan
Nakakalungkot basahin kanyang naging hantungan
Isang pagkalagim-lagim na kamatayan!
Nakakakilabot, makakahindik ang kinahinatnan
Sa nangyari sa katawan ni Magellan
Dahil sa panahong iyon, isang karangalan
Ang makapatay ng isang dayuhang kagaya ni Magellan.
Diyan nagtatapos ang “Battle of Mactan”
Magigiting na tauhan ni Lapu-lapu ang tumapos sa buhay ni Magellan
Mga kapwa nating Pilipinong hindi pasasakop sa mga dayuhan
Walang hangad kung hindi pagsamantalahan
Kayaman ng ating bayan!
PINAGMAMALAKI KONG AKO AY PILIPINO!
About the poet:
MYRNA ALCERA has earned her BSC Accounting at the Philippine College of Commerce (now Polytechnic University of the Philippines). and eventually worked in a trading company as executive secretary, head of collection department, and as an accountant for 23 years. In 1998, she ended her employment to be a fulltime mom to her four children.
OTHER POETRY by Myrna Alcera
ANG WIKANG PILIPINO
Saturday, April 04, 2015
HAY! WIKANG PILIPINO, nasaan ka na?
Hinahanap-hanap kita, hindi kita makita
Mga tainga ko’y nangungulila na sa iyong pagsinta
Matagal kang nawala, babalik ka pa kaya?
SA TAMIS ng iyong salita, maraming dalaga ang napaluha
Sa talim ng iyong dila, maraming mga anak ang napariwara
Maraming napasaya, maraming napatawa
WIKANG PILIPINO, namaalam na?
Dati-rati’y uyayi ang nagpapatulog sa mga bata
Kundiman ang kasama ng mga binata
Balagtasan naman, libangan ng mga matatanda
Ngayo’y di na naririnig, matatamis na dila.
WIKANG PILIPINO, naglaho ka na ba?
Mga kabataang pag-asa ng bayan
Pagsasalita ng sariling wika’y di na maasahan
Di na rin ito masyadong pinahahalagahan
Di na rin “medium of instruction” sa mga paaralan.
Paano na ang wikang nakagisnan?
Mamamatay na lamang ba ito ng ganun-ganon lang?
Waring ang wikang Pilipino’y bahagi na lang ng kasaysayan
Masabi lang may wikang simbolo ng bayan.
TAGLISH na ang kalimitang sinasambit
Ng mga kabataang mahilig gumimik
Saan na u, dito na me, punta na me, u wait
Yan na ang lengguaheng sa Tx ginagamit
WIKANG PILIPINO, sinisingit na lang pilit.
KULTURANG PILIPNO unti-unting naagnas
Kaugalian natin, marami na ring hindi namamalas
Pati WIKANG PILIPINO, darating ang oras
Mababaon sa lupa at dito na magwawakas.
Walang nagmamahal, paano yayabong?
Parang halaman, kung hindi diligin hindi uusbong
Ganyan ang wika natin, nababalot ng lambong
Sino ang magmamahal, ako, ikaw? Yan ang tanong.
At present, she is working as a life insurance agent and became the Champion President Rotary Club of Cosmopolitan Las Pinas (2019-2020)
“How I started writing poems? in 2007, I was diagnosed with stage 1 cancer and was advised to undergo total hysterectomy. A dear friend gifted me with a rocking chair called tomba-tomba. When I was recuperating, I was inspired to compose a poem titled, “Ang Aking Tomba-tomba”. Since then, I wrote poems when I am happy, excited, sad, disappointed, and angry. I love to write poems for the people I love, for the things I value most, for the memories I cherish. I started to compile them and keep them for my personal collection. A few were published in my Rotary Club’s newsletter”