“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…


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.

Please stay.

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.

Naftali Primor


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

And proud

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.

Gloria Korn


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”.

Myrna Alcera


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.


MARCH 16,1521

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.


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.”


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!



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.


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.


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.”



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!



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

Saturday, April 04, 2015
11:57 PM

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”

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