Ode to the Philippines

This is one that we’ve used before, but one test of a  good prompt is that you can come back to it! For this prompt, you will need to fill out, in five minutes or less, the following “Almanac Questionnaire.” Then, use your responses as to the basis for a poem.

Almanac Questionnaire

Childhood dream:
Found on the Street:
Hometown memory:
Notable person:
Outside your window, you find:
Today’s news headline:
Scrap from a letter:
Animal from a myth:
A story read to children at night:
You walk three minutes down an alley and you find:
You walk to the border and hear:
What you fear:
The picture on your city’s postcard:


Oh, my dearest Philippines, your rich and diverse heritage and culture
has made you the young yet dynamic country that you are today
Manila is your heart, where the iconic Luneta park is located
it’s a hyperactive city, vibrant and vivacious
with its high temperature and high humidity, we get disconnected
your walls are adorned, screaming for freedom and equality
by these colorful graffitis reflective of the youth’s jubilant spirit
as the hope of our motherland, says our national hero; the great Dr. Jose Rizal
I too was once like these youths, yearning for change, simply change
back in the ’90s; a young college student, I thought I was
going to be a lawyer defending the poor and the unfortunate
though a greater part of my youth screams of pen and paper
in Mendiola, I trudge the University belt with a screaming mind
for change, though looking back 25 years after
no slightest idea of how that change may change
and today’s headline reminds me of how we were taught
to write news story straightforward with no running around the bush
nor even a hint of personal grievances
it’s a different story now, as COVID 19 hits the headline
running over to three months
bringing our tally of infected patients to seven thousand
and counting
our economy is in jeopardy, it hits rock bottom recently
our exports of agricultural products have halted
not even our over 200 species of mammals and world’s longest  discontinuous coastline
could be a remedy to our dying economy
oh, my dearest Philippines, you survived a hundred years
of Spanish colonization
then followed by the Japanese invasion
not to mention the American occupation
you made it through many wars
great volcanic eruptions
and the greatest typhoons
COVID is just nothing but a speck of something
that will
make you greater, better and grander as ever
dear PH, we will rise again, we will be great again
and together we stand victorious amidst COVID 19.

Published by michnavs

Philippine-born Michelle Navajas, currently residing in Malaysia. Michelle authored the book “After – Rain Skies: A Million Stars” for PWW during their Million Stars campaign. Graduated with a Master of Education majoring in English in the Philippines, Michelle was a former college professor, teaching literature, speech & oral communication, creative writing, drama, and theatre arts. Michelle is active in her writing profession and works as a freelance creative writer. Michelle passionately blogs at www.michnavs.wordpress.com, where you can find her prose and poetry on love, life, motherhood, and her advocacy on abuse and violence. A published author on Spillwords NYC https://spillwords.com/what-if-snowflakes-dont-fall-in-winter/ Her poem “Again” is published on three platforms, on MEDIUM -an International Writers and Readers Space, AFRICA WRITERS CARAVAN, and at WOMAWORDS LITERARY PRESS. kindly go check the following links –https://womawordsliterarypress.home.blog/2020/06/29/imagining-life-after-the-ravaging-virulent-covid-19-pandemic-a-special-journal/ –https://personalitiesofinspiration.wordpress.com/2020/06/29/imagining-life-after-covid-19-a-womawords-june-edition/

20 thoughts on “Ode to the Philippines

    1. sobrang tibay,,,Kusang itinadhana ang Pilipinas sa mga Pilipino sapagkat tayo ay magkakaugnay-ugnay kahit pa pulo-pulo ang ating bansa. Ang tatag buhay ang diwa ng bayanihan….


  1. Your poem is wonderful and powerful! I was teary-eyed by the end.
    What a challenging challenge, and you conquered it!
    I enjoyed learning more about you and your beautiful country!
    (((HUGS))) 🙂


    1. Thank you Carolyn. It breaks my heart to read the news about my country from afar..what’s more heartbreaking is the fact that after this lockdown, will there be work to go back to? How are the ordinary Filipinos going to rebuild their lives after?
      And yes this prompt was very challenging. I dont know how to put them togethet at first .

      Liked by 1 person

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