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

Weather:
Flora:
Architecture:
Customs:
Mammals/reptiles/fish:
Childhood dream:
Found on the Street:
Export:
Graffiti:
Lover:
Conspiracy:
Dress:
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:

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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.

ODE TO CAPPUCINNO

NaPoWriMo Day 18

Our optional prompt for the day also honors the idea of Saturday (the Saturdays of the soul, perhaps?), by challenging you to write an ode to life’s small pleasures. Perhaps it’s the first sip of your morning coffee. Or finding some money in the pockets of an old jacket. Discovering a bird’s nest in a lilac bush or just looking up at the sky and watching the clouds go by.

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For today I am writing an ode to all coffee enthusiast’s favorite coffee blend; cappucino and a Saturday afternoon guilty pleasure of fitness enthusiasts as well. Come sit with me over a cup of cappuccino and a million lovely thoughts.

ODE TO CAPPUCCINO

 

Oh, cappuccino you’re like
secrets of silver swirly dreams
moments of silence, frosty screams
stronger visions of soft, sweet, irreplaceable joys.

 

Thank you for
being pure, light, alluring;
beautifully crafted in a whipped snow – white
heavenly cream.

 

Oh, how I love your
choco – colored clear reflections
warm, unstirred, floating hopes
sweet, hot bits of serenity
delicious criss-cross fantasies.

 

You are lovingly
blended by delicate hand
stored in a cup, freshly designed,
classically adorned.

 

 

Now the window panes, soaking with rain
against the ivory painted walls
rhythm blues played again
around cozy, midnight blue couches.

 

millions of thoughts wondering about
soothing, empowering, mirrorball of the soul.

 

ahhh! how I longed for my sweet cappuccino

 

 

P.S

You are my cappuccino
the sweetest version
with a bitter after taste

and I love you that way
sweet and bitter
doesn’t matter anyway

Where Will We Be, Without You Now? (Ode to Taal)

You bear witness to a lover’s promise
over the moonlight
in an early evening delight
as they made their vow
of eternal and faithful love
oh, how happy you seemed to be
as you show off your great character
and magnificent stature,
so picturesque, so attractive
you smile as lovers smile
over the complexities of love as you
you were the elegant backdrop
in every wedding proposals,
as the groom to be,
kneel before his beloved
longing for her hand
to seal their love eternally
you scream your silent hurray
as she says yes to the plea
you were there on their wedding day
on the baptism of their first child
on the first birthday
and even on a weekend family getaway
you were their safe haven
but time has changed
now you voiced your wrath away
over humanity’s indiscretion
and poor judgment
as you take on the final “I do”
while raging and smoldering
and yet then again, you never failed
to mesmerize,  to amaze us
for yours is a true beauty
amidst being scary

Where will we be, without you now?

(Photos from Shutterstock.com)

Taal Volcano is a complex volcano located on Luzon island in the Philippines, in the province of Batangas. Taal is the second most active volcano in the Philippines, with 34 recorded historical eruptions, all of which were concentrated on Volcano Island, near the middle of Taal Lake. It has become one of the most iconic and picturesque views in the Philippines with people putting Taal on their “must visit” list. Tourists have also flooded over the years adding more income to the local tourism industry.
And because of its magnificent view, it has become a favorite spot for wedding proposals, pre-nuptial photo shoots, and even weddings itself. It is said to be a very romantic and quiet place ideal for a weekend getaway.
But the world was shocked when it erupted, unnoticed last Sunday, January 12, 2020. Evacuations have been immediately made and ashfalls have reached even as far as Metro Manila.
The air has reached its dangerous level warning that people were obliged to wear masks. Classes and works have been suspended and everyone where advised to stay at home especially those who are prone to lung problems such as asthma.

Photographs of the mesmerizing Taal Volcano have been flooding the internet these days. A true beauty despite its raging character.

In a tragedy like this, we are supposed to help the victims.  But how is it that the most basic need to survive effects of volcanic eruption such as a simple face mask is sold in a ridiculous amount? Yes, face masks have been said to be sold ten times higher than its regular price or before the Taal Volcano eruption incident. This is a very sad truth. However, it is also worthy to note that individuals are handing out face masks for free.

To all the victims, our prayers and thoughts are with you …keep safe Philippines.

This is in response to the Friday fun prompt of Kate https://aroused.blog/2020/01/11/friday-fun-safety/

Ode to my Country

Land of the rising sun
Pearl of the orient sea
Where have all these gone?
Oh, dear, we cannot see.

Yours is an uphill battle
Of centuries colonization
But you stood as you struggle
Winning was a confirmation.

You are now being mocked
As an old lady can’t hardly step up
But you continue the long walk
Back to where they will look you up

Land of the rising sun pearl of the orient sea, you will again be.

 

 
Written for Helene of Willow Poetry. What Do You See Challenge https://helenevaillant.com/2019/05/14/what-do-you-see-may-14-2019/

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