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Showing posts from August 13, 2006

THE THREE TEMPTATIONS

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"What death would you desire?"
She says: "A bronze death that yields
a cloister for the heart; or that

which is charter for a giant, a silver death;
or that for which one must labor:
one's sacrament, that's a death of gold?"

Alas, how can your pilgrim choose?
Always there's the hissing of fire--
On my neck creeps the salamander!

But here on this steadfast ground
earth whereon the mighty have fallen,
gnomes choir a bronze hymn to you

and yet could I but rear for myself--
a giant's head far from all solitude--
O how the undine's luster shall flood

into my silver sepulcher! For it is fate
out of gorges between sheer cliffs
that gives us wings for pilgrimage

and you who dance like a scented sylph
on the winds have not, have not
the golden character of grace

and should you but pray for me
'a fine and private place' plucked up
for this death, my death, that's golden

to you alone I give my only name--
"Oh, now, what death would you desire?"
She says: &quo…

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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ABOUT E. SAN JUAN, Jr.


E. SAN JUAN, Jr. is director of the Philippines Cultural Studies Center and co-director of the Board of Philippine Forum, New York City. He was recently a visiting professor of literature and cultural studies at National Tsing Hua University and Fulbright professor of American Studies at Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium. He will be a Rockefeller Foundation research fellow at the Bellagio Center, Italy, this Fall 2006.

San Juan was a fellow of the Center for the Humanities, Wesleyan University, and chair of the Department of Comparative American Cultures, Washington State University; and professor of Ethnic Studies, Bowling Green State University, Ohio. He was previously visiting professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of Trento, Italy, and at the Graduate School of Tamkang University, Taiwan.

San Juan received his graduate degrees in English & Comparative Literature from Harvard University. He taught at the University of t…

BANGON! MAKIBAKA, HUWAG MATAKOT!

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BAGUHIN MO ANG IYONG BUHAY!


Bago magpantay ang paa
lumikas ka mula sa lugar ng engkuwentrong
pinaghaluan ng balat at tinalupan
Walang tanglaw sa pakikipagtipan
ayaw tumawad sa sugal ng maskarang mapagpanggap

Kinalawang na ang puso
nilagok ang apdong hinugot sa kung saang tadyang

Gumulong ang tadhanang palabiro, humihimok
Kawing-kawing ang himutok
Mula sa kumuno’y pabulaos—

Busabos ng palad, bakit mo tinitiis? Kailangan, kailangan ang paghuhunos

Namamalahibo, isingkaw mo ang nakaumang na pangil, isingkaw

At huwag sumuko sa kabuktutan

Walang tiyak na katubusan kaya itakwil ang larong mapanlinlang
ng mandarayang kaulayaw

Masahol pa sa lambutsingan ng hayop at malansang isda

Iligtas mo ang puso sa tukso ng Aprodayteng iniluwa ng dagat-bula—

Ano’t maghuhunos-dili o mag-aatubili?

Baguhin mo ang i…

ELEHIYA SA LEUVEN, BELHIKA

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Iiwan mo lahat ng iyong minamahal; ito ang palaso na unang ipinawawalan ng busog ng pagkatapon….
--Dante Alighieri



Huli na raw ang lahat. Huli na, umalis na ang tren lulan ang gunita't pangarap.
Huli na, lumipas na ang kamusmusan ng balikbayang naglagalag.

Huli na, naiwan na tayo ng eruplanong patungong Tokyo at Los Angeles.
Huli na, nakaraan na ang oras ng kagampan at pagsisiyam.

Tumulak na, malayo na ang bapor patungong Hong Kong at Singapore.
Nagbabakasakaling aabot pa ang kable--Sayang, di biro, nakapanghihinayang.

Huli ka na sa pangakong pinutakti ng agam-agam at pag-uulik-ulik….
Huli na, nahulog na ang araw. Itikom ang labi, itiim ang bagang….

Kahuluga'y naanod-lumubog sa dagat Sargasso ng pagpapakumbaba't pagtitiis--
Pahabol ay di na magbubuhol--Tapos na ang pagsisisi't pagpapatawad….

Walang taga-ligtas ang lalapag sa tarmak mula sa lobo ng iyong pangarap.
Huli na nga, nakaraos na ang kasukdulan, di na maisasauli ang naibigay.

Sinong manlalakbay ang magkakaila upang mahuli…

BUKAS, MAGKITA TAYO SA MAYNILA

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ITAGA SA BATO

Ni E. San Juan, Jr.


Naghiwalay tayo noong Disyembre 1991 sa kanto ng Blumentritt at Avenida
Rizal.
Ka Felix Razon, natatandaan mo ba?

Bungkalin mo ang kalansay sa apog at lumot ng gunita
upang masapol ang katotohanang taliwas sa kabuktutang naghahari.
Inilantad mo ang kabulukan at pagtataksil ng gobyerno't militar
sampu ng pagpuputa ng mga premyadong artista't intelektuwal
kaya hindi nakapagtataka, hinuli ka't ikinulong, binugbog, ginutum
sa bartolina, kinoryente ang bayag, parusang maka-abo't-dili--
Diyos ng awa, sinong makapagbubulag-bulagan sa krimeng nangyayari
araw-araw sa bilanggong pulitikal? Sinong testigo ang magpapatunay?—

dahil (bintang nila) ikaw raw ay komunista.

Umaambong takip-silim
nang tayo'y maghiwalay, patungo ka na sa asilo ng Utrecht, Holland….
Samantala sa Isabela at Davao, timog at hilaga ng kapuluan, patuloy
ang paghihimagsik ng masa, ang "di-kagila-gilalas na pakikipagsapalaran"
ng karaniwang mamayan, katuwang ang mga kap…

Review of HIMAGSIK by E. San Juan, Jr.

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Before and after Angelo de la Cruz: The Filipino since 1898

By B.S. MEDINA JR.


[REVIEW OF: E. SAN JUAN, Jr., Himagsik: Pakikibaka Tungo sa Mapagpalayang Kultura. Manila: De La Salle University Press, 2004.

PAPER reports, newscasts, even poolroom squabbles on US official/unofficial disappointment over the Philippines’ decision to pull out its humanitarian contingent from Iraq — "cowardice," says an American TV comic host — all make Epifanio San Juan, Jr.’s latest offering in criticism, Himagsik, timely, if not very necessary, reading for those who are weighing out an intriguing, even conscience-picking, and now simplistically put issue: Are you pro-American or whatever? And you might as well ask yourself, thinking of hostage-turned-man-of-the-hour Angelo de la Cruz: Are you pro-life or whatever?

The Philippine decision to leave Iraq asserts that life is the only choice — and with it come the blessings and the bashings. The pull-out, too, points out that the present counts muc…