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Jason Paul Monlinong

Rosario, La Union, Philippines
Jason Paul Monlinong
Rosario, La Union, Philippines
Saturday, November 8, 2008

Bacani

You could have grown

Towering skyscrapers by your foothills
And monumental landscapes

By your scenic riverbanks

But you insisted

On having terraced farms

And orchards of fruit trees




You could have bred

Smoldering genius, talented artists

Had the elitists built their cribs

On your patches of greens

Instead you have sown

Seeds of dream among

Farmers, laborers, poor ones




When I was young

The road that traversed you

Was a baked brown path

Sprinkled with crushed gravels

With time, patches of cement

Were plastered like band-aids

To cover your wound on which we thread




With that I expected

Stately homes and well-lit shops

To spring on your bosom overnight

Boomtown, in the making

But not yet soon

Not in the next ten years,

Nor in the next twenty




For I am twenty-two now

And on your highest hills

Where I once beheld

The majestic blue of

South China Sea


Remains the grazing cows

Generations of them

Came and passed by




The kites we once flew

On your blue sky

Are no longer the kites

That infest it on windy summers

They are the ghosts of our innocence

Ghosts of our dreams

And your ghost too




You could have haunted me

And forced me to return

But you care not for me

You have seen others forget you

You could use ingratitude

To wipe on your gaping wound

And sting it like a salt does
Jason Paul Monlinong
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