Thursday, July 2, 2015

Poetry Without Borders: Where We're From (Bacolod edition)

As many of you know, Fortuna High 10th grade Global Studies students collaboratively composed a poem and contributed art and photographs to a giant poem/collage that I brought with me in my suitcase.  Over the last two days, their teachers graciously allowed me to take over their classes, and 7th and 10th graders at Colegio San Agustin-Bacolod did the same.  Below you will find the vibrant poem they are sending back from the Philippines.
Where We're From: Bacolod 

We are from chocolate hills and perfectly parallel banaue rice terraces, 
hot springs of Mambukal, and the delicate beaches of Borocay.
We are from volcanoes, active and dormant,
the perfectly shaped cone of Mount Mayon.

We are from the rays of sunshine hitting the ocean,
a blessing of natural beauty.
We are from the sweet nectar of santan flowers crowing our heads,
fragrant sampaguita flowers, jasmine of the Philippines.

We are from hundreds of dialects to express our feelings 
palangga taka, ginagugma taka,
the sounds of the guitara
original pilipino music and the melodic ilonggo language,
birds chirping and roosters crowing, our morning alarm clocks.

We are from the barefoot tinikling dancers
outdoor basketball without shoes,
the brightly lit masks of the Masskara Festival to chase away sadness,
We are from larong pinoy,
the ageless games played and loved across generations. 
We are from jeepneys, tricycles, and padyak, and street foods,
people selling inasals and lechon baboy on the side of the road,
adobo chicken, barbeque, and monak,
vibrant fruit stalls filled with rambutan, lanzones, and mangoes.

We are from chatting while eating
and taking pictures to document our joy, smiles, and friendship.
We are from Sundays are family days.
palanga ta ka and salamat,
I love you and I thank you.

We are from the traditions of our ancestors.
We are from 7000 islands.
We are from the City of Smiles, Bacolod.
We are from the true colors of Filipino tradition.

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