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Amihan’s Cold Embrace

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Thousand rains shove unto every soul,

I ne’er heard a whistling howl.

As white as the heavy clouds,

tempered winds strike to the western bounds.

Soft hands of the gentle storm brushed by,

her bittersweet song serenaded the afternoon sky.

Like an eagle I sat on the peak,

holding my weight, I clenched on a brick.

My wrinkled hide—I cannot see,

as vague as the future to foresee.

T’was like rising steadily fast,

from the deep sea to the surface at last.

The very last downpour leapt to die on earth,

Hitting on leaves in all of its worth.

With every tree from the distant hills,

I shook then flew, with every bone in chills.

Northeast Monsoon’s Cold Embrace 2015-01-25

An Idu

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Anu an idu? Sa una, an mga tawu aday idu nga dili tapuyan. An mga idu daw an mga kayabaw kun sa pilapilan–kay kun sa bukid ang isturyahan, an idu an kaupud. An ituy puydi hawiran sa kamut u puydi lat pasundun da, para sila maanad sa dayan. Hangtud pagdaku sa idu, makatuud na sila sa dayan–sila pa man gani ang mag-una. Ila trabaho magsimhut-simhut sa diyuta ug mag-ikis-ikis sa dayan piru dili sila masaag. Ug aday hayas u anu pa nga dilikadu sa dayan, ang idu mu-paghut ug dili mupadajun sa agi-anan.

What is a dog? Long time ago, the people has a dog which isn’t lazy. The dogs are like carabaos if on the rice fields–if we talk about mountains, the dog is the companion. A puppy can he held on the hands or [it] can be left to follow, so that it can memorize the trail. Until it will be full-grown, it already knows the way–it would even go first. What it does is it sniffs along the soil and crisscross  on the trail but it can’t get lost. If there’s a snake or any other danger on the trail, the dog would bark and will stop along the way.

Aday tiknik u pamaagi an mga lagas para ma-amigu an idu. Puydi tayhupan an idu u luyaan an ila pasaw. Haya ko kasabut kun anuy ada situn piru basin amuy istayl para makakilaya an idu sa tag-ija nija.

The elderly has a technique or way to befriend a dog. Is to blow [to] the dog or to spit on the dog’s food. I don’t know what is in it but that’s a style [another way] so that the dog will know who is his [owner] master.

Kaantigu sila mutabuk sa tubig, aday mutaak sila sa sapa ug puydi lat musayum sa suba. Sa pila ka uras nga binaktasay, maabut na sila sa bukid. Kay uma man ang trabahu sa mga tawu amu lat sa idu. Dili da sila bantay kun dili mu-dunar lat sila ug tabang. An mga lagas aday diyuta sa babaw sa bukid kay sila mananum ug mga utanon, lagutmun, saging, lubi abaka ug kung anu-anu pa. Sa paghuman sa pagtrabahu sa uma, an idu puydi sap-ungan ang likud sin higut u pisi para mukabiba ug kahuy u lubi paduyung sa ilawud.

It knows how to cross on water, there is when they set foot on brooks and it can also swim on rivers. After how many hours of [trekking] walking, they will reach on the mountain. Because the people work on the fields, it is also the work of the dogs. They are not only guards but also they give assistance. The elderly has a land on top of the mountains because they [cultivate] plant vegetables, root crops, bananas, coconuts, abaca and many more. After working on the fields, the dog can be assisted with a rope at its back to carry firewood or coconuts to the lowlands.

Ada si lula idu nga maantigu. Ija pangayan si “Paking” o si kiking. Sija buutan ug but-an. Lahi an mga idu sada kumpara sa una. An mga idu sada an daw mga anak na ang tratar. Dili na wangkig ug makiyuyba an mga kahimu kay hitungod kinaligu na sin shampu ug pinakaun ug isnaktu nga pasaw.

Grandma has an intelligent dog. It’s name is “Paking” or kiking. It is good and mature. The dogs today are different as compared to [the dogs of] the past. The dogs today are treated like one’s children. [Dogs] are not thin and their faces are no longer freaky and that is because they are bathed with shampoo and fed with the right feeds.

The Dog 2016-01-16

MFC Multi-Functional Cards

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Ever wonder if by the time you are born, you already have a “card” similar to an ATM card. But is more like a government ID which you can use in all of your transactions without the need of any other cards or IDs. All company or organization that you enlist to will just generate a “token” to your account so that it can be used accordingly.

Let us just think that years from now, data security is more stronger and your data will be yours only.



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Ever wonder if you have access to all of the information to your family tree. Where the government lawfully scans to all documents and records so that your family tree would be generated. You can view people who are directly aligned to you such as grandparents, great grandparents and so on. Although there might be some restrictions such you cannot view the great grandchild, grandchild, child, or the siblings on the fourth degree of affinity. And as years passed by, all babies will grow and will still know who is their ancestors without having to pay anything to someone or to a service.

Let us just think that years from now, data security is more stronger and your data will be yours only.

Ang Miyay: Si Miyawok

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Ada kami miyay. Sija pagkagamay,

sa atop gilabay amo sija namatay.

Naabot sa lajog, sija kay nabun-og.

Hala! Sa sayog sija kay nalup-og.

Sija gitabangan, sa hangin nahubsan.

Gihilut-hilutan, kami gikuybaan.

Sija, hinayhinay, ang miyay nga lutay

sunod kay ginagmay og nihiway-hiway.

Ang tubig nga init, najabo sa panit.

Ang paso na-ukit, makita sa anit.

Ang ija kakusgan, amoy nakatabang.

Sobra katapuyan, hangtod nitiguyang.

The Cat: Miyawok 2016-01-11

The History of Baybay

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All text originally from

Baybay was believed to be the only settlement on the western coast of Leyte known to the first Spanish conquistadors that came with Magellan, as was Abuyog in the eastern part of the province, and Limasawa and Cabalian in the south. In 1620, the Jesuit fathers which belonged to the “residencia” of Carigara, the first and central station of the Society of Jesus in Leyte.

By superior approbation, Baybay was created a parish on September 8, 1835 with the invocation of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception. However, the town was erected and independent parish on February 27, 1836.

When the Augustinians took over the administration of the parish after the expulsion of the Jesuits, they opened the first school in Baybay. During their time, the first road leading to Palompon was constructed, thus bringing Baybay closer to her neighboring municipalities. The Augustinian fathers stayed in the town for 75 years – all of which they devoted to the upliftment of the natives in education and in their economic standing.

The first church of Baybay was built in Barrio Punta where it still stands today but is in need of repair. Punta is one of the seven original barrios of Baybay and was even believed to be the original site of Baybay itself, although there are others who say that it was actually in Kabkab, in the vicinity of Barrio Pangasugan.

Chinese invaders attempted to conquer the community, but the brave and staunch natives foiled several attempts. When the Spanish conquistadors spread themselves out to the provinces, an expeditionary force under Felipe Segundo, evidently looking for a bigger settlement, landed in a barrio north of the town which was and still is called Pangasugan. Landing near the river, he pointed to a spot and asked a native in Spanish for the name of the place. Unable to understand Spanish and thinking that Felipe Segundo wanted to ask about the river, he answered in Visayan, ” Ang suba nagbaybay sa Pangasugan.” This is how Baybay got its name.

Baybay also suffered from Moro raids. On October 22, 1605, one such raid occurred and the pirates, after leaving countless dead, carried off 60 men as captives. Again, on November 4, 1663, moors under the dreaded Corralat took their toll of human lives and captives after mercilessly slaughtering the handful of men who defended the town with the aid of the parish priest.

Baybay suffered a great setback in 1866 when a great fire practically reduced the town to ashes leaving only the chapel of the Holy Cross in a miraculous manner.

The civil administration of the town during the Spanish era was placed in the hands of the gobernadorcillo, assisted by a teniente and the different jueces and cabezas. In 1892, in accordance with the provisions of the Mayura law, the head of the municipal government was given the designation of “Capitan Municipal” and his assistants in office were called “teniente mayor indice” and the “teniente de policia.” For the first time, a juez de paz was designated and a detachment of guardias civiles was placed in the town.

The construction of the church, which still stands today, was begun under the engineering administration of Mariano Vasnillio during the term of Fr. Vicente E. Coronado in 1852. The construction lagged for ten years after which the work was resumed under Maestro Proceso, who came from Manila for the purpose of finishing the work. The church was finally finished in 1870 after Capitan Mateo Espinoso, a sculptor and painter of renown, put on the finishing touches. The altar and the rails as they stand today are a credit to his genius.

As the Spanish residents moved away in the early months of 1898, the reins of local government passed completely into the hands of the Filipino officials. An election was held and Don Quirimon Alkuino was elected as the first Filipino presidente. However, after about four months, Gen. Vicente Lukban nullified the results of the election and ordered another one to be held, with the same results. Lukban ordered that the barrios of Baybay be named after the tenientes, thus Caridad was renamed “Veloso,” Plaridel became “Alvarado,” Bitanhuan was named “Coronado.” San Agustin “Sabando,” Punta “Virgineza,” Pomponan “Montefolka,” Gabas “Bartolini”, etc.

Throughout these years, Baybay developed into one of the biggest towns in Leyte.

The port of Baybay was closed in 1899 by the American coast guards. The price of commodities soared and products like copra and hemp accumulated in the docks. The order was lifted, but only after 14 ships, the greatest number to dock in port at one time, had stayed in port for days waiting for the order to leave.

On February 10, 1901, the first Americans arrived in Baybay on the ship “Melliza”, their arrival caused great confusion and the people evacuated to the barrios. Only a few officials stayed in the town. The next day, soldiers scoured the countryside convincing the people to return to their homes.

Even while the local government was under Don Quirimon Alkuino, he was under orders to follow Capt. Gilmore’s (commander of the American attachment) advice. Eventually, this caused conflicts in the local government, and Filipinos took to the hills to join the fight against the Americans.

There were several attempts to attack the American garrison in the town, but practically all of them failed because the Americans had superior arms. Don Guilermo Alkuino and Don Magdaleno Fernandez led the first attack with more than 200 men. The American soldiers fought another in Barrio Pomponan that resulted in the death of 30 men and the destruction of the barrio.

A group of Hilongosnons under the renowned Francisco Flordelis made an attempt in 1901 but they were driven off in a battle at Barrio Punta.

Filipino nationalist made Baybay one of the areas where they made their last stand against the Americans. Later, the surrender ceremonies were held in the town, but only after numerous conferences between American officers and Filipino pacifists were held to effect the surrender of the resistance leaders. The surrender of Capt. Florentino Penaranda who was the last to give up the fight was a colorful one. All his men and officers, thousands of them, gathered at the banks of the Pagbanganan River. From there, they marched to the plaza in front of the municipal hall where the American officers were waiting. Before the Filipinos laid down their arms, Penaranda delivered a speech that even today is considered one of the most stirring addresses made in the province. To commemorate the event, a sumptuous banquet was held for the Americans and the Filipino nationalists. The following day, the Filipino soldiers trekked home in their uniforms to start another life of peace and work.

A sect of the Protestant religion entered Baybay for the first time sometime in 1900. They established their own church in the poblacion. In 1902, the Philippine Independent Church established itself in the barrio of Caridad; shortly afterwards, the Seventh Day Adventists came in.

At the turn of the century, a provincial high school was founded in Baybay, one of the first high schools in Leyte. The government also established the Baybay National Agricultural School for young farmers of Visayas and Mindanao.

The Japanese forces came to Baybay in two waves in 1942. A puppet government was established shortly after their arrival wherein Paterno Tan Sr. was the mayor.

In 1944, American planes passed the town in bombing missions in Cebu. They bombed a ship at anchor in the port of Baybay and left it in flames. The Japanese Imperial Forces left the town on October 19, 1944.

Baybay was used by liberation forces as a springboard for patrol units in the south and for forces that went north for the great battle of Ormoc, where a fierce battle was raging. The hospital was taken over by the provincial government and is still functioning today.

Baybay today is one of the biggest towns in Leyte, both in population and land area. (The land area is 410.5 sq. Km.) It leads in the category of third class towns in the province.

Baybay is consist of 23 Zones and 70 Baranggays. As of September 1995, it’s population is 87,179 which includes institutional population.


© Boris Brak, August 2001.


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Sa kasapdang baybajun,

sila nagtukod og bantayan gikan sa pagang o bato

—sa babaw magsunog og kayajo ang mga tigbantay.

Kung magsiga pagbanos-banos,

ang mga tawo nakasabot na ang mga Moro kay paduyong na.

Along the western shores,

they built towers made of corals or rocks

—atop they set with fires by the watchmen.

When set ablaze one after another,

the folks knew the Moros are approaching.

Fire 2016-01-11


Note: A very short story told by my grandmother. Some words are in Bisaya (Cebuano)


Ang Langit

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Kung ako maglantaw sa langit damo koy hunahuna-on, pero ang akon bati-on kay ang kahajahay. Ito ganing puydi da ka mupijong kada masimhot nimo ang kahumot sa hangin kada masabod sa imong panit ang tugnaw nga hoyohoy.

If I look into the skies I have a lot of things to ponder, but what I feel is the [comfort] peace. That moment that you can close your eyes and smell the sweet air then your skin will feel the cozy breeze.

The Sky 2016-01-10

Idro Sa Langit

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Sada, ma-igno gihapon ko’g makabati ko’s tingog sa idro. Damu baja ngadi sa Cebu. Sa amon sa Gabas, sa Baybay, mukarida gud gihapon ko–pagawas gikan sa bayay–makalantaw lang sa idro nga naglupad-lupad sa langit. Kay tungod halos hayay idro sa amon, ada gud pero kausahay da.

Now, I would still be amazed by the mere sound of airplanes. There are a lot of airplanes here in Cebu. In our place in Barangay Gabas, in Baybay City, I would still run outside our house just to see the airplane flying on the sky. It is because there’s almost no airplane(s) in our place, although sometimes there is.

Aday sa aga, kausahay ada lat sa gabii–aday silay mga gagmay nga suga magkislap-kislap sa ngitngit nga langit. Aday puya, aday dayag, andaw mga bitoon sa langit pero sige og dayagan.

There are [airplanes] in the day, there’s also on the night–they have small lights that flickers on the dark sky. There is red, there is yellow, it is like the stars on the skies but are running.

Ada lat Jet nga mulupad sa babaw sa panganod nga magbilin og ijaha agi nga andaw puti nga aso. Kasagaran sini ada mu-agi sa dapit sa dagat, kasagaran sa hapon.

There is also a jet that flies above the clouds that leaves a smoke-like trail. Most of these will pass near the west sea, mostly during the afternoon.

Kami, adtoy haya pa kami buot, magambak-ambak, magshagit-shagit, ug magpatagad sa mga naglupad nga mga idro o jet; kung basin pa gud gaj-an nga nakakita sila sa amon.

We, when we where still young, we would jump, shouting, and will try to get the attention of the flying airplanes or jet; thinking that they [the pilots] will see us.

Airplane on the Sky 2016-01-10

Wishful Thinking

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I really like to have a Master of Business Administration, Master of Engineering major in Mechanical Engineering/Master of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering, and Master’s Degree in Food Engineering programs or degrees… I know I haven’t graduated in college yet and things wouldn’t go as planned–but at least I have plans. Call me nuts but it’s not about degree it’s about the application of the knowledge into real life.

I’m a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology student, in more than three years I have learned a lot and already developed skills that are needed for the job in real life. But why bother of thinking about things that are impractical? And aside from the three degrees being unrelated taking up a master’s degree is difficult.

We all have that thing in our mind to graduate and to land a good job. But what’s next? That’s quite not the reasoning in my mind. Why I do things is because I passionately love it. I like doing things that challenge me. Several years ago, I was thinking of enrolling in IT. I know my family couldn’t afford the tuition. I also asked myself if I can really manage the level of difficulty of the course. But I took the opportunity. I never did things because I need to prove something. I did things because it is what that drives me. But of course I still have the obligations to do well because I cannot simple waste money that my parents has paid for my selfish goals.

I know I am not intelligent enough to be sure enough that I will succeed in the goals that I have set. But one thing I know is that difficulty is variable. It changes as you work on it. Remember how a child has a difficulty learning to walk and now as he or she grows, he or she can now run, jump or even dance. As you walk on what is difficult today, soon enough it will be hardwired to your brain–as if it is already a part of you. Even if you know that things might be impossible, don’t be afraid to take it.

So what now? Why would I bother to study again in college? Do I have the thirst for knowledge? Yes. Am I discontented of the things that I have achieved? No.

I have the simplest reasons. It’s not about title or the salary. And also, I never set a time on when to start or end. It’s like as long as I live I will seek to learn. It is funny for others that you will be studying different fields instead of specializing on a certain field. I’ll ask you now, do you want to live life walking along a straight and narrow line or run and play across the breadth without limitations?

It’s not about what to take first or what to do next. Just do things that you love. What came up in my mind that I suddenly became so amazed about Mechanical Engineering? It’s all about automation. You can pay engineers to build you a fully automated house but having the experience of building robots or machines by yourself is a thing that can’t be paid by money. What about Food Science, Technology and Engineering? I grew up learning about agriculture and was a climate change activist when I was young. Ok, I was just exaggerating. But the truth is I am always thinking of how to utilize farm products to create food products that are innovative and make it available to the growing demand. I’m not telling what’s on my mind. Ha-ha.

Lastly, MBA. Am I planning to seek a high-paying job? Nope. Am I planning to become a businessman? Maybe. Actually, I am always amazed about the authors of the books that I have read. Imagine how ideas come out though their mouth so easily. They already have the charisma that persuades people. Everything else that you learn taking up MBA is given but growing yourself to be a people smart is priceless.

I was surprised how many people laughed when I told them about these things. I did laughed at myself too. After all, I am the most skeptic of my own actions and goals.