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Eighteen months

Eighteen months ago, you sat outside the church's steps, dressed in your wedding gown. You were crying, jilted at the altar. I ran to you,...

Chrysalis

Her: butterflies glimpses The butterflies came after the fortieth day. One after another, chasing in the wafts of air like hummingbirds, encircling me with play...

Soup

This is always the tricky part, when making soup- too much and it'll overpower the broth, too little and it won't work. Careful now,...

The girl in the river

It had been a hard death, that much was clear. The Pasig River had spit the girl out at the end of a long storm....

ISSA, ONE AND ONLY

I am Issa—the one and only. My parents named me Juan, which in English sounds like “one.” In Tagalog, “one” is isa, just like my name. Well, sort of—it’s Issa, pronounced, Ee-sah.     In my language, we don’t say “she” or “he,” we say...

The Times, They Are A-Changing

Saturday. The afternoon’s stifling heat is rising in waves. Rogie crosses the road and pushes the gate of the compound of Dr Rieu’s residence. Rogie notices some village chiefs treating themselves with soft drinks. After the usual welcome by their candidate for town...

Long before Darkness, Or, The Night Ileana Fell in Love

She had lived in the shadows all her life. Literally this meant the shadows of the mountains in the rural town where she was born and where she spent the earliest years of her childhood. Then came the shadows of the skyscrapers that...

The X-Ray Tech’s Love Story

We began speaking Filipino when we learned we were both from the Philippines. I had gone to him for x-rays ordered by my primary care physician, who heard a murmur in my chest while listening with his stethoscope. The technician’s name was Andy, a...

Household Melodies

A dragging sound of slippers, slow and heavy. It was my father’s footsteps, for he had never walked as if he were in a rush, even though he always was. Perhaps his weight dragged him slowly; perhaps it was the whole world on...

ENRIQUE 1521

PASKANG paita kining kahimtang namo dinhi sa Trinidad. Upat ka bulan na me sa barko, nag-antos diri sa dagat Pacifico. Paskang lapara, paskang layu-a jud. Walay kaon. Walay tubig. Daghan nakasakit, nangamatay. Animal jud ni si Ferdinand Magellan. I don’t know how we lasted...

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