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Poetry in the time of quarantine

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CABANATUAN CITY – For this public school teacher, staying at home during the lockdown over Covid-19 is productive time for writing and reading poems.

One of the first poems that Cristobal Alipio, a teacher from Bicos National High School in Rizal town, was a prayer that he shared with his friends in social media.

This is on top of school works he has to finish at home.

“Makulit ang musa ngayon ng panitik. Kung di makasulat, nagyayayang magbasa ng aklat at akda ng iba,” said Pascua who just bagged the first place in poem category in the first Gawad Lazaro Francisco, a poem and short story contest in honor of the national artist.

The prayer in his literary piece entitled “Manalangin Tayo” invokes God’s protection and mercy from all types of enemies. It recognizes God as humankind’s merciful savior, to wit:

Diyos ng lahat ng may buhay—

Ang pagsamba’y inaalay,

Lahi nami’t sampung akay

Iligtas Mo sa kaaway; 

Tanggulan Ka at patnubay! 

Nawa sa bawat tahanan

Ang awa Mo’y dampulayan,

Masdan Mo ang aming bayan,

Iyak hanggang kamatayan—

Ngayo’y bigyang kagamutan! 

Diyos naming mahabagin—

Ay! Kami po nawa’y dinggin,

Lingapin Mo at kupkupin;

Itong salot sa lupain—

Titigan Mo at tanggalin!

Amen! Amen! Amen! 

Alipio said he had composed over 10 poems since the enhanced community quarantine was imposed in Luzon. 

He also had composed a romantic one which speaks out the heart of a man who suffers from being distant from his beloved but had to abide by the quarantine regulations if only to protect herPag-ibig sa Panahon ng Covid-19:

Kahit magkalayo tayo sa daigdig

Dahilan sa Covid na lumalaganap,

Makapaghihintay ang ating pag-ibig.

Naka-quarantine man para ding malapit

Dahil may video call sa anumang oras,

Kahit magkalayo tayo sa daigdig.

Ayokong na ika’y mahawa sa sakit

Kahit na ibig kong hagkan ka’t mayakap,

Makapaghihintay ang ating pag-ibig.

Kahit na mahigpit ang bantay sa silid,

Sa aking isipan— ikaw ay kausap;

Kahit magkalayo tayo sa daigdig.

Ngayong batid ko nang ako ay infected,

Tandaan mong lagi—mahal kitang tapat!

Makapaghihintay ang ating pag-ibig.

Kung makabilang man sa datos ng CoVid,

At di na magawang buháy na ilabas;

Kahit magkalayo tayo sa daigdig,

Makapaghihintay ang ating pag-ibig.

Alipio believes poets all over the country can come outwith pieces on Covid-19 after the ECQ.

The Samahang Lazaro Francisco, meanwhile, offered three issues of SARO: Pampanitikang Diyornal ng Samahang Lazaro Francisco, a collection of the writings of Francisco.

“Nawa’y makatulong ito kahit papaano sa ating lahat upang maibsan ang labis na pag-aalala, habang ating sama-samang pinupuksa ang nakamamatay na sakit sa pamamagitan ng quarantine,” said Rene Boy Abiva, SLF founding president. 

 

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