Three Poems from Hardy Jacob

We have favorite things, and we have favorite people.
Hardy is one of my favorite people. A good friend of my mind from since college days.
Work has taken his hands off from blogging now, but recently, I unearthed his scribbles from my old notes and shot him off a message to re-post everything.
I am looking for more from him to post here soon. He does hope to write again.



It is in my last breath that I say:

You are verve and delusion.

I can never see you.

But your spirit,

I feel.

For my heart knows how potent that beating tells me.

As fearful as the Death Angel’s curse.

More toxic than the slayer of Romeo.

Unadulterated as Cupid’s arrow.

I’m afraid.

So as my mind,

Laid to what life would bring us;

Or me.

But one thing’s for sure.

Now, I see the light of what I was born for.

Bestow heed;


To love,

No one else,

But you.


I was thinking.

Yet, I never sought to evoke.

He was there, almost there.

Walking towards my way,

But gone.

How can I be alive?

If my blood is sapped every time I think of your promise.

I hold on, more vague than any dreamy place;

More vague and unusual.

But I see that I am in that place.

So uncertain;


Forever dying.

But even so I still breathe.

For one thing keeps me alive:

I’ll move on,

In faith,

In love,

For you. 



“Somewhere I’ve never traveled…

Gladly beyond any experience,

Your eyes have their silence…

In your most frail gesture of things which enclose me,

Or which I cannot touch,

Because they are too near…”

The First time I loved forever…

Was when you whispered my name,

And I knew at once you loved me,

For the mere of who I am…

The first time I loved forever…

I cast all else aside,

And I bid my heart to follow,

Be there no more need to hide…

And if wishes and dreams are merely,

For children, and,

If love’s a tale for fools…

I’ll live a dream with you…


If your wish be to close me,

I and my life will shut,

Very beautifully,


As when the heart of this flower imagines the snow,


Everywhere descending…”

For all my life and forever,

There’s a truth I will always know,

When my world divides and shatters,

Your love is where I go..

“…I do not know what it is about you that closes and opens,

Only something in me understands:

The voice of your eyes, is deeper than all roses,


Not even the rain,

Has such small hands…”




And to end this post, his favorite line from Moulin Rouge:

“The greatest thing that you’ll ever learn, is to love, and be loved in return.”

Read more: Musings of the Midnight Writer: Three Poems from Hardy Jacob
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The First Six Books

Somebody asked me yesterday about what book would I like to get as a gift.

I have a lot of titles running through my head, so I came up with this listing.

This is not my six most liked books, but the first six books that I would like to have since after my long hiatus from all these business of reading and writing:

ACTS OF LITERATURE – Jacques Derrida (Edited by Derek Attridge)

One of my major influences in terms of critical study and discussion, Derrida is certainly one of the few contemporary thinkers whose content I read with a great deal of attention.
It is through his essays that I came up with my signature line: “I am, therefore I think.”
Also from him are favored words: deconstuire, aporia, dissemination.


JACQUES DERRIDA and the humanities: A Critical Reader (Edited by Tom Cohen)

From my early survey of documentations of Derrida’s speeches and interviews, this reading shows to be most faithful in terms of context and meanings, in the midst of the aporia and dissemination to which by translation and interpretation could have been lost (well it probably strayed somewhere too,) but as it draws mostly from the earlier appearances of Derrida before audiences, it is less cluttered than most books.
I find the contents of this book very useful for anyone who could not get hands on the transcripts and translations of his early lectures and discussions.
JACQUES DERRIDA: Acts of Religion (Edited by Gil Anidjar)
Derrida’s claims have always contracted controversies from among the world’s religions, but these controversies mainly arise by the same problem of translation and the assimilation of thought into a culture, which invariably led to debates about the true religiosity of the applied Derrida.
On my readings however, I find the questions he posted as valid and in no way demeaning. And even by my own experience in the act of discussing Derrida, I have run the risk of controversion and being misinterpreted and misunderstood, and yet by the same perspective, continue to thrive in the same path of dissertation.
4. IBALONG: The Bicol Folk Epic Fragment – Dr. Merito Espinas
A must-read perhaps for anyone who is in the study of Bicol culture and heritage. It is considered the set-off for the Legazpi City’s month-long Ibalong Festival which is celebrated during October.
It is a telling of the heroic tales of Handiong, Bantong, and Baltog and is often referred to as a fraction of the story of the early civilization and of the lyrical tradition of the early settlers and ancestors of our ethnicity.
5. Awit ni Kadunung – Abdon M. Balde, Jr.
A novel about the ancient Bikolano heroes and the expeditions of Juan de Salcedo in the Bicol Region.
This book is written in the Filipino language and takes us back to the discovery of our native land by the Spanish expeditions.
The author is known for his surreal approach to literature.
I have yet to read it.
6. Bikol-English DictionaryMintz, Malcolm & Britanico, Jose 
Author:     Mintz, Malcolm Warren
[Mintz, Malcolm Warren. (Open Library)] Description: Quezon City, Philippines : New Day Publishers,
c1985. 555 p., [1] leaf of plates : ill. ; 23 cm.
ISBN     9711002124 (pbk. : bookprint)  9711002132 (pbk. : newsprint)
Notes:     Rev. ed. of: Bikol dictionary. 1971. Subjects: Bikol language – Dictionaries – English.  | English language – Dictionaries – Bikol.
Other authors/contributors     Britanico, Jose Del Rosario
Also Titled:    Diksionariong bikol-ingles

Read more: Musings of the Midnight Writer: The First Six Books
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the current definition of a happy life.

Mas maogma ako kan kasusaro kaysa kasuodma,
pero mas maogma ako ngunyan kaysa kan kasusaro!
(i was happier the other day than yesterday,
but i am happier today than the other day!)

Read more: Musings of the Midnight Writer: the current definition of a happy life.
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Reading MLK and rediscovering contemporary Asian Lit

Weekend had me busy with other things and so I’m catching up tonight with MLK’s weekend poetry. Marne L. Kilates gave a name and a face for my “favorite Filipino poet”. Definitely a master of his craft! There are a lot of reasons my poetic senses become so alive each time I read him up and this would count as one:

“Black granary god,
Sitting on my Taiwan-made
Plastic rice dispenser,
With your namesake
From conquered nations
And our checkered history,
Bless our crossover meal of Thai rice,
Laing pasta, siomai, mami.”



by Marne L. Kilates on Friday, 29 October 2010 at 23:21
* * *
As I have previously stated, this blog takes a whole new direction in that it devotes itself to the appreciation of Bikol literature and language.

Nevertheless, it does not turn away from its own self, which is multicultural and linguistically diverse. The predilections of readership and study will and always bring me to look out of the window and imagine what the people of Rabindranath Tagore, of Albert Einsten, of Jacques Derrida, and of Sir Francis Bacon have been painting with their words.

Then, tonight, as I sit upon MLK’s train of thoughts, the conversations I overhear draw me towards a lucid dreaming of what neighboring cultures have been writing about. For, while I refer to the continental for theories and structures of thought, I have always had a ready preference of reading through the works of the Oriental cultures and heritage.

On my research, I have been coming across several Asian names over the last few weeks but I have not had the opportunity to bookmark their pages or at least recall them. I remember today, the names of Asian writers like Naseer Ahmed Nasir and Mamta Agarwal.

So then, after a refreshing weekend poetry from the master of ekphrasis, I switch to bookmarking the pages of these other noteworthy writers of our time and age.

Read more: Musings of the Midnight Writer: Reading MLK and rediscovering contemporary Asian Lit
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Reader Responses to “Ano Baya Talaga”

Following is the collection of reader responses for Manoy Ben’s Ano Baya Talaga?

Praning: ayos!!!!
14 November at 18:47

Musings of the Midnight Writer: salamatun po sa pagheras kaini samu ^_^ Dios an magbalos!
14 November at 18:51 •

M. Luisa:
sobrang salamat kaining rawit-dawit mo mga tawong habo maghiras kan saindang kaigwahon dai ta sinda mababasol….siring man dakulang pasalamat kita sa mga tawong may marhay na kaisipan na magtabang sa mga kasaradayan sa abot kan saindang ma…itatabang….
satuya sindang ipinagadyi lalo na itong ibang sekto sa gobyerno na handang tumabang sa mga kasaradayan…
….kun para sa saku arog kan sakuyang pigtataram sa sakuyang mga aki na magsikap sinda sa buhay….magtapos sa pag-adal ngani may maabot sa buhay dai mkalingaw na magtabang sadit man o dakula….
dai makalingaw sa dios na maghagad nin gabay na itukdo an tamang dalan na aaguihan…….satuyang ikaugma an grasya nakukua kan iba ta baad pa lamang sinda makatabang sa ibang kahimanwa…
14 November at 19:31 •

Sangre: An kamaturan yaon sa lambang linya
hapot ko nu-arin magkaparareho
nuarin maka kakan ning daeng salto?
simbag ko, kun kita gabos mga gadan na!
14 November at 20:29 •

Sangre: mawrag manoy ben…mabalos musings sa pagheras.
14 November at 20:33 •

M. Luisa:
tama ka dyan amang sa saimong sinabi igwa ki kamaturan, opinyon ko lang tangani dai magsalto sa pagkakan maghigos, maging responsable sa mga obligasyon sa buhay ta ang iba kaya nag-aasa sa tabang na maitatao sainda pag dai naunrahan dagit p…a sinda… dapat mghigos maabilidad sa buhay para mabuhay para magkakan sa tamang oras…dai paghalaton an kagadanan labanan an kadukhaan…
GOBYERNO TA NGUNYAN DAI PAG-ASAHAN midbid lang kita kun kaipuhan na botohan ta…magsikap na lang kita sa buhay….
15 November at 05:11 •

Elmor: salamat sa pag heras mo… at mang ben saludo ako saemo
15 November at 09:40 •

Elmor: egwa akong sampulong muro ang saro teriko
eka onse ang _____________________
kong dae ka mag hero mayo.
15 November at 09:50 •

Musings of the Midnight Writer: dae ini masabutan kan amigo kong italian na nasa US ngunyan, tigbalo niya na ipalis sa english, pero an nadedetect ni google translator, ispanish…kaya logod ako nagbalo, pwede makibasa man po…? marhay na aga saindo gabos ^_^
15 November at 15:47 •

Ben Bobis: Wanakosey! Bow na lang ng bow!
16 November at 08:28 •

Read more: Musings of the Midnight Writer: Reader Responses to “Ano Baya Talaga”
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curiosity killed the cat

curiosity killed the cat
August 13, 2009 at 12:21 PM

Curiosity just killed the cat.
And it died another death today.
For it cannot bear to lose its pride,
It cut off its finger’s piercing claws.
Grandmother’s yarn was full of promise and color
that the cat thought it could be weaved
into a warm and comfortable shawl.
foolish cat didn’t know,
it played with the yarn
and found itself tied and tangled,
only for grandmother to scold…
the yarn was for a cage decor
she has been wanting to make for the bird.

Tagged: curiosity, cat, death, pride, promise, color,
comfortable, foolish, played, tangled, decor
Filed under: Of Which None Is To Be Said

Read more: Musings of the Midnight Writer: curiosity killed the cat
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What is it then, really?

Our regional language, Bikol, is yet to be picked up by Google and efforts for that to be possible are only on their initial stages of conception…

Allow me to post for you a rough translation of this poem. Manoy Ben’s or another friend’s could be closer to the original, this nonetheless is how I understand the poem and is as far as the constraints of my vocabulary of our own language reaches, so here goes:

What is it then, really?
beggars that line the stretch of the road
right in front of the house across the neighborhood
from the time i still crept on all four, hands and feet on the floor
till all the Fridays that followed, i’ve never faltered to witness
by the slits of our windows and door

a prodding mystery that in my naivete clouded my mind, o why
these pitiful sights, too heavy of a burden for a child’s mind
till on the daily business of life with the passing of time
all else have become ordinary, and they were seen as a gang reveling

whence, by merits of the academe, ‘midst the witnessed struggles
what broke out into the stream and walked the streets is the activist
and yet the queue of beggars were never removed before our eyes
and the little stream became a river that to the next bend extended
of these paupers and homeless people who appear incessantly by the door
yet whose roots could not be traced, that we must find out and know

turning heads around from this sad movie that plays back everyday
all is blamed to the bespoken corruption that reels in the government
limestone in the crowd, or sand and sediment like them: behind the bars, go!
in the cold of the metal jail fences enclosing,
feeling so sorry for what has become of the self
is the hearkening of the light of understanding,
oh how severe were the ways followed, full of pits and falls!

Is this indeed the road that leads us to our sufferings’ roots?
beggars, from dusted Bible times, well there have already been many
and so perhaps ne’er the government nor it’s said democracy did breed?
perhaps the keys that would shift the gear are right
within the pockets of the mariners of our ship

those aristocrats, they sought the seat of power, and won by many votes
save a little fraction, they all used their political position to further their possessions
but whether inherited riches or stolen from the nation’s people is not the issue
what sums all these talks is their ignorance of what obligation
has he who is entrusted with much things of value

it is in the book that we read ‘responsibilities of wealth’ but ’tis now
forgotten. even though investments are good, nothing can be traded
against providing service that is true to its word.
Profit with honor, SMC by Soriano
would anyone know if it’s still being run
the same way by Cojuangco?

If then the roots of this pauperhood and destitution, could not be found
for the ones seated in power, are not all greedy over wealth,
but in any one who has much, whether stolen or inherited,
all holders of the stake are on the same plane standing:
in their hands fall the burden to alleviate all the suffering

But where could they all be, these who have more
than what they need, truly wealthy indeed and capable
To, with all of heart’s sincerity, give voluntarily,
from all their gains. Dumped with so much graces
that the one ABOVE to them has only willfuly lent,
for just how many Manny Pacquiao’s does our nation,
the Philippines, really need?

This is The Midnight Writer’s rough translation of Manoy Ben Bobis’ “Ano Baya Talaga?”
A little reflection from a parishioner after Manny Pacquiao won his 8th world boxing title.

Read more: Musings of the Midnight Writer: What is it then, really?
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Ano Baya Talaga?

pila kaining makilimos poon kan ako magka-isip
sa luwas kan samong harong pirmi na nasisi’rip
nagkamang pa sana kaito, dai pa nakakalakaw
…daing patod kada byernes sakong pigtatanaw

lumbod na isip nagbungkaras ining hapot: t’daw
makahirakon hilingon, baang gabat para isipon
pero sa kahaluyan sa iba pang kasibutan nalingaw
ordinaryo na ni, nagin garo maogmang pagtiripon

naghaloy, nag-adal, bigla nag-aru’al, actibista daa
pero yaon giraray, dai nagli’pot, logod naglaba pa
ining makilimos byernes sa pwerta, yaon pa an pila
kun sain nagpoon su gamot magharanap daw kita

napamurongtan, nabirikan ining gobyernong korupto
taas kamo-o sabay kaining grupo, tundag: sa presinto!
pagpara-hara-hapihap laom kan rehas, sa sadiri nahirak
igwang nagliwanag, ining dalan palan grabe, lubak-lubak!

iyo baga ini totoong dalan sa gamot kaining kasakitan?
mga nagpalimos, panahon pa kan biblia, yaon, dakul man
tibaad bako man ining gobyerno demokrasya an hinalian?
tibaad an lyabe yaon sa mga tawong kani nagpadalagan

dating mayaman, nagkandidato, sa eleksyon nanggana
kadakul nakatuhkaw ginamit an pwesto yuminaman sana
maski arin man herederong yaman o hina’basan pareho
sumada: dai ninda aram obligasyon kan igwang sentimo

yaon sa libro nabasa ‘responsibilities of wealth’ kun sain
lingaw na. paminsan-minsan maginvest man daing kabain
magtao ki serbisyong puro. Profit with honor, SMC ni Soriano
ano daw kun ngonian kun eu pa man palakad ni Cojuangco.

kun siring gamot kaning pagpalimos, pag-tios, dai makukua
an nasa pwesto, bakong man gabos gahaman sa kwarta
kudi sa may kaya, hina’bun o pigamana, pareho man sinda
igwang responsibilidad na an pagtios tabangan mapara na

Hain daw sinda, ining iri-igwahon, mayamanon, may kaya
udok sa boot, boluntaryong ma-heras, saindang ganansya
tinambakan ki grasya na kan sa ITAAS sinda pinasubli sana
pirang pang Manny Pacquiao kaipuhan an Pinas magkaigwa?

Hali ki Ben Bobis (15 Nov 2010)

Read more: Musings of the Midnight Writer: Ano Baya Talaga?
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