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2 Lilinaon | 2014

Cover artwork by: Kenneth Paul Senarillos

Illustrations by: Maria Louisa Pasilan
Kenneth Paul Senarillos
Don Senoc
Jesse Lois Israel

Copyright 2014 by Himati
All rights reserved. Tis book or any portion thereof
may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever
without the express written permission of the publisher
except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.
Te Gay Continuum
Te Literary Folio of HIMATI, the ofcial student publication
of the University of the Philippines Mindanao
Nobody can be exactly like me. Even I have trouble doing it.
- Tallulah Bankhead
Te light outside was harsh in more than just one sense. It was
telling; too telling. But we had decided to come out, and so ensued our
frst tentative steps outside the closet.
I have come to call this threadbare motley of people my home.
We are less than writers, less than leaders. Tere was an anxious group
of six on the frst school Monday of June. Today, we arent much more.
We have a run-down ofce, a handful of drafs, and maybe twenty
people on a good day. We make do with what we have lef.
What we have lef is this:
We have a temperamental protg afraid of the next term
but undaunted in a picket; a happy girl who is the lone bastion of
punctuality in our meetings, and whose spunk and vision never fails to
amaze; a badass banda-banda boy who learned to layout in a weekend
and assumed the position of Art Director unspoken; a pretty girl who
is unassuming but promising, who is probably much too underrated;
a short-shorts girl who answered Associate Editor in her application
form, much to the title holders chagrin; a prodigal child whose search
for growth will always lead her home; feisty, brave freshmen who are so
strikingly diferent from their contemporaries that we almost cannot
believe our luck; and a stubborn editor in chief, who wakes up in a cold
sweat in the middle of the night on a regular basis out of inspiration
for a skeleton of a dream. We have people who could have chosen to
ride through roads well-traveled, but preferred the unknown, scenting
challenge in the air.

Tis is my letter to my lover. Te afair has been tempestuous,
illicit and headlong. Wiser people, like parents and your thesis adviser,
would tell you so. But nothing has freed us more, from the fear of being
silent, from ignorance and apathy, from sitting in ivory towers, than
the privilege of serving the people through this student publication. We
brave rallies, administrative action, and internalizing for poetry, because
we are not our own. We will challenge norms and provoke critical
thought because we believe that the true Iskolar ng Bayan still exists:
sharp, nationalist, and selfess. And: that we will strive to be among the
nameless who will embody this, whose desire to arouse and mobilize
will never tire in the face of struggle.
For a staf trying to write about the gay continuum, none of us
are gay (although we enthusiastically harbor prospects). We probably
know next to nothing about them. But we know emancipation, release,
joy, pain, anxiety, and contradiction; and so we infict you with this
Te paradox of our situation is like an admission of a grand
secret, like coming out for the frst time, like a perfect love afair: we are
uncertain, but we are unafraid.
Kit Iris Frias
During one of the busy weeks of Himati, we came across an
old literary folio issue in the library dated back in 1999. It was called
Lilinaon, a Maranao word for a peaceful state of mind. Even afer
more than a decade, it seemed timely and exactly what we wanted
our readers to have and to feel afer reading the literary folio. Tere
is something so frustrating and depressing about the fuss and chaos
around us that sometimes only literature only a verse or two from
a poem, only a whole chapter, or even an entire novel could make
us feel better. A person need not be an Arts student to realize this
certain longing for inner state of peace.
With Lilinaons resurrection from more than ten years of
hibernation, we wanted the UP Mindanao students natural love for
the visual and written art be lured in again as well. Tis university
was once a haven of rich culture and identity and we wanted this
specifc culture to be alive once more in the soul of every student.
More than wanting to get an uno or a tres, theres this certain desire
in all of us to experience epiphany, harmony, and inner peace that
the academic text books never gave us. Literary and visual art had
always been answers to this longing.
In Lilinaon, the contributions revealed the artistic side of
the students that had been kept hidden underneath bluebooks and
research papers. For the writers, photographers, and sketchers that
had their works published here, this folio well served as a breather
to them a means and a chance to say what they wanted to say in a
more diferent manner.
Te Gay Continuum. People have gradually learned to respect
and recognize the diferent gender preferences Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual,
and Transgender.
With the release of the frst issue of Lilinaon afer several years,
Himati presents to the readers the diferent journey gay people undergo
through. In this issue, Himati tried to sum up a gays journey into three
phases: Inside, the Path in Between, and Outside. Inside, being the
earliest stage where all the confusion and the difculty of acceptance
come in. In this phase, sometimes, even the person could not even
understand his/her feelings and might even suppress it. Te Path in
Between is where most of the pieces in this folio revolved around
theres this certain struggle and longing for acceptance from family,
friends, and even the strangers around. Tis phase is where all the
magic and the colors are in, symbolizing the uncertainties, the fght for
certainty, and the beautiful adventures that come with discovering and
accepting ones self. Te last phase, the Outside, is where understanding
and respect had fnally been achieved from quite a number of people. A
gay in this phase is somewhat much happier and contented, and is now
exploring life into the fullest love, sex, and societal impact.
With Lilinaon, Himati wanted the LGBT community to be more
understood, initially, by the readers of this literary folio.

With every fip of the page, more than anything, we wanted
you to enjoy Lilinaon and savor its pages that had been dormant for a
long time. Enjoy reading, Iskolar ng Bayan, and let the beauty of every
word, the angles of each photograph, the colors and shadows of the
sketches give you a peaceful state of mind.
Jennie Arado
Literary Editor
1 Lilinaon | 2014
An Open Letter
by Dy
n open letter to each and every one of you who are struggling as
to whether youre part of the continuum or not:
I know nothing about your pain. I could only imagine what
youre going through. Had I been given the choice between being gay
and not, it would have not been an easy choice. I have been living an
open gay life for more than a decade now, and Ill tell you honestly, it is
not easy to be in. No one in the community would have the courage to
lie to you and say that it is the joyride of the lifetime. Ill tell you this,
though, once the ride has started, whether you like it or not, youre in
it for the lifetime. Tat includes the low, rippling, and upside-down
moments of battling the norms the society has selfshly lain down,
indefnitely, and of course, the high moments of being sure of who you
are and being at peace with the happiness and contentment it gives you,
gay or not. Both moments would make your heart pump blood through
your veins a bit faster. Both would make you feel the strongest and most
real emotions youll ever feel.

I write to you as part of the queer community, fghting for
utmost equality. I believe I fght so that the time will come that those
people like you, who are currently unsure of themselves yet, and
probably hopeless, would be welcomed with open arms and without
judgment by the community they belong in.

2 Lilinaon | 2014
It hurts that I would have to be brutally honest with you and
tell you that whatever happens from here on, judging eyes will be upon
you, questioning your views, your feelings, and even your capacity to
What pains me the most is the fact that you do not have to
go through this had most people been even the least bit more human
and exercised respect unto one anothers lives, decisions, views, and
humanity. You are not the frst victim of judgment from a fellow
human being. You are not the frst to cry at night because of fear
of disappointing your family. You are not the frst to hate yourself
for having feelings that the greater part of society condemns. Most
importantly, you are not the frst to be labeled, teased, bullied, and given
the advice to try to change yourself by people close to you. You are
never alone.

I speak to you now as part of a community promising to never
ask you to be someone you are not. You may not see it right now, but
your strength to get through whatever struggle you are going through
could someday save the life of another who is currently or would
someday go through the same thing. Your happiness is not in the hands
of the people around you, but is in yours, and ultimately relies upon
how honest you have been to yourself.
I wish for strength and peace for you and the people around
A friend from somewhere along the continuum
3 Lilinaon | 2014
by Sidlak
Ang paglaya ay kanta
Na ibong pakawala pagkatapos ng pagkakakulong
Nangingilala ng ilaw at hangin at
Kakailang pakpak? Kamay? Palikpik?
Paggising sa araw
pagkatapos ng unos na maginaw at makulimlim
Hanging di Amihan, di Habagat
Isang sipol, ihip ng panalanging di sinsadyang maibuntong.
Ang paglaya ay lahat at di na pinapangalanan
Labas sa kalakhan.
Ang paglaya ay karapatang pinagkaloob,
Buhay na inaruga,
Giyerang ipinagwagi.
Ang paglaya ay pagbabagong-hubog,
Pagragasa sa daluyong na di papipigil.
Ang mapagpalaya ay makatwiran.
Ang tunay na mapagpalaya ay walang tribot at urit kasarian
Ang mapagpalaya ay iyo at iyo.
4 Lilinaon | 2014
5 Lilinaon | 2014
Mahal kong Leo
by Monique Roa
Hindi ko alam
kung paano ko sisimulan
ang tulang ito,
dahil alam ko,
na hindi mo rin
ito sasagutin.
Alam mo bang naiinis
ako sayo, Leah?
ay mali. Leo?
Nakakainis ka
lalong-lalo na
kapag magkasama kayo
ng boyfriend este-
girlfriend mo.
Masakit isipin
hindi kita kayang pasayahin.
Nakakainis ka
dahil ang ganda-ganda,
mali nga! dahil ang gwapo mo
at alam kong hindi ako
kailanman magiging sapat
para sayo.
Nakakainis ka
kasi isa kang matapang na-
-lalaki. At alam ko na
na mas malayo ang maaabot mo
kung hindi ako
ang kasama mo.
Leah, ayoko nang magpanggap.
6 Lilinaon | 2014
Kaso, alam kong hindi pa ako tanggap
pero napapagod na kasing akong palitan
ang pagkatao ko, at ang iyong pangalan.
At higit sa lahat, Leah,
Nakakainis ka
dahil wala kang pinagkaiba sa kanila ,
at nung pinahihirapan nila ako
wala kang ginawa ni isa.
Nanahimik ka lang at pinanuod mo sila.
Dahil ba takot ka? O dahil ba sa tingin mo
ay tama lang ang ginagawa nila?
Hindi ako nanghuhusga,
pero Leah, ayoko na.
Dahil nakakainis ka.
Pagod na Pagod na,
7 Lilinaon | 2014
Johnny Needs a Boyfriend
by Johnny Blondie
ohnny woke up, slowly and painfully aware of the headache
threatening to spilt his head in two. He had drank hard last night,
well aware of the consequences come morning afer. It was the price
to pay for a fun, crazy night with friends, a price he was willing to pay.
He abated with himself whether to go pester his friends again. But when
he looked at his bedside clock, it was nine in the morning. Pretty early
for his standards, but his friends fights were scheduled early in the
morning. So he dutifully closed his eyes and drifed back into sleep.

He awoke fve minutes later, grumpy that his brain didnt give
him enough time to rest. He closed his eyes again, willing himself to go
back to sleep but his hangover reckoned otherwise. When he was fully
awake, he began to doubt whether he was really willing to pay this price,
or did his friends just force feed him a bottle of Absolut. His mouth was
acrid, like a skunk was putrefying on his tongue. A skunk that sucked
all the water in his body and lef him dehydrated. When he stood up to
grab a glass of water, his headache attacked him full force. And he felt as
if he was about to puke right there beside the bed.

Fuck my life!

Afer drinking three full glasses of water and some painkillers
to add, he went back to his bed, knowing lying still would be the best
position to wait this out. He laid on his back staring at the stucco patters
on the ceiling. He wanted to sleep, or at least nap, but again, the gavel
that constantly pounded his head protested. So there was nothing he
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could do. Nothing but think. Oh come on! Not this thinking shit again.

Johnny tried to keep his thoughts merry and oh so joyful, a feat
in itself given his current situation. But he couldnt stop his mind from
wandering over to his maudlin thoughts when he was too exhausted
trying to keep it from doing so. He thought of his family, and how he
fucked it up. He thought of his friends, and how empty he felt without
them, despite acting like a hard-hearted bitch when they were around.
He thought about his grades, and how he was beginning to fuck that
up to. But most of all, he thought about how empty and alone he felt.
Lonely and directionless without a boyfriend. Ok, now were talking, his
deprecating self said. It always comes back to this problem every time
he was alone with his thoughts. Youre not good enough. Who would
seriously take you seriously? Loser! He had enough of that shit from
himself and now that all of his friends were hooked up, he couldnt help
but feel lef behind.

Finally deciding to stop this, in a way, self-inficted pity party,
Johnny stood up abruptly heading for the bathroom, his head protesting
wildly from the sudden jolt. He had decided on a long shower. A long,
cold shower to sober him up, physically and mentally.

Towel-dried, Johnny got out of the bathroom, shaking from
the Antarctic cold he had subjected himself into. Te family jewels had
shriveled up into a prune and his junior was a good inch shorter. It was
really cold, too cold for his liking. But just enough to keep himself from

When the cold had fnally begun to subside, he was exhausted
from all the shivering. He slumped into the bed, the painkillers starting
to wield their efects. With his hair wet, Johnny fell back into slumber.

Waking up for the third time that day, Johnny began to notice
something lulling him out of his sleep. A loud, but sof, jazz music
9 Lilinaon | 2014
playing in the background. Te kind of jazz that eighties movies use
when the characters were kissing and having sex. Yes! Tat kind of jazz:
sexy, sultry. Seductive. He kept his eyes closed, reveling in the relaxing
music. Wondering briefy where the music had come from, for he had
no stereo.

But there was something else in the room. Body heat, a
presence. Johnny was startled by his realization and threw his eyes open
only to be surprised by a stranger kneeling, straddling his legs.

Shhh, the stranger put a fnger to his lips. And no sooner
began to dance like a stripper, like the go-go boys in Los Angeles red
light district.

Johnny felt like he should panic. But strangely, he didnt.
He was relaxed and was beginning to appreciate the dancing fgure
in front of him. A stranger no less. A stranger with rippled abs and
bulging arms. His eyes so dark you could get lost in them. And his skin
glistening, so brown he could swear the stranger was made of chocolate.

Te stranger got on top of him. Supported by his knees and

Fuck his only thought remotely close to coherent.

Its okay baby. And before Johnny could react he felt his lips
enveloped in the strangers pillowy ones. Te stranger prodded his lips
with his tongue, inviting, with him only too happy to accept. He opened
his lips and let their tongues mingle in a sweet, sticky dance. And they
only parted when Johnny gasped for air.

Holy shit.

Names Dom, the man said into his ear. Grinding himself
onto Johnnys groin, making him all too aware of the tightness of his
10Lilinaon | 2014

Oh god. Gasped.

You can call me that too. A chuckle.

It wasnt long till Johnnys movements went sporadic, his hips
crushing itself onto the man above as if it had a mind of its own. And
just as he was about to fnish

Ring. Ring. Ring.

Johnny jumped, surprised by his alarm clock. 12:00 it read.
When he looked down his boxers were tented, with a tiny wet spot at
the peak.

God I need a boyfriend.
11 Lilinaon | 2014
A Claveria Meetcute
by Sidlak
I do not know how to love
Outside a city.
To love is to
Share the bite of a sugary fried banana
Clasp hands under orange streetlights
Con warmth side by side in the chill of a jeep
To fnd him
In the motley of studios, L-types, lofs and townhouses
In the colors of the morning rush
In the swirling lasers
In panties and boxers and air and god knows what
To fall away
Untied under the orange streetlights, spitting
Lost in the morning rush, weeping
Empty in an inconvenient lof, alone.
12 Lilinaon | 2014
If You Knew
by James dela Cruz
You are my best friend in this lonely world
A glimpse of heaven in this sinful earth
Te haven that keeps me safe
Te reason that I still pray

As I try hard to reach my peak,
You stand by me every time
Whether I am strong or plain weak,
You still try to keep me shine

But now I am doubting
If ever you knew my darkest secret
Te thing Ive been hiding
Something about me I wish to forget

You got me thinking
If you ever uncover this unspoken truth
If you ever notice this thing I hide from you
Would you be doubting?

Would you still love me like you do?
Would you think I am condemned too?
Would you be mad at me for not telling the truth?
Would you be sad for me cause I hid it from you?

Believe me, I tried telling you
Trust me, its been hard for me too
I beg you, please try to hear me
13 Lilinaon | 2014
Save me from this lie I live in

I had tried a million times
To chain my heart and mind
Cried in those troubled nights
Gods words didnt seem to rhyme

But I cant live a lie anymore
And keep my true self ofshore
Im tired of running away from me
And deny the things I yearn to feel

Dont disown me, I beg
Tis is still me, dont fret
Te same person you loved once
Same boy you carried for months
14 Lilinaon | 2014
Flick of a Cigarette
by Jennie Arado
was staring at the other end
of the room, waiting. I didnt
know what I was actually
waiting for, perhaps for the clock
to strike twelve so we could all
leave for lunch break. I wasnt
really hungry, or anything. Its just
the cold air coming from the air
conditioner that made me want
to leave the room fast, and light a
cigarette somewhere outside.
Please come back afer an hour
so we could resume with our next
activity on the line-up. Tank
you, I heard the emcee say. For 30
minutes, it was the frst thing she ever said that I actually listened to.
I pulled my sweater tighter to my body, transferred my
wallet and phone to my jacket pocket and moved on. I felt the cigarette
case and lighter with my fngers. Tree, four sticks lef, just enough
to sustain me for the day. I pulled my long black hair to a bun and
proceeded to the door. Outside, there was not a single soul; perhaps,
everyone had been clamoring their way to the canteen. Five straight
hours of listening to someone talk about their own shits of how to breed
dogs was unnerving. God, fve hours.
15 Lilinaon | 2014
I put a stick between my lips and ficked a Hello-Kitty-shaped
lighter to light it up. Breathed the smoke in. Perfect. Te mint was just
perfect and slowly, I was beginning to forget the arresting coldness that
the air-conditioned room enveloped me.
Pwede pa-sindi?, I was startled to hear her voice. Calm but
happy. She was wearing a loose red cotton shirt and grey leggings. She
was smiling, looking down at the lighter I had in my hand. Cute, she
mouthed. I ofered her my lit cigarette and I saw how her beautiful full
lips smiled as a scatter of white smoke broke free.
You come here ofen? I asked her, not really wanting to hear
if she was a regular, but because I wanted to hear her voice again. Sweet
but frm. Calm but happy. Beautiful but strong.
No, I dont have a dog actually. I came here for a friend. She
asked me a favor to attend this taking-care-of-your-dog-seminar. And
yea, here I am. She ficked her cigarette to drop the ashes. Her voice was
so soothing, so warm that I nearly forgot how cold it was inside. Her
huge white teeth were showing with every word: actually, friend, yea,
she was smiling, I think she was. She was so beautiful, her long black
hair pulled into a ponytail and when she turned around I noticed half of
her head was shaved. Shaved. Shaved. Beautiful.
Im Anna, by the way, she ofered her hand afer ficking away
the used cigarette.
Kara. Im Kara. I shook her hand, her grip frmer than I
thought it would be.
She smiled again, so beautiful that I thought right then I would
want to marry her. I wanted to be her. I wanted to be with her. Crazy.
Funny. Stupid. But God, shes so beautiful.
I felt stupid around her, star-struck, as she pulled another stick
16Lilinaon | 2014
from her pocket and asked for my Hello Kitty lighter.
Am I such a bother, Kara?, she asked when she realized I
wasnt talking too much.
No, not really. Im just not a good conversation starter. Tats
all. I tried to smile but I know it wasnt as pretty as hers. So I tried
to keep it to myself. Whats the deal with the shaved head?, I asked,
almost feeling disgust for myself for asking such a stupid and ofensive
She let out a spray of laughter. Tere goes that smile again,
everything paused for a moment, and resumed when I heard her
Oh, this?, she said pointing to the bald part of her head. She
hesitated then went on. I had this just recently. Just out of a good, great,
And then she started telling me of how she hated to actually
come here in this seminar for dogs but she had to because her girlfriend
had been sick for three days and someone needed to come. Girlfriend.
Girl-friend. Girl. Friend.
For twenty-two years, I was sure I was straight. I had, what,
three to four boyfriends before. I had a hundred of girl crushes, yes,
but they were nothing serious, just someone I secretly wished upon
the Orion constellation to look like. I thought Anna was one of them,
someone I just wanted to look like, to be as cool
and as impulsive as, but when she said the
word girlfriend, I didnt understand why for the frst time, I felt like I
had never loved, never been hurt before.
Mauna na, ako, Kara. Nice
meeting you. I have to eat lunch anyway. Ikaw, kumain ka na?
17 Lilinaon | 2014
Its okay. Busog naman ako eh. Sige, see you inside. She
waved her hand and walked away. Tere goes that smile again showing
her huge white teeth.
I lit another cigarette, and as I waiting for the frst burst of
white smoke to come out through the small parting of my lips, I
remember a few line from a poem I had been reading recently:
When love arrives, say welcome, make yourself comfortable.

If love leaves, ask her to leave the door open behind her, turn
of the music
I listened to the silence afer she lef, I whispered: Tank you,
for stopping by.
18 Lilinaon | 2014
by Viv Salve
Trying to talk to you Im still trying.
I crave to know what goes deep in your mind.
I like talking to you even though I
do not like talking because I like you.
I want you to be my watch that I cant
really live without. First thing I look at
in the morning, and the last one to see
by evening, but I dont talk to my watch.
So maybe you are something else. Someone.
Can you be my dream, instead? Te one I
have when I drif to sleep and the one that
I will think of by the time I wake up.
Wont compare you to a summers dayfuck!
because, still, its not enough. Oh, Im stuck!
19 Lilinaon | 2014
Who I Am
by Johnny Blondie
any times I have forced myself to like what they say Im
supposed to like. And Ive found myself, more than once,
striving to perfect a craf I am expected to excel in. But I am
not a conformist nor will I ever be. I dare to defy societys defnition of
man. And never shall I again mold myself to be what society expects me
to be, not even its expectations of a gay guy.

I dont like makeup. Never have and probably never will. I
fnd the prospect of paintings someones face daunting. I will not force
myself to learn the stroke of the brush and know the right shade or
color just because I am gay.

I dont have much sense in style. I wear what I want with little
regard to how they match and look. Te best clothes, to me, are the ones
that feel comfortable not what looks so. I will not force myself to wear a
scarf under the heat of the blazing sun to look good just because Im gay.

I am not a dancer and my legs can go high only as far as my
bones allow it to. And the movement of my body may be coordinated,
but not enough to impress. I will not force my body to bend in
unnatural ways because Im gay.

I am not talented when it comes to sketches. I can draw a
silhouette but nothing more than the usual dress or suit. I will not force
myself to be good at fashion design just because Im gay.

I love interior design but unfortunately I may only be that, a
20Lilinaon | 2014
lover. I am not good at home organization and neither do I take pleasure
in choosing just the right kind of furniture. I will not berate myself for
not exceling in something that I love.

I sway my hips when I walk, just like Tyra does on Americas
Next Top Model. I like posing for personal photographs, doing poses I
see on expensive mall shops. My voice takes on a high pitch when Im
talking to people who know Im gay. And my pinky, shes a special one, I
dont like her to do most lifing work.

I dont like lifing heavy things just because I dont like the
sweat and stress. And I am not much of a sports guy. I dislike basketball
because, as much as I love men, Id hate smelling like a used jockstrap.
But I do have a weakness for guys with abs and guys that have talent and
skill. Sing/dance/paint to me and Im yours for the taking.

But when Im with the people who dont know, who are in the
dark about my sexuality, I try to hide the gay. Te qualities that people
ofen associate with gay men: the lisp, the limp wrist, the sashay and
the hair fip. Try not to stare too long at the Adonis that passes by; and
try to appreciate the Venus that I wouldnt have given a second look
I am a bit feminine and sometimes, a bit masculine, but I
try not to dwell on the labels. And never again will I single out guys
who are famboyant just because they say I need someone butch. I am
famboyant, that doesnt mean I cant like someone who is.

But I am not gay because I try to walk like Tyra or because I
have a higher than normal voice pitch. And certainly not because I am
efeminate. I am me because I am who I choose to be, not what people
tell who I need to be. I am gay for the simple fact that I am capable
of loving a person with the same phallic organ down under. I want to
man to see me naked and see someone worth longing for. I want to
marry that man. Adopt some dogs. Grow old together and laugh at our
21 Lilinaon | 2014
younger selves. I want to love him, give him the world and more. And if
you tell thats not what makes me gay, then I dont know what does.

Tats not to say homosexuality is a choice. Far from it, but
thats a whole other can of worms. I didnt willfully choose to love men
and I certainly dont consciously choose to sway my hips, or to talk like
Rachel Zoe. Rather, I choose not to hide. I choose to be proud and stand
tall, despite and in spite of what people say. I choose not to be a coward
and stand by who I really am.

I am a gay guy. I am me. My sexuality has no implications
on my personality and my character. I am not an object and I am not
a stereotype. I dont ask to be respected as a gay man. I want to be
respected because I am human.

22Lilinaon | 2014
by Monique Roa
Dito sa:
na sulok
ako nakaupo-
Malayo sa:
mga sigaw
ng mundo
at pangungutya
ng mga
gaya mo.
Malayo sa:
mga kulay:
pula, asul, lila
na galing sa
bawat sampal,
suntok, at sipa
na naibigay mo.
Sampal, suntok, sipa--
Mga sugat sa pagkatao ko.
Sampal, suntok, sipa, lunod--
Tingnan mo nga ako.
Tay, sapat ba ang mga rason mo?
Sa mga
Sampal, suntok, sipa.
Na ibibigay mo
kapag akoy
tuluyang lumabas
sa sulok na
pinagtataguan ko
23 Lilinaon | 2014
While We Smoke
by Unwisened
Te fres have been lit so to speak;
Te smoke is fowing from your mouth.
Your ashen fragrance invites me.
You hold my hand and we pass the time,
In this dark restricting alley;
We savour each second tightly.
Your eyes on mine, my beloved beauty;
I see the stars a lit in your eyes.
Te chains are fnally loosening.
For in this dark secret alley, our newfound home
Well hide from their prying eyes;
Ill kiss you without awakening.
Te still, cold evening air shall be our judge;
Te stars be our witness.
Every smoke we puf be our blood.
Just a few more seconds, as the fres fnally end.
We kiss our fnal kiss;
I wear my chains again.
24Lilinaon | 2014
Sadists Love Song
by Viv Salve
I was a college freshman when I frst saw her.
Heres the scene. Obscure Japanese song stirred the sultry air in the
Te professor stood nearby; a group was dancing on the poorly-lit stage.
I did not give a damn. All a
I saw her standing there
by the dull green wooden doorclad in a white dress almost as white
as her skin. In her head, she donned a hat.
It did not matter.
Her group would go next on stage. While I
forgot when our turn was.
Her hair plunged staright down
and draped her shoulders. Her eyes
seemed smaller as she smiled to no one
in particular. Te redness of her lips reminded me of the blood that
gushed out
from my gash once. I liked that she wore only light blush-on,
no eye shadow, no lip paint. And I liked how I
smiled as I stared at her.
I sat,
25 Lilinaon | 2014
and smiled once more.
I was glad that my costume concealed my face. I was a woman from
My mind photographed a picture of her to keep her face in my memory
during the moonless
My senses told me to stop. Still,
I wanted to touch her.
She dug into my skin like needles and pins. I gnashed my teeth
and clenched my fsts.
She is the long, deep wound.
And each time I think of her, as I do tonight, I am reminded
of a wound that I do not want to tend.
She is the pain I do not ever want to get rid of.
I may poke the fesh, press, draw blood,
spit into it,
pour spirit onto it. I let this open wound on my hand hurt
stinging with life. Never
will I choose to do otherwise. As I enter
another room, she may actually be standing there. And the wound
would bleed once more. But still,
there is no urge to cease the gush.
I let the blood run down.
26Lilinaon | 2014
by B Gonzales
t was already two in the morning, but George still considered the
night young. Te dancing city lights and banging disco music from
the distant clubs made him so alive, so full of beans. It had been on
hell of a night for him actually. Afer meeting up with his bitchy friends
at a bar and partied a lot, he managed to trample down the alley with a
tequila on his hand and a good laugh with them.
Amongst his group of friends, if friends was what you call to
those persons you always hang out with minus the treatment you got
from them, he had been the consistent and top-rated clown. He could
throw of the most hilarious, most exaggerating jokes ever, but most of
the time he was the joke itself. He didnt mind, really. If that made them
happy, so be it. If that made them stay, so be it.

Guys, knock, knock! He shouted beyond the noises and
27 Lilinaon | 2014
shouts they are making.
Whos there?!? His friends chorused.
Suman who?!?

Aherm, He knocked at the closest lamp post, cleared his
throat and sang out loud, Do you wanna build a suman? Cmon, lets
go and play. I never see you anymore, come out the door. Its like youre
gone away; we used to be best buddies, but now were not. I wish you
will tell me why? Do you wanna build a suman? Do you wanna build a

Go away, George, go away! Sonya, one of the bitches, reacted
like Elsa from the flm Frozen.And just like Anna from Frozen, he
dropped his shoulder and acted like her, Okay, bye.

A boisterous laughter erupted from the group. And another
shots of the alcohol they brought passed around. It had always been like
that. Joke. Laugh. Shot. Ten the cycle repeated itself. Tey were living
the life like theres no tomorrow. Shot till you drop. Laugh while you
can. Just dont let bad vibes get in the way.

Most of them were already blotto and started throwing up
along the road. Others walked crisscross, while some tried their best
not to bump the poor little trash cans lined up at the sides. Tey were
singing Do you wanna build a snowman? at the top of their lungs; afer
all, they were along the busy street of a sleepless metropolitan. Te smell
of mixed tequila, lime juice, cigars and pukes lingers on his nose for a
long time already. A mixture overlapping his fruity perfume. It seemed
its the only company Georges got, and all his friends were just lucid
images of a once-upon a happy dream. He was drowned on his deep
thoughts. He was thinking that this session they had will be diferent
from their customary partying. He needed his friends not as party-
buddies, but as listeners. Yet, he doubted.

28Lilinaon | 2014
You look odd today, George. Sonya poked him at the back
and gave him that Chesire smile. Got dumped again? Who? Tat Mike-
guy, or maybe someone new I didnt know?

Tey knew he was gay. His friends. And he believed they
accepted the real him.

He looked at Sonya. Back to the bygone days of him being a
Samson, the strong and virile, she fantasized him like god. Yet it didnt
work out. He found out it wont work out- him being with a girl, loving
her. It was another Samson he was looking- he wanted to spend a
lifetime with. He had a heart of a Delilah, afer all.

Nah. Does it always have to do with a guy everytime I get

Not really. But cmon, what other problems do you have
there?He sighed. Whats wrong with you people? Why do you judge us
easily? I have lots of other problems, too, girl, like now, Im broke. And
I need a new job to sustain my needs,

She put her arms around his shoulder; he could smell her
rosy-mint cologne. He envied that smell so much. It attracted boys
all the time. Problems? shes already tongue-tied. If I know, youre
just worrying about what color to put on your make-up, what fashion
to attract boys, or where is the next party. You dont even care about
menses or pregnancy complications, and you always want to be a girl
or to have a baby. You dont have big problems like we do, okay? And
fnding a job?! You can always end up in a comedy bar. Youre great

George loved her scent and valued her as a friend, but the
nerve of this witch. He didnt if know how or why, but the next thing he
knew, he was at the top of her, pulling her hair raggedly and slapping
her as if he could throw all his madness to her.
29 Lilinaon | 2014

A BIT!!!
George could feel hands on his back pulling him away from
Sonya. Tey were still in the road, but it seemed their drunkenness
evaporated into thin air. She was wrecked to the ground and some of
their friends helped her to get up. Strands of her hair get scratched
from her scalp and her face was already swollen in red. Te heck,
she was crying hard. He was breathing heavily on the other side of
the road while watching her. He couldnt help himself looked at her
sullenly because for the frst time, he was able to burst out all his fury to
something, to someone. Too bad, its her.

What happened to both of you? A friend asked keeping them
far away from each other.

Ask that overreacting bitch! Im just asking him whats wrong
with him, and then he started bruising me. She said between sobs.
Insensitive, my ass, you FAGGOT! Just tell us that you got full of your
life and now youre dragging us with you to that hell!

George aimed at her, ready to kick her, to slap her and to let
her feel the pain he was feeling right now. It hurt him much. Tose
words pricked down to his system down to his soul, and it seemed like
eternity. It was hurtful to hear those insults from a friend.

Stop it, you two! Teir friends held them frm away with
each other. Te grip on Georges arms started to swell, and he knew
they wont be releasing him until Sonya would be out of the scene. His
friends holding Sonya pulled a taxi and rode. He watched it as it sped up
30Lilinaon | 2014

Let go of me! Let go of me! He shouted.
Well let you go if you wont make reckless behaviour again,
Shit. I said let me go, He cried once more. Let. Me. Go.

He tussled against their hold. Its a struggle, but then he
succeeded. He felt free. Tat same feeling he felt afer he exposed
himself as gay. What happened to you George? Tey asked. Too many
questions, too many conficts. But he was not in the mood to face them
all. Tey would not understand, still. Sonya was the paragon.

Leave me alone. Please, leave me alone. Just he managed to
say without the efects of the tequila. Just go. I want to be alone.

And they did. Tey called another cab, hopped on, and went
away without saying goodbye. George felt empty for a long time. Real
empty. He thought theyd stood there and would kept on bugging him
what s the problem, then hed broke down to them, tell them whats
wrong. Ten, theyd had a cofee while welcoming a new day. Ten hed
said they were his friends. He had friends. But no. He was wrong. He
just believed them that they accepted him already. Yet his friends didnt.
Tey still didnt accept him.

Te night was still young, inviting as always.
Te only thing that accompanied him was the scent of his
drunken friends mixing with his own fragrance. And this time he was
alone. So alone. For real.
31 Lilinaon | 2014
by Christine Jodloman
Hindi ka nila tanggap,
Sa bagay na magpapasayang ganap,
Sa iyong pusong ang nais makamit,
Pag-unawa ng madlang sadyang mapait.
Araw-araw tampulan ng tukso,
Ng mga taong wariy di matanto,
Kung ano ang iyong kasarian,
Ang iyong hangad na respetoy masilayan.
32Lilinaon | 2014
Sa paglipas ng panahon,
Lugmok sa putik, ikay umahon,
Upang ang kasalukuyay matapang na harapin,
At mga mapang-apiy huwag pansinin.
Wala kang tinatapakang tao,
Kahit na ikay durog na durog sa pagsusumamo,
At itoy naging daan,
Upang patibayin iyong katatagan
33 Lilinaon | 2014
Closet Case
by Monique Roa

Halika na
bago pa
dumating sila,
Isara mo na
bago pa
mahuli nila,
sa munting mundo
kung saan tayo
ikaw at ako
tayong dalawa
ay iisa.
34Lilinaon | 2014
Te PhotogRAPher Im
inlove with
by Jennie Arado
Boke. You laughed at your own photography jokes.
I didnt get it. But who cares? I love how your huge white
teeth show.
I love the natural pout of your lips.
the tattoo lines graphed on your torso
the sleeve cut down to your hips
the Mohawk that made you an inch taller
the way you said boke and laughed again.
Im trying hard not to notice,
the way your pinky fnger sticks out
holding that cup of iced cofee
Im trying hard not to notice,
the way you pursed your lips,
trying to conceal your gentle mustache.
35 Lilinaon | 2014
You adjusted your camera lens.
Zoom in, zoom out
Te same blur you make me feel.
Do we choose the same pictures to look at?
Do we capture the same scenes in our heads?
I stared at you, and I knew.
I would never be the subject of your photographs.
36Lilinaon | 2014
by Sidlak
I chose you
Without knowing
My fngertips tingled
My heart leapt
And I knew
I had chosen you, even when I hadnt
I chose you
When you laughed
When you were sodden
in 4AM beer
When your voice cracked
When your fngers were mine
And I couldnt tell them apart anymore.
I chose you
I did not choose a boy, a girl
A face, a mind
Your pocket or your crotch
Your hair, your smell
I didnt;
I chose you,
And that is all.
You chose
diferently; neither wisely nor poorly
Negative Spaces
37 Lilinaon | 2014
You chose him
Even when I knew
Tat your bed screamed my
name, that your palms would
ask, where is she?
You chose him,
And I do not pretend to know why.
38Lilinaon | 2014
For the Rest of the Night
by Irene
have to smile again. I have to prepare
for whats going to happen. My dad
wants to meet him, and I know that
he and my mom are going to be pleased.
Hes everything a girl would want: good-
looking, tall, has a smile as glorious as a
sunset, and they say that a look from him
could just melt a soul.
I wish mine would melt, too. I so wish that when I gaze into
his brown eyes, I see a future with him, or even feel my heart drop to
the foor and leave me beref of words, but instead I imagine him to be
the girl in my Physics class, petite and has adorable dimples on either
side of her face. Only then I would I become excited and blush myself
vermillion. She had been my seatmate for months now but I still dont
know her name. I have already memorized her smile, the smell of her
in the morning, the tingling feeling that spreads through me whenever
her hand briefy touches mine, but not her name. At least, not yet. All
I know right now is that I am more intoxicated with her sweet vanilla
scent than my boyfriends.
It is fnally dinnertime and he shows up at my doorstep with a
bouquet in his hands and a quiet smile on his face. Afer a few minutes
of staring, I stop and orient myself, Youre in love with this guy.
Remember that for the rest of the night. What I forget to tell myself
is, I should be in love with him, or someone like him, for the rest of my
life. I feel the pressure crushing me again. I feel strangled and I couldnt
39 Lilinaon | 2014
breathe. When am I going to tell him? To tell my family? When am I
going to be really honest with myself?
We proceeded eating and he charms the pants of of my
parents and my kid brother. He is smart. He is hot. His family is
well-of. I have told him that I loved him so many times through our
exchange of text messages. He adores me. But why cant I feel any pull
in my stomach, that feeling that I am taking a dive into the deep and
uncharted waters of the uncertain and the unpredictable? Why do I
not feel my heart caving in to the very sound of his name? Why does
my mind not unfurl itself to the thought of loving him? He pursued me
to the ends of the earth and I know that he loves me, that he would do
everything to keep me.
I breathe in and out. In and out. My parents are smiling at him.
I want to be in love with him. I want myself to want to snuggle into his
arms and be lost in the tangle of heat and love that he has for me, but
instead all I see is the girl in my Physics class smiling at me. All I want
to do is to drown into her comforting sofness. Ten suddenly, his hand
slowly inches towards mine and holds it, and all I could ever think of is
how it would feel for her small hands to be on mine and for us to share
this heady warmth. How, for the frst time in my life, would I truly feel
that I have made the best choice for myself and I would become truly
Tey are all now looking expectantly at me and I ask, What?
Well, honey, if it makes you that happy being with him, he is
a perfectly good young man for you to be with, my mom says with a
Tank you, maam, that means so much for the both of us, he

My vision then blurs and everything goes mute. I excuse
myself from the table and go to the bathroom. How long? For how long
am I gonna be like this? I dont want him, dont love him, and the girl
from my Physics class smiles wider and her eyes grow brighter. Her.
40Lilinaon | 2014
I want to be absorbed at the thought of her, have her sweet lips
on mine, her hands on mine and inhale the scent of her hair, be on a
twisted version of Romeo and Juliet with her. I want to feel vulnerable
around somebody and be someone whole, all I want is to be truly in
love, even if it ridicules who I am, even if it defes society. I wash my
face with cold tap water and cry myself out. I dont want this. I never
wanted to be diferent.
I want to be in love with a perfectly nice boyfriend and live a
normal life. I want to be good for my family, but - I want her more.
But is she going to be worth it? Would my love for her promise
to be enough? I know that shes going to be amazing and wonderful
and beautiful, but would she like me back, me in my awkwardness and
my confusion? Would I ever attain and possess her soul and be able
to absorb all the beauty that is in her? I know I am not ready for that.
I would never be ready for love in that magnitude; love that immense,
powerful, and all-encompassing.
Is she a kingdom that I am ready to conquer, a mystery in my
heart that I am ready to solve? No. Am I ready to give everything up and
drop everything for her? I want to, but I cant. Maybe there are more
important things than happiness, more important people than myself.
I do not see a future with my boyfriend but I know that he
would and could wait for me at the altar, and as for her - I know he
would be the one to wait for me at the altar. Maybe I could create an
illusion for myself again, of a wedding, full of fowers and a groom
grinning at me, the bride. I am a woman. A woman is for a man. Te
world is shouting that to me right now. I could never change the worlds
rules, so I would have to change myself.
I tell myself, I can do this, put on my make-up and pray for a
41 Lilinaon | 2014
Bilis - Bilisan
by B Gonzales

Dali takbo tayo
Doon sa malayo,
doon sa tago
Yung walang nakakakita
Yung tayo lang, walang
Dali upo na tayo
O di kaya higa na
Nakakapagod na
Pawiin natin to nang
Dali hubad na lang
Ang init nat di ko na kaya
Sabay tayo ha
Nahihiya pa ako
Dali halikan mo na ako
Dito sa leeg, mukha, labi
Ako rin man sayo
Wag kang matakot
Dali lapit ka na, sigi na
Bakit ayaw mo ba?
Di mo ba kaya?
Tulungan na lang tayo
42Lilinaon | 2014
What I Deserve
by Monique Dingding
It comes as a struggle
years of trying to hold it in
reminding myself not to cave in
It happens at night
when nobody sees myself but me
when nobody knows the truth but me
People seem to think of it as a faw of the human nature;
I did not bother change their minds.
I am a man, I love a man
If only they could see through my eyes.
I do not need them
to feel good about myself nor
to keep me from my social anxiety
I deserve indiference
I deserve respect
I am a person with worth no lesser than yours.
43 Lilinaon | 2014
First. Love. Struggle.
by Aleida Gomez
ometimes, I just want to make sure that Im not living
in a dreamland.
Even afer six months, I still could not fathom how
the universe conspired to bring the two of us together. A
product of the series of encounters? Hmmm, probably. Is
it magic? No, not quite. Tat would go against the concept
of dialectical materialism. But we could not really objectify
everything like the concept of falling in love. Whatever that
is, I am thankful it happened.

Its still quite overwhelming that for six months and
counting, I learned to share my life with someone. Someone
to eat and cook meals with. Someone to come home to afer
coming back from long business trips. Someone to spend
the weekends with.

Now, I have someone to be there during the ups and
downs. I have someone who will tell me that everythings
going to be okay. Because of you, I had to change my plans.
I had to change directions.

44Lilinaon | 2014
Of course, its never an easy road when it comes to
this journey were taking on together. Sometimes I have to
be extra patient when youre stressed about your projects or
when you have your monthly visitor. Sometimes we fght
over the little annoying things that I do like unconsciously
falling asleep without saying goodnight or cancelling our
dates because of work or again, falling asleep when I have so
much more to do like writing this literary piece. I know that
these disagreements are just what you call growing pains,
the pains and trials that come as we push forward.

But despite this, at the end of the day, the decision to
love remains unchanged.
Firsts. Ive experienced and continue to experience
so many frsts with you. First serious relationship. First
date. First love letter. First time to hold someones hand.
First Valentines Day. First time to go through the grueling
process of meeting the family (which by the way is worse
than defending a thesis manuscript).

You are my frst love and hopefully my last. I
wouldnt have it any other way.

Love. It comes when you least expect it. It comes
even when youre not looking for it.

Last year, I had to move up north. I really didnt
know what challenges I was going to face by changing
45 Lilinaon | 2014
addresses. All I thought about was work. I am a workaholic.
I buried myself in work for the past years. I never
entertained the concept of romantic love. I was a self
declared halaman.

Slowly, it all changed. Every encounter seemed like
it was taken from a mainstream movie. No matter how
much I tried avoiding you and resisting these feelings, all
eforts were all futile. I didnt know what I wanted. No. Wait.
Scratch that. I knew what I wanted. I wanted to be with you
so bad. But something was holding me back. Something
was telling me that I shouldnt act on these feelings because
it would be unacceptable for me to be with you.

But I knew I must choose only one. It was either
follow what I wanted or what the status quo dictated. And
I think by now, the reader has already guessed what Ive
chosen. If its not obvious enough, yes, I chose to defy the
status quo.

Of course, it wasnt just that easy for me to defy
the status quo. I have to admit, at the beginning of the
relationship, I still had an internal struggle. In short, even I
couldnt accept myself that I was a lesbian. I was too afraid
of what people might say about me, about us.
But when you knew this about me, although teary eyed, you
still chose to stay. Instead of leaving, you helped me realized
that I shouldnt be ashamed of who I am. Tat I shouldnt
be ashamed because its not wrong to love. And everyday,
46Lilinaon | 2014
I grew to accept myself for who I really am and I love you
more for that.

Love. It comes when you least expect it. It comes
even when youre not looking for it. It comes to you in its
purest form. It does not judge you by your appearance,
social status or gender.

However, the current social order tells people to
become judgmental and discriminating. A social order
that dictates that romantic love is only between a man and
a woman. Tat the love between two people of the same
gender is unacceptable. Tat the freedom to love is only for
them and not for the two of us.

But all hope is not lost for we know that our
freedom to love will only be a by product of the
emancipation of gender. And the emancipation of gender
will only come by changing the current social order.

I shall wake up everyday knowing that together, we
continue to strive for a better tomorrow not only for the two
of us, but for everyone.
47 Lilinaon | 2014
We Held Hands
by No Need
remember the patches of sunlight on the
grass, fltering through the leaves of an old
tree. We were hiding in the shade, laying
on your grandmothers banig. It was on that
day that I did the bravest thing Ive ever
done: introduce you to my dad.
Te morning of that day was the
most nerve-wracking. We woke up in
diferent beds, connected to each other
only by two phones and an exchange of text
messages. I kept on repeating to myself what you said to
me the other day, Lets go and meet your daddy. Morning
cofee would be put to shame by how that line of yours
managed to make me feel alive and jittery. I was surprised
my family couldnt see that their boy was replaced by a
mess of nerves and butterfies. I managed to go through
my morning routine without unravelling into heartbeats
and tiny wings. I told everyone I would be coming back by
noon, and then I was out the door.
We met in front of your empty school. It was
48Lilinaon | 2014
Christmas break. Tis time, you were the frst one to arrive,
like you knew that this was an important event for me, for
us, so you came early. You remembered to dress nicely too.
We were both in jeans and button-up shirts, looking the
epitome of straight guys, except our shoulders were just an
inch too close together. If anybody noticed, I guess they
didnt look at us for too long because of either respect or
When we got on the jeep together, your knees were
shaking out prayer afer prayer. I pressed my leg against
yours so you could make them your kneelers. You told me
you were still fguring out how to act in front of my dad. I
told you that I was still fguring out what to say. Was I to say,
good morning dad, this is my boyfriend or I love him and
Id like to spend my life with him? What would he think
when he sees his son holding hands with a boy? Would he
notice how their edges ft perfectly? Would he think of our
relationship as love or as perversion?
In the midst of my thoughts, your knees stopped
shaking. Maybe your prayers were heard, so I looked into
your eyes for answers. What I found were your thoughts
blossoming into stars, connecting into constellations that I
didnt know the names of. I was lost, but then I realized that
you were too. I was oddly comforted in our placelessness.
It felt as though we somehow conjured up our own little
galaxy and named the planets afer our longing gazes, secret
hugs, and breathless I-love-yous. Here, we didnt need to
49 Lilinaon | 2014
worry about the questioning looks, about being sexualized
underneath their stares, about their self-construed
judgment. Out there, our touches are always planned-out
accidents. Your hand resting on my knee, my arm brushing
against yours, its the subtle touches that people can still see
and criticize. In here, I could memorize the dips and curves
of you, memorize you by touch, and make maps of all the
freckles and blemishes on your skin. In here, I could trade
parts of myself with yours. My edges for yours, the crook
of my elbow for your hand, your shoulder for my head.
Nobody would think of us as freaks with mismatched parts.
Out there, the smoke is rising from the peoples mouths,
quiet and black and sufocating. In here, your presence
brings forth earthquakes through the rule of my spine,
fowers spring forth from my rib cage, and all the things we
cant say aloud in public become a thunderclap. Isnt it sad
how people like us have to contain the storm of emotions
inside, deprived of even the simple act of holding hands?
Te sharp clink of your ten-peso coin on metal
pulled me back out into reality. My pulse was doing a
wild dance to the beat of my racing heart. You mouthed
something to me and it barely registered that we already
had to get of the jeep. I shakily descended and you followed
afer, also weak in the knees like me. With each step, the soil
crunched underneath our shoes, becoming a countdown
to that moment I introduce you to my dad. Te countdown
slowly faded away and there we were. Te sunlight was a
bit too harsh and it painted sweat on the back of your neck,
50Lilinaon | 2014
your collar was a bit crooked, and your smile a little bit shy.
My dad was right in front of us, silent and waiting. My mind
was playing battleship, pride versus second thoughts. Pride
won. Te words lef my mouth without resistance.
Dad, Id like you to meet my boyfriend. I dont
know what youre going to think about this, but he makes
me a better person. I love him. I hope I didnt disturb your
A breeze blew in and disrupted the stillness. Te
fowers by my fathers grave swayed and I took it as a sign
that he heard me. Te candles on his grave fickered in the
breeze. At the moment, my courage was only a ficker of
light. It only allowed me to introduce you to a loved one
who is technically already goe. Tis is one of the greatest
pains for people like us: having to be afraid, predisposed to
feel ashamed. You stepped closer to my side and said hello.
You had already laid out your grandmothers banig under
the old tree. In one sweet and defant act, your hand found
mine and we were holding hands in public for the frst time
in front of other people. With the feel of your skin on my
skin, sweet lightning rolled down our arms and seared a
promise into our palms: Im with you. You dont have to face
the world alone.

51 Lilinaon | 2014

Dewy drops of excitement frustration, its taste like sweat.
satin smooth and hard. proud and tall. shaking with
excitement, shimmering with morning mist throbbing
with impatience eagerly pacing sudden desert heat
enclosed yet not claustrophobic seeking more the heated
grip more, more arrhythmic convulsions. higher but
deeper, until he wept, unperturbed euphoria.
by Johnny Bondie
52Lilinaon | 2014
She Was
by Anonymous
he girl who was scrolling through her phone in the
hospital lobby. Medical examination for freshmen.
I was waiting for my turn and my eye caught sight
of her, but that was it. I didnt know of her impending
Te girl I saw walking down the AVRs platform.
She was tall. Of course I couldnt help myself from
noticing her. And she had fair skin and nice hair and eyes
that I could tell were beautiful even from afar.
Te girl in the Got Pride? shirt.
I knew she was gay from the moment I saw her. Her
shirt gave her away easily, plus gay vibes everywhere. I
smirked to myself. She already intrigued me. If I ended up
liking her more and she took interest in me, then we might
actually have a chance.

Te girl whose aura screamed BLOGGER.
Her awkward stature and unsure gaze gave away the
fact that she might be a blogger. I knew a blogger when I
53 Lilinaon | 2014
saw one. I never really heard her speak (my usual basis of
whether someone is a blogger or not) but just one look at
her told me that she was.
Te girl my blocmates ofen talked about.
Tey kept mentioning her and how they found her
beautiful. How she has dated a boy and several girls. How
they didnt believe that she wasnt straight because she
seemed so girly. I shook my head at their lack of education.
She was just a name then. I did not put her name and face
together until she became...
Te girl I was introduced to in the lobby.
Or rather, the girl I asked my friend to introduce me
to. Tey were having a conversation since they were already
friends and I kept making side remarks. My friend kept
relaying my comments to her. I remember my exact words:
Its really weird that were having a three-way conversation
without you introducing us. And then there were sparks.
Te girl who asked me if she added the right
person on Facebook.
I thought it was a stupid question, honestly. As far
as I was concerned, I was the only person named Jamie
who stayed at the dorm. Tere were mutual friends. My
degree program was displayed on my timeline. Of course
I was the one she was introduced to. I wanted her to push
the conversation. I wanted to spend the rest of the night
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chatting with her. I wanted to become friends and maybe
more. Get her number. Ask her to hang out. But I couldnt
get more than two words out and the conversation ended.

Te Bio girl who wanted to shif to BAE.
Open Facebook. Switch from Top Stories to Most
Recent. But wait. Wait. She posted something about her
parents fnally allowing her, tagging a mutual friend who
seemed just as happy and excited. She was shifing, I easily
concluded. I smiled to myself. An easier way to get to her.
Te girl whose Facebook posts amused me.
She was attractive, of course her photos and status
updates would get dozens of likes. Te captions were
witty on her pictures too. Her posts were either funny or
interesting. Tey were either from Tumblr, or clever pieces
of her mind she decided to share online. Her traits were
highlighted in her posts: socially awkward, shy, a bully,
mean, gay, a KPop fan, has a dark side, and of course, gay.

Te girl whose name was on the bulletin board.
We have all had our names on a bulletin board
somewhere more than once, but seeing her full name
intrigued me and imprinted her name in my mind. She
doesnt use her full name on Facebook. Her online surname
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is a corruption of her second name, making her sound more
Asian than she is.

Jei Lin.

She signed for attendance under my friend using a
pseudonym made from her frst two names. My friend, the
same person who introduced us, was confused by who Jei
Lin actually was. We needed to get at least two people sign
under our names for our play, which doubled as our fnal
project and fnal exam.
Teir play was one of the many our group
considered to adapt but didnt push through with. I ended
up portraying a 12 year old boy in another play she almost
didnt realize I was in. She has admitted that she wished it
was me in the long-sleeve button-down shirt, short skirt,
stilettos, and stockings.
Te girl who I fooded with questions on
I found fun in fooding other people questions
whenever they posted links to their accounts on
Facebook. My questions were ofen weird, rude, firty, or
just plain invasive. When she posted the link to hers, my
eyes immediately lit up. We were having conversations.
Flirting, even. She was asking me to reveal who I am but I
always refused, saying I wasnt ready yet.
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Her life, preferences, and personality unfolded
before my eyes in the form of questions and answers on the
screen. I adored her even more with every answer.
Soon enough, I was captivated by her.

Ten I was caught.
A friend asked me if I have been sending her
questions. I said yes, and my friend eventually deduced that
I had a crush on her. When I confrmed her suspicion, she
told me to tell her right away.

Te girl who made me think once more, Oh wow.

Te next day, she posted her link saying
would be giving advice on her account. I played along,
eventually sending her a question saying that Im ready to
reveal my identity. I warned her that she might be surprised.
By the time she answered that, I already sent her a Facebook

Its actually me.

She correctly guessed which questions were mine,
ultimately leading to our confessions. To an exchange of
numbers. To a promising relationship. To something which
we both hope would last a really long time.
57 Lilinaon | 2014
by Angelica San Juan
Tumatagaktak, tumatakbo
Pabilis nang pabilis
Ang tugtog
lumalagabog, tumitibok
dumadagundong ang sahig
ang puso
dahan-dahan, pumipitik
ang paghinga
suminghap, sumamyo
nagbibilugang mga mata
ang bisig
mabulas, busiksik
huminto ang makina
liningon ko
may ngiting puminta
lalapitan nga ba?
titigan, mamasdan?
Anong pangalan niya?
58Lilinaon | 2014
To Kristina
by Noemi Visto
Kissing in the
Rain your lips, your touch
Its so warm inside; even though we are
So soaked and wet, you brought me
To the place of neverland and you
Ignite the sleeping desire in my soul.
No! Dont stop, kiss me until you catch your breath
Again, you flled my emptiness
Kristina, do you still remember?
Rain wont stop us emotions over senses
It was our frst day of forever
Such situation made us our way
To your bed, our bodies in unison we sway
In the midst of our enjoyment, you called me and said
Never leave me alone baby
And thank you for everything Cassie
Cassie, when she called my name
I swear it is the most
Wonderful melody I have ever heard
It ringed in my ears
In my soul, it echoed
I wish she also feels the same
59 Lilinaon | 2014
A SHE and a HER, this isnt a game

Kristina what happened?
In the morning, when I woke up
Youre gone - why all of a sudden?
Only scattered sheets and an invisible gap
No Kristina, no sign, no shadow
Minutes, hours, and days I waited
Will you come back? Please let me know
If gone was the love we started
I am a woman
Cant sufce the love of your man
I dont care if I was his replacement
I dont want to wake up in this madness
For you made me feel
How to love and be loved
And that happiness can be achieved
Even without a man.
60Lilinaon | 2014
Excerpt from Armor
by John Bengan
N PAGEANT DAY, Ronnie woke up to the sensation
of little knives piercing his stomach. Te walls were
shifing. Two cups of cofee later, the pain didnt go
away, and his body wracked with chills. He shook what was
lef of his stash out of the pillowcase.

` `He held the resealable packet closer as if to smell
it, then spilled the content into his palm. Te tooth-shaped
shard of crystal was slightly smaller than the nail on his
Before lighting up, he installed a mosquito net in the
living room. He preferred to trap the smoke inside the net,
ever so careful not to waste a wisp of the stuf. Squatting
under the net, he turned the TV volume up to drown out
the mechanics outside welding steel. He tuned in to CNN,
anticipating a current events entry during the pageants
Q&A portion; a paraphrased quote or two from a global
headline would sufce. He poured what was lef of his stash
on a neatly folded sheet of tinfoil, held the foil gingerly over
the fame, and with a tin pipe, began sucking the lush white
vapor of melting crystal. Smoke billowed to the edge of the
foil. Within seconds, he was vibrantly awake. He was again
the most attractive, vivacious, irresistible creature he knew.
At 4:30 p.m., he prepared for battle. He strapped the frst
61 Lilinaon | 2014
layer of tape over his stomach, rolling it tight around his
waist, folds of excess fesh inching up his torso. He donned
two feminine panties, defly inserting pads over his behind.
Carefully, he cupped his sof penis and testicles, folding
deep to reach the hollow between his buttocks.
To keep it fat, he wrapped tape around his crotch, then he
threw on one last pair of underwear, a silky charcoal black
swatch of nylon. He would try to ft into the Union Jack
one-piece later for the swimsuit competition. Ronnie then
slipped on ten pairs of pantyhose; the thicker the layers, the
more the illusion of curved, shapely legs was achieved.
For breasts, he placed beneath a strapless bra two latex
condoms flled with water, which hed tied in such a way
that the rubber bloated into small globes. Te tips of the
condoms produced a somewhat realistic efect of nipples.
He used a palette hed always relied on. Violet pigment
on the lower lids, copper line over the lashes, indigo eye
shadow, slick scarlet mouth. He applied false lashes using
the milky paste from a star apple leaf, for a lasting hold. Te
rest of his body he coated with liquid foundation. Under the
glare of lights, the tone shimmered on fesh like porcelain.
He topped it all of with a wig, chestnut brown styled into
petals, a gif from a friend who had been to Dubai.
WHEN HE AND BIBOY arrived backstage, a few
assistants were still strapping tape on their half-naked
candidates, clipping extensions and spraying products on
hard tiers of hair. Te narrow space smelled of armpits, the
foor littered with tissue paper and torn fabric.
62Lilinaon | 2014
Tere they were: bayots jiggling their hands to make
manly veins disappear, while others, once their makeup
was on, became stoic. Tere were long-limbed girly boys
with taut dancers bodies toned afer working in pubs in
Japan as entertainers or male Japayukis, bayots with large
breasts, bayots whose skin glowed from taking a cocktail of
hormone pills. A few of them gazed at Ronnie coldly like
they were in a trance.

He wobbled as the boy helped him into his dress.
Te gown was still snug; he sucked in his stomach until they
could zip him up. Stale, rancid air blew out of his throat.
Hed had two boiled bananas and cofee for breakfast and
nothing since, but he steeled himself.

Te boy took out the armored sleeve from a carton
tied up in twine. Te bayots stared.

Dont mind them, gwaps, Biboy said. Next to you,
they look like clowns.

Ronnie slid his right arm carefully into the sleeve,
Biboy securing the last strap over his shoulder. Afer the
metal clamped onto his skin, the length of his arm sheathed,
Ronnie felt large and supremely complete. Lifing the
sleeve close to his face, he felt like he could leap over the
gymnasium and land on his feet. With a sof, victorious
smile, he strutted regally in full view of the competition.

63 Lilinaon | 2014
What a costume! said one candidate, whom
Ronnie immediately recognized as the fat-haired bayot who
ridiculed him at the community hall. He was in a catsuit
speckled with tiny mirrors. Did you make that yourself?
he asked Ronnie. How much did you pay for it?

Is that real, te? another contestant asked. Ava-ava-
avant garde!
Teir fascinated exclamations foated up and
enveloped him.
Armor is a Palanca Award-winning short story by
Prof. John Bengan, former HIMATI Editor-in-Chief
(AY 2004-2005), a graduate of and at present is a faculty
member of the BA English (Creative Writing) program of the
University of the Philippines Mindanao.
64Lilinaon | 2014
by Viv Salve
grab me by the wrist push me to the wall
each part of our body rubs
creating friction in each motion
you thrust hard and fast
you sink your teeth in my skin and
then smoke
in your room we make love while standing up
in my fogged mind sex
it is 4am and we press each other
till we fnd out
that we ft well
and blood
on the cold
tiled foor
in my vision you are a man
pain makes moans we fuck in a gold room where all
dreams come true please
come on my thigh or breast later your come will spill

65Lilinaon | 2014
like gasoline in all directions
i place my palm on your bare chest damp with sweat
you never look at me
just smoke and make no sound
afer sex you will tramp around in your black briefs
i wish you will drink the dutch mill i
have bought for you i told you i love you
several times in the past
you told me to stop you didnt want me
why you still lust for the vietnamese girl in
your face knocked up close to mine
look at me
turns to biting
and to sucking
i lick your neck
your face twitches you reek of rhum
we explode you pull out of me
wish we cuddle
sink with me in the white crisp sheets of
your bed
i crave for a second round but
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you are lying lazy on the foor blowing smoke rings
the room is flled with the smell of smoke
and spilled spirit
and the sound of lourd de veyras voice
i wish you play baby i love you while we fuck
fuck me in the ass
lets bang our bodies once more
because yeah i allow you to treat me like a
kill me with orgasms
drop your cigarette and wait till the room burns in bright
67 Lilinaon | 2014
Bus Ride
by Irene
How romantic would it be
To do away with you
Two seats side by side
We are passengers, we are free
Fair-haired and curls together
We are one, we are one
Armed muscle on a bony fgure
My head on your shoulders
Teir looks on us
Arrested with questions
But the futter and the thump feels good
Two seats side by side
For the rest of the ride
Or till our bodies decay
Still intertwined
Two souls
We are one, we are one
My heart on your chest
Beating, beating
A symphony
Two souls
In love
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Love defying speed limits
Two seats side by side
Dingy, clingy
But content
A sigh of relief
We are one, we are one
Two XYs
But still make a right
Two souls
Drawn, magnetized, unifed
We are but one.
69 Lilinaon | 2014
Is life a life if built on lies?
Is it a sin to show how you feel?
Is it unclean to be the true me?
Should I live a life built on lies?

I once locked myself alone in my room
And turned the lights of to get a clearer view
Of who I was deep inside my heart
As I danced carelessly and cried really hard

I used to dance in the dark
Because the world wont let my heart
Fall in love with my own kind
Tey said I wasnt thinking right

A cursed disgrace to my family
Tis is my place in the society
A sole black sheep in a clean herd
Who was never meant to be heard

I used to follow what theyd say
Be a man in every way
Even if it was against your desire
And against who you truly are
In His Heaven
by James D. Dela Cruz
70Lilinaon | 2014

I thought it would make me happy
And convince Gods mercy to save me
But now deep inside my broken soul I know
Tese things will never fll my hidden holes

Years flled with lies passed by
I thought I lived my life right
Ten a stranger burst into my life
And helped me brush of the blurred lines

And he came bringing light
To my darkest night
Giving me back all the lost time
Putting my every breath in rhyme

In his heaven there I lay
Singing songs the world wont play
Up above the maiden sky
Watching doves fy up high

In a world full of critics
Watching your move as time ticks,
A love like ours is forbidden
But I am safe in his heaven

Love does not discriminate
It tears walls the world cant shake
Love is just simply about love
71 Lilinaon | 2014
A simple act against all odds

Its not a life if built on lies
Its not a sin to be true to who you are
Tou shall not live a life built on lies
Teres no sin in having an honest heart
72Lilinaon | 2014
by Angelica San Juan
Isang gabi ng akala koy ligaya, ay sinadya ko ang dating
tambayan kasama ang mga taong araw-araw kong
nakakasalamuha, may kanya-kanyang maskarang nakasuot
sa kanilang mukha.
Duon sa dating sulok, sa dating gawi kung saan naiwan ang
mga sikreto ng gabi. Ang mga sikreto na ako na lang siguro
ang nakakaalala.
Isang bote ng alak, iilang lagok at umikot na ang mundo ko.
Umikot nang umikot nang umikot. Halakhak. Hikbi. Luha.
Luha ng saya at lungkot. Alin sa dalawa ay hindi ko alam.
Hanggang sa nakalimutan ko na rin kung ano ang dahilan.

Minsan gusto kong ganito na lang parati. Sa tabi niya.
Habang umiikot ang baso, kung saan walang nakakapuna,
kung saan ang mga titig ko lang para sakanya ang kayang
lumusaw ng sarili kong pusot kaluluwa. Hanggang sa
magkasalubong ang mga titig namin, kasabay ang bawat
segundong pagpintig ng pulso, at ang lalim ng paghinga.

Pinasa niya ang baso, isang pagkakataon para patagong
mahipo ang kamay niya. Dahil batid kong sa gabi lang na
ganito at hindi bukas o sa susunod pang mga araw. Ngayon
73 Lilinaon | 2014
lang. Ngayon lang sa panahong katabi namin ang isat-isa.
At nang tanungin siya kung ano ang tipo niya-- yung
maalindog, sexy, at gwapa-- duon nadurog, winarak, at
pinulbura ang puso ko. Dahil bukas, brad na ulit ang tawag
ko sa kanya.
74Lilinaon | 2014
Maria Louisa Pasilan
75 Lilinaon | 2014
Maria Louisa Pasilan
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Nina Maria Alvarez
77 Lilinaon | 2014
Joy M. Montecalvo
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Paulo Rizal
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Maria Louisa Pasilan
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Kakai Anggadol
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Kakai Anggadol
85 Lilinaon | 2014
Joy Montecalvo
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Kenneth Paul Senarillos
87 Lilinaon | 2014
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Te Literary Folio of Himati, the ofcial student publication
of the University of the Philippines Mindanao.
Kikko Kalabud
Associate Editor
Kiana Peroy
Managing Editor
Blaise Sigue
Circulation Manager
Sancia Palma
News Editor
Paulo Rizal
Layout Editor
Kit Iris Frias
Jennie Arado
Literary Editor
AY 2013-2014
89 Lilinaon | 2014
Kenneth Senarillos, Louisa Pasilan, Don Senoc
Staff Illustrators
Don Senoc, paulo Rizal
Noemi Visto, Nicole Mangaoang, Chai Cubero, Christine
Jodloman, Angelica San juan
Staff Writers
Jesse Lois Israel
Contributing Illustrator
90Lilinaon | 2014
To our contributors, our fellow unicorns: thank you for
lighting the way down the gay lane. May you ever be
-Johnnie Blondie
-James dela Cruz
-Monique Dingding
-Aleida Gomez
-No need
-Kakai Anggadol
-Joy Montecalvo
-Nina Maria Alvarez

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