The Die-Hard Poet

A die-hard poet
is an avid learner of metered words;
to grasp assonance, couplets,
syntax, and dimeters
in deeper and broader concepts–
is her goal.

Struck by ironies;
smitten by metaphors;
enamored by alliterations
and rhymes,
the die-hard poet
is in polygamy with language and words.

She strives for eloquence,
and labors for diction;
always craving for profoundness
and symbols–
oh, how I know!
Because the die-hard poetess
is me,
and literary is my norm.

I Am But a Poet


The fascinated says,
I am gifted.
The annoyed says,
I am delusional.

If I am gifted,
does it mean
amongst many,
God favored me
and blessed me
with the gift?

I really
don’t think so.

But if I am delusional,
is it delusional
to scribble
my innermost thoughts?
Is it delusional
to listen to the voices of
my sentiments,
my yearning,
my sadness,
my anger,
my grief,
my loss,
my triumph,
my dreams,
my tenderness,
my humor
and wit?

Here’s a thing:

I love scribbling,
for it’s my way
of reconciling
my thoughts
and emotions.

From sigh–
to sob–
to cry–
to groan-
to art;

From grin–
to smile–
to chuckle–
to laughter–
to art,

I find pleasure–
and even bigger,
in putting them into words
that rhyme.

With poetry,
we groove with the rhythm;
we twist with the conventional,
we padebure with the truth–
every time
my scribblings rhyme,

I read
and write,
and I consecrate
on poetry,
not to make a living,
nor to compete for anything,
but merely,
to give in
to a passion
burning deep inside.

I am but a poet,
and I am happy
making love to poetry
day and night.

The Gifts

In my journey
to life,
too often
I nearly get lost
between darkness and light;
noisiness and peace.
Thank goodness,
I stumbled on the gifts.

And if the gift of light
brings me awareness
to man darkness,
the gift of peace
brings grace
through acceptance
that such darkness exists.

When the gift of light
brings me knowledge
to deal with the unknown,
the gift of peace
brings me wisdom
that great possibilities
often lie in the unknown.

And when the gift of light
brings understanding
to unwelcomed thoughts,
the gift of peace
brings compassion
that allows me to reconcile
unwelcomed thoughts
with my morals and values.

For if the gift of light
could walk me
to the valley of truth,
the gift of peace
always allows me
to run worry free in the valley,
all the way
to the apex of serenity,
and even if my eyes are closed.

For the gift of peace
brings the brightest light;
allowing me to see the world,
myself, and everyone around me,
not through the eyes,
but through my heart and soul.

A Writer’s Creed


* Heartily dedicated to all fellow soulful writers.*

I am a writer
and this is my creed:

I vow to read
to empower myself
with knowledge
and information.

I vow to speak
In written words,
and as fearlessly as possible;

I vow to scribble
with honesty,
vigor and style,
and as succinctly as I can.

I vow to strive
for excellence;
making every page,
every line;
every word,
and every punctuation matters.

Above all,
I vow not to plagiarize
and never to steal my fellows’ words,
not only because it’s ill,
But it’s a disgrace to my profession;
a blasphemy to this vocation,
and the worst, despicable deceit against my readers.

For even if
I can’t see them,
I know in my heart
those dearies exist;
somewhere out there,
they’re reading my lines,
and smiling each time I soulfully write.

I am a writer,
and this is my creed:
I vow
to cherish this writing
I call blessing,
and beyond.

And may God bless me
each time I write.

I Am But a Writer

Revised and dedicated to fellow diehard writers.

I am
but a writer;

I am
but a fan of language;

I am
but a lover of rhymes;

I am
but a soul mate of words;

I am
but a mistress of imagination;

I dream of writing
a novel,
my collection of poems;
sonnets, and odes.

I dream of writing
a song,
a book;
a story
of my beautiful journey
to love, life
and its ironies.

I dream of writing
a noble story
of a love
that knows
No boundaries.

I dream of writing
our love story,
to create the haven
where we can love
so freely;
far and safe
from the hostile world–
severely afflicted
of acute prejudices
and chronic hypocrisy–
by rude souls
and meanies.

I am but a writer;
A voice,
though small;
though flawed,
but I am true,
and I am strong.

Originally posted as follows:

Alone Again, Unfortunately

I woke up
earlier than the clock.

So, I brewed for a cup,
and took a bath.

After I damped,
I grabbed the cup,
and put on the lock.

Still dark,
I headed to park,
but along the way
I heard a burp.

Excited to see who was at my back,
I turned around, only to see a quack.

Though I nearly fell and dropped,
I still laughed:

Goodness gracious,
being alone–
was such a crap!

A Thousand Winter


A fading symphony
once playing
before the brightest stars,

A falling floret
once blooming
even from afar,

A dying wick
once flickering
in the dark,

A dripping crimson
once flowing endlessly
as a vector of life
and dreams–

Now nothing
but fragments
of forgotten wishes–
down under
the lake
of broken vows
A thousand winter.



ένστικτο in Greek;
Instinctus in Latin,
Instinct is as precious,
and as material
as the foods we eat;
the water we drink,
and the air that we breathe.

to the critical minds,
it means common sense.
To science,
it means survival of the fittest.
And although
it does not
necessarily pertain
to strength,
nor to intelligence,
it refers
to our ability to adapt
to the environments
we evolve.

ensures survival,
even success,
but only if
we’ll holistically imbue it
to our ways of thinking;
to our ways of communicating,
or to our ways of living–
in short,
to our culture.

at its best,
and cultivated overtime–
it becomes a culture.
Although distinct
from one another,
one of our
inherent rights,
is that
you can’t judge me
based on yours,
based on theirs.

No, no, no,
You can’t.
Well, you shouldn’t.

Because be instinct,
or culture:
I am entitled to mines,
just as
are entitled to yours.

The Nobility


do you see
that vast stretch
of the pacific?

do you see
that stunning,
streak of the horizon,
that seems
to have no beginning,
nor end?

do you see
that arching,
blotches of double rainbow
that seem
to promise infinite
grandeur and possibilities?
Isn’t seeing them alone,
is such a humbling experience?

That though the sun
is going down,
there are many
to cherish
and be thankful for–
to which,
and the most important
of them all,
is this moment;
You and me,
in a love
so strong.

A Lonely Afternoon


-Revised and reposted-

It’s two-o’clock,
but it seems
like six or seven.
The grayish clouds
are thickening,
and it’s starting
to drizzle.
While an old melody
starts playing,
a very familiar longing
begins unfolding.

as the “long,
and very “lonely night”
is slow approaching,
are fast rewinding.
While silent tears
to fall,
this very lonely heart,
is inevitably missing;
uncontrollably hoping;
and, so undeniably



If honesty is the best policy, loyalty is the most fierce of them all. Although probably many of us are thinking loyalty–the virtue, and not just the word alone–only exists amongst us, humans. However, that is not true at all.

In fact, among penguins, loyalty means not only being monogamous to their partners. But also to find the right pebble (to offer to their equally, carefully chosen ones) that would best symbolize their affection and loyalty. That in the event they would be separated either by glacial barges, or by icebergs and storms, the pebble would serve as an assurance that they will remain true to one another.

Even among swans, loyalty exists as well. As the bonds they create can also last a lifetime. And that loyalty is even reflected when they swim with their necks entwined, shaping like a heart and truly symbolic of love.

Another monogamous species are French angel fishes. As these romantic creatures would hardly swim alone. For French angel fishes swim and hunt in pairs. And their monogamous partnerships often last as long as both partners live. In fact, they can even go “against the world” (if a situation calls for it) to defend their territory together.

Likewise loyal are wolves. Although they are often portrayed evil and sinister, however, contrary to lore and myths, wolves are very faithful, and family-minded creatures. And they even take care; protect and raise their youngs so passionately too.

Still speaking of loyalty and passion, the albatrosses are as loyal and passionate as those creatures mentioned above. For in matters of absence, whenever one of them fly far distances, he or she will always return to the same place, and to the same partner, most especially, during their breeding time. And not to mention, during courtship and mating, the albatrosses perform a ritual dance to further entice themselves into romance.

Personally, loyalty to me though, is what makes love fierce. For although most bonds, be among us, humans, or among animals, it usually starts with some kind of attraction, but what makes it last, is the loyalty that bonds partner together. And without loyalty, it is unlikely that a relationship would survive and last for a lifetime. In a more profound perspective, it is a shield that could keep lovers away from temptations; or a lightened avenue, that could truly lead to a blissful life of oneness.

Regardless, among black vultures, unfaithfulness comes with a price. For once caught, just like any scorned woman, the cheated one rage with vengeance, and is always backed up by her entire flock to give the philanderer (who as crazy as crazy does, always get caught) a serious lesson; a repercussion for his unfaithful act.

No matter, probably that is acceptable only in the wilds, but never in a civilized society. For as mature and rational adults, we do not have to engage ourselves to such kind of barbaric acts, and only for the sake of a cheater. And besides, if one cheats, that is absolutely not love at all. And if it isn’t love, of course, it’s not even worth fighting for.

Have a great weekend folks! Thank you, and aloha everybody!

What I Did for Love


Often, people asked me, “Why love? Why your poems were mostly about love? Although I found the questions rough, very confronting, and perhaps intruding, my answer all the time was just a sigh and a smile.

I never bothered explaining for my choice of genre, neither for the subjects of my writing, because I know don’t have to answer and be defensive about it. However, for my peace of mind, please let me try shed some light.

Born youngest in the family of five (two boys, and three girls), to Atty. Sabiniano Hernandez Balagtas, and Cristita Padilla Balagtas, on August 31, 1972, I was a blue baby.

Born with a weak heart and lungs (due to my parents’ thirty-seven-years of age gap), I grew up being in the hospital for countless of health issues, but with a priceless consolation that my mom and dad always watching (while praying ) at both ends, of the electric bed of the Mary Johnston Hospital (a private health facility in Manila, Philippines).

They met nine years before I was born. He represented her in a case against her common-law husband, whom she caught “in the act” in their house, in their bed, and cheating on her in the presence of their sons, (still toddlers at that time). Insulted, humiliated, cheated, she pushed them both, grabbed her hair, and slapped her face until she bled.

She packed her things left their house that day bringing my brothers with her. And they lived with her best friend while she was gearing up for two separate physical injury cases they filed against her (and her counter filing of course). At that time, he just resigned from being a prosecutor. He opted to practice in private, to accommodate pro bono cases in the Public Defender’s Office where they first met.

In many light moments with my father, I kept asking him, what was it that he fell for my mom. And always he joked around (but I knew there were hinds of truth on all of them) about how he fell for her, which according to him. it was her strength as a woman, and dignity as a person. He further said, he never saw her cry in the courtroom (not a drop). He never saw her in desperation for money, company nor, sympathy. And that she strove so hard in raising her kids on her own and through buy-and-sell. Cautious with her emotional situation and the thought that it might question his sincerity, he waited until they finished and won their cases before he even courted her.

They exchanged vows in Saint Joseph church in Manila. He adopted my brothers; He gave his name, and raised them as his own. Shortly thereafter, they bought their house before I was born. Amid opposing personalities (with him being the soft-spoken ascetic, and her being the assertive flamboyant), their marriage flourished for twenty-three glorious years.

They shared same passion in religion and devotion (both Roman Catholic since birth), cooking and foods, and the love for relatives, the community, and of course, us, their children.

Every day, he would wake up four-o-clock in the morning. He would say the Angelus; and, he would do the rosary. Right after his prayers and a cup of coffee, he would go to his morning walk in a fresh market down the blocks for our breakfast. He would cook and prepare our first meal of the day. And when everything is all set, he would knock on her bedroom and say, “First lady, breakfast is ready.” However, instead of mom, I would open the door for him instead, and he would give her a peck. And I would get mines too. He then would grab my hand, and lead me to the dining table while we wait for everybody.

One thing I was guilty of, was the fact that since I was born, they could not sleep in the same bed, because she had to take care of the sickly me.

On our dining table, in every breakfast, my mom’s fruits would always be there, and a special breakfast for me of course (Quaker oats with honey and almond milk). Along with those, are variety of concoctions for a household of about fifteen people. On cooking, my mom actually cooked better than my dad did. It was just that she only cooked for family occasions and gatherings.

But after a long day in court (or in his office), he would come home always carrying something for mom—never there was a time, that he came home empty handed.

He would ask our helpers prepare our dinner, while we do our school assignments with him. He would also ask us read aloud, to check our English and vocabulary skills every night.
He died when I was twelve. But in all those years, I never heard my parents fight and argue over anything, but just as they never exchanged “I love you” as well.

What was brutal for us, their growing children, were the mongers who tried to corrupt our minds; brainwashing us that our mom never loved our dad. Although, we ignored them, at the back of our heads was the question: “Did she loved him?” I never confronted my mom about that, but I was quite unsure if my sisters did.

My dad was bedridden for almost two months. But he practiced law until age 82 (at the time of his death). He never had an Alzheimer, nor anything that burdened us. Sadly though, he was battling with lung cancer without our knowledge, “For quite sometimes,” as his doctor said.

She never left his side ever. He could not talk because of all the tubes, oxygen, and all other medical apparatus socketed to different parts of his body, so they had to exchanged sticky notes to converse with each other. They were holding hands most of the time. And in between their hands, was a rosary that she never did let go too.

When my father died December 10, 1984, at the Veterans Memorial Hospital, that was the only time I heard my mom cry. Like a gong to my ears, and an icepick to my heart, my mom cried and cried and cried, and cried and cried, until there was none. For more than his death, she regrets not being able to say I love you to the man who gave her dignity, love, trust and respect.

No matter, I really wish I could say she did love him, which unfortunately, I can’t–because she never did say the words.

And I do wish too, that he felt it somehow. Because there are things; feelings; strong feelings that need no words, and could be read between the lines.

Regardless, here is what I could say though: She never did let go of his hand; she never did left his side until the very last minute of his life; neither, she never did reopen her heart to any man.

She was forty-five, when he died. She could remarry. But she did not.

To end, according to an old quote, “when you love the person, you have to say it out loud. Otherwise… the moment just passes you by.” But isn’t it, just like any other intangible things in life, what is important is what we feel? Maybe there would be moments when we’d be lost for words, but I am sure, if we would just close our eyes in such moments of uncertainty, the soft, yet formidable voices inside of us will always speak to us of the truth, and will always speak for us of the truth–all the time.

There goes the story of my parents. It may not be perfect., but its nobility lies in embracing life and love amid all constraints and against all odds. And although their story is flawed, but it is the very reason for my existence; and, the very spirits behind my musing and poetry.

Thank you, everyone. And God bless everybody!


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