I Higaonon

1 March 2018

I.

I you called pagan,
you say pagan is bad people.
You say you is Christian
and Christian is good people.

You laugh I kneel on big rock
or I pray before big tree.
You angry I call Migbaya,
you say my God is devil.

I not laugh you kneel on dead tree
or you pray to hanging God there.
I not angry you call your God,
and I not call Him devil.

I angry you get my lands,
I angry you get my golds,
I angry you burn my wood books,
but you say I should love enemy.

You say love enemy
but you killed grandpa baylan,
you killed grandma bae,
you killed uncle bagani,
you killed even dog talamuod.

II.

I you called savage
you say savage is bad people.
You say you is civilized
and civilized is good people.

You laugh I speak wrong your tongue
or I not knowing you say.
You angry I speak my tongue,
you say I silent I not speak your tongue.

I not laugh you speak in your noses
or you kalamura speak my tongue.
I not angry you speak your tongue,
I not say you silent you not speak my tongue.

I angry you kill my datus,
I angry you burn my house,
I angry you get my honey,
I angry you get my sakop,
but you say I should know democracy.

You say know democracy
but you commanding all
you telling I not speak
you forcing I live near plantations
You making all us sakop
you killing my brothers not liking you.

III.

I you called brother
you say brother skin also brown.
You say you is my brother
and brother is good people.

You laugh I kneel on big rock
or I pray before big tree.
You laugh I speak wrong your tongue
or I not knowing you say.
You angry I call Migbaya,
you say my God is devil.
You angry I speak my tongue,
you say I silent I not speak your tongue.

I not laugh you kneel on dead tree
or you pray to hanging God there.
I not angry you call your God,
and I not call Him devil.

I not laugh you speak in your teeth
or you kalamura speak my tongue.
I not angry you speak your tongue,
I not say you silent you not speak my tongue.

I angry you get my lands,
I angry you get my golds,
I angry you dishonor my sisters,
but you say I should love brother, skin also brown.

You say love brother, skin also brown
but you help kill grandpa baylan,
you help kill grandma bae,
you help kill uncle bagani,
you help kill dog talamuod,
you help kill even my balangkawitan rooster.

I angry you help kill my datus,
I angry you help burn my house,
I angry you help steal my honey,
I angry you paying cheap my abaka, coffee, coconut, banana, etc.
but you say I should know government.

You say know government
but you commanding all
you telling I not speak
you forcing I live near plantations
you making us all sakop
you killing us not liking you.

IV.

I pagan?
I savage?
I brother?

V.

I knowing gooder, I knowing bad.
I knowing badder, I knowing good.
I knowing brother, I knowing stranger.

I knowing things yesterday, today, tomorrow.

I ancient.

I Higaonon.


This poem first published in Dagmay, the literary journal of the Davao Writers’ Guild. It was also included in Philippine PEN’s Peace Mindanao anthology published in 2013.

 


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