That hidden message from a brochure

I tried taking out words from a PhilHealth brochure to form a poem. This Tagalog poem tries to convey a message that someone is listening, that someone cares, and that your voice matters.

Punan ng tama
Maari itong hingin
Kailangang makipag-ugnayan
Mahalaga ang bawat pagkakataon

Kung may patlang,
magkakaroon din ng patlang ang karapatan
Katumbas lamang na paghahatian

Maaring makikita
Kung mayroong kailangang itama,
baguhin, o idagragdag

May halaga ang serbisyo, pagsusuri
Pagtuturo at pagbibigay
Gamot ang mga ito sa kasalukuyan

Kung may nais iparating,
lumapit lamang


Rough English Translation (Didn’t really use direct translation to form a more coherent poem)

Sum up what’s right
You can ask for it
We need to communicate
And cherish each moment

When there’s a rift
or a broken right
There’s a visible divide

You can see it
If there’s something to correct
To change, or to build

What matters are service,
teaching and giving
They are balm to a present misgiving

If there’s something to communicate
You gotta say it
Come to me



PhilHealth Brochure page 1


PhilHealth brochure page 2

So you see, you can always find a message in the most unlikely materials. You just need to look beyond what you first see. Uncover the message. Make it your own.

To the first man I loved…

You’ve always had that soft smile,
always told stories with your giant hands, rough with hard work.
You told me once that I could be whatever I wanted to be.
You put me above your shoulder and told me
You can reach as high as that
…or higher!
and then you throw me into the air
And I screamed my highest pitch of pure delight.
Then you catch me and I giggled into your arms,
delighted from the rush received from the heights,
And safe in the arms that hold me tight.

You were my hero.
When my teacher told me the greek gods at school
I thought your name will be on the list
Because you were Zeus filled with lightning wrath when your loved ones are hurt.
You were Superman silly in his underwear worn outside his pants.
You were Freddie Aguilar angelic in his voice when you sang your promise to me.
You were an angel who chased the monsters away.

My love, my hero…
even to this day,
I haven’t forgotten you.

To the first man I love,
This ones for you… :*


Instructions for a Bad Day by Shane Koyczan

Since the day I’ve come across the art of spoken word poetry, I’ve been crazy about it. I am crazy about it, not because I am an artist, or a reader, or a writer or a fan. I listen to spoken word poetry because I am human. And the stories they told, the words they speak, are blatant recognition of the scars I have, and of the stories I left untold, or the moments I wanted to relive again and again because I don’t want them to slip away forever. Because no matter how painful a moment is, there is always something beautiful that comes out of it. Sometimes, a stronger you, or a lesson learned, or a poem just like this:

“There will be bad days.
Be calm.
Loosen your grip,
opening each palm slowly now.
Let go.
Be confident.
Know that now is only a moment, and that if today is as bad as it gets,
understand that by tomorrow, today will have ended.
Be gracious.
Accept each extended hand offered, to pull you back from the somewhere you cannot escape.
Be diligent.
Scrape the gray sky clean.
Realize every dark cloud is a smoke screen meant to blind us from the truth,
and the truth is whether we see them or not –
the sun and moon are still there and always there is light.
Be forthright.
Despite your instinct to say “it’s alright, I’m okay” –
be honest.
Say how you feel without fear or guilt, without remorse or complexity.
Be lucid in your explanation, be sterling in your oppose.
If you think for one second no one knows what you’ve been going through;
be accepting of the fact that you are wrong,
that the long drawn and heavy breaths of despair have at times been felt by everyone –
that pain is part of the human condition and that alone makes you a legion.
We hungry underdogs,
we risers with dawn,
we dismisser’s of odds,
we blesser’s of on –
we will station ourselves to the calm.
We will hold ourselves to the steady, be ready player one.
Life is going to come at you armed with hard times and tough choices,
your voice is your weapon, your thoughts ammunition –
there are no free extra men,
be aware that as the instant now passes,
it exists now as then.
So be a mirror reflecting yourself back,
and remembering the times when you thought all of this was too hard
and you’d never make it through.
Remember the times you could have pressed quit – but you hit continue.
Be forgiving.
Living with the burden of anger, is not living.
Giving your focus to wrath will leave your entire self absent of what you need.
Love and hate are beasts and the one that grows is the one you feed.
Be persistent.
Be the weed growing through the cracks in the cement, beautiful –
because it doesn’t know it’s not supposed to grow there.
Be resolute.
Declare what you accept as true in a way that envisions the resolve with which you accept it.
If you are having a good day, be considerate.
A simple smile could be the first-aid kit that someone has been looking for.
If you believe with absolute honesty that you are doing everything you can – do more.
There will be bad days, times when the world weighs on you for so long it leaves you looking for an easy way out.
There will be moments when the drought of joy seems unending.
Instances spent pretending that everything is alright when it clearly is not,
check your blind spot.
See that love is still there, be patient.
Every nightmare has a beginning,
but every bad day has an end.
Ignore what others have called you.
I am calling you friend.
Make us comprehend the urgency of your crisis.
Silence left to its own devices, breed’s silence.
So speak and be heard.
One word after the next, express yourself and put your life in the context –
if you find that no one is listening, be loud.
Make noise.
Stand in poise and be open.
Hope in these situations is not enough and you will need someone to lean on.
In the unlikely event that you have no one, look again.
Everyone is blessed with the ability to listen.
The deaf will hear you with their eyes.
The blind will see you with their hands.
Let your heart fill their news-stands,
Let them read all about it.
Admit to the bad days, the impossible nights.
Listen to the insights of those who have been there, but come back.
They will tell you; you can stack misery, you can pack disappear you can even wear your sorrow –
but come tomorrow you must change your clothes.
Everyone knows pain.
We are not meant to carry it forever.
We were never meant to hold it so closely,
so be certain in the belief that what pain belongs to now will belong soon to then.
That when someone asks you how was your day,
realize that for some of us –
it’s the only way we know how to say, be calm.
Loosen your grip, opening each palm, slowly now – let go.”


You can watch a lyric video here, with an intense background music.

Scribbles of a hopeful soul

Is there a word for that feeling when all the hang-ups of the past, the terror of the present, and the uncertainty of the future collide?
Is there a word to describe how I feel when I feel so much?
I wish there was, so I would just say it in one word without going through all the details that threatened my almost bursting heart to beat out of my chest.
Can I just shed a tear, and can You just understand that it’s my heart I’m shedding?
You know the depths of my heart, can You just hold it together for me so I wouldn’t drown in its abyss?
I know You wouldn’t leave my side, but can you just affirm me of your presence?
I know You wouldn’t loosen Your hold on me, but I’m afraid I might just loosen mine anytime.
Would You not give up on me?
Would You make Your grip even tighter when I try to wriggle myself free?
Would You help me look up to You where I could channel all I’m feeling to its proper perspective?
I want to wallow and drown in what I’m feeling, would You please give me the grace to rise above this?
I thought that faith would make the pain hurt less. It doesn’t.
But faith, gives me hope. And hope is what I’m holding into.
I know I didn’t have to ask these of You. Because I believe You would.


Absence doesn’t just mean an empty space beside you.
At times, it is a response devoid of warmth, a cold kiss, a loose hug, a dismissive “I’m okay.”
And absence also means an ear that doesn’t hear, a heart enclosed by a cold wall it only hears its own beating.
You can be killed by words. And you will be hurt by silence.
You will try to fill the void of his silence by rattling off words that sound hallow even to your very ears.
Until the sound of your voice start haunting you, and you’re left with no choice but to respond with his favorite language-silence.
Maybe then, in your silence, you’ll see that you are worth more than this.
Maybe then, in your silence, he’ll miss the music of your words.
Maybe then, in your silence, you’ll hear the faint beating of his heart in time with yours.
And they would beat together, louder and louder in a crescendo until the glass that enclosed it starts breaking.
But I can only say those ‘maybes’ because I am one with your despair and confusion.
There’s just so many things I don’t know, but I am certain of one thing.
That in your moment of silence, my voice will fill the void.
Know that my poetry will give voice to the words you are now afraid to speak.
Because friend, when you’ll give up your voice in resignation,
I will pick the pieces up and put them back together hoping to create a piece that would penetrate both your hearts, even in this silence
I will craft a box for your music and place cords to your vocals.
I will sing the song that you now refuse to sing, and believe me you don’t want my out-of-tune voice to even attempt it.
So do not stop singing
Do not think that the words that come out of your mouth will fall in empty pavements
Do not think that the echoes that drown the content of your words will sound less enticing
I am here, I am present.
And my presence means a warm kiss, a tight hug, an inviting silence when you say you’re okay, because I would know you are not.
Yes it’s okay not to say anything about it
It is okay to just cry until you cry yourself a fountain of youth.
My presence means an ear that does hear, and a heart that’s open to sync with your beating.
So tell me. You don’t need to be silent.