Sunday, 11 January 2015

Presenting Poetry - When I was born the whole town celebrated

Since my birthday is fast approaching, I would like to present this poem. Recently published in Anak Sastra, a light-hearted poem about my birthday and my hometown's 'fiesta'! The pictures below were taken on my birthday last year in the Pilipinas! :-)


When I was born the whole town celebrated

My mother was convinced
she’d name me after our patron saint, San Sebastian.
When I close my eyes I can still see
the flamboyant parada - marching musicians, swaying crowd,
the multi-coloured banderitas festooning above
like the jumbling wires of electric poles;
I remember the sparkling perya - the tarnished laughter,
and the sour scents of Ferris wheel.

On a bamboo table there’s the sheen, succulent lechon
a charcoal-roasted pig, a claret mansanas in its mouth.
Everyone drooled just by looking, yearning for the host
to start chopping the humongous treat.
My mother tells me how my uncle lifted her into a tricycle
and hurled his arms like a traffic officer,
trying to break the string of devotees,
and cut through the swelling waves of procession.

Once, a whole town celebrated and I was born,
and at times I still wish I was named Sebastiana...

Romalyn Ante©

La Parada

Las Banderitas festooning above

The Lechon

blowing my cake with my pamilya :-)

Flying to the Philippines

I was quite anxious flying back to the Philippines for my AIDF programme. It was my first time flying alone and I'm not too keen on plan...