A Poem for Inay

inay-feb-2009Yesterday, at the Bantayog ng mga Bayani, we had a mass for Inay, followed by a short tribute. This was in response to requests from those who couldn’t make the trip to Naujan for her funeral last February 19th.

Thanks to Fr. Mike Padua SVD for celebrating mass (he even brought his own choir), and to other SVDs and XVDs who came to express their condolence and solidarity. Thanks also to hundreds of friends of Inay, nuns and activists especially former political prisoners whom she visited and fed during the martial law years.

Thanks to the members of the Gan clan, the dela Torre clan, and the Villariba clan who brought food and comfort. Special thanks to the volunteers of Bantayog who sacrificed their weekend to help witht he arrangements, and of course to Bantayog ng mga Bayani for allowing us free use of the place.

The formal tribute was brief. I told the packed auditorium that Inay doesn’t want her guests to go hungry. After presenting some slides about her life, we listened to two poems  by Aida Santos and Mila Aguilar, with a love song by Yayi Burgos (sister of disaparecido Jonas Burgos) in between. At the end of the program, she sang Sa Ugoy ng Duyan while Girlie and Ayen led the pinning of lavender pouches on the mothers and women in the audience.

In response, I read a poem I had started to write during sleepless nights in Naujan, and which remained unfinished despite repeated efforts. Perhaps it is Inay‘s way of telling me that it is not yet time for me to put a closure to my grief.

This afternoon, my sister Yen dropped by our place in Quezon City, to pick up some stuff she will take with her tonight on her flight back to Puerto Rico. I wanted her to have a copy of my poem for Inay, so I typed out the latest version:

Ang natutuhan ko sa Inay

tungkol sa daloy ng luha

Ito ang natutuhan ko sa Inay tungkol sa daloy ng luha.

Ang daloy ng luha ay di natin kayang pilitin

at lalo namang di natin kayang pigilin.

Hayaan nating ang luha ang pumili

ng takdang oras, ng tamang oras

ng pagdaloy.

Ito ang natutuhan ko sa Inay tungkol sa pagdaloy ng luha

Ang daloy ng luha ay hango sa bukal

ng sari-saring ala-ala:

Ala-alang kurot at kirot sa gunita

ng dapat ko pa sanang nagawa

ng dapat ko pa sanang nasabi

ng dapat ko pa sanang pagpapasalamat

Ala-alang himas at haplos sa gunita

ng kanyang pakikinig at pagtatanong

ng kanyang pagpapayo at pagpuna

at higit sa lahat

ng kanyang lubos na pagtanggap

Ito ang natutuhan ko sa Inay tungkol sa daloy ng luha

Ang daloy ng luha ay akay ng agos

ng sari-saring himig at titik ng awit

Mga awit ng pamamaalam

at panghihinayang sa pinalampas na sandali

Mga awit ng pasasalamat

sa biyaya ng pinagsaluhang panahon

at ugnayan ng aming buhay

Ang agos ng luha ay rumaragasang baha

sa panahon ng pagpapahayag sa madla

ng salitang kailangang hugutin sa lalim ng puso

ng salitang taglay ang lihim na nakatago

Ito ang natutuhan ko sa Inay tungkol sa daloy ng luha

Ang luha ay tabsing na may alat at pait

tulad ng tubig sa salubungan

ng dagat at ilog sa bukana ng Kanipisan

sa aming bayan ng Naujan

tulad ng dugong tumagas sa paa ng Inay

Ang luha ay hapdi sa sariwang sugat

Ngunit lunas rin para hindi ito magnaknak

Maghihilom rin ang sugat

Sa takdang oras, sa tamang oras.

Magkakaroon ng langib

at kahit ito’y matuklap, mag-iiwan ng pilat

na tuwing masasalat

ay paalala ng hapdi ng paglisan

at paalala rin ng haplos ng pasasalamat

sa Inay na nagging daluyan ng buhay

na nag-aruga at nag-alaga ng buhay

at patuloy na sumusubaybay

mula sa kabilang buhay

Pahabol ng Inay tungkol sa daloy ng luha

Lahat ng magulang, lalo na ang mga Inay

ay iniyakan ang anak

mula sa pagsilang

at sa paglalakbay sa buhay

Mapalad ang mga anak

na mabigyan ng pagkakataong

sila naman ang umiyak

para sa kanilang Inay

Maraming salamat Inay

Sa natutuhan ko sa iyo tungkol sa luha

Maraming salamat

at ako’y binigyan mo ng pagkakataong

ako naman ang umiyak

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6 Comments on “A Poem for Inay”

  1. toyen Says:

    no comment just uncontrolled swelling of tears..

  2. malupadilla Says:

    Ed, it will be a long good bye and sense of loss. You’ll get around in your own time. Grief will evolve but will always stay. The loss we will always carry in our hearts. Losing a beloved mother is not an easy feat. I still think of my mother every day and how much I miss her.
    You don’t have any idea how much I’ve felt and cried with you these past days. Grabe talaga. I feel your grief and loss deep in my heart. Tears flow out of grief but with fond memories.

    Take your time.
    My thoughts and prayers,
    Malu P.

  3. Mila Maramot Says:

    As soon as I’m back in LA, I will give my 95-year old mom a hug and a kiss. Thanks for sharing this moving poem.

  4. Daisy Valerio Says:

    Ed, maraming salamat sa very moving na poem mo. habang binabasa ko parang nakikita ko si Inay na ngumingiti gaya noong mga panahong magkakasama kami sa pagbisita sa detention camps years and years ago. Naala-ala ko rin ang aking sariling ina. Bigla ko siyang na-miss. sana nga ay makauwi ako sa amin very soon para mabisita siya.

  5. butog Says:

    ang galing galing naman ng pagkagawa kuya

  6. sourav894 Says:

    It’s pleasing to know that there are thinkers in my country keeping the great culture alive. Even I’m a published Hindi poet. To catch a glimpse of my work, visit- http://souravroy.com/poems/

    Keep Walking…


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