League of Opposites
As translated by Donnie Valenciano
If only we could communicate,
So near, couldn’t even embrace.
How may I send my well wishes?
I can’t; as you’re agonisingly far.
Our situation, I want to fathom;
It’s stereotypical, it’s difficult.
It’s against society’s dictates.
It is what it is.
Though many may not agree,
I still wish to show;
My utmost care.
In a more serious way,
The kind which is pure.
The kind that is true.
Uncertainty will surely be our destination,
Unless both of us are self-assured of our feelings.
To others, this may be illicit;
Often labelled as something taboo.
Thus we try to keep hidden,
All our meetings.
It’s not yet time,
You may not value what we now have,
Until you have clarity.
I wish, though,
That you’ll be authentic,
And fully accept yourself.
Wholly and sincerely embrace it.
What we have may be withheld,
I still believe this will grow into something.
Are we contented with the way things are?
Speaking in whispers,
Stolen moments of euphoria.
Fight, fight with me.
But, have you known,
Who’s the enemy?
Your self or society?
Only way to win this,
Is through courage.
Ready to be persecuted;
Ready to be judged.
I trust that in time,
There’ll be a chance for us.
I want to believe,
In this league of our own.
The month of August is “Buwan ng Wika” or the “National Language Month” in the Philippines. As Filipinos continue to foster and celebrate it back home (mainly in schools), this poem (or tula in Filipino) is appropriate to be shared–a way of celebrating and showing love for the language.
In essence, more to the celebration, it is also a time to reflect on how the language has helped forge the nation’s culture, history, and journey to freedom.
Like this poem (originally in Filipino: “Magkasalungat na Liga”), may it nurture your own relationship journey–to love, be loved, and connect. A connection that is authentic, interdependent, and, unavoiding of shame.
Some important dates this August 2014:
8: MAAD Pyjamas 2014, Red Dot design Museum
9: Singapore National Day
9: Whitney Houston’s 51st Birthday
9: Temple Run – Nidana Youth, Buddha Tooth Relic Temple
9: Singapore ComiFest 2014, Suntec Convention Hall
11-14: Waiting for the Elevator, Multimedia Installation by Sarah Choo Jing, Tunnel, Esplanade
12: Groove Works Session 2 2014, Blu Jaz Cafe
13: Bigshot 52, Atrium at Ngee Ann Polytechnic
14: Hot Pants – Musical by Dick Lee, Drama Centre Theatre
15-31: My World. My Home / Preserving Stories, Community Wall, Esplanade
16: NOISE: The Apprenticeship Programme, Singapore Art Museum
21: Ninoy Aquino Day, Philippines
23: SPAWN Spag Day 2, Batam Cable Ski Park
25: National Heroes Day, Philippines
30: SDBA-AustCham 10km Dragon Boat Challenge, Marina Reservoir
In Photo: Art Installation by Simone Konigshausen