Tuesday, January 25, 2005

16 February

Alredo Navarro Salonga (1948-1998) graduated AB Humanities from the ADMU. Together with Emmanual Lacaba, he was active in advocating the Filipinization of the Ateneo curriculum. He was arrested for putting out a mimeographed newsletter during the Martial Law years. The poem talks about the one-way relationship between our coutry and America. It speaks of a useless and destructing war which the Americans have spearheaded.
Just like in the poem, America has once again led a war against certain countries in the Middle East. Many feel that it is because of America’s hidden interest in the country’s oil. It is questionnable if indeed, they have found specific bombs which was the main reason behind their attack. Once again, we as a country is depending on America and supporting this act of injustice so that hopefully, we may benefit from it in the long-run. Our nation is once more relying on their promises to help us out in tough times. We can only hope that the lesson we have supposedly learned (that their word is not to be trusted) has changed through time.

- Maura Rosario A. Gregorio

16 February
Alfredo Navarro Salanga

Their gods
in Washington
willed it
long before

Just like
the overlords
of Mexico

They must
have imagined
a bridge
was what
our islands

A bridge
to the East,
a place
to feed
their tired
sea horses
of steel
and coal.

What good
will come
of this?

Some knowledge,
to pass on

To our

Do not
step on
built by
white men’s
words ---
they are
as brittle
as firewood,
they are
to be

Abad, Gemino H. (ed.) (1999). A Habit of Shores: Filipino Poetry and Verse from English 60s to
the 90s. Diliman, Quezon City: University of the Philippines Press.


Anonymous said...

The poem reflects the anti-colonial sentiments of the persona. The poem tells us that colonizers like the Americans are just taking full advantage of our resources. The poem says that colonizers reduces the value of the colonized countries into a mere bridge for them to temporarily stay and feed. Furthermore, The poem warns us that the colonizers should not be trusted. In the end, the anti-colonial sentiments were magnified when the persona says that we should pass these seniments to our children.

-Juan Paolo S. Bermundo

Anonymous said...

the peom talks about how colonized countries like the philippines merely became puppets that served the interests of the colonizers, such as the US. A good parallelism to this poem would be the concept of "user-friendliness" among peers. The US befriends other nations not because it wants to have meaningful relationships with them, but because it sees other countries as possible servants.

-luigi singson r16

Anonymous said...

Filipinos are usually blinded by power, beauty and empty promises of other countries. This poem warns the readers not to trust foreign lands and not to believe in everything they say because most of the time, what they say are lies.

*Kristine Valenzuela*