Writing the self is an act of making/marking time and space. However, it is also a recursive, circular act that recognizes no boundaries. It is finally an act of erasing the self into several selves. This act of writing and unwriting the self is demonstrated in Cora Almerino’s Pangilin.
Ang Balay Ni Bilay Libat: Being Elsewhere/Nowhere in Cora Almerino’s Pangilin
by Jean Claire Dy
Ug samtang ang kalibutan nunot
sa balaud sa panahon ako,
dinhi sa One Place,
gahubad sa kahapunon…
You are in Pangilin, in the middle of nowhere and elsewhere—a place that was “dreamt,” gidamgo pero dili damgo ug damguhon pa, a spiral universe where a festival or fiesta as in Pangilin occurs and you are part of it, you belong to it, you also dream it.
Here in Pangilin is where/when your story unfolds. It is a story composed of ways of seeing/telling narratives and making meaning out of experiences distilled through time and space. These narratives write the haligis, the atup, the sawug of this balay that houses your story, your own fluid narrative.
This is the house of Bilay the cross-eyed. Kini ang balay nilang Bilay libat. And when you enter you will hear Inse Natang telling you matter-of-factly: Kini ang sala nilang Bilay / Usahay sala, usahay / Kan-anan. Ug niadtong / wala pay lawak silang Bilay / anhi pud sila mangatulog….
This house, this balay is where the Pangilin happens—Bakhtin’s carnival. It is also where you can locate One Place—a space that is fluid in place and time, a nowhere and elsewhere where being/becoming is recursive and circular. A place where your oppression and liberation happens all at once, slipping in and out of spaces at once defined and redefined.
It is in this house that you began to write yourself, to look into yourself and see, really see.
Dinhi sa sala / si Bilay naghapahapa,/ nanglili sa mga binuhing manok / ug baktin sa ilang silong….
You crouched and peered into the tiny slats of the wooden floor, into your own looking glass struggling to see these creatures—the pigs and chickens you live with. You stared and stared and stared for so long as you could, eyes narrowing until you finally saw what was in between the gaps. You didn’t see the chickens or the pig or any other creature. Oh no, you finally crossed the boundaries and really learned to see.
Oo,/ dinhi niining matag nipis/nga wanang taliwala niining / mga gihikut-hikut nga lipak,/nagrawraw ang mga kalimutaw ni Bilay ./ Ug mao kana ang sinugdanan/sa kalibat ni Bilay.
According to Inse Natang and the others who lived to tell your tale over and over again, passing it to different generations of storytellers, according to them and only them, it is when you started peeping closely into the “in between” that you became cross-eyed.
This is how you, Bilay, became cross-eyed: you staring into the gaps, eyes crossed.
And what did you see Bilay? Pray tell us. What did you see?
Eyes crossed, you answered back in a cacophony of shrieks, howls, whispers, chants, sobs, sweet, loving, melancholic…. remembering:
That fraction of time when you along with others like tiny boats docked inside Chong Hua hospital. Ang emergency room sa Chong Hua Hospital / kagabii usa ka baybayon. Ang akong pagdagsa / gisugat sa habo-habo…. The mist, the habo-habo greeted you when you arrived. But you didn’t say how it cooled the fire burning in your head for three days, or how it singed your flesh, your bones, your being. You felt so alone despite being surrounded with people—people like you who needed attention and care from a doctor; people who are also alone in their solitariness or loneliness. You waited in between the wind and the rain. Floating. Waiting.
Without being hailed, the doctor sailed to you. Iyang gitapi-on / ang yang mga kamut sa akong agtang, / liog, ug tangkugo. Giihap niya / ang tulin sa akong pulso. Gipamati niya / ang hubak sa akong kasing-kasing…. And then came the cold breeze, the thunder, and then it rained softly. Ningtaligsik. That was how that moment became what it is. A moment that speaks of both dislocation and belonging: in-between emotions, in-between worlds.
Then that moment folded into itself. But that moment never leaves you. Memories have no time and space. It is the one who remembers who will locate them one by one in the overlapping landscape of remembrances. You did not forget, you say. Alas singko sa hapon, / Sabado. Sa plaza / Mar Grande. / Wala ko kalimot…. In plaza Mar Grande, you find yourself for a while caught at the crossroads: kinahanglan unta / nga moliko ko sa tuo / kay didto ko siya/ikatagbo…. Right or left. These directions are supposed to be definite, not exactly time-bound but definite. For they create that path, the pattern, that road that leads to the other person who’s waiting. Ug niliko ko / sa wala. Right was where “love(?)” or whatever it was waited. But you turned left. And there, you waited for the sun to set. Again, you became the one who waits.
It finally came. Or so you thought. The sunset is a riddle in itself. Maybe you have always thought of seeing/getting answers from the sun. How it has always symbolized light, clarity, and meaning. The sun sets at a particular time but somehow you are not sure if it really sets at all. You squint at the horizon, saw that orange circle moving down past the indigo line and then…a riddle. It disappears or does it? You know that it’s always there. It speaks to you in riddles. Malamat ka, / kon dili ka / anad / sa iyang / mga tigmo…. The answers are not there. And somehow they cease to become important. Kinahanglan / tun-an kon asa kutob / ang pagtubag / niining mga / tigmo, aron / dili ka / bawnon / sa maong / kamatayon…. You stop seeking for answers. You stop waiting for definitions. It is all a mystery, a riddle—love, life, the sun, you, every thing that composes this spiral universe. Yet, knowing this you do not regret. Kinahanglan / dili ka / mawili…When the sun sets, it is not the end. Like the phoenix, the sun dies but is born again and again—caught in this cosmic cycle, like love, like life, like you.
Answers don’t wait. Perhaps they don’t even exist at all, not once, not ever. But in this carnival, you learn to remember, to hold on to memories you’re not sure ever existed. You take hold of that moment and assures whoever/whatever listens: Alas singko / sa hapon, / Sabado. / Sa plaza / Mar Grande you need to repeat this, play it again and again in an act of remembering wala ko / nakalimot. / Wala to make it real, to make it happen, because you have to remember.
There are enough spaces for memories when you recreate them again and again. When you mark the time alas singko sa hapon / Sabado when you mark space Sa plaza / Mar Grande you create memory.
In this broken world kining buak na kalibutan memories are folded as time is folded, the edges meeting each other like paper being shaped into different shapes as in origami. And the act of marking time and marking space becomes fluid. Fluidly too, the common concept of marking as a definite act is challenged. How? One may ask aloud. It is again a riddle.
Gather round. Listen. Tigmo, tigmo sa alagukoy, ugma kita mag-asoy…. Gather round. Listen. Tigmo kon kapila gipilo-pilo ang panahon. If time can be folded, how many times does one have to fold it? Thrice? Twice? Countless times until the creases disappear? Until the shapes become non-existent and all you see is empty spaces? Until infinity? How many times then? Kini usa ka tigmo.
Paminaw. This is how you began ug samtang ang kalibutan nunot sa balaud sa panahon, you were in One Place unfolding that afternoon, gahubad niining kahapunon. You tell us that you are the artist who folded time like paper into several shapes and that afternoon, you unfolded it into an afternoon of all afternoons.
You are in One Place, that liminal space where time is refracted several ways like the light bouncing from a broken mirror. Dinhi sa buak nga kalibutan, here where you echoed Einstein’s words as he mumbles there exists, therefore, for the invidual, / an I-time, his voice ang gakurog / nga tingog ni Einstein bounced from the glass windows to the man who resembles him nianang lalaki/sa atbang (nga gakalkag ang buhok) the man with disheveled hair talking to the window. While unfolding that moment, you see others unfolding their own moments: the lizards sexing on the ceiling, the woman who sings “Morning Has Broken” in the afternoon. You recognize what the woman was singing about. In that afternoon morning has broken somewhere in the spaces of that song, somewhere in her reverie, somewhere in her consciousness. It is during this moment that that afternoon can no longer be an afternoon. It is a moment still yet to be marked. But then while unfolding time, that moment, you suddenly hear the banana vendor shout Alas Tres na! Tingpainit na! signaling, marking, and recognizing that it is afternoon after all. Or is it? Still it is a riddle—a riddle about folding/unfolding time
The riddle? Let us go back to the riddle. Tigmo, tigmo alagukoy, ugma kita mag-asoy….
They say it is only Einstein who can answer this riddle of time. This is not true. The answer lies in that tigmo that so-called riddle you shared to us. Yet just like time, answers become riddles too. Mao na ang tigmo.
When you reached the edges of the riddle ikaw nahimong tulo, upat, lima / dungan ang higup sa kapi. / dungan mig panghuy-ab. / dungan mig tindog you became three, four, five and then each of your refracted images parted ways. Or did they? They say that in the end, when these refracted images went their separate ways, you were left alone again to realize that you are bound by the markedness of time because One Place cannot stop time from flowing. This is not so, you say. Gilamat sila.
Tigmo. A riddle! A trick of mirrors! You never left. Yes, you never did. You were just there and everywhere. This is the paradox of making/marking time. Sometimes when you look closely enough, never mind going cross-eyed, you will see clearly. There in between the gaps, you will see gililo sa imung kapi the twister, this spiral universe, this broken mirror where time is refracted. Then you will realize that time flows because you: mark time, make time, fold and unfold moments, in a dynamic performance of slipping in and out of spaces, traversing moments, seconds, and even lingering there somewhere in the in-betweens of this buak na kalibutan.
Once, in this buak na kalibutan, you found yourself sa dalan nakipagsayaw sa mga bayong-bayong nga Itaparicanon dancing to the beat of Bob Marley’s reggae. In that foreign land somewhere you danced with Others just like you and became one with them in a moment of celebration. Ug among gisaulog / ang mga awit ni Bob Marley, a celebration, a dance, a ritual of songs both strange and familiar nga langyaw ug suod kanamo, songs that lull gatabyog sa each of your own historicities among gibalay-balay na kasaysayan.
It is not surprising that in this buak nga kalibutan, in this One Place, in this Pangilin, you experienced unity (even an ephemeral kind) with Others in a communal dance merging highs and lows. In a dance where spaces are folded as moments are folded several ways so that the creases disappear until what you see are shapeless shapes, nameless names.
During that communal moment, in this Bakhtinian carnival, the songs of Bob Marley unite you and the Others inside a space, inside a time, a moment of liminality where/when spoken language ceases to created barriers. So that when Bob Marley sings wont you help me sing / this songs of freedom you all understood what it means to be free, what it means to have One love. One heart and what it means to get up. stand up. / stand up for your right. It no longer matters if you all understood it the same. What mattered was you did share that bond however ephemeral it seemed to be.
Similar to all moments in this buak nga kalibutan, the memory of that shared experience will never leave you. It will stay there in the overlapping spaces remembrances existing in its own sphere—a memory refracted on a shard of glass. Nibarag ako. You stand proudly. You want to remember that feeling of being free being one with Others being who you are. When you stood proudly nibarag ako, you made a decisive act, a stand that says: “yes, I will remember this.” Knowing fully well that when you remember, when you tell the story of this dance again and again you are conceiving the cycle of your own liberation.
Recall the story of your own liberation. When you Bilay, one day Usa ka adlaw, matud pa ni / Inse Natang, si Bilay dinha sa tugkaran, imitated the dance of the pigs ningsuhid sa iktin-iktin sa mga baktin, hopped, skipped, perhaps squealed like a pig tiiin tiiiiin and flapped your arms ug lupad-lupad sa mga manok as though you had wings to fly.
You were a sight to recreate in memory, in imagination. Indeed, for Inse Natang you were a sight to remember for she lived to continue the cycle making sure that your story will be passed on through generations. Unwittingly by telling your story, she has also conceived the cycle of liberating you. So that each time your story is told, again and again the paradoxical tale of both your freedom and imprisonment begins and ends.
You have always dreamt of journeying into this gidamgo nga kalibutan, “dreamt world,” damgohun, beyond the looking glass, where you will finally explore yourself, dream yourself, frame yourself within yourself, define/ redefine yourself for yourself, to yourself.
It is after dancing with the pigs and chickens, you Bilay the cross-eyed finally crossed the boundaries.
Nanagbuwag ang iyang panan-aw:
Ang usa ningkapyot sa sidsid sa bangaw,
Samtang ang usa ningbuho sa saging tindok
Aron dakpon ang mutya
Nga nagbuwan-buwan sulod niini.
This decisive act happened when nanagbuwag ang iyang panan-aw your right eye looked to ningkpayot sa reality sidsid sa bangaw and stuck on the helm of the fly’s wings, while your other eye embedded itself inside the saging tindok to catch the mutya into the mystical world.
It is during this final act of crossing that you Bilay, eyes crossed, finally decided to embark on this journey. Into this gidamgo nga kalibutan into this buak nga kalibutan where the process of your being/becoming happens all at once as you write yourSelf, dream yourSelf, frame yourSelf within yourSelf.
But you are also aware that this journey is a difficult one: convoluted, ambiguous and layered. It is a non-linear path, Bahktin says, wrought with profanations, travesties, crownings and uncrownings, where images, words, ideas no longer hold definite meanings as they slip in and out of the spaces they create. Where you will become the Night’s lost child gliding and oftentimes stumbling in/out of light and shadows, sliding into the valleys of nameless names.
So that when they sampit your name, the letters will dance manggimok / ang mga titik niini, one by one: the fingers will twirl, the arms will follow an arc, then the torso in frenzied bends and flexes, and then every single part of these body of letters will move. It will be a dance of all dances, not ballet, nor jazz. It is a dance yet to be named. And then the letters like little children will run fast towards the pond, jump into water and swim in it. Musawum. Then you will hear imung madungog / ang agay sa tubig, the water’s caress ug mga tipak-tipak / sa ilang agik-ik and the silences in between the children’s giggles.
Here, in this journey, you will find yourself in-between ways of looking/seeing reality with its refracted times and spaces and in midst of the fantastic, the mythical where nothing seems to be different from what is real. Floating there, just there, in the middle of nowhere and elsewhere, you negotiate these realities—these spatial and temporal homes you slip in and out of.
Nagrawraw ang mga kalimutaw / ni Bilay. Daw adunay nagduliraw / nga kahidlaw sulod niini. Matud ni Inse Natang wala na / hisabti sa iyang banay si Bilay.
Can Others even imagine having eyes like the fly? Having multiple ways of seeing? Can they even fathom the magic of the mutya? How it makes you see the world in a different light, every object, every experience, every word illuminated like haloed idols in a church.
Can they even see how it is to be in the middle of things, to have crossed the boundaries into an elsewhere/nowhere? It is something utterly incomprehensible for them (the people in your town). And so they resort to the only way they can explain what happened to you. They name what can’t be named, if only to put you in place at the same time set you apart in the guise of freeing you and in the hope of curing you.
What has afflicted you, Bilay? Pray tell us.
Madness. They think you went mad. Of this, they are certain. According to Inse Natang matud ni Inse Natang, it was the work of the dwarves giti-aw si Bilay sa mga engkanto ug duwende, of those who live in-between the shadows of trees.
Usa niana ka kilum-kilum / samtang naghikay ang banay…si Bilay ni iktin-iktin, ninglupad-lupad dinha / sa kadalanan…
You are transformed into the Madwoman in the Attic as your story became some cautionary tale told to children before they venture into their world of dreams. Your story reminds them not to get lost in dreamland, not to get lost anywhere/elsewhere but to stay rooted in what they perceive as real, a world of marked spaces, marked time.
Unsa unsa unsa unsa? Unsa man gyud ang nahitabo sa imo Bilay?
You did not answer. You will not use their language to explain what happened to you. Of that you are also certain.
Here in this journey, in this buak na kalibutan, this Pangilin, this One Place, this carnival, you, eyes crossed, answered back in a cacophony of shrieks, howls, whispers, chants, sobs, sweet, loving, melancholic…ug ikaw nagalaylay agulaylay….
With your body you challenged the looking glass where you saw on the surface mythic images of yourself that stare back at you at once familiar and strange. You recognize these invented masks they have tightly fastened over your face to put you in place, to own you and to make you recognizable to them.
You shake your head. These are masks, you say and they do not define me.
So you begin to write yourself, utter “I am” with your own voice, your own tongue, your own eyes, with your being.
While you embark on this journey, while you write yourself, your own fluid narrative, you realize that in order to go beyond the looking glass, you have to engage in a Woolfian act of killing these mythic images, these masks fastened over your face.
So you call on to the ones before you, the ones with you, the ones who are yet to be born:
Dyosa sa katigulangan
ania ako taliwala
ning akong mga kamut…
You examine your faces, your names:
kang Binangkal Penelope the one who waits whose faces is
Dolores nga kay-ag ang nawong nga gidugo who is the
Pieta inahan ug anak daplin sa dalan who is named
Iemanja ang hara sa kailaluman sa kadagatan sa Salvador whose face is
Birhen Maria the one who listens
You assimilate your faces, wear the masks:
There somewhere into the looking glass, you found the Penelope waiting for her beloved Odysseus. You called her Binangkal Penelope, your own Bisayan Penelope.
Then you invited her to eat the binangkal the stone-hard bread instead of forever waiting for Odysseus to return. Penelope, kaon og binangkal. / Walay pulos kanang magsigeg/ginansilyo—kanang magsigeg / paabut nianang tawo nga galisud / ug tultol sa iyang panimalay. You convinced her to stop crocheting, to stop waiting, and instead eat the binangkal because waiting is worthless. Especially when you are waiting for someone, this man, who can’t find his way home.
You challenged her to confront her own identity: the Penelope who is known to wait in the house forever or the Penelope who knows that she is more than the one who waits. You challenged her to confront the pain of waiting and even to confront her image of herself waiting.
But behind the mask, you laugh:
Kit-kita og ub-uba / unya ang mga binangkal. Penelope, go buy some more bread from Nang Kikay’s store or better yet, cook the bread on your own. And then advised her: when you eat the binangkal, do not eat it delicately, rather, gnaw on it, kit-kita gyud. Ub-uba suck it, and then keep the leftovers ang sobra tipigi. So that when Odysseus finally arrives at your doorstep, inig uli ato niya, inig tungtong/niya tungod nianang pultahan,/gubata dayun ug binangkal, pelt him with the stone-hard bread.
And you laugh some more…. Gubata dayun ug binangkal. In this war, pain and longing becomes something laughable to you. Pain becomes laughter. In this war, there are no losers or winners, only carnivalesque characters. Penelope shall wait no more.
Paradoxically, in this war, you erase the traces of these masks. You peel them from your face layer by layer, nails digging into your skin, and you shout: here are my scars—the words I bleed!
And then you dance the Moondance, you become the babayeng gahalad og sayaw sa bulan asking the moon to shower your eyes with its light, its warmth. You dance this Moondance in an act of remembering where you came from, who you are, and what you can become. There is something elemental about the moon and like the mutya, like the sun, it speaks to you in riddles. While offering this dance to the moon, you enter the circle of both the sacred and the profane—the womb of your story.
There in that circle, in that fluid world, you will sing this lullabye using the Mother’s milk, your own created words. Ikaw magalaylay agulaylay.
Ug niadtong tungura
Matud pa ni Inse Natang,
Ang yuta ni-ukab
Ug gilamon si Bilay
Nga naglaylay, agulaylay
While you sing your lullabye dancing like the pig and flapping arms like the chickens, the ground divides and swallows you. Finally the journey ends. Or so you thought.
It is just the beginning. You have arrived.
You are in Pangilin. You are caught willingly in this festival of self-definition/assertion. Ako kini. Ako ni. Mao ni ang akong nawong. But for you, self-assertion and self-definition happens all at once. Not one precedes the other. It happens in this festival, in Pangilin, in One Place, in this dream world dreamt by you.
You become. You are. By creating this dream world, this festival, this Pangilin, you have conceived a world where the lines that shape the spaces that traditionally put you in place are erased, where the images that bind your identity are radically revised.
You come out of Pangilin, if ever you leave at all, not whole or completed. This festival is not meant to complete you because you cannot be completed. The word complete, tibo-ok, is final, time-bound. It is not the kind of self-definition/assertion you sought in the first place.
You will continue dancing. You will continue singing your lullabye. Until you will explode out of the looking glass and still continue dancing. Dancing a dance of triumph, a dance into speech, a dance of authority.
Ug sa usa ka mando
sa usa ka lantip
kining tanang gapig-ut
You will ignite. #
 Pangilin is the title of Corazon Almerino’s first solo collection of Cebuano poetry, published in 2004 by the National Commission of Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and Women in Literary Arts (WILA).
 And while the world is ruled / by the laws of Time I am / here in One Place, / unfolding this afternoon… (My rough translation of lines from “tigmo kon kapila gipilo-pilo ang panahon,” p. 4)
 Pangilin means fiesta or festival.
 Dreamt yet not a dream and still to be dreamed.
 Haligis, atup, sawug, and balay mean posts, roof, floor and house respectively.
 This is the house of Bilay the cross-eyed. (“Ang Balay Nilang Bilay Libat,”p. 28)
 This is the sala of Bilay / sometimes a sala, sometimes / a dining area. And in the past/ when there were no rooms yet, this is where they slept. (“Ang Balay…,”p. 28)
 It is here in this sala / that Bilay crouched / peered into the tiny slats of the wooden floor to look at the chickens / and the pig kept under their house. (“Ang Balay…,”p. 28)
 Yes, / it is in every gap / the spaces between the thin slats of the wooden floor / that Bilay’s pupils whirled. / And this is how it began / this is how Bilay became cross-eyed. (“Ang Balay…,”p. 28)
 Last night, the emergency room of Chong Hua Hospital / was like a coastline. And my arrival / was met by a mist. (“Habo-habo sa Emercency Room,”p. 3)
 The closest translation of habo-habo is mist.
 He touched my forehead, / my neck, my nape. He counted / the speed of my pulse. He listened / to the beat of my heart… (“Habo-habo…,”p. 3)
 Five o’clock in the afternoon, / Saturday. At the plaza Mar Grande. / I did not forget…(“Usa Lamang Sa Mga Pamaagi Sa Panamilit,”p. 25)
 I had to turn right / because that is where I shall meet him…(“Usa Lamang…,”p. 25)
 I turned left. (“Usa Lamang…,”p. 25)
 You will be deceived (enchanted), / if you are not / used to / the Sun’s / riddles. (“Usa Lamang…,”p. 25)
 You need / to learn the limits / of answering these / riddles, so that / you won’t / drown with its death. (“Usa Lamang…,”p. 25)
 You should not / regret…(“Usa Lamang…,”p. 25)
 I did not / forget. / I did not. (“Usa Lamang…,”p. 25)
 this broken world
 A riddle, a riddle of the hermit crab, tomorrow we shall discuss the answer. (My rough and very literal translation of the rhyme. These lines are often said repeatedly before someone shares a riddle during a game of riddles.)
 This is a riddle of how many times Time is folded. (“tigmo kon kapila gipilo-pilo ang panahon,” p. 4)
 This is a riddle.
 Here in this broken world.
 Einstein’s trembling / voice (“tigmo…,”p. 4)
 to the man / in front (with disheveled hair) (“tigmo…,”p. 4)
 It is three o’clock! It is time for snacks (tea)! (“tigmo…,”p. 4)
 This is what a riddle is.
 You became three, four, five / we sip the coffee together. / We yawn together. / We stand together (“tigmo…,”p. 4)
 They have been tricked (deceived/enchanted).
 Spun by your coffee (“tigmo…,”p. 4)
 dancing in the street among the nipa huts that are Itaparicanon (“Sa Dalan Nakigsayaw Sa Mga Bayongbayong Nga Itaparicanon,”p. 12)
 And we celebrated / the songs of Bob Marley (“Sa Dalan…,”p. 12)
 both strange and familiar (“Sa Dalan…,”p. 12)
 our histories built in layers (“Sa Dalan…,”p. 12)
 I stand (erect) proudly. (“Sa Dalan…,”p. 12)
 One day / according to Inse Natang / there in the yard Bilay (“Ang Balay…,”p. 28)
 mimicked the dance of the pigs (“Ang Balay…,”p. 28)
 flapped her arms like the chickens (“Ang Balay…,”p. 28)
 dreamt world
 to be dreamed
 her vision parted / one eye clung to the helm of the fly’s wings / while the other embedded itself inside the banana / in order to catch the mutya / that is playing inside. (“Ang Balay…,”p. 28) Local lore says that the mutya is magic/ power that could be found inside the banana fruit. Guarded by creatures of the enchanted world, it is very difficult to capture. Perhaps in the poem, it can also refer to the Muse. Nagbuwan-buwan is a word derived from buwan-buwan, which is an indigenous Filipino game. So, nagbuwan-buwan can literally mean playing buwan-buwan.
 Call out my name, its letters / will dance (“Sampit,”p. 16)
 will swim (“Sampit,”p. 16)
 you will hear / the water’s caress (“Sampit,”p. 16)
 and the silences in between / their giggles (“Sampit,”p. 16)
 Her pupils whirled. / As though there was this whirling / unfathomable need / in them. According to Inse Natang Bilay’s community / could no longer understand her. (“Ang Balay…,”p. 28)
 according to Inse Natang
 Bilay was tricked by the enkangto and the dwarves (“Ang Balay…,”p. 28) I think the closest Western counterpart of the enkangto is the fairy.
 One day at nightfall / while the neighborhood was having a party… Bilay danced like the pigs and flapped her arms like the chicken / in the street… (“Ang Balay…,”p. 28)
 What what what what? What really happened to you Bilay?
 And you spoke in tongues… (“Ang Balay…,”p. 28) When one does a laylay agulaylay, one is singing or chanting in some language only one can understand. It can mean gibberish.
 Goddess of my ancestry / of whom I trace my roots / here I am in the midst / of this forest / offering my / hands to you…(“Babayeng Gahalad Ug Sayaw Sa Bulan,”p. 1)
 one whose face is confused and one who has her period (“Dolores,”p. 9)
 mother and child by the street-side (“Pieta Sa May Dalan P. Del Rosario,”p. 6)
 Iemanja queen of the depths of the seas of Salvador (“La Fiesta de Iemanja, ug Gisalibay ni Carlos Estevez ang iyang botilya,”p. 30)
 Stone-hard bread Penelope
 Penelope, eat the stone-hard bread. / There is no use in always / crocheting—always waiting / for that person who is having trouble / finding his way back home. (“Binangkal Penelope,”p.8)
 Gnaw and suck / the stone-hard bread. (“Binangkal Penelope,”p.8)
 keep the leftovers (“Binangkal Penelope,”p.8)
 so that the moment he comes home, the moment he arrives / at your doorstep, / pelt him with the stone-hard bread (“Binangkal Penelope,”p.8)
 the woman offering a dance to the moon
 You will be singing gibberish (speaking in tongues).
 And at the point / according to Inse Natang, / the ground divided / and swallowed Bilay / who was singing in tongues. (“Ang Balay…,”p. 28)
 It is me. This is me. This is my face.
 And with one command / with one / stare / all that has suppressed (repressed) me / will ignite, / will ignite, / will ignite. (“Babayeng Gahalad…,”p. 1)