ni Nino R. Calinao

Pumanaw na kagabi ang aking pagkabalisa
At magdamag na ibinurol ang aking ilusyon.
Kanina tinungo ko ang naglamay na lapis sa mesa,
Habang sumusulat ay ikinukumpas ng aking panghihinayang
Ang kundiman ng aking kalungkutan
At mga titik ng ponebre ang aking nabuo.

Ayoko na sanag ituloy ang pagkatha
Pagkat lapidang marmol ang papel na ito
Kay hirap iukit ng mga salita.
Sa puntong ito
Ay nasa huling hantungan na
Ang aking mga pangarap.
At sa huling tuldok ko itatarak
Ang krus ng aking paghihirap.

This is one of the saddest yet hopeful poems I know. The author was a classmate of mine back at UP School of Journalism, and although I never got to know him personally, it was rather shocking when his death was reported on the  news, and more so for the sheer violence of it.

According to reports, he was killing time with friends at one of the places in uni where many students hung out when two men approached him and shot him point blank. And while his friends still managed to rush him to the hospital, he succumbed to his death due to the number of shots he received from his assailants. Weeks later, it turned out that the bullets that killed him were in fact meant for someone else and he was simply a victim of mistaken identity.

The saddest part about his death was that he was a poor yet promising man who was just a few weeks shy of getting his Bachelors degree and start working in order to support his family, which was the fact about his life that he implied in his poem, if one understood what it was like to be poor and to struggle through life.