Maria Josephine (Joi) Barrios Oct 10, 2008 16:01:36 GMT 2
Post by thepoetslizard on Oct 10, 2008 16:01:36 GMT 2
Maria Josephine Barrios
Author Bio: Joi Barrios (Maria Josephine Barrios Leblanc) serves as a Lecturer teaching Filipino and Philippine Literature at the University of California, Berkeley while on leave as an Associate Professor from the University of the Philippines Diliman (UPD).
After completing her Ph.D. in Filipino and Philippine Literature at UPD, she taught at the Osaka University of Foreign Studies, UCLA, and UCI. She then returned to Manila to serve as Associate Dean of UP College of Arts and Letters and Coordinator of the Graduate Program of the college.
She is the author of five books, among them, the poetry collection To Be a Woman is to Live at a Time of War, and her research, From the Theater Wings: Grounding and Flight of Filipino Women Playwrights. She has won fourteen national literary awards and for her contributions to literature, was among the 100 women chosen as Weavers of History for the Philippine Centennial Celebration. In 2004, she also received the TOWNS (Ten Outstanding Women in the Nation's Service) Award.
Translator's Bio: Ninotchka Rosca is the author of the novels State of War and Twice Blessed, the short-story collections Bitter Country and Monsoon Collection and two non-fiction books, Endgame: The Fall of Marcos and JMS: At Home in the World. In 1993, she won the American Book Award for excellence in Literature. Her short stories have been included in anthologies, among them, the 1986 Best 100 Short Stories in the U.S. compiled by Raymond Carver. She is also a two-time recipient of the New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship. An internationally known activist, Ms. Rosca was among the founders of Gabriela Network and has also served in leadership positions with Amnesty International and the Pen American Center.
"Litany of My Search"
(For the parents of Jonas, Karen and Sherilyn a
nd the families of Luisa and Nilo of Panay)
(Written in Filipino; English Translation by Ninotchka Rosca)
I seek out
Piecing together eyewitness tales,
And taking my case
To the courts of justice.
I seek out
Dark, damp rooms of torture
Prisons of no name, no address.
For the missing.
Not knowing where the journey starts
Nor where it will end.
The heart haggles with fate:
Hand me the battered body,
Wounds can be healed;
Return the disturbed mind,
Sanity can be restored;
Tender me the broken bones,
The ripped-off flesh,
Even the unrecognizable corpse,
And the heart will welcome
What it has sought,
Yet do not misconstrue even for a moment
That I ask, or beg for mercy.
Take the abductors to trial,
Those who mock the law,
Masterminds of violence.
I seek the missing,
As the missing seeks justice.
"Litanya ng Paghahanap"
(Para sa mga magulang nina Jonas, Karen at Sherlyn
at sa mga pamilya nina Luisa at Nilo ng Panay)
Pinagtatagpi ang mga ebidensiya,
Pinagdudugtong ang mga salaysay,
Idinudulog sa hukuman.
Iwinawaksi ang masamang panaginip:
Ang maliit, madilim na silid,
Ang pagpapahirap at panaghoy
Ang karsel na walang pangalan at lunan.
Kahit di malaman ang simula’t
Hantungan ng paglalayag.
Makipagtawaran kaya sa kapalaran?
Ibalik niyo ang bugbog, laspag na katawan,
Mapaghihilom ang bawat sugat.
Isauli niyo ang baliw ang isipan
Mapanunumbalik ang katinuan.
Ibigay niyo sa akin ang pira-pirasong buto,
Ang gula-gulanit na laman,
At kahit pa, kahit pa,
ang bangkay na di na makilala.
At tatanggapin ng aking puso,
Huwag akalaing ako’y nakikiusap,
Nagmamakaawa, o naninikluhod.
Ang dapat isakdal
Ay silang sa kanya’y dumukot,
Silang nilalaro ang batas sa kanilang palad,
Silang utak ng pandarahas.
At siyang nawawala
Ay naghahanap ng katarungan.
Tanghaling tapat sa Glorietta.
At ikinukuwento ko sa iyo
Ang aking umaga –
At ang aking unang botox.
Ito ang mga bilin ng doktora:
Una, kailangan ng kilay ng ehersisyo.
Kailangang kumalat ang lason sa noo.
Mainam na balaan agad ang kausap.
Ikalawa, huwag hihiga
Sa loob ng apat na oras.
Hindi dapat umabot ang nasabing lason
Sa mata o pisngi.
Baka maplantsa pati ang ngiwi.
Natatawa ka lang sa kuwento kong
Kuwento ng babaeng lampas kuwarenta,
Kuwento ng pangamba sa mga bakas ng pagtanda.
Ano nga bang maisusukli ng binata
Sa kanyang katanghalian?
Bulalas ng pagtangi,
At naglaho sa aking puso,
Bawat gusot, bawat gatla.
(translation by the author)
As we have lunch at Glorietta,
I tell you about my botox morning.
My doctor’s orders:
Exercise the eyebrows,
The poison needs to spread.
Up – down, down – up,
If I do not want to seem too strange,
I should warn my friends.
In the next four hours,
Do not lie down.
The aforementioned poison
Should not spread
to the cheeks nor the lips.
One cannot risk a half-shut eye,
Nor a lopsided smile.
You laugh at my stories,
Stories of a woman past forty,
Stories of fear for aging signs.
You listen and smile,
A young man at the noontime of his life,
Blurting words of affection
As magical as botox.
All at once,
(inspired by Pablo Neruda’s “The United Fruit Company”)
Gusto mo ba ng pinya?
Iyong pantay ang pagkakahiwa,
May sukat na tamang-tama
At tamis na hindi pumapalya.
Magbukas ng lata ng Del Monte Pineapple.
Gusto mo ba ng saging?
Iyong pare-pareho ang sukat,
Kahit medyo mapakla,
Walang peklat ang balat.
Magtalop ng Dole banana.
Gusto mo ba ng papaya?
Di lang para sa sikmura
Kundi mabisang pampaputi, pampakinis
Kutis na kaakit-akit.
Namnamin ang papaya puree ng Passina,
Imported mula sa Europa,
Pero huwag ka, piniga sa bunga
na pinitas sa Surallah.
Ang prutas sa ating isip,
Pag sa bote o lata ay laging mas matamis.
Ang lason ng pestisidyo ay nasa utak,
Nasa ating patuloy na pagkabihag.
(Inspired by Pablo Neruda’s “United Fruit Company”)
Would you like a pineapple?
Open a can of Del Monte Pineapple.
Would you like a banana,
Bland but unblemished?
Peel a Dole banana.
Would you like some papaya?
Not just for dessert
But for an Asian woman’s dream
Of fairer skin.
Avail of papaya products from Passina.
Imported from Europe,
But made from fruits picked in Surallah,
Twice circling the globe
For customers like you.
Canned fruits are sweeter
In minds poisoned by the pesticides
Of a country’s colonial past.
*This poem was commissioned by the Instituto Cervantes and read in a program honoring Pablo Neruda, and featuring Filipino poets influenced by Neruda.