Copyright © my Wide White Wall
Design by Dzignine
Monday, March 22, 2010


The walls of select LRT and MRT trains are of late abound with Spanish-Filipino poems of varied themes — ranging from travel, globalization, love, life's tragedies, etc. — at times juxtaposed with Filipino-English ones, the former a project of the Instituto Cervantes termed Berso sa Metro, and the latter of the National Book Development Board touted as the Tulaan sa Tren, both of which have tied up with the Light Rail Transit Authority.

I usually don't take a seat while aboard the train and rather stand by the door at the forefront, making my view of such displays restricted to only one or two. However, seeing at least one always brings about a sense of pride in me, realizing that the country's literature is so much blessed with gifted yet prolific poets. Likewise, I am invariably awed by the preeminence of the Spanish poems presented.

I have always marveled at such beautifully written poems that I check who penned them at once after reading them, save for this particular Tagalog poem I read at the weekend while I was on an LRT-1 train with my mother. I found it witty and a thought different from the usual style of other poems exhibited on the train.

The poem reads:
Ikaw ang dahilan kung bakit ako nandito/ Hindi ako mabubuhay kung hindi kita nakilala/ Kung ako'y mamamatay nang hindi ka nakilala/ Hindi ako mamamatay dahil hindi ako nabuhay.

Very amusing and it actually felt kind of weird that I have memorized it in an instant (though not 100% sure that I got it right this time), and every now and then it just pops up in my head and I start reciting it mentally. What bothers me though is that I was not able to see who wrote that four-line poem, let alone notice what its title was.

Reading such poems lifts up my mood; they give me something to look forward to as I take the commuter train five times a week en route to the office. They also pique my interest and my somewhat "seasonal" poetic abilities. It is for this reason that I wonder if I could find other poems on the walls of the LRT-2 trains with such effect on me. Amid this poem-hunting assignment, I might as well copy at least some of the poems' Filipino translations so as to make my train trip worthwhile.

I do find the "adventure" pretty exciting huh, considering that I will only be able to copy the poems en route to the office. Got to start tomorrow then?...