Nob 13, 2013

About 10,000 Characters

I began this project while my family was trying to locate and establish contact with our cousins and their children in Palo, Leyte. Before 10,000 Characters, I had written a small piece “Karibal ng mga ibon” (Hindi gagana kung mga kurot lamang ng pandesal. / Bato, maliliit at kilalang bato, ang tutungo sa bundok // Na babasag sa hangin . . .). That was last week, when we had next to nothing specific about the conditions of people in the places hardest-hit by Yolanda.

10,000 Characters began when the typhoon was exiting our “area of responsibility” and some drops of news came together and congealed into the 16-line poem “Unspecified” (Enter the person's name or parts of the name // A thousand words cannot describe the sheer / on cardboard and torn-up paper plates,). At the time, I was trying out the Person Finder and other online ways of “looking for someone.”

At the outset, the idea was to scavenge from reports, instructions and prohibitions, wikis, ads, statements, search engines—perhaps I was looting, taking advantage of whatever was at hand. These were then trimmed and sorted (processes that the growing mass and variety of relief items had to undergo) into the 313-line “Characters (with spaces) 10,000”—a poem mostly in Filipino.

10,000 Characters—originally a single poem titled “Characters (no spaces) 10,000”—was to repeat the same processes, likewise alphabetized (akin to lists of survivors, lists of missing, and lists of the dead), but this time in English.

After arriving at the 372-line poem, I thought to derive simple, uniform packages from it. Some relief collections came with suggestions to simplify operations and save on time. For example, instead of just saying “bottles of water,” an organization asked for 1L bottles for easy and uniform distribution. Perhaps anticipating disarray, one UP system-wide effort promoted a 1+2+3+1 scheme for relief items, that is, 1 kilo of rice, 2 canned goods, 3 packs of instant noodles, and 1L of water. Accordingly, I cut the 10,000-character poem into bundles. The 17-liners came first, and below are the links to the three of them:

                                       IMMEDIATELY—IS
                                       WASTE—WET
                                       YOLANDA—YOURSELF

Three of the resulting 10-liners:

                                       CLIENTS—CAUSE
                                       EMPTY—EYED
                                       SO—STARTING

Yesterday, my sister fetched our cousins from the airport. She took happy photos of them, of the children and their drawings. Then she posted them online. In the comments thread of one photo, I read sighs of relief, words of welcome, and someone there was asking, if we knew the whereabouts of either A— or M—. If we had any word from or of them.

CLIENTS—CAUSE

clients are cancelling their Christmas
closed and people living in low-
come in,” he warned them
communication in the aftermath
complicate or even hinder response
country),” he said
cover him soon!” arises from intense
Cross feared a
Cross. You want to send them
cause. But again, watch

EMPTY—EYED

empty
ends to the grieving
enlighten you on the matter. Please be reminded that
entirely unlabeled and sealed with 47 strips
established in the affected
estimates there are at least
evacuated to the library
ever observed. Several hours later, the eye
everything anyway. "People are
-eyed

IMMEDIATELY—IS

immediately. If you feel leery about
impact. All fishing
In addition to the massive maw that accentuates
-inch alloys round out the refresh
-inch touch-
Independent. Retrieved 8
in many places. In the island of
incident, then you cannot claim damages
infrastructure and the resources to distribute hot
injured as a reasonable consequence
inmates give up meals for
-in partner and father of my
insensitive. Don’t say, “The Philippines
instead. They will be sold
insurgents who
in your zeal
is based solely on the facts you have narrated

SO—STARTING

so deeply in cloud tops as cold as [cold dark gray
someone" and follow
so responsibly. Spread the word
sorted — and
sorted. Food requires much closer
speaking of which, it’s a vernacular
speeds alone, along with
spread to other places, including fast-
Star is a full-
starting with crawl

WASTE—WET

waste — they will need to be thrown
watched in morbid fascination. The woman’s
water. After all, you have
water and I am grateful
waves triggered by powerful
way around,” he said. “My worst
way. Before long, a queue
Way, which has set
ways to deliver
We hope that we
weaken” — and yet it didn’t
wear. Why not donate your old cross-
were affected by an earlier
were swept away and century old
were urged to return
We saw two young women giving birth, laid out
wet/ Thing I must somehow forget

YOLANDA–YOURSELF

Yolanda,” as well as to augment post-
Yolanda" by Filipino authorities - barrelled
Yolanda' gathers
Yolanda has sent home
Yolanda” here
Yolanda. “In effect there is a de-facto
Yolanda is the perfect singer for this
Yolanda recovery:
Yolanda smashes through central
Yolanda terrifies young, old
Yolanda, this
"You could hear gunshots last night, with
YOUNG. A man brings his lifeless
you" message to
young girl as villagers are
your efforts
yourself,” said the girl, whose body was pierced

Nob 12, 2013

Characters (with spaces) 10,000

abroad meron po tayong swift
address na ito:
affordable. Subukan na
all your efforts, anak. God
alon minsang dumadaluyong
alon sa maraming lugar. sa pulo
alright, cats sleep
a man in Manila takes money meant for the man in Tacloban
a mosquito bite is tantamount to undermining
analysts, pinuri ang diskarte
ang batas. Dapat aniyang samahan
Ang buhay ay weather-
ang kanyang kapatid nang sabihin na Signal
ang mga nakatira malapit sa nabuong sinkhole at
ang naitala, karamihan dito ay nadama
ang nakalilipas, ay labis na
ang posibilidad na aabot pa sa mahigit
ang sariling ating
ang tao dahil sa matinding
ang weather observer na nawawala sa
area. Samantalang ang southbound
Articles containing potentially dated statements
at dire-diretso naman patungong
at gawing mas malusog ang ating mga kababayan
at hoarding ng mga mahahalagang
at maaari mo itong ideposito sa package
at nagmistulang wrestling
attitude at hayaang makausap ang mga
at tubig doon. Wala na rin daw
away),” the source added
ay nabaliw na dahil sa pagkawala
ay naghahanda na rin ng baril dahil kapag sinaktan
ay hindi maikakaila na parang may ipinatutupad nang de-facto
ay hindi nagsisinungaling
ay nagbabasura sa apela
ay payag na ipasok ang tiniklop na
babaeng naipit sa kasagsagan ng
Bakal” sa panahon ng krisis. Sa halip
bags. Oo nga naman. Sana nakinig ka
bawat oras at bugso
bawat oras, walang bubuhayin ang super
bayanihan will see
bike for a cause para sa
Biyernes ay takaw-bagyo
boy screamed: “Pila! Pila! (line up)
bridge. Ibinalita ni
buhay at ari-arian, iniwan
bukas na ang nasabing tulay at nalinis na ito ng
Bulletin. Nakuha noong November
chainsaw, gamot at back hoe
-cheer ng bawat bansa
Christmas, madilim
City. “The fastest way to go to
Commons kaugnay ng/sa: Bagyong
country),” he said
Cross sa mga nasalanta ng
debris
desperasyon ay kailangan aniyang mapanumbalik ang
di kalayuan, isa pang
dinumog ng mga bago niyang tagahanga
dumagsa ang mga miyembro ng Special
effort. Ito rin ang mga nagbigay sa kanila ng inisyal na
emosyonal sa sinapit ng lalawigan
equipment ang dadalhin sa
evacuated to the library
everybody else,” he said, clutching two bags of crisps
Far from the sea and very near
fiesta. Lakas ng tama
flight namin was forcefully
food is illegal; it just might get your teeth
food photos. People in areas hit by
Foundation gaya ng bigas
freezer at iba pang appliances. Paniwala pa niya, may
Gamot, cadaver
growth and unsustainable consumption that has altered the
Guardian. Nakuha noong
habang sinusubo ang bahaw at asin
Haiyan) ay isang malakas na
Haiyan, na nangangahulugan na petrel sa Wikang
hangin sa atin, maging ang buong Kamay
Hiling ng state
hindi ko po matanggap
hinggil sa kaso niyang kinasasangkutan
-hiyaan ng ating mga politiko at opisyal ng
huhulihin at sasampahan nila ng reklamo ang sinumang
human history. It was so strong that if there was
ilang pulis ay wala silang nagawa sa pagdagsa ng tao na nais
inararo ng mga barko sa kasagsagan ng
impormasyong posible pang tumaas ang bilang ng
Independent. Nakuha noong 8
insensitive. Don’t say, “The Philippines
i-reverse ang naunang kautusan ng korte
isa, babasain mo ako
isang linggo ang ganitong sitwasyon, pinangangambahang
isolated pa rin dahil sa
items at dalawang filter—water
iyan lang ang masasabi ko
kabilang na ang Punong
kabuuang detalye ng mga sinapit
kakulangan ng formaline #
Kalikasan ay magkakaroon din ng magandang
kanya-kanyang paraan para makaraos
kategorya: Kasalukuyang
kaswalidad. Ganun din ang hiling ng mga
-kawing na nakakalat sa kalsada; mga bahay
kawing panlabas [baguhin
kaya makabubuti aniya ang pagdating ng karagdagang puwersa
kayong magdeposito sa anumang branch ng
klase, at ang mga mamamayan
(kph). Kung magpapatuloy at walang
KULAMBO, at iba
kundi panalangin. Lakas ng hangin na hindi
Kung meron po kaung gustong ipaabot please please
kuryente at signal ng
lahat po ito'y pinadapa ng
lahi? Kung hindi tayo inuuga ng lindol
lakad lang. Kung saan abutan ng gabi
lalawigan. Gagamitin ng gobyerno ang Turbo
land, ubos because people were needing
laro. Lagi na lang
law because we, normally we go through
Law na hindi naman umiiral sa ngayon. Binigyang-diin ng
law sa buong siyudad. Ito ang inamin
Law” sa mga lugar na
like this before
Lima ang pagsailalim sa state of
Lima na dapat ipatupad ng awtoridad ang batas
Lima na sa sitwasyon ngayon ay madaling sabihin
live ang mga himpilan ng
loob ng isang araw
looting erupts
lumikas sa isang gusali, nagtulong-tulong
mabilis ang impormasyon habang umuusad ang
makakadaan ang magdadala ng
maliit na hakbang upang ating maprotektahan ang ating Inang
malinis ang ating hangin at
mapalawak ang paggamit ng bisikleta sa mga
mensahe sa kaanak
minsan dumadaluyong, minsan walang imik
Mga locals wala. Nakipagbarter
mga inanod ng tubig doon
mga sundalo meron. Punyetang
mundo ang tumambad sa kanila
naanod (They were not washed
nag-aabot, yumayakap, ngunit di magkaisa
nagbigay mukha sa
naglambitin
nagmistulang abandonado matapos manalasa ang
nais ko, tayo'y maging isa
naitala sa daigdig. [1] [2] Mga nilalaman [itago
na “I will not dignify
nakabigay ako ng smile
nakakausap simula noong humagupit
nakapanlulumong kwento
nakansela. Nagsara
nakawan, nabawasan na dahil sa pagdami
Nakuha siya sa ilalim ng guho pagkaraan ng 14
napuruhan din dahil sa bagsik
nambubuyo sa mga residente para gawin
na nagbabasura sa motion for leave of
na nagiging bayolente na ang mga
natulala rin matapos ang trahedya. Tahasang sinabi
nang muling magkita sa ospital matapos
naranasan matapos manalasa ang
nasalanta ng bagyo ng TUBIG
nasawi bago pa humampas sa lupa
nasisiraan na ng bait
NASISIRAAN na ng isip ang ilang
News. Nakuha noong
Nobyembre. Nagsimula
noong panahon ni Magellan na walang modernong
ng ating kapalaluan sa ating Inang
ng batas ng compassion
ngayon ay hindi pa rin napapasok
ngayon ay humanitarian
ng konting ligaya
ng kuryente, aabutin pa
ng lalawigan na nasa 10,000 katao ang
-off points for in-kind
on behalf of the Like-
one bodega of rice was opened up to the
one. Plus one. Plus one. Plus
Oriental. Nakataas din po
out dahil sa pinsalang dulot
PAGASA na anim na ulit na tumama ang
Paghahanda [baguhin
pag-ibig, lalayo't lalapit
pagsagip, paghahatid ng
Papa, naranasan ang paghagupit
panatilihing kontrolado ang mga presyo ng mga
pangunahing daanan ng mga nagtumbahang mga puno. 453
pasintabi po sa mga naghahapunan
pati pagkain, kabataan
patuloy ang pagre-repack ng
Pilipinas [baguhin
pillaged and emptied amid frenzied
Pinoys yung "Blindness" ni Lolo Jose
pretty. But your face shouldn’t hog
P.S. Pakisuyo na rin sa pamilya ni
publiko na lalo pang papaspas ang ayuda o
Purisima, na hindi katwiran ang kagutuman
ready to go na yan
-recover ng dalawa pang lumulutang na
region deserve it. It is not your place
relentless postings to
RESIDENTE APEKTADO SA
residente, lumikas bago pa man tumama ang
residente, lumikas na bilang paghahanda sa posibleng
residente, patuloy na
residente, sinimulan nang linisin ang iniwang
residente, unti-unti nang ibinabalik sa
-righteous, please. If you can't help these
sa buhay, pero hindi na makontak
Sa kabilang dako, may nahanap naman na generators
sa ikalawang palapag. Tinantiya ang pagragasa
sa kalaunan, lalong-lalo na kung lalo pang darami ang tatangkilik
sakunang ito. Magandang gabi po sa
sana masaya na rin kayo sa narating ko
sa panayam sa radyo, “totally
sa sobrang malas natin ay natipuhan pa
Sensya na po sa abala. GOD
showered, lubed and ready for another round of mud and
sifting through trash that remained
signal na aniya
signal number
silence to everyone who experienced the
sincerity and the concern, sa inyo talaga
Sindac kaugnay sa hagupit ni
Sino ang susunod na hahamon? Sino ang next
situation doon. Hinggil naman sa
small letters to passers-by and
society, both who are working on the ground as we race
so responsibly. Spread the word
spot lang ako where may signal
star na si
surge habang nagbibigay ng update ukol sa
Sur; signal
talamak na nakawan
talampakan). [13] Magmula noong 10
talampakan) [16]. Sinabi ng tagapamahala
talampakan) [18]. Malawak ang
tatawid po ito sa Central
ticket for a better future
tinutugis na nila ang posibleng grupo sabay babala
tiyakin sa mga ito na paparating na ang
toe-to-toe ang dalawa
together! That’s pretty much
trickles in in an agonizingly slow manner
tulad nating dagat at lupa
tuluyan silang makabangon
tumawag lang po sa sagip
tutuyuin kita
UMAPELA kaninang umaga ang state
umupo, doon siya pumalahaw ng iyak
unang pagkakataon ay narating din ng
uncollected, the homeless wandering
unti-unti namang nagkakaron ng signal
unti-unti na ring nauubos. Sa totoo
upang may mahanap na pantawid
up to date, wala pa po talaga akong comm
up to now. Lastly, don’t miss
very classic, very tall
was an empty truck! ASAN ANG SINASABING
water. After all, you have the
water and I am grateful
water. At kung di man
water. I saw lots of them in the airport pero
-weather lang
Weather. Nakuha
were swept away and century old
We saw two young women giving birth, laid out among
Yahoo. Nakuha noong
"'Yolanda' accelerates, signal
Yolanda, agad na binalaan
Yolanda • Alon by Yolanda • Alon (Yolanda)
Yolanda ang itinuturing na isa
Yolanda. Ang naging deklarasyon ng
Yolanda ay isang malinaw
Yolanda ay isa ring higanteng puso
“Yolanda” ay nagbigay na
Yolanda. Ayon sa high school teacher
Yolanda ay tiyak na magdiriwang pa
"Yolanda" by Filipino authorities - barrelled
yolanda gamot hasn't shared anything on this page with you
'Yolanda' gathers
Yolanda. Hanggang sa ngayon
Yolanda has sent home
Yolanda. “In effect there is a de-facto
Yolanda is the perfect singer for this
Yolanda' kicks out
Yolanda, lalong-lalo na sa napakalaking
Yolanda, maaari
Yolanda. Mahalaga rin aniya ito
Yolanda matapos ang leksyon ng
Yolanda, nagdulot
Yolanda, nag-iwan
Yolanda, nagtaas
Yolanda. Naiulat ang malawakang pagkawala
Yolanda; “Panginoon, bigyan ninyo po ng lakas
#YolandaPH. Natagpuan ko siya
Yolanda recovery:
Yolanda, sa mga lugar naman na tila naembudo
Yolanda. Sa mga nais
Yolanda sa pagsasabing hindi kailangan ang “Kamay
Yolanda smashes through central
Yolanda Survivor:
Yolanda terrifies young, old
Yolanda, this
Yolanda, tinututukan ng
YOUNG. A man brings his lifeless
young girl as villagers are
Young, marami sa mga residente ay may bitbit nang mga patalim.

Nob 11, 2013

Unspecified

 are now expanding their                     tents
  public and usable by anyone

      responders, and too many of them were also
was "speechless" when he told him of
 
  of modern living—                        , power,
    a green whistle around his neck on a plastic strap.

   no way to communicate with the people in a mass sort
some written in crayon,

Enter the person's name or parts of the name

       A thousand words cannot describe the sheer
on cardboard and torn-up paper plates,
                                                        biscuits will keep them

"I have not spoken to anyone who has not lost
"We need to get the word out," she told him,

                  no figure or estimate. He said the
                  one word, alive, followed by their names.


   ____________________________________________
[1] How to help Typhoon Haiyan survivors
[2] Google Person Finder
[3] Devastation in the Philippines, Vietnam bracing for Typhoon Haiyan
[4] Philippine Typhoon Death Toll Could Top 10,000
[5] Hundreds feared dead in Philippines
[6] 'We just can't keep going': Scenes of devastation from Typhoon Haiyan
[7] 'Buhi kami tanan': Yolanda survivors send messages to loved ones
[8] Hurricane Central ‏@twc_hurricane
[9] Death Toll Likely Exceeds 1,200 After Typhoon Slams Philippines
[10] Typhoon Haiyan: law and order breaking down as death toll to exceed 10,000
[11] Scenes of devastation from Typhoon Haiyan
[12] Police: Yolanda death toll could reach 10,000

N—

Hello! Ngayon ko lamang nakita ang mensaheng ito dahil napunta sa "Other" na msgs. Ngunit maganda na rin at nabasa ko bago itong linggo ng unang klase. Alam ko namang marami sa mga hindi nagrerecite ay kung tutuusin nagpaparticipate naman talaga sa loob ng teatro ng utak. Proud na proud nga ako sa mga co-teacher ko sa aking dadalawang DevCom student ngunit kapwa matataas ang grade at napakahusay maglabas ng saloobin/pag-iisip sa papel. Good luck sa pagiging head next year. Maganda ang programang iyan ng inyong org. Sana maganda ang nabuong sched para sa semestreng ito. Salamat sa iyong liham!

Nob 9, 2013

Karibal natin ang mga ibon

Hindi gagana kung mga kurot lamang ng pandesal.
Bato, maliliit at kilalang bato, ang tutungo sa bundok

Na babasag sa hangin . . .
Tipirin natin ang isa't isa.

Dama ko ang pamumula ng aking mukha
Sa tuwing iginigiit ng iyong pisngi

Ang kaniyang biloy. Gitnang-gitna

Kung saan pinakatahimik ang mga bahagi.
Mula ngayon, tigkalahati na lang tayo sa kanin.

Babawiin natin ang ating mga anak
Mula sa kanilang sarili. Pagdating ng araw

Maghahawak-kamay ang ating mga anino
Na kapwa anino ng mga anino.

Nob 7, 2013

C—

Thank you. What a strange relief and affirmation to know it was not, after all these years, one-sided. But thank you more for the "simple hello". I had not realized such a thing was possible, that two words could bring both impact and lightness.

The girls are the most exhausting, messy, darling little fingers of the world. My wife and I have been bringing them to the park, while the rains rain elsewhere. The eldest seems to have outgrown the stare, or have kept it for later intents, since there's not much use of it anyway in kinder. The youngest carries it now, usually to mock me, which always works. She does not know it yet, but her allowance will suffer the consequences.

The writing's going along fine (thanks for asking!). I have been exploring smaller forms, poems, prose poems, very short stories, aleatory practices. Some of this 'exploration' has to do with gathering worthwhile activities for my large classes, some of it is really for exploration's sake, but most of it is Dora, that is, so I can spend more time with my daughters.

Thank you for not letting me go unappreciated. I would like to talk about your effects on me as well, but that would ruin the simple hello, knowing me. I shall instead, as the movie goes, pay it forward, and unleash a torrent of grace and good vibes upon the next unsuspecting student. Or, better yet (if I can manage), on my incoming 354 HUM 1 students (about a week before this message I was thinking hard about how I could reduce the number of 5s I give out every semester without, you know, relaxing the standards).

"Let them inspire you as well." I have yet to work on this. Perhaps this is a start.

Nob 1, 2013

Kandelabra

Huwag mong hipan ang mga yan.
Bakit po?

Bawal.
Bakit bawal?

Mga pangarap yan.
Ano yung pangarap?

Po.
Ano yung pangarap po?

Huwag paglaruan sabi.
Uwi po natin yung mga parang luha.

Mas lalong malas yun.
Tas tunawin natin sa bahay.

Gagawin nating bulaklak?
Magandang floor wax daw,

sabi ni Ma. Di ba po sinabi ko na po
kung nasan na po ang Mama mo?

At nakintab na po siya roon.