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Thursday, March 29, 2007


by Aaron O. Gillego

Mama says that Filipinos only make
the news when they’re making
a mess: Nag ka-kalat lang sila!

Tingna’an mo sila! Look at them! she says
as we watch 60 Minutes.
“Filipinos call for President Arroyo’s Resignation”

the marquee says at the bottom
of the screen as the camera pans across
people on EDSA holding up signs

“Gloria MACAPAL Arroyo!”
“Impeach GMA!”

Wala silang ginagawa.
They have nothing else to do.
Tingna’an mo! Look!

And I think about just the handful
of occasions when Filipinos were
mentioned by Peter Jennings

or made a splash across the NYT:
Andrew Cunanan, Imelda
Imelda Imelda…and her shoes

ten thousand pairs neatly stacked
in the Palace while ten thousand
islands are torn apart by war.

Philippines Wins Little League
World Series--
only to be taken away in disgrace

when other Pinoys ratted out
some of the teammates who were too
old or not from the locale.

Kalat nang kalat.
So much man-made mess already that when a typhoon
causes mudslides to bury ten thousand

people, it’s not news-
worthy enough
to make the headlines.

Aaron O. Gillego, 27, graduated summa cum laude (B.A. in English) from the College of Mount Saint Vincent, where he was a recipient of the Corazon C. Aquino Scholarship. He received a fellowship to finish his M.F.A. in Creative Writing (May 2007) at the University of Miami. He resides in Miami Beach, FL and teaches high school English at Toras Emes Academy, where he has worked for four years.