Archive for Contributors

Poetry Contribution: Unspoken

UNSPOKEN by Red S   Was I floating? When I saw you In a dream. Your face, your hair That disarming smile Still the same As years ago. The sands of time Blown away Surfacing feelings Hidden within. Unspoken emotions Of truths we feared And choose to bury in ourselves. Vividly I see On that moonlit night When we held our hands And gazed upon our faces When we walked away Leaving emotions stirring Within our hearts Forever left unspoken. Shared to IlocanoYork and penned by Red S, 2007

Petition for Ilokano Google

UPDATE from Progress Report on Language Policy, Rights, and Multilingual Services (La Union, Philippines April 2013 by Firth McEachern)


An organization called Nakem Conferences­—dedicated to the research, education, and dissemination of Northern Philippine languages—has created an online petition requesting Google to include Ilokano in their products and services. By adding Ilokano as one of the options in Google Search, users would be able to search the web using Ilokano, instead of just in English or Filipino/Tagalog.

The petition reads:

Dear Google:

We are the Ilokano people, in the Philippines and in the diaspora.

Estimates put the number of speakers of our language at about 11 million in the Philippines alone, or more than 10 percent of the population of that country.

Historically, Ilokano (also known by its other names as Iluco, Iloco, Ilocano) is the language of the Philippine diaspora.

There are millions of peoples of the Philippines and outside the Philippines that use Ilokano as their second, or heritage language.

In Hawaii alone, the Ilokano and Ilokano-descended people comprise between 85 and 90 percent of the Philippine-American population, of that state.

With the return of Ilokano as a language in the MTB-MLE (Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education) policy of the Philippine government, it is now necessary to give access to Ilokano students to the wealth of information Google has. In the state of Hawaii, Ilokano is taught in the university and in some select public high schools as that state's effort to perpetuate the heritage of the Ilokano immigrant community.

It is for this reason that we would like to request that you include Ilokano as a language of option at Google. Your giving us this public space will recognize the voice of millions of our people.

Thank you so much. Agyamankami unay.


To sign the petition, visit:


From a report prepared by Firth M. McEachern Consultant, Office of the Governor Province of La Union |

Cebuano Language Added to Google & Kapampangan Becomes Part of Wikimedia


UPDATE from Progress Report on Language Policy, Rights, and Multilingual Services (La Union, Philippines May 2013 by Firth McEachern)


Cebuano, the second most spoken language in the Philippines – boasting around 25 million speakers – is now supported by internet giant Google, Inc.

 It was announced on May 8, 2013 that Cebuano is now an available language in Google Translate and on Google Search. If one goes to the Philippine portal at, one can see “Cebuano” added next to Filipino as one of the language options. It means that you can search the web using Cebuano as a medium to navigate the web pages.


Meanwhile, if you encounter Cebuano text that you don’t understand, or if you want to translate something into Cebuano, you can access Google Translate via the web at, on your Android or iOS device, or via Chrome and in Gmail.

The addition of Cebuano was announced simultaneous to four other languages: Bosnian, Javanese, Hmong, and Marathi. Google sa Translate misuporta na karon sa kapin sa 70 ka mga! (Google Translate now supports over 70 languages!)

With the exception of Bosnian, the new languages are “alpha versions,” meaning that they continue to be tested and improved over time.

“Google Translate helps bridge the divide between the content available online and people’s ability to access that information,” said Sveta Kelman, Google Translate Program Manager last May 10.
“Familiarizing ourselves with other languages broadens our comprehension for information. It adds more meaning and sincerity in a conversation, too. Cebuano is an important language to us and we hope to have helped ease the language barrier with Google Translate,” added Gail Tan, Google Philippines Communications Manager.

Kapampangan group gets involved in Wikimedia

Wikimedia has confirmed recognition of The Dila Kapampangan chapter as Dila ning Kapampangan Wikimedia Community. As a recognized community in Wikimedia, it is eliglible for grant funding from Wikimedia Foundation for qualified projects. Dila ning Kapampangan Wikimedia Community is henceforth the official representative of the interests of the Kapampangan language in Wikimedia and its components like Wikipedia. Dila Kapampangan also hopes to engage Google on creating Kapampangan Google Search & Google Translate interfaces. [Adapted from email on DILA listserve, May 30 2013.]


From a report prepared by Firth M. McEachern | Consultant, Office of the Governor | Province of La Union |

Poetry Contribution: iMessage

20140224-010053.jpg iMessage By I. Regalado i said, "you have to peel it off, strip to the bone, i want to see you naked" you said, "in your dreams" I said, "sure, but even my dreams wouldn't oblige" You were walking around with a pink umbrella, And it wasn't even raining. I pictured in my head thousands of black umbrellas, and, one of them was pink, underneath, one of them was you, walking the cobbled streets, of SOHO, like something from a film by Kurosawa, or a photoshopped photograph, the sound of Nolita Fairytale playing in the background (or was that a film that I have not seen?) I said, “I’m amazed at the randomness of our conversation. I feel some kind of fever coming. I have to fight it.” “It’s a song,” you said then you pointed to the wooden balcony. “Do you see it? Do you see us?” I asked. “I see you, us,” you answered. Meanwhile, our hands held each other, Our eyes stared at each other, Nothing to hide here, Everything known. “Me siento mejor,” la Niña sang through my iPhone, Yes I feel better, ya me siento mejor. Now I feel better. “Quiero quitarte la ropa!” “Si yo pudieras mover la manilla del reloj del tiempo” There is a scent here with me That isn’t mine. (I’ve walked that street with you before, Everyone should be jealous.) “Scent?” you asked. “Yes, it’s a woman’s scent, But it’s gone now.” Then my mind added, “Was it you?” Contributed by I. Regalado 20140224-010038.jpg

Poerty Contribution: A Naivete’s Confession

A Naiveté’s Confession by Jo March One spring night of ‘07 I was at this club That’s aptly called Double Happiness Right down at the Lower East Side. On my way out the bathroom I met this amazingly drunk guy Then held his glass as he took his turn at the bowl. He thanked me for being very nice And asked my name with a sheepish smile I told him mine, and Michael he said he was. He had a face like this BH 90210 guy So tall, fine and cute even when doused. He fuelled my curiosity; I decided to close my eyes. ‘There’s not much like you from where I came from’. He said as he keenly groped me in the dark. ‘Never met someone from where you came from’, I hissed back. Michael and I came back holding hands. Both smashed and grinning like a Cheshire cat. Funny, I shocked all my friends with my impulsive act. It’s embarrassing what else I did that night, With too much tea martini running in my blood. Let me just admit I’ve been really, really bad. He got my number that I remembered right For he called the following morn to ask me out I firmly said NO for I was sober to realize These boys want nothing else but my girly warmth   written by Jo March 2007, NYC


Our contributor, Mark Martinez, is a Speech Communications graduate of UP Baguio. On his free time he writes prose and poetry in three languages: English, Tagalog and Ilocano. He is a freelance journalist and currently dabbles in photography. Ubing ak pay lang idi pimmanaw ni manang ko Napan jay Amerika ta pinitisyunan ni apong ko Narigat kano ditoy isu nga ijay nga agbirok ti trabaho Ijay na nga ikurri tay BS Nursing na nga kurso Imbati na tay lakay na nga isu met ti bayaw ko Maysa a tricycle driver tay naasawa ni manang ko Plinano da nga mapan met ijay ni manong Pilo Ngem madi met makaala-ala Visa tapno makasaruno Adda ti anak da nga lalaki ti timmao Dimmakkel tay kaanakak nga awan ti ina na nga mangisuro Disisaisen tay ubing, tattan ket bumaro Nasursuro nan ti arak, sigarilyo, ken naduma-duma pay a bisyo Ado ti nagbaliwen manipod di nag-abroad ni manang ko Ado met ti nasurutan nan nga madi tay piman a bayaw ko Awanen tay singpet nan nga naayatan da tatang ko Sugal, bulang, arak, babae-- napirdin ni bayaw ko Nakadanon kenni manang ko tay napasamak a kanito Nasaktan nakem na ta naanakan ni manong jay kabit na nga bisyo Atay baro na ket madin nga matukkol jay sara na nga timmubo Nakunsumisyon, nagsakit-- nagbalin a de-baterya tay puso ni manang ko Anyan a rigat ti sukat ti panagadayo Agpayso nga ado ti kwarta ngem ni lakay na met ket nagloko Dakes nga anak, napaturay a sakit ti ulo Nu agbalikbayan ni manang ko, madi nga agkonswelo Ado ti namnama di nakadanon California ni manang ko Naragsak isuna idi nga umiliw jay pamilya na nga binuo Limmabas ti mano a tawen nga bimmaliw; nangindulto Napukaw tay ragsak ken namnama, nasukatan ti sakit a pudno Maminsan nga nakatungtong ko ni manang ko Dinamag ko panagbiag na jay Amerika no kasano "Ayna, ading, tagabo nak ti amerikano, Caregiver ak ijay-- tagapakan, taga-ilo!"


Our contributor, Mark Martinez, is a Speech Communications graduate of UP Baguio. On his free time he writes prose and poetry in three languages: English, Tagalog and Ilocano. He is a freelance journalist and currently dabbles in photography.

Last year, I spent Mother's Day with my best friend and we went to see his mom at their residence in Cavite. His mom asked me why didn't I go home to see my mom in Tarlac. I just said that I have a work schedule the following day. She told me that I should've visited and spent that special day with the woman who gave her everything to me. I never thought that that will be the last Mother's Day that I could be with my loving mother.

I really don't fancy such celebations before, but now it seems like Mother's Day is, indeed, one of the most meaningful occasions to celebrate with your first true love-- your mother.

The recent passing of my mom (January 6th) made me truly realize the philosophy behind the cliched fact that you'll only appreciate the ultimate worth of a person in your life once she's gone for good. This doesn't mean that I didn't care for my mom nor did I take her for granted while she was still within my reach. What I'm saying is that I should've spent more quality time with her on creating wonderful memories together. I should've been more vocal on telling her how much I love her. I should've been there by her side when she felt the most excruciating pain that took her life away. I should've been a better son for her, but whatever I say now, should-have-beens are just nothing but a cry filled with lessons from the past.

I'm missing her everyday, but all I can do now is to reminisce. I missed her on my 26th birthday, and I'll be missing her even more next year, then on the next until my last. Surely, Christmas will never be the same again without her at the dining table on its eve. And Mother's Day for me will no longer be celebrated, but commemorated instead. Even so, now that my mom's physical presence can no longer be a possibility at any affair, my collection of warm memories with her will always be there to clothe me on a now cold and woeful occasion like this.

I miss my mother -- the sound of her encouraging voice whenever I'm in doubt; those sweet and genuine smile  on her lovely face that brought peace to my troubled heart; the wisdom coming from the deepest recollections of her life; those priceless, joyful moments that we shared together that will never happen again! These are the things that make me very thankful that she's my mother.

I know that she gave me the best of her and that she loved me the best way she could. This inevitable fact brings me a mixed feeling of happiness and pain. I'm happy because no matter how complicated my life was and would be, I know deep in my heart that she's proud of me because for her, I'm the world's number one. Her unconditional love made me a man of strong and great character. Yet despite all, a tinge of pain remain because I never had the chance to bid goodbye to my dear mother before she left me to eternity.

This Mother's Day, chocolates will just be chocolates, flowers will just be flowers, but my precious moments with her are things of the past that are good to remember all over again. If there's one thing that I learned from my loss, that is to treasure and seize every moment possible with the people closest to your heart because no one  knows when is going to be your last time to be with them.

Be with your Mom on Mother's day. You'll never know if this is going to be the last Mother's Day that you can spend time with your first true love.

Mang, may you rest in eternal peace, and Happy Mother's Day!

Ag-Abroadak Kuma, Asawak

Our Ilocana contributor is a serious blogger, educator, and a graduate of the UP-Diliman's Department of English and Comparative Literature (DECL), a Center of Excellence in Literature and in the English Language in the Philippines. She writes in Tagalog, Ilocano and English.

The poem is a dialogue between a husband and wife that was mainly carried by text messenging. It shows conflicting views  with the wife offering a more conservative stance while the husband, inspired by a 'balikbayan friend', contemplates  working abroad for better opportunities. 

Agur-urayak kengka, simmangpet Iti “text” mo kenyak, Maka-abroad ak tu man met kuma asawak Dattuyak gayyem ko, naggapu idiay Dallas.   Mayat ngatan ti bumaknang Agay-ayab pay isuna idiay bistruan Naganas ngatan a maygatangak Kanayon a litson ti pamilyak nga awidan.   In-“reply” ko met:  Mayat dayta a arapaap Ngem ana ngatan ti lid-liday na nu haan agkakadwa? Mayaten a makaawid ka, nasalun-at, Naragsak tayo nga ag-iinnisturya.   Idi kuwan, nagsipngeten Kinnit ti lamok ti kadwa mi dagiti annak mo idiay ruaren Gasyan kami maturugen Idi simmangpet ka- napnek ka ti araken.   Ti abroad ket mayat, aglalo nu maysa a bakkat Ngem ti simple a biag, haan ko pay la isukat Nu laeng ti papanan na ti ado nga kuwarta ket kasta Ay haanen- nu agur-uray met latta ti pamilya.   Dimo ammo iti daras ko nga nangipalpas, sangwanan ti pag-pagay, arakup ti angin nga pariir a palamuyuten napnu ti init ken ayat ayti pagbadum kuma inton bigat nu rubwatak ti nagaget a rumaep nga asawak.   September 2011  

Who Wouldn’t Love You?

It's been six years. Six years away from my family and friends that was made easy by your charm and beauty  I've never seen elsewhere. Someday if I may be away to make room for younger dreamers, remember that once I was on your shores dazzled by what you laid on my lap. I love you, New York! Photos by Luchelle del Rosario, Abegail Ballesteros and Marilen Clemente

Buhay Migrante, Isang Tula

Ang pagiging migrante ay hindi parang susubo ng mainit na kanin at iluluwa na lamang kapag napaso
Ang pagiging migrante ay saktong sinusubo ang mainit na kanin at lulunukin ito.
Kahit mapaso ang dila,
Kahit maiyak sa init.
Kailangan mo, eh.
Para ‘di ka magutom.
Kailangang gawin ng anak mo,
Kailangang gawin ng asawa mo, lolo mo, nanay mo, pinsan ng bayaw ng kumara mo.
Para ‘di magutom.
Kasi kung nagsasaing ng kanin at may mga ibong mandaragit na nakabantay sa kanin,
Ano pa ba ang gagawin mo?
‘Di bago tirahin ng mga buwakang mandaragit na ‘yan, isubo na ang mainit na kanin.
Isubo mo nang isubo.
Kain lang ng kain.
Mapaso man, hilaw man, basa man, pagpag man ito, sige,
Kain lang.
Dahil pag ubos na ang kanin at walang natira,
Isang masaklap na kinabukasan nang walang laman ang tiyan ang hinaharap mo.
Huwag na huwag mong iluluwa.
Kaharap mo man ang diskrimansyon, racial profiling,
Pagkalungkot dahil hindi mo pa nakikita ang mga anak mo ng sampung taon,
Tuloy ang kayod sa ibang bansa.
Ma-rape, makaltasan ng suweldo, mabuhay sa takot araw-araw,
Dahil wala kang papel,
Lulunukin nating ang pigiging migrante,
Para ‘di magutom.
Ang pagiging migrante ay hindi parang susubo ng mainit na kanin at iluluwa kapag napaso.
Ang pagiging migrante ay saktong sinusubo ang mainit na kanin at nilulunok ito.
Melanie Dulfo is
A community organizer and a social worker.
A Filipino immigrant.
A storyteller and a performer, interested in stories of the people, of the masses.
An academic and a practitioner, believes in simultaneous reflection and action, resulting in praxis.
She is also Part of the Philippine Forum, Working with the Kabalikat Domestic Workers Support Network
Philippine Forum
Bayanihan Filipino Community Center
4021 69th Street, Woodside NY 11375
GABRIELA-USA: Filipinas for Rights and Empowerment (FiRE0
Asian and Pacific Islander Coalition for HIV and AIDS (APICHA)400 Broadway, New York, NY 10013www.apicha.orgT: 212-234-7940F: 212-334-7956Email: