Category «English (non adult)»

Under The Mango Tree

by Hugh Aaron

ONE would think we were a couple of returning heroes. “Americanos, Americanos,” the naked children shouted, zigzagging like circus clowns in mad circles around us as Billiard Ball and I ambled abreast down the beaten path through the shade of the green canopy. Heavy duffel bags hanging from our shoulders were laden with gifts: bottles of beer, cartons of cigarettes, cans of fruit juice. Repeatedly sweeping past us like zephyrs, each child snatched a bar of sweet chocolate from our extended hands. We were no less boisterous than they, shouting along with them, asking their names, having a good time ourselves, caught up in the infectious joy of their freewheeling abandon. Such was the character of our entry into Lubao time after time.

As we walked down the village street, people waved from their houses repeating our names, people we didn’t recognize from our earlier visit. “Hullo Beelyard Ball,” and “Al. Hullo. Comusta.”

Anita emerged from one of the houses to greet us. “You must both stay with my family,” she said. Then Alejandro appeared and said to Billiard Ball, “I have been waiting all week. Please, if you wouldn’t mind some metaphysical discussion I would be

Servant Girl

by Estrella D. Alfon

ROSA was scrubbing the clothes she was washing slowly. Alone in the washroom of her mistress’ house she could hear the laughter of women washing clothes in the public bathhouse from which she was separated by only a thin wall. She would have liked to be there with the other women to take part in their jokes and their laughter and their merry gossiping, but they paid a centavo for every piece of soiled linen they brought there to wash and her mistress wanted to save this money.

A pin she had failed to remove from a dress sank its point deep into her finger. She cried to herself in surprise and squeezed the finger until the blood came out. She watched the bright red drop fall into the suds of soap and looked in delight at its gradual mingling into the whiteness. Her mistress came upon her thus and, shouting at her, startled her into busily rubbing while she tried not to listen to the scolding words.

When her mistress left her, she fell to doing her work slowly again, and sometimes she paused to listen to the talk in the bathhouse behind her. A

The Little People

by Maria Aleah G. Taboclaon

THE elves came to stay with us when I was nine. They were noisy creatures and we would hear them stomping on an old crib on the ceiling. We heard them from morning till night. They kept us awake at night.

One night, when it was particularly unbearable, Papa mustered enough courage and called out. “Excuse me!” he said. “Our family would like to sleep, please? Resume your banging tomorrow!” Of course, we had tried restraining him for we didn’t know how the elves would react to such audacity.

We got the shock of our lives when silence suddenly filled the house–no more banging, no more stomping from the elves. Papa turned to us smugly. Sheepishly, we turned in for the night, thankful for the respite.

When dawn came, the smug look on Papa’s face the night before turned into anger for shortly before six, the banging started again, and louder this time! We got up and tried speaking to the elves but got no response. The banging continued all day and into the night, and stopped at the same hour–eleven o’clock. And at exactly six a.m. the next day, it started again.

What could

The Bus Driver’s Daughter

by H.O. Santos

BY the time I got to Bora Bora I wasn’t shy anymore about asking strangers for favors. I always offered something in return and almost everyone seemed to appreciate that although I knew they mostly didn’t need what I had to offer.

Like yesterday. I spent a wonderful day on Motu Moute as the guest of a couple who tended a small watermelon patch on that barrier island, one of the many motus that surround Bora Bora. When I heard they were going to work on their farm, I offered to help for free. They thought I was nuts—the dry season was over, they said, and there’d be mosquitoes and gnats on the island. They laughed but finally said okay, undoubtedly to humor a fool as much as they needed help.

They weren’t kidding. There were lots of gnats and the mosquitoes were only waiting to take over at night. There wasn’t much work—there wasn’t enough weeds for three people to pull out and the plants were doing well. It was quite an enjoyable day for the island was beautiful and pristine—very few people go there to mess it up. For lunch we ate fish caught on

The Enchantress

By Percival Campoamor Cruz


He came to interview the self-proclaimed restorer of lost libido, this bespectacled young man who just got a writing job for an Asian newspaper. Madam Yin had earlier talked to his publisher for an advertising deal. She was offered an editorial write-up, gratis.

She was no doctor nor psychiatrist. She was an enchantress.

She told the publisher, Mr. Celerio, “Me no believe in pills. Like Viagra. Ha, ha, ha. . .”

She seemed to be either Chinese or Vietnamese, or maybe a Filipino with Chinese blood. Her English was not that good.

“Ya know, in my country, someone invented Viagra in cream, not pill. Ha, ha, ha . . . The user dips his pointer finger in the cream and swabs it on his organ. Very effective. Problem was the finger gets stiff, too. Ha, ha, ha . . . for hours.”

Mr. Celerio carefully eyed the lady in front of him. She was fortyish, had black, shiny, long hair; smooth, flawless skin like porcelain. She had a wonderful smell, like she bathed herself in some strange tropical flower. Mr. Celerio, now in his sixties, was reminded of the ilang-ilang, the rare flower in his

The Day The Dancers Came

by Bienvenido N. Santos

AS soon as Fil woke up, he noticed a whiteness outside, quite unusual for the November mornings they had been having. That fall, Chicago was sandman’s town, sleepy valley, drowsy gray, slumberous mistiness from sunup till noon when the clouds drifted away in cauliflower clusters and suddenly it was evening. The lights shone on the avenues like soiled lamps centuries old and the skyscrapers became monsters with a thousand sore eyes. Now there was a brightness in the air land Fil knew what it was and he shouted, “Snow! It’s snowing!”

Tony, who slept in the adjoining room, was awakened.

“What’s that?” he asked.

“It’s snowing,” Fil said, smiling to himself as if he had ordered this and was satisfied with the prompt delivery. “Oh, they’ll love this, they’ll love this.”

“Who’ll love that?” Tony asked, his voice raised in annoyance.

“The dancers, of course,” Fil answered. “They’re arriving today. Maybe they’ve already arrived. They’ll walk in the snow and love it. Their first snow, I’m sure.”

“How do you know it wasn’t snowing in New York while they were there?” Tony asked.

“Snow in New York in early November?” Fil said. “Are you crazy?”


Some Kind of Forever That Never Last

I came across of what I wrote 4 years ago, the pain was so raw, I was pouring my heart out. Here it goes:

“Never did I imagine that one day he would leave me. For someone who keeps on telling me that he loves me and made promises that he would never leave my side. Well, he walked out on me and I didn’t see it coming.

He told me that he loves me yet he had to go. After 6 years of being together, he just left. I thought what we had is a strong foundation, we rarely get into fights. Suddenly he became different, full of anger, hatred and hopelessness that occupied all the space in his heart.

What can I do? I consider myself a veteran in the aspect of love and life, or so I thought. Yet again, for the nth times, this thing happened. I told him, six years is real, I didn’t play around and I thought he was too. We had so many plans for the future. Suddenly, he didn’t want it anymore. I told him, I am like a vase that is so fragile that you wanted to let go because