Alternate Realities

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A Requiem for Las Islas Filipinas

Posted by conscientioussubversive on January 20, 2010

A land torn apart

By her sons and daughters

A magnificent house rent asunder

By intruder and native alike


Where once was beauty

Now only a shadow remains

Four centuries have taken their toll

Staining her glittering face


She was unique in all the world

Where three continents met

Asian, American and European

She melded all into one


Agrifina Circle, in the 1950's

Tragedy shadowed her past

Yet she took all gracefully

Her people shedding blood for her

Unrewarded and forgotten


Conquistadors and Frayles

GIs and Thomasites

Heitais and Sangleys

Came and left their mark


Torched by fire

Shaken by the earth

Inundated by heaven

Calamities brought her to heel


The Rape of Manila, February 1945

Each time she survived

Rising again from the ashes

Yet mortality stalks her

As her progeny pick her bones


Cumulonimbus clouds over the Pasig River

Her white arches now cracked

Her palisades crumbled by neglect

A crippled dignity now pervades

The Grand Dame of the Orient


Used by many

Loved by few

Where are you now, Manileños?

What now, my kababayans?


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