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Bibingkang Malagkit
(for Linda Ty-Casper)

Bibingkang malagkit! Come to think of it!
Perhaps that's why we're sweet?
We never conquered, as much I know.
Pigafetta said we were too satisfied
With little. The sweetness comes
From all the starch, and fruit a-plenty
Fed by ages of volcanic fire.
Yet our ancestors were never

Diabetic. The buko juice washed
All the toxins down, protecting our
Unsullied kidneys. We were
Provided for. We did not have to
Scrounge, or cadge, or subdue.
All we really had to do
Was remain in Eden, till some others
Destroyed it for us. _They_ were changed,

I know, from having killed so many
Before us and after us,
While we remained, though not exactly
In Eden, in the Paradise of Him
Whom they thought they had introduced to us.
So maybe, that is how we came to make
Bibingkang malagkit, with its
Golden brown topping, to match

The gold of our earth
And the sun in our skin.

© Mila D. Aguilar

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Excerpts from Love Gathers All Recipient, Global Filipino Literary Award

SIMEON DUMDUM JR.
Love Makes the
World Go Round


RICARDO M.
DE UNGRIA
Spirits of Their Glass

LUISA IGLORIA
Homily

MARNE L. KILATES
A Cloud Named Looking-for-You*

ALFIAN BIN SA'AT
Ghazal of Love

CYRIL WONG
Fundamental

TENG QIAN XI
Waterlights

Responsive Poems

MILA D. AGUILAR
83Eighty Three

Carabao Grass

Bibingkang Malagkit

NADINE L. SARREAL
A Thousand Ears
(for Mila, who shares poems in cyberspace)


JESSIE BADILLO
A Filipina Poet Plays Hide and Seek
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