Baybayin calligraphy by Alurij

It’s not everyday that I bump into a dear friend online. But what’s more thrilling is that, once I do, I am greeted with such artistic charm and passion. This is what I see in these Baybayin calligraphic impressions intricately penned by alurij_.  Dig into it and admire the beauty of a culture embedded in each delicate stroke.

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Mini musing:  We read ingredients in the same way we read terms and conditions.


Ma’ Rosa grabs a Cannes

I’ve spent a couple of days redesigning my blog and didn’t follow through in order to file this entry.  I’ve been quailing at Ma’  Rosa for weeks now but missed the chance of watching Jaclyn Jose take home her Best Actress trophy from the 2016 Cannes Film Festival on Youtube. There’s no doubt that Ma’ Rosa’s hard-edged impromptu style social realist narrative could flush out the Philippine k-pop-culture-obsessed mainstream media in a jiffy. Independent filmmakers and thespians alike have been craving for keen attention from local moviegoers for a long time now but to no avail. It’s high time. Directed by Brillante Mendoza and initially released in May, the film premiers in the Philippines on July 6.


Per Diem Digital Archive (World of Haiku)

Sharing my haiku poems published in World of Haiku: Poets of the Philippines by The Haiku Foundation. Browse the digital archive for more haiku from around the world.


Haiku No. 1:

pabrikang baboy
bahag-haring panaginip-


factory pig
dreams of rainbows—

Haiku No. 2:

kalbong akasya
umampon sa mga bubuyog


bald acacia
births hiveless bees


Sautéed asparagus inside a space simulator

Sautéed asparagus inside a space simulator

Disclaimer: this is not a recipe post. As plant-based living eases up a bit, thanks to the vegan police, and loyal adversaries, for spreading the V word, vegan labelled products sprout like mushroom in groceries. The vegetable section is still available, of course. We’re not anymore galaxies away from today’s norm. I’ve managed to discharge the superpowers of bicarbonate of soda and lemon on my utensils, toilet bowl, and cavities. And I’ve discovered a new way to make cooked veggies look decent. I guess life is fairer now.

Then the asparagus.

Who would have thought sautéed asparagus could crank out organized cheers?  You can sense its set back yet provocative presence on top of the kitchen counter while watching world politics and other expletives. The asparagus sits comfortably on its high chair. It’s as though it’s preparing to launch into space, searching for new lands. Most glossy cookbooks continue to romanticize it at the expense of its roots. Most earthlings proceed to switch channels. I made an effort to keep the recipe in its simplest form, if I should call it a recipe.

But, again, this is not a recipe post. So here’s a picture of sautéed asparagus with other edibles.


Mga sangkap ng langis

Mga Sangkap ng Langis (Ped Xing, KM Writers)

Mga sangkap ng langis

ni Armineonila M.


Mga sahog sa pagluto:

Isang ginagad na diploma

Walong sakong ari-arian

Pitong tasang tinimping luha

Tatlong basong pangarap (dinikdik)

Limang pirasong dignidad (tinadtad)

Sampung kilong pawis (sinala)

Isang kurot ng pagkutya


Mga hakbang sa paggawa:


Tunawin ang galon-galong

kaluluwang nagsakripisyo

para sa pamilya’t bayan,

kaluluwang ikinahon

ng globalisasyon

at nanlilisik na pangil

ng kapitalismo

sa kawaling disyerto;


Tustahin ang dating musmos

na hele ng Nanay at Tatay

na nagsibak pa ng panggatong

pangmatrikulang niluto

sa palasyong de-kalawang;


Tunawin, haluin, kayurin

hanggang sa lumapot

ang ‘di makatarungan,

ang pag-aalipusta

upang maitayo ang gusali

na’ng siyang hugis ay ganid;


Timplahin, lunurin

ang pangakong hindi na

lalayag pa at tatatakan

ang pagkatao ng alyas,

yaong tunog “bayani”

upang hindi malasap

ang pag-alingasaw

ng amoy pang-aalipin;


Paulit-ulit na timplahin,

haluin ng kalyuhing palad

ang pagkauhaw ng iba

sa likidong-yaman at parangal

kahit salat sa bayad

na ginhawang pasalubong;


Sundin ang patakarang ito

nang walang pag-alma

o pagkuwestiyon man lang,

bente-kwatro oras.




The Recipe for Oil 
by Armineonila M.

The ingredients:

1 forged diploma
8 sacks of property
7 cups of whimper
3 glasses of ambition (chopped)
5 pcs. Of dignity (shredded)
10 kilos of sweat (filtered)
A pinch of nepotism

The procedure:

Slowly melt a gallon of sacrificed souls
Of family and country
Souls inside the box
Of globalisation
And the piercing fangs
Of capitalism
In the desert pan.

Cook until brownish
The infantile lullaby
Of Mama and Papa
Who chopped a forest
Of tuition fees from
The palace of rust.

Melt, stir, scrape
Until condensed
The unjust, the vilification
Built in a fortress
Of which shape is greed.

Mix and drown
The promise of immobility
That’s impressed in the self
An alias that sounds like “hero”
To cover up the stench
Of subjugation.

Mix over and again
With calloused palm
The thirst of the other
On liquefied riches and recognition
Even by poor earnings
That take home a dream.

Simply follow these steps
Without objection
Nary a question 
24 hours a day.

*The original text in Filipino first appeared in the chapbook published by KM64 (Kilometers 64 Writers Collective) titled Ped Xing: Tula’y Tawiran (First Issue: Labourers), ed. Stum Casia. May 2014, pp. 23-24, Philippines. 

Block me not! ni Armineonila M.


Ang hagulgol ng keyboard

na ‘di mapapagod

iCAPS LOCK ang error

sa RA 10175.


Hindi makahingi ng F1

ang mga netizen dahil

walang Esc mula sa BOTS

ng gobyerno, maski ‘yang

blog mong Anonymous

na nagtatanong lang naman

kung saang program ba

nai-Share ang kaban

ng nagdurusang bayan:


a. sa Recent Places

b. sa Recycle Bin


At ngayon, ang taong-bayan,

expired na ang anti-virus,

encrypted na ang dila,

may Ctrl sa mga daliri,

at ‘di makapag-comment

sa kanyang mamerang

iStatus Update:


sino nga ba ang BOSS ng internet?


Gusto ko ito.  Magkomento.  Ibahagi. 24 oras na nakalipas. Edited.



– February 19, 2014 (An anti-Cyberlibel poem)



Block me not! ni Armineonila M. via KM64

Photo credits: KM64. Maraming salamat.


PLUMA Featured Members

PLUMA Featured Members

PLUMA – Literary Migrant Writers’ Guild (Kuwait) is a support group for literary writers in Kuwait that seeks to accommodate poets, short story writers, novelists, and essayists alike who view Literature as a vehicle in shaping societies and weaving cultural values. Established in September 14, 2013, this team of dynamic and creative migrants will soon explore a plethora of individual struggles and personalities from various walks of life.

PLUMA Featured Members Profile

Ellen Alliah Tabaya (Nickname:  LenzKie)

LenzKie is from Buayan, Mlang, North, Cotabato. She studied Bachelor of Technology Education at the University of Southern Mindanao, Kidapawan City. A member and poetry contributor to the school paper magazine in 1996, she was also a University athlete medalist and was a Milo Marathon university participant at the Municipality of Kidapawan, Kidapawan City. She was also awarded Math Wizards Certificates in 1999.

LenzKie earned jobs as factory worker, machine operator, production operator, and personal secretary. She is also a business woman and owner of a general merchandise in Cainta Rizal.  An OFW in Doha, Qatar and currently Kuwait, this young poet also helped distressed OFWs in the country.  LenzKie is also an administrator of the Otusa TV Internet – Facebook Television of Manny Calpito, and the Manggagawang Migrante ng Kuwait (MMK). She submitted tribute poems to the Pilipino Bloggers Magazine and to Doc Penpen Takipsilim’s Pentasi B.


Armineonila M.  (Nickname:  Armie)

Armie is a native of Barotac Nuevo, Iloilo, Philippines and an OFW. She studied Comparative Literature in the University of the Philippines in the Visayas, and was a member of the UP Miag-ao Experimental Theatre (UPMET). She has submitted paintings to Museo Iloilo in 2005. A member of the Filipino Cultural Club (FCC) Kuwait since 2004, she is currently the Executive Secretary of the Filipino Association for Culture and the Arts in Kuwait (FCAK), 2012.  She was elected as President of the OFW Gitarizta Family online group of songwriters and musicians worldwide in 2010.

Armie is a feature story writer and opinion writer in English on Kuwait Times Daily and Friday Times since 2005. She also writes her weekly column titled “Kikay’s Ukay-ukay” since 2008, and submitted the weekly comic strips titled “Pat en Tero” in 2009 for the Filipino Panorama, Kuwait Times. She has contributed poems to Kuwait Philippines Cultural Centre (KPCC) Pag-usapan Po Natin monthly magazine in 2011 and short stories to The Filipino Magazine in Kuwait (TFM), in 2011. Her poems appeared in Best Poems Encyclopedia in 2010.

Armie is also an advocate of the Philippine’s prehistoric system of writing, the Baybayin. An animal rights advocate, vegan, and volunteer at the Protecting Animal Welfare Society – Kuwait (PAWS-Kuwait) since 2011, she has established various advocacy groups such as Animal Rights Advocacy Philippines – ARAP, Vegan Kuwait (support group for vegans in Kuwait), Gitarizta ng Bayan (supporters of the Original Pilipino Music), and Digital Literature and New Media (study group on contemporary Literature).



GAP Gutierrez  (Nickname: GAP)

GAP is currently employed as a nurse in Kuwait. He claims he has never been a member of any writing group before Pluma. He once won 2nd place in an essay writing competition on his 4th grade, which he believes as his highest achievement in writing so far. GAP has a small collection of books and graphic novels and believes that “art will not really save mankind, but it will make our stay in this world worth its while”. Furthermore, he doesn’t like to talk about himself in third person.


Tammy Sulit  (Nickname: Tammy)

A registered nurse, Tammy graduated in Ateneo de Davao University in 2008. She started writing poems during her high school years where she was also the photojournalist of the school publication. In college, she became a member of the Literary Writers Guild.

Tammy is always fascinated with life’s beauty and mysteries, thus, making these as sources of her creative outputs. Aside from writing, she also loves theater arts, visual arts, and dancing (which is so far her most honed talent).

She has always been an active advocate of nurturing creativity. For her, an artist will always be an artist whatever medium one uses to create the craft. The creativity will subtly blend on the masterpieces molded.

Presently, Tammy is honing both her photography skills and writing skills here in Kuwait, being it as her new home, hoping that someday she will be able to share the quirkiness inside her head to the readers of PLUMA.


Mujel Hasan (Nickname:  Mujel)

Born on the 13th of June and is currently working as a nurse, Mujel loves to read in his free time. He claims to have had no firm background in Literature, however, he once served as editorial assistant in the college school organ. For Mujel, any form of writing is an awakening. It’s a tool where everyone can discover and learn many valuable things. He believes that “the ultimate purpose of Literature is to empower the human mind to act rightly and judiciously with compassion, to pursue God’s path towards society’s lasting existence and redemption”.


Wilfred Waters (Nickname: Wil)

Wil is from Australia. He has been making maps for an environmental project in Kuwait since April 2013. When he was a kid growing up, everyone always told him he had talent as a writer. Of course this meant he spend the first 10 years of adulthood doing something completely unrelated, just to prove everyone wrong. Now, after a decade of bitter unhappiness and sorrow, the pen is again in hand and putting flame to paper.