Ang Huling Paglikas

ni Mary Gigi Constantino

(English version: The Last Migration

Mas maginaw kaysa rati ang madaling araw at nasa hangin ang amoy ng ulan. Sumiksik si Marga sa kanyang sulok sa jeepney at hinatak ang pandong upang matakpan ang kanyang mukha. Sumandal siya at pumikit,  sinusubukang ‘di makinig sa daldalan ng mga pasaherong kaharap. Nais niya sanang makaidlip bago pumasok sa trabaho pero napakaingay ng mga marites. Pinagtatalunan nila ang butanding sa palabas ng KMJS kagabi. Peke yun, pilit ng isa. Di alam ni Marga kung sinong papaniwalaan, at wala rin siyang pake. 

Nangatal siya nang rumagasa ang hangin mula sa bintana. Harurot ang jeepney. Madalas ganito sila kapag walang gaanong tao o ibang sasakyan sa kalsada. Hindi pa sumisikat ang araw, at sira ang ilang ilaw ng mga poste. Unti-unti siyang nakaidlip. Nilunod ng ugong ng makina ang mga boses ng iba, hanggang parang mga lamok na lang sila sa kanyang tainga. Inaantok din ang tsuper, kaya naisipan niyang gisingin ang sarili at magpatugtog ng radyo nang napakalakas.

“PARO PARO G PARO PARO G—”

Punyeta.

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The Last Migration

by Mary Gigi Constantino

(Tagalog version: Ang Huling Paglikas)

Dawn was colder than usual and the scent of rain was in the air. Marga burrowed into her corner of the jeepney and pulled the hoodie to cover her face. She leaned back and closed her eyes, trying not to listen to the chatter of the passengers in front of her. She wanted to get some sleep before getting to work but the gossipmongers were too loud.  They were arguing about the whale shark from last night’s KMJS show. It was fake, one of them insisted.  Marga didn’t know whom to believe, nor did she care.

She shivered as the wind rushed from the windows. The jeepney was going fast. They usually did when there were few pedestrians or vehicles on the road. The sun hadn’t risen yet, and some streetlights were broken. Sleep slowly took over. The sound of the engine drowned the voices of the others, until they sounded like mosquitoes in her ear.  The driver felt sleepy himself, so he decided to  give himself a jolt and play the radio at full volume.

“PARO PARO G PARO PARO G—”

Punyeta.

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PGS 2024 Q&A: Jonah Leigh E. Ramos

Jonah Leigh E. Ramos teaches Research and English at St. Stephen’s High School. She is expecting to graduate in 2024 with a master’s degree in Literature from De La Salle University. Currently, her works focus on the everyday struggles and hopes of living in the city, with her research interests specifically finding home in urban space and contemporary literature. Recently, Leigh has been awarded the fellowship for Literature and Urban Studies in the 12th KRITIKA La Salle National Workshop on Arts and Cultural Criticism. 

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The Gospel, from the God on the 2nd Floor

by Jonah Leigh E. Ramos

In the beginning was just God. Nothing was with God. And God was nothing enough to create a being apart from herself. So she created you.

It was one afternoon when it dawned on her that love was an eventual pain of loss she might never know. She had just come home from a long walk with classmates who loved too many times and failed at it too many times they’ve saved up lovers to cherry-pick for conversation. It was around the fourth pick, about the one who apparently dumped one of the loudmouths over an-incorrectly-squeezed-toothpaste-he-said, that your God realized she had never known what it meant to be boring and still be seen. To not have to do anything to be someone’s most wanted. To give everything and yet be loathed. Sneak a phone call at midnight or hold someone’s hand. Trace somebody’s face upon waking and shove tongues and pull at each other’s body and still never shove and pull quite hard enough.

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PGS 2024 Q&A: Jillianne A. Santos

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Jillianne Santos is a dental medicine student from the University of the Philippines Manila. She started writing personal essays and short stories during the pandemic and is currently a freelance writer. She had her first short story entitled “Tulad ng Bulaklak sa mga Bitak ng Aspalto” published in 8Letters Circles Magazine Issue No.4, Vol. 1. Aside from writing, she also has an interest in Filipino writers. Some of her inspirations are the novel “;Ano” by Zero A.D., and the short story “Servando Magdamag” by Ricky Lee. 

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