Binukot

Source: Wikipedia

In honor of the 5th centennial anniversary of the Spanish rule in the Philippines, the whole month of April will showcase poems set in the Spanish colonial rule of the Philippines.

The story is loosely based on history and may contain inaccuracies.

I pace around the small room
Older sister, you are scaring me
Don’t get scared then, I snap back
Why are you acting like this?
Because I know what will happen
I know a bit of my history
But I want to know how I came here
Did I travel to the past?
How?
If I could travel through time I wouldn’t
Have come in the day 
When the Spanish arrived!

–I know what will happen.
Should I tell them?
The Spanish will kill me
Or maybe the natives will—
Will I return to the present?
But being killed with spears
And bamboo arrows
Is too painful.

Are guns invented yet?
I laugh hysterically—
This archipelago was going to be united
Under a colonial rule
For 333 years
And I think of guns—
The revolutionaries did not have many guns
I laugh again 

I’m crazy crazy crazy
I can’t tell anyone I came from the future
Older sister!
I sit in front of the girl
Do you know who I am?
She tells me a name
But it’s not my name.
Do you know who I am?

You are a binukot
–a female child of great beauty,
That she needed to be hidden
From the prowling sight 
Of strangers
For her parents to gain
A big dowry

I’m beautiful?
I howled in laughter
Older sister, do not laugh
So unlady like
Are you my sister?
No, I am your apid
–a servant.

Do you want to travel to the future?
She thinks
And she says no
Why not?
Because I am happy here 
The future is better left
To those in the future

What if I tell you I dreamed of the future?
I test her
The girl laughs 
You have always been a good joker
I dreamed of the future
The Spanish will colonize us
And the Americans
And the Japanese
But we will never truly get independence
Who are they?
What is independence?
You wouldn’t understand
The future is…
I sigh.

You should rest, older sister.
Do I always sleep? 
Do you want to sleep?
I feel like I do.
I lay on the small bed 
Where I woke up

I cannot change
The past
I close my eyes
A hazy memory
Of the past
From what I read 
In history
Graces behind my eyelids

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