Floy Quintos pays tribute to the quiet courage of Junel Insigne

The captain and cook of fishing boat Gem Ver with Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol in a press conference June 19.Screen grab from ABS-CBN video.


Writer Floy Quintos wrote this poem after he watched Junel Insigne, captain of the fishing boat Gem-Ver, which was rammed by a Chinese fishing boat midnight of June 9, beside Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol in a press conference June 19.

Insigne, who had insisted the ramming by the Chinese vessel was intentional and denounced the Chinese for abandoning them in the high seas near Recto Bank at midnight, became unsure ofwhat happened during the press conference with Piñol.

Insigne also apologized to President Duterte for thinking that the ”invitation” which he declined came from Malacañang.

Some ridiculed Insigne. Some pitied him. Some were enraged.

Quintos sensed something deep in the forlorn demeanor of Insigne which inspired him to write this searing piece:


You may buy my silence,

my compliance with your twisted truths.

But there is no price

for the tiredness

in my eyes

and the

hardening of my heart.

I will not care for you

when the day of reckoning comes.

No pay-offs

will buy my grief

over your insults,

now masked in

a silence

that screams louder

than the waves.

My eyes have seen them all,

have pierced through

your cowardice and rot.

I accept your bribes

with no gratitude,

for you give me only

what you have taken away.

One day,

when waves of justice

wash relentlessly

over your bodies,

you will know what

it is to cling to even the

falsest of pity.

I shall be watching you then.

The tiredness in my eyes turning into hate.

The hardened core

of my heart

beating once again

with irrational joy.

I shall become

what you have

made me.

A monster of the sea.

A hesitant fist pump by Insigne.


Elmer L. Gatchalian translated it to Filipino:

Mabibili mo ang aking katahimikan,

ang aking pagtalima sa iyong mga binaluktot na katotohanan

Ngunit walang katumbas na halaga

ang pagkahapo

sa aking mga mata

at ang paninigas ng aking puso.

Hindi ako mahahabag sa iyo

kapag dumating na ang araw ng paniningil.

Hindi mo mababayaran

ang aking pagdadalamhati

sa iyong mga panlalait,

na ngayo’y natatakpan

ng katahimikang

mas malakas pa ang pagpalahaw

kaysa sa mga alon.

Nakita na ng aking mga mata ang lahat-lahat,

kitang-kita rin nito

ang iyong kaduwagan at pagkabulok.

Tatanggapin ko ang iyong mga suhol

nang walang pagtanaw ng utang na loob,

dahil ang ibinibigay mo lang naman

ay iyong ninakaw mo rin sa akin.

Darating ang araw,

kapag rumagasa na ang mga alon ng hustisya

sa inyong katawan,

mapagtatanto n’yo rin

kung paano kumapit sa awa,

gaano man ito kahuwad.

Pagmamasdan ko kayo sa araw na iyon.

Ang pagkahapo sa aking mga mata’y

mapapalitan ng pagkamuhi.

Ang pinakamatigas na kaibuturan

ng aking puso

ay muling titibok

dahil sa di maipaliwanag na kaligayahan.

Ako’y magiging nilalang

na kayo rin ang may kagagawan.

Isang halimaw ng karagatan.

***

Blog:www.ellentordesillas.com

Email:[email protected]

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