my Iloilo City

By: sonny tolentino

i call her my city

although she isn’t mine.

she is my father’s,

but not my mother’s.

i am a son of my grandfather’s fields

and a friend to the country wind.

but like my father,

i’ve built dreams and memories here,

and like my mother,

her well-kept stories i hold dear.

let me paint her in oil,

let me give her poetry.

let me tell her story.


where did the time go

by sonny tolentino

where did the time go

for the boy who

on this street

built his dreams

a lifetime ago?

he became a vagabond,

i was told,

but went straight

when he found love

in a woman whose dreams

were in the fields of Leganes.

i still hear his voice

telling me to forgive myself.

was he happy, finally?

was love his salvation,

his absolution?

the yellow ochre Sarabia Building

turns gold

in the fading afternoon light,

while everything else

takes a melancholic hue.

i stand on the Calle Real

of my father’s youth

and under a cadmium yellow sky

i ask myself,

where did his time go?

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