LOVE SONG

This is a poem I wrote circa 1988, which was published in Caracoa 19, the poetry journal of the Philippine Literary Arts Council. I lost my only copy of the journal, because I lent it to Prof. Franz Arcellana, and was unable to get it back because he died shortly after. I also misplaced the record book where I kept handwritten copies of my old poems, so here is the reconstructed poem. I managed to reconstruct it from memory, after not having read it for about 20 years.  I have the uneasy feeling that there are words missing, but this is all I can remember.

LOVE SONG

These arms, like branches
Have been broken
From time into time
In hesitant memory.
Consider that, possibly,
There is resilience
In a heart familiar even with
Unintended calumnies.

The maw of hopefulness
Expands into a gaping, rimless danger,
Closing in split instants
To assiduously screen the sunlight.

Another of you might possess perhaps
The willing strength to
Uncoil my wires of distance.
Invisibly, among the glass chimes
There comes from time into time
A love that brooks no
Resistance.

01 October 2018

Copyright 2018 Mona Caccam

 

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MONSOON

There is a slight wind,
Sussurating through the curtains.
The sky is the color of stone.
In moments the scent of petrichor,
Green and earthy, rises into the
Warm, wet air. Soon apparent is
The scent of the river.

I am on my third folding umbrella,
Having lost the first two.
The rain and sweat have mingled
On my back. It will be this way
For almost half the year,
A time of consecutive typhoons.

Time to enjoy the last of the
Summer fruits. They add their
Perfume to the smells of the
Monsoon.

06 June 2018

Copyright 2018 Mona Caccam

ASKING FOR DIRECTIONS

As seconds tick by, our paths are
Split, into those that
Require thought and courage,
And those that warrant
Heedlessness. There will be
Consequences.

So we sometimes stray
After spending time as sheep.
Life is not always so
Orderly; getting answers to
Questions can be like pulling
Teeth. Eventually we find
Our way.

Apres-moi, le deluge:
A cascade of memories shaping
The day.

04 June 2018

Copyright 2018 Mona Caccam

STAREDOWN

The sun’s yolk blooms above
Your eye, coaxing mirages from the
Middle distance.

The long stare brings no relief.
Neither of you are ready
To lower his gaze first.
All around, images are sharp in
The heat

But doubt can cast shadows. Leaning
Under its eaves cools any ardor,
Saving words for other times
Of challenge.

01 June 2018

Copyright 2018 Mona Caccam

DO IT ON THE GRASS

It is only in the soulless cities
Where the roads are an even grid. Where
The houses look the same, where it is easy
To get lost.

If you must run after the sunshine
Do it on the grass. The warm yellowness
Brings the thaw, cuts your sleep and
Coaxes growth.

The dust-devils go round like dervishes,
Scattering color as you blink your eyes.
Following the water brings you to yourself,
Throat dry after play, after wandering.

22 May 2018

Copyright 2018 Mona Caccam

FOUNTAIN PEN NETWORK-PHILIPPINES TENTH ANNIVERSARY

Way back in 2008, fourteen fountain pen enthusiasts and fellow members at the international Fountain Pen Network forums banded together and organized a local pen lovers’ group, now known as Fountain Pen Network-Philippines.

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Photo by June Dalisay.

Above are founder Jose (Butch) Dalisay Jr. and friends at the very first pen meet at his house at the University of the Philippines campus.

Fast-forward ten years later, and the group has grown from 14 to 5,800+ members on Facebook, with its own forums at http://www.fpn-p.org.

Earlier in the year, Peter Bangayan organized an FPN-P Tenth Anniversary Pen, made by Bexley. It’s the Corona model, except it is cartridge/converter and not a piston-filler. It came in two colors, blue and turquoise, with a special medallion in the finial produced by Juan Luis Faustmann, in a limited quantity. There was also a Tenth Anniversary Ink, made by Diamine, called Blue Orient, a turquoise with a red sheen. (Another anniversary pen, the Edison Mina in tortoise acrylic, is in the works, courtesy of Anthony Goquingco. This is for those who weren’t able to acquire the Bexley.)

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Photo by Rommel Bernardo.

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Photo by Shey Pia Abaya.

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Photo by Mona Caccam.

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Photo by Leigh Reyes.

Co-founder Leigh Reyes quickly booked a lovely function room/co-working space at 3rd Space Legaspi for July 7, 2018. It was well-attended, with new and old members mixing and trying each other’s pens and inks.  There was an ink bar courtesy of Leigh, plus a sales area for pen wraps by Lara Telan of Gav n Sav, and empty cigar boxes.  Video of ink bar by Ronin Bautista here.

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Photo by Kailash Ramchandani.

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Photo by IamLennie.

At around 4pm we held a raffle, with prizes contributed by longstanding sponsors Scribe, Times Trading (Lamy) , Pengrafik and Stationer Extraordinaire. The grand prize was a proudly Philippine-made pen, made by KasamaPH (IG: KasamaPH, Facebook: KasamaPH). It’s called the Una, because it’s the first model ever made in the Philippines.

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Photo by Michelle Suratos.

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Photo by Kailash Ramchandani.

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Photo by Leigh Reyes.

Many thanks to Mark Tiangco for the delicious Quorn lasagna and nuggets, Babyruth Chuaunsu for the Sunkist drinks, and the various members who donated cakes and pastries for the event.  Thanks also to Vad Mayores of 3rd Space for making sure we were all comfortable at their venue.

Here’s to more years appreciating fountain pens!

 

 

FOUNTAIN PEN DAY PHILIPPINES 2017

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Photos by Leigh Reyes

Fountain Pen Network-Philippines recently celebrated International Fountain Pen Day 2017 last Nov. 4 at Commune Cafe+Bar in Makati! We first started celebrating the event with pen meets and sales from our favorite vendors way back in 2014. Read about our FPD-PH adventures back in 2014, 2015 and 2016. This year, Fountain Pen Day is brought to us by Cars and Calibres, and Calibre Magazine. In our experience, people who like cars and watches usually end up liking fountain pens!

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Here’s the indefatigable organizer, Leigh Reyes, manning the registration table. Photo by Kailash Ramchandani.

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Photo by Sheila Tiongco

The event lasted all afternoon, and was very well-attended.  The place was packed until the early evening!  Participating vendors included Scribe, Pengrafik, Everything Calligraphy, Bags by Rubbertree, The Curious ArtisanHorology Matters, Peter Bangayan (Bexley Pens, Diamine Inks), and Caloy Abad Santos (Gav N Sav Pen Wraps). Also on display was an aquarium system by Aquarium Design Amano.

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Scribe. Photo by Mona Caccam.

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Everything Calligraphy. Photo by Iya Buzeta-Acero.

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Pengrafik. Photo by Kailash Ramchandani.

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The Curious Artisan. Photo by Ticky Tabujara.

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Bags by Rubbertree. Photo by Kailash Ramchandani.

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Horology Matters. Photo by Ticky Tabujara.

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Bexley Pens/Diamine Music Set (Peter Bangayan) and Gav N Sav pen wraps (Caloy Abad Santos). Photo by Kailash Ramchandani.

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Cars and Calibres display. Photo by Ticky Tabujara.

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Photo by Ticky Tabujara.

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John Raymond Lim. Photo by Chito Gregorio.

Local nibmeisters and all-around fountain pen repair guys John Raymond Lim and Mark Tiangco were on hand to deal with quick nib grinds, tine realignments and other issues people had with some of their pens.

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Raffle. Photo by Ticky Tabujara.

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Leigh Reyes. Photo by Chito Gregorio.

A raffle was held at 4pm, with prizes donated by our generous vendors.

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Calibre Magazine Editor in Chief, Carl Cunanan. Photo by Kailash Ramchandani.

Participants who went on social media during the event were given special Fountain Pen Day buttons.  T-shirts were also sold at the event.

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Photo by Leigh Reyes

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Photo by Augusto Toledo II

Everyone went home with issues of Calibre Magazine.

Fountain Pen Network-Philippines and Fountain Pen Day-Philippines are on Facebook. Join us!

Many thanks to all those who attended and participated!  See you all again next year!