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Friday, August 1, 2008


THURSDAY MORNING at this area of the Manila district of Sta. Cruz was no different from the rest of the week. The church grounds teemed with activities of the lowly merchants who eked out a living vending assorted religious and non-religious articles. Some stood on the entrance gate with their wares displayed on crude stands while others hawked ambulatorily, crowding and chasing with adamance the entrants and the exiting church goers...

[Note: Read the complete story in the book "You Filibini?" Stories and Other Writings by Amador F. Brioso, Jr., published May 2010]


HERE’S YOUR copy, attorney.”

Boyser grabbed the papers, his hand brushing softly against hers. “You got nice skin. Any spare time for a date?” he naughtily asked.

Susan, Susan. You’re so snazzy and soigne. A rare predatory jungle creature ready to leap at anyone at a slight provocation. Ready to devour with avidity your prey in one swallow.

“Keep your mouth shut, attorney. I’m in no mood this very minute,” she snapped impregnably, flinging Boyser with a murderous stare.

A snippy gal, a certified swellhead. That’s what I like about you. Judge Nonato’s pride. The dapper double-dome from the State U. A stickler to law, impervious to any form of corruption. No wonder pettifogging practitioners curse you no end. You’re a scourge to them, a major stumbling block to their schemes. I have seen you blow a fuse one time at a pesky lawyer who had treated roughly your office underlings over a trivial matter. That scene’s still fresh on my mind. And how I really pity Judge Nonato’s personnel who hardly relish working in an atmosphere where you’re at the helm. Blathering is a total taboo in the office. Work is work. Truancy is meted out with a severe tongue-lashing, of course, courtesy of your brawny mouth. Your Highness, Lady Sourpuss.

But you can never lay your hands on me. I am untouchable. I hold Judge Nonato by his scruffy neck.

Boyser steeled himself and held her valiant gaze. “Thank you for my copy,” he said, his voice tinged with sarcasm. He walked off, conscious of her piercing eyes. He raised the papers, now rolled, in his hand and gestured to the court sheriff seated behind a small desk that stood on a corner, to indicate that he was leaving. “Thanks,” he said to him as he held the door wide open. Out of the staffroom, he sauntered along the corridor, which was now cold and empty. He felt for his wristwatch, its metal contours making him proud of being its owner. A few minutes of glancing at it made him realize that it had taken Judge Nonato almost the whole day to prepare and finalize the five-page court decision now in his possession. He stopped under the glare of the fluorescent light above him and unrolled the papers, his eyes scanning their contents:

Regional Trial Court
Fourth Judicial
Branch 72
Antipolo, Rizal


-versus- Criminal Case No. 1121

(Detained c/o Antipolo
Municipal Jail, Antipolo,


The accused, Aniceto Roque, stands charged with the crime of robbery with serious physical injuries committed according to the information as follows:

"That on or about the 14th day of May, 1994, in the Municipality of Antipolo, Province of Rizal, Philippines, within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the above-named accused, armed with a bladed weapon, with intent of gain, by means of force, violence and intimidation, did, then and there, willfully, unlawfully and feloniously take, steal and rob from one Rica S. Valdez her personal property, to wit:

One (1) Rolex wristwatch

all with the value of P3,500.00, belonging to said Rica S. Valdez to the damage and prejudice of the latter in the afore-mentioned amount of P3,500.00, Philippine Currency;

"That on the occasion of the said robbery and in pursuance thereof, the said accused, did, then and there, wilfully, unlawfully and feloniously attack, assault and stab said Rica S. Valdez, thereby inflicting upon the latter physical injuries which required medical attention for a period of more than thirty (30) days and incapacitated the said Rica S. Valdez from performing customary labor for the same period of time."

When this case was called for arraignment this morning, the accused, duly assisted by counsel de parte, Atty. Ricaredo Boyser, manifested to the Court that he was willing to enter a plea of guilty to the information afore-quoted provided that the charge against him would be changed from robbery with serious physical injuries to simple theft.

When asked, Assistant Provincial Prosecutor Esther Yuhilok informed the Court that she has no objection that the accused be allowed to plead guilty to the lesser offense of simple theft. However, she manifested that there was no necessity of amending the information considering that the crime of simple theft was necessarily included in the crime of robbery with serious physical injuries charged in this case.

The State, through the Assistant Provincial Prosecutor, having expressed conformity to the manifestation of the accused, the Court accordingly arraigned the accused in Tagalog, a language known to him, for simple theft, and thereafter, entered a plea of guilty thereto.

After making the afore-said plea, the Court, through the Branch Clerk of Court, Atty. Susan Hornicio, inquired from the accused whether he understood the nature of the charge against him and that by entering a plea of guilty thereto, the Court will impose upon him the penalty prescribed by law. The accused, in answer to the query, manifested to the Court that he fully understood the nature of the charge against him and his plea of guilty was voluntarily made.

As provided for in Article 308 in relation to paragraph three of Article 309 of the Revised Penal Code, the crime of theft when the value of the article stolen is over P200.00 but does not exceed P6,000.00, the same is punishable by a penalty of prision correccional in its minimum and medium periods.

WHEREFORE, upon a voluntary plea of guilty, the Court finds the accused guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of simple theft and hereby sentences him, pursuant to the afore-cited law and in conjunction with the provisions of the Indeterminate Sentence Law, to suffer an indeterminate penalty of imprisonment ranging from four (4) months and twenty-one (21) days to six (6) months and one (1) day; to pay the complainant Rica S. Valdez the sum of PESOS: THREE THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED (P3,500.00) as and by way of reparation of the damage caused her, without subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency; and to pay the costs.

Considering that the accused is a detention prisoner, in the service of his sentence, he shall be credited with the full benefits of the preventive imprisonment undergone by him pursuant to Article 29 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended by Republic Act No. 6127, if he agrees voluntarily in writing to abide by the same disciplinary rules imposed upon convicted prisoners.

Antipolo, Rizal.
15 December 1994.


Roque. That Dude. He should be grateful I handled his case. Without my forensic acumen, he certainly would have landed in jail anew. But the dirt-bag would not have to spend any single minute in jail anymore. I was able to work out a deal with the Judge, the prosecutor and the private complainant. Thanks to my uncommon lawyerly skills. Roque’s now scot-free. The felony was changed, the imposable penalty lowered. So that the period of his detention during the pendency of his trial far exceeded his sentence. No lawyer in this side of the archipelago could have possibly accomplished such a rare feat. Never. Nobody’s gifted as I am. ABSOLUTELY NO ONE. I can deliver with ease any argument espousing my client’s cause so convincing that even the judge could hardly utter any word whatsoever. Some have tried to disagree with me but they regretted it. They sure did.

Like what I did this morning. I harangued for almost an hour to the delight of the mesmerized courtroom assembly and drove home the reason why Roque should be allowed to cop a plea to a lesser crime. The public prosecutor’s protestations were reduced to a mere whimper. I peppered her with every conceivable assault I could lay on without any letup. She found herself voiceless, flushed with embarrassment, unable to extricate herself from a web of incoherence. She stammered and halted in her speech. Her mythical lawyerly derring-do was shamelessly demythologized. She was pathetic. Served her right. I wonder how she got her position. Connections, of course. But this morning’s encounter gave her the lesson of not crossing paths with me. I thought I saw the private complainant squawking, cursing her for her incompetence right after the session.

Nor could Judge Nonato deny my verbal motion.

The old man’s at my beck and call. He’s on my payroll list. Attaboy, Judge.

Of course, Roque will still have to pay the complainant the value of the wristwatch as reparation. But that’s his problem now. No need to concern myself with that. The poor guy was insisting that he was innocent. He claimed he was framed by his gangmates. He had sworn that the wristwatch in his possession was his and different from the one owned by the complainant. He gotta be kidding. I’m no sucker. Nobody’s gonna con me. He said he would be leaving. He said he would go to Samar, their province, to start a new life and leave this thing behind him. The guy even got mushy before he left the courtroom, saying he would treasure my lawyering for him. Iffy lip-service.

But he was lucky. I did not charge him with my usual attorney’s fees. What I got as payment was his offer to mop and polish my car. Were it not for Mayor Loreto Amay. Mayor’s a good provider of big clients. He controls Antipolo. He’s the goddamn owner of every gambling joint in the town. Amay said that Roque was a household intimate, a former servant. Could be that Roque was innocent. I trust every word of Amay. Wait till he gets hold of this court decision. He’ll certainly be mighty glad I freed his boy. He should be. And he ought to be ready with another client as my reward for my effort. I’ve wasted my whole day just for this case. My body’s completely beat to the ground. God, I need a rest.

Gotta get home. Tomorrow’s gonna be another tiring day.

There’s this slovenly building guard again. Geek. This fathead’s at it again, waiting for some spare cigarettes.

“Hey, attorney. Kinda late, huh?” The guard’s cracked lips broke into a wide grin. He was leaning against the door sill of the entrance door.

Boyser took out a pack of cigarettes from his back pocket. “Here, you can have it.” He tossed it to the begging palm of the guard.

The guard straightened his body, wiping his sweaty hands against his sides. “Oh, thank you, sir.” His eyes seemed to bulge out of their sockets. “Want to have one, sir?” he asked while his hands fumbled unwrapping the pack.

Boyser, ignoring the guard, brushed past him and stared out at the shrouding darkness outside the courthouse portals. He stretched out his neck, drawing heavy air to refill his nicotine-ravaged lungs.

I’m having difficulty breathing again. I must have consumed three packs today. This is what I like here. Cool Antipolo zephyr, pristine and uninjured.

“Your car’s the only one left here,” the guard said, his gaze leveled at the Nissan Altima parked in stodgy silence at the far side of the rough concrete space fronting the dilapidated courthouse.

“Where’s Judge’s car?” Boyser asked.

“His driver will fetch him and Atty. Hornicio later,” the guard said, his mouth puffing heavily.

Boyser’s feet trudged on the rough ground, his legs wobbly under the weight of his body. “Take care, attorney,” the guard’s trailing voice trekked inside his ears.

The door on the driver’s seat now wide open, Boyser climbed inside. He turned the ignition key and stepped on the accelerator pedal. The engine stirred and convulsed, emitting an irregular splutter. Boyser pressed the pedal continuously until the roar became harsh and steady. He adjusted the gearshift lever and began to slowly steer the Altima off the rough parking lot into the front street where curiously not a soul was in sight. The usual rackety street noise had taken off from this part of the road after the town authorities had ordered its temporary closure and commenced diggings the other day. The passenger jeepneys plying this route had sought temporary passage on subdivision roads. The closure would take at least two weeks before the road would be available to the motorists.

The car slowly rattled along the rough road.

This nasty engine’s continuing to spurt out abrupt reports. Somebody must have fiddled with the car while it was parked this afternoon. I’ll be in for a rough night if this thing’s gonna conk out in the middle of the street. Bastard. Somebody must have did me in while I was inside the courthouse. Gotta drive this thing real slow and smooth. Home’s still an hour’s drive from here.

Damn it. No! Something’s terribly wrong with this goddamn Altima. It’s beginning to peter out.

Bitch. I don’t know a thing about engines. How would I fix it?

Boyser turned off the ignition and pulled out the key, his clenched fist unconsciously hitting the steering wheel.

Out of the Altima, Boyser mounted the hood on the hood support and tried to make out something in his mind, his eyes inspecting the dead engine. He walked around to the rear and opened the trunk lid. Undecided, he stepped back to the front of the car.

What would I do next? Think. Damn, damn, damn. How could this possibly happen? I had a monthly check up on this car just a week ago. I was right. Somebody screwed up this goddamn Altima. Wait till I get my hands on that bozo. Shit. I should have stood in bed.

Boyser’s eyes swam inside the engine compartment where the radiator, the battery, the blower fan, the brake fluid reservoir, the intake muffler, the air filter and the cooling water pipe crowded one another. He shook his exhausted head in disgust and turned around, his eyes peering through the darkness that had now blanketed the street. Only the beams of the car’s headlights gave illumination to Boyser’s tired eyes. Hands on his hips, he stepped near the door on the driver’s seat.

Gotta call somebody. I need help here. I’m in trouble. Gotta call the house.

Boyser opened the door, his body bending inside the car to reach for his cellular phone.

Ouch! What’s this? Oh!

“Hey!” Boyser shouted, his hands instantly grabbing his painful nape. He tried to turn and step back but he was pushed inside. Two strong clenched fists from outside dropped violently again on his bruised scruff. “Please!” he pleaded. “Who are you? It’s painful! I’m hurt!” Boyser cried, his eyes nearly closed, his voice choking, shuddering in the cool night breeze. The balled fists pounded on the neck again, this time harder.

Oh, my God! It’s awfully painful! My neck! Oh, I’m spinning...around...

The man outside stepped forward. His muscled biceps hauled the unconscious Boyser out of the car and dropped the body on the rough asphalt road.

Ah...Ouch...That’s painful. Oh, I can’t move my neck. Where am I? It’s dark here. My neck. It hurts.

The sprawled body that had been lifeless for a quarter of an hour beside the Altima began to stir. Life was beginning to find its way in Boyser’s weak torso. Slowly, Boyser curled, his eyes squinting, rubbernecking. He groped for his neck. He stayed in that position for several minutes, then tried to rise up and rest on his haunches. He looked around, fearing his attacker might still be there. His heart throbbed intensely inside his ribs; beads of cold sweat crawled on his forehead. Certain that he was alone, he gradually stood up, his hands weakly stroking his neck. He hobbled forward to the open door on the driver’s seat. Seated inside, he lay an elbow across the steering wheel, his clammy forehead resting atop the elbow. He was breathing fiercely. He lifted his head.

Ah...Who could that be? A robber? Yeah, could be. This place’s a robber’s lair. I was so stupid. Hey, my wallet. Thank God, it’s still here. Where’s my case? My cellular phone? There they are. Funny, everything seems to be here. Nothing was taken. He’s goddamn crazy if he didn’t take any. Hey, where’s wristwatch? My wristwatch, my Rolex wristwatch. It’s gone. That bastard took it. Shit. That bastard. I just got that watch this morning. It was given to me as payment for my services. For handling a robbery case. What the...No...Shit. Only one person knew I have that watch. No one would take interest in that watch more than my wallet, no one except...except...SHIT!

“ROQUE!” Boyser’s pained stentorian voice tore through the cold dark night. *


The sweet-scented apple of your eyes
Brings me dreams without any price.
And the scarlet color that adorns your lips
Fills me with wishes in rainbow blitz.
Your aura of charm floats and pirouettes
In the air with dusky and silvery silhouette.

A word or two marshal to a tune
And dance at night in rainless June.
With heavenly thoughts that sparkle and shine:
Someday somehow I know they will become mine.
Like your hair so luxuriant, so lithe, so lissome,
It cascades in winter to keep me warm.

There is endless magic in the way you smile,
To be cherished with care like glass so fragile.
With you with me I can cut through the universe,
With Mercury’s verse carrying poetic verse.
I need to touch, to feel your silky skin:
In my world of fantasy you are my queen.

I can let others chase the gliding butterfly,
But I can never let you pass me by.
In the company of the birds in the trees
I find solace and unrelenting bliss.
No, nothing can tear my feelings apart;
You have simply stolen and taken my heart.

There is truly something in you
Which the world cannot construe.
I must say this quite sincerely
For you have pierced me so completely:
To you I shall entrust my destiny,
The way the heavens have meant it to be.

Thursday, July 31, 2008


Is all about nature.
Just look at the sky:
You will see
The unchained words
Forming right before your eyes.
Words that the wind carries
To your heart
Where the sweet rhymes
Take shelter;
They create meaning
And take hold of your soul.
Take time to listen to them
And by sunset the lines
Will arrange themselves
Into a poem
That will make a difference
In how you will spend
Your day.
So, if you crave
For poetry,
Just look at,
Think about,
And listen to,


THE JEEPNEY slowly backed to the spot where the impatient daily commuters had formed a line.

“O.K. Easy does it, Leroy!” barked the lean stripling with tawny skin while his hand tapped the side of the slow-moving vehicle. “O.K. Stop! That’s fine!” he yelled, his cupped hand slamming hard against the side of the jeepney’s trunk. He strode to the rear of the vehicle and started counting the wayfarers who had begun to enter the rear access. “A little space to the left, please! That side is eight-seater! To the right, please. Hey! Lady, move a little! That side can still accommodate one more!”
The seated passengers reluctantly inched and moved on the long benchlike seat in obedience to the dry-nursing barker, who had mounted a foot on the steps of the rear access, his body now blocking the lined passengers outside waiting for their turn...

[Note: Read the complete story in the book "You Filibini?" Stories and Other Writings by Amador F. Brioso, Jr., published May 2010]



WELL, HERE we are,” I said, “after years of burning the midnight oil.” Five years to be exact. Five years of sacrifice and hardship.

The final reckoning had come. And barely two hours before the bar exams we were still cooped up in our boarding house, recalling lengthy provisions of the law.

“That’s enough,” intervened one of my roommates, “you’ll only confuse yourselves.” That was Totie, the certified S.O.B. of the group, whose complexion was darker than his moustache. He had seen to it that what each of us knew--which he did not know--must be told to him.

“We must hurry,” went on another, “or we’ll be late for the lecture.” The voice belonged to Jinky, who had come all the way from Ozamis--wherever that unknown place might be (I was told by Jinky that Ozamis is somewhere in Mindanao). Provincial hick that he was, he spent the whole five-month review period gallivanting all over Manila. He had seen to it to set foot on every nook and corner of the city.

It should not cause any wonder therefore that at this very moment, his face was a complete picture of insecurity.

It has been a tradition in San Beda that before the start of the bar examinations, a one-hour lecture will be held on the very day itself to serve as a “refresher” to the examinees.

For a minute or so, memories of my years in the college choked my mind. It seemed only yesterday when I first set foot at San Beda, the first recitation coupled with a tongue-lashing one would get for uttering the wrong answer, the curt that-will-be-all-right addressed to you, the days of cramming for the exams--how time flew fast. And now, here I was, about to face the test of my life--the test of all tests...

[Note: Read the complete story in the book "You Filibini?" Stories and Other Writings by Amador F. Brioso, Jr., published May 2010]

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


“I have long been here before anyone
Else came,” says Law. “No, no, you’re not the one,”
Counters Justice, adding, “I came first than
You, I being your spirit, I have gone

To your conception. Thus, I came even
Before you were born.” Equity laughs, then
Says, “Ha! Ha! You both make me laugh! Did I
Not tell you, Justice, that I, only I

Am the reason why you are here in this
World? There can hardly be any justice
Without me, Equity. You see, it is
I who gives equality. And so please,

Get that in your head.” “Now look who’s talking?”
Right interjects, “You can’t go on talking
About equality without knowing
Whether or not the thing you’ll be doing

Is right, correct?” Wrong suddenly butts in,
“Yeah. But Right, you ought to know I’m your kin,
Remember? You need to know what things are
Wrong before you get to know what things are

Right, correct?” “Boys, boys, are you arguing
Again?!” the lawyer asks. “Stop bickering!
And keep your mouths shut! We have work to do!”
Barks the lawyer. “My client might hear you.

He’ll be here any moment from now. So
All of you stop fooling around. Law, go
To your place. Justice, you stay behind Law.
Equity, beside Justice. Right, you . . . Oh!

The door bell is ringing. Quick! There’s someone
At the door. We must get all these things done.
You are all servants here! You follow what
I say! If I say you do that, do that.

You are all powerless to disobey
Me, get it? You just toe the line, O.K.?
The same old theatrics, the same old script:
Fleece the client, we’ll have money to keep!”


MISS WITNESS, do you recall where were you on the night of April 10, 1994?”

“I was walking on Mendiola Street on my way to our dormitory at Concepcion Aguila. I had just heard mass at St. Jude.”

“What time was that?” asked Jose Sinario. He was appointed as Assistant City Prosecutor a few years ago. Without a padrino, another person could have gotten his position. He knew this; he had to play ball. A congressman, who was a provincemate and close peer of his aging father, played the role of a godfather. His appointment was a cinch...

[Note: Read the complete story in the book "You Filibini?" Stories and Other Writings by Amador F. Brioso, Jr., published May 2010]


I’ll pick you some sweet flower
But you must chase the clouds.
Then I’ll dance in the shower
With you singing out loud.

And I'll catch a butterfly
Just give me your best smile:
My heart will forever fly
If you do it in style.


From the moment we opened our eyes
And beheld for the first time the rays of light,
Up to the time the sparks of reason shone
In the corners of our mind,
And up to the time our limbs
Traversed the path through the outside world,
You have always been there for us.
Yours are the sweet comforting arms
That gave us warmth on cold, stormy nights,
That served as our unfailing courage
When we found ourselves
Sinking in a sea of hopelessness,
That soothed our pride that got wounded
In our joust with the real world,
That endured all our shortcomings and failings
In our quest for adulthood ---- just where
Would we be without you at our side?
We thank you, our beloved parents,
For being always with us,
And we really, really love you.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


SO, YOU’RE SURE you want to proceed with this?”

“Yes, attorney. I’m fed up with him. If I would have my way, I want my marriage with that scum annulled right at this very minute!”

“O.K., O.K., Mrs. Reyes, we’ll file this case ASAP.”

“Can I pay your acceptance fee tomorrow, Atty. Grajo?”

“Sure, no problem.” Grajo stands up from his chair and starts to arrange the papers on the small conference table. “If ever I will not be here tomorrow, just give the payment to my secretary,” he adds as he extends a hand to Mrs. Reyes, who has likewise risen from her seat.

“See you tomorrow,” Mrs. Reyes says. Grajo leads her to the door of the conference room.

“Sir, Atty. Rutera wants to talk to you, he’s waiting for you in his room.”

Grajo instinctively nods while waving goodbye to Mrs. Reyes. He turns to watch the secretary, who has just relayed to him the message, return back to her seat. He eyes her shapely legs, her mini-skirt accentuating her voluptuous appearance...

[Note: Read the complete story in the book "You Filibini?" Stories and Other Writings by Amador F. Brioso, Jr., published May 2010]

Sunday, July 27, 2008


JUAN CARAMTO had been waiting for this day to come. He sure had reason to. To see him conduct a trial at the Makati court this morning was a top executive officer of a multi-national corporation. The man was considering Caramto as a possible company lawyer who could handle big cases and provide legal opinions on labyrinthine problems. He was satisfied with the written skills of Caramto. What he wanted to see now was Caramto’s forensic prowess. He wanted assurance that Caramto was indeed a master in the theater of litigation as he had been boasting; he wanted their money’s worth, of course, in their prospective investment in Caramto.

This was no problem with Caramto. Piece of cake, he had bragged to his wife. He had been a practitioner for over a decade now. He had handled and was still handling hundreds of cases; had churned out convincing court judgments favorable to his clients; had been practically all over the archipelago, hopping from one court to another, wherever the case would take him and whenever the pay was good. He had brushed elbows with leading luminaries in the profession and had prided himself as having been elected (over an equally distinguished lawyer) to head the local chapter of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines. Just the other day, he tore to pieces a recalcitrant witness whom his adversary had presented against his client. Yesterday, he engaged in a severe argument a well-known judge over a fine legal matter (the judge eventually conceded to Caramto).

“Atty. Caramto?” He heard this from his back. He was on the third floor of the Makati Hall of Justice, standing along the corridor fronting the courtroom of Branch 550 of the Makati Regional Trial Court...

[Note: Read the complete story in the book "You Filibini?" Stories and Other Writings by Amador F. Brioso, Jr., published May 2010]


I jam a thousand poems in my head
And reach for the nearest dream ahead,
While the rainbows soar high in the skies
To meet the sun winking at my eyes.

I grab the song ringing in my ear
And grapple the guitar I now hear.
The music dances with the grass blades,
The flowers and the bees in the shade.

I call the south wind from the mountains:
It comes back drenched in the warm fresh rain.
Clouds frolic above the cadenced sea:
A treasure trove of nice things I see.

I burrow a wish in the dark snow,
Expecting to see a small white glow
That will light up an ancient dark cave
Whose breast cradles the best dreams I made.

I spin a tale in the heart of spring
To brighten a life sheared of sweet things.
The plot thins and thickens as nature
Promises to sweet-love the future.

I do these and a thousand more things
Which I regard as divine blessings,
Which I offer to someone special:
She continues to hold me in thrall.


The aroma pinches
One’s nerves. Around
It crowd a motley
Of people from all walks
Of life. Hands jam in the
Frying pan where an army
Of small cotton ball-like
Figures, afloat the boiling
Syrupy liquid, dance in
Frantic daze, just like fishes
That frolic in the sea.
These hands bear thin
Wiry sticks and they attack
The little cotton ball-like figures
Mercilessly: They skewer them,
Dunk them in the sticky,
Brown colored-liquid contained
In several small bottle-containers
(Note: Inside, thousands
There are of saliva-borne
Viruses that take shelter; they
Add juicy flavor to the taste!)
Not far behind.
Then, slowly,
These smeared stick-skewered
Cotton ball-like figures take
Flight in the air and plunge
Downward into the
Waiting open living holes.
They are ruthlessly crushed as
The open holes begin
To close. Then they are

Friday, July 25, 2008


The voice asks, “What have you done?”
“I did what was asked of me
As a judge,” replies the man.
“I judged human deeds fairly
Without regard for money;
Nor did I accept favor
From those who came to ask me.”
He further says: “I never
Toyed with law; I gave justice
According to my conscience
So that men would live in peace.
I thus ask that you dispense
Judgment on me nothing more,
Nothing less.” The voice responds,
“Very well, then, but before
I do, I will make my hands
Strike upon your arrogance.”

Thursday, July 24, 2008


IS YOUR decision final?”

“Yes, Judge, I have made my decision. As I had told you last night, Judge, me and my wife had discussed this matter lengthily. We will be moving to her mother’s house in San Juan by next month and things will definitely change by then. I have accepted the standing offer of my former San Beda classmate to join him in their law office at Makati. I guess, my family direly needs financial boost from my career. And I’m sure I can realize this only through private practice.”
I look at Judge in the eyes. He does not blink. He slightly lowers his head to stare at the pencil he is playfully twiddling with his fingers. He looks over his glasses. He slowly raises his head, lets go of the pencil and lifts a hand to adjust his eyeglasses. He raises the other hand, allowing it to be embraced by the upreared hand in a tight clasp. Resting his elbows on his desk, he perches his chin atop the fastened hands and rivets his gaze to the door...

[Note: Read the complete story in the book "You Filibini?" Stories and Other Writings by Amador F. Brioso, Jr., published May 2010]

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


THE COURT INTERPRETER is standing beside the judge’s desk, his elbow resting on its corner. He has his other arm by his side, his hand clutching a folder and a large brown envelope. His head instinctively turns to his left as soon as the door creaks open. He promptly waves to the people inside the courtroom to stand up. A lanky man garbed in a black robe appears from the door...

[Note: Read the complete story in the book "You Filibini?" Stories and Other Writings by Amador F. Brioso, Jr., published May 2010]