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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]