By: April Mae M. Berza
Percy Lapid is the Phoenix Rising from the Ashes
We can because we believe
We believe because we can
Still, we rise above the challenges.
We dream it until we make it a reality
We make it a reality because we dream it
Still, we hope for a better future.
Before the storm, we imagine,
We imagine after we brave the storm
Still, we dream of sunshine and rainbows.
We lead because we also follow
We follow because we also lead
Still, we serve with all our hearts and souls.
We must because we have
We have because we must
Still, we should fight and protect.
We are what we become
We become what we are
Percy Lapid is the phoenix rising from the ashes.
How the Death of Percy Lapid Inspired a Filipino Movement of Justice Against Corruption and Impunity?
Why am I imprisoned in my nightmares
of your recent death, the idiopathic pain
so excruciatingly hurting me?
Logic and reason robbed me of my sanity
all that was left was this questioning
why it had gone haywire.
As a journalist and radio broadcaster
who opened the wounds of corruption
and impunity, you left a legacy
of voicing out freedom and justice
for the small, weak, and poor.
Society lost its pillars of strength and hope.
How could our youth remember such heroism
fighting for the truth while the world never
forget your sacrifices for the Filipinos?
How could our youth embody such values
you live for while the world rejoices
the power you give back to the people?
How could our youth share your life
to inspire others while the world speaks
volumes about the life you enable others to live?
Your death is not a fiasco for you
are a hero whose life enriches and empowers
the rest of the world with your light.
There is now a Filipino movement
for you rekindled a spark in the revolution
so, we mobilize and rally against injustice.
You are an epic that I will read
every time the hands of time steal
a moment of history and remembrance.
Politics is fraught with corrupted lines
out of a poetic journey, and yours will not be
finishing with forgetting and forgetting.
You will always be Percy Lapid
I listen to whenever I turn on the radio
for something profound and empowering.
Will your early death bail me out
of this loneliness and solitude for we
are all victims of our mere existence?
April Mae M. Berza is the author of Confession ng isang Bob Ong Fan (Flipside, 2014) and Berso de Berza (Charging Ram, 2012.) Her poems and short stories appeared in numerous publications in America, France, Canada, Belgium, Romania, India, Japan, Great Britain, and the Philippines. She is a subtitler and translator in Hollywood (Netflix, Amazon, Disney+, HBO, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Hulu, Paramount, Apple TV, etc.). Her poems are translated into Crimean Tatar and Filipino. Some of her poems are published in the Philippines Graphic Reader, Liwayway, Belleville Park Pages, Haiku Journal, The Siren, Poetica, Three Line Poetry, Calliope, Maganda, Metric Conversions, Ani, The Manila Times, Letters to my Bully, Remembering Rizal, Voices from the Diaspora, Madswirl, The Stardust Gazette, The Riveter Review, Asahi Haikuist Network, Contemporary Verse 2, and elsewhere. She used to work for the associate editor position of Toe Good. Her poem “E-Martial Law” was broadcast on IndoPacific Radio on KPFA 94.1FM/kpfa.org and her poem “A Page from History” was broadcast on WYCE Electric Poetry 88.1 FM in Michigan, USA. She is a member of the Poetic Genius Society. Her two haiku entries were featured in the 9th Yamadera Basho Memorial Museum English Haiku Contest Selected Haiku Submissions Collection, July 2017. She received an Honorable Mention in the 19th HIA Haiku Contest and the 7th Akita Russia-Japan Haiku Contest. She currently resides in Taguig, Philippines.
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