Literary Yard

Search for meaning

Percy Lapid: How can justice be best served? 

By: April Mae M. Berza 

Recently, I’ve been haunted by the deaths of journalists, particularly Percy Lapid. As well as the passion and grit of Leni Robredo in the past election. She showed humility and grace while taking pride in her accolades.

While the recent death of Percy Lapid brought me to be fraught with woes, I became dauntless and courageous enough to always choose the marginalized sectors of society first than the elite, chauvinistic pigs who are at the top of the hierarchy.

I first encountered the household name Percy Lapid in Dale. He was almost sobbing bitterly when he confided in me through Viber about the loss of one of his greatest idols of all time (aside from our top favorite, Leni Robredo).

Dale personally asked me to craft verses for Percy Lapid, detailing how he looked up to the latter, for he was a man of wit and sharpness. A man of immense faith in the goodness of people and how justice can be best served if we have enough faith in justice itself.

From then on, I told myself I would try to write some poetry about Percy Lapid, how this humble and passionate man rekindled a political movement of showing kindness and empathy towards the marginalized sectors of our society while also asking for accountability and responsibility from our government so we could act accordingly.

I believe I did live up to my promise with Dale; I did craft some poetry for our idol, and it did get happily published abroad. In America and India, respectively.

It was a literary accomplishment, and there was a sense of urgency in the call for justice for someone who always looked after the welfare of the people all his life.

While I am not after the fame or grandeur it would present in my literary career, I can say I am more after the justice that is long overdue, a justice for the man always after the justice for others.

Who can be this afflatus other than the man who helped and supported advocacies all his entire life?

Honestly, I knew little about this man, but I can say he has the heart and mind to lead our nation through responsible broadcast journalism.

The Death of Percy Lapid

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 enabled 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 that 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?

While I know you shouldn’t talk about your poem to others (let your poem speak for itself), I was so deeply agonized by the tragic death of Percy Lapid, how saddened I am by the injustices in our society that I attempted to put them into words. I just can’t articulate the madness of it all right now.

Poetry has played a big, crucial role in my life for so long. It is quite cathartic and therapeutic. I’d always try to scribble some lines whenever I was happy, sad, or both.

Right now, other arts and crafts take center stage in my life, but poetry is still the apple of my eye. Poetry loves me more than I love poetry. The poetry bug has been with me since I was 8 years old.

At first, I only wrote about love, solitude, etc., but now I’ve outgrown them all, and social commentaries have begun to appear in my verses. I could say I’m quite glad I’m always open to suggestions as to how I can improve my craft and advance my literary career.

I think most of the time I stink at writing poems. But as I enter an era of my life where I am now fully aware of reality and reality is aware that I can articulate these thoughts into words that can be published every now and then, I realize I can be a catalyst for change, I can always choose to be just like my newfound idols, Percy Lapid and Dale.

There are so many realizations flooding in. I can be an instrument of good change on this planet, especially now that we need warriors of love and empathy.

We need people who can not only write but also act and serve our nation.

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.

Now that we are all after the main culprits of this injustice, we must also look after the welfare of other journalists and writers as well as all the other creatures big and small.

My life can be summed up in words and actions. Because I say so. Because I act so. And this fire burning inside the left ventricle of my heart is one with everyone shouting justice for Percy Lapid.

About the Author

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. 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/ 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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