Amihan and Habagat


My mother and father were east and west winds

who met when the churches donned parols and the brown boys and girls were carolling outside the luneta.

as soon as they collided,

they knew they could never be just wind again

So they held their breaths in embrace

until the pressure built a light in the both of them.

This is how you build a sun in a Third world country.

wind cannot make anything grow,

it only breaks and disciplines skin.

once,

mama and papa forgot how to dance together and a hurricane broke loose.

So they tied an asteroid belt around their shoulders

in an infinity sign

and promised not to let the gravity drown them.

Papa is diaphragm and laughing eyes

and song and rhythm

he is soul and garlic oil and The best adobo  this side of the manila bay

he is comedic timing and organ keys

a reminder to laugh every morning and sing in your sleep.

Mama is bare hands and secret smile

she is disco and guitar strings

she is calculated life giver

she is beauty queen and sinigang on cold days

she is what formidable was named after

and taught her daughters how to stone face

and reminded us to save the soft for a wind who will make a sun with us.

Immigrant parents

are the universal symbol for sacrifice

they are the winds that keep their children at bay

and the light that grows them

they are the reason why the flowers bloom.

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