What I Remember When I Think About Kuya Mai

Nonfiction by | September 24, 2017

I was 9 years old when Kuya Mai passed away. He was my uncle but we call him Kuya Mai. A month before he was sent to the hospital, a fish bone was stuck in his throat. After that incident, I was so careful every time I eat fish that I even separate the bones of anchovies before eating so that I’ll not be sent to the hospital like him.

Kuya Mai had some peculiar things going on on his body. There were giant pimples growing on his legs. He occasionally let us- his nieces and nephews prick his giant pimples and he would say that the thick yellowish fluid that comes out is uric acid. That time, I have no idea what a uric acid is. To my eyes it was disgusting but I still participated as I don’t want to be left out. Kuya Mai loved kids. For a man who never got married, it was quite a wonder. During his trips from local seminars and trainings he would bring us goodies. He called those goodies “secret”. Most of the time it is a Nestlé made chocolate- a Kisses, Hersheys or a Gandour chocolate called Safari. Childishly, I secretly wished him to be always out-of-town so that when he came back he would bring us lots of “secret”. Sometimes he would bribe us with “secret” to massage his head or legs. Continue reading What I Remember When I Think About Kuya Mai


Poetry by | February 26, 2017

Haplas or liniment in English
reminds me of my Nanay
from Vicks to Efficascent
from White Flower to Betet
she always had a stock of them
hidden in her brown colored box.
Whenever I travel
from our place to Davao
she would always hand me
the latest of her Haplas
telling me to use them just in case
and I would remember thanking her
and instantly see her face lit up.
So nights like this
when I lay in my bed
chest hurt from coughing
or legs sore from prolonged standing
like instinct I would grab a Haplas
and it works most of the time
Thanks to Haplas.
Thanks to Nanay.

Abi Andoy is an alumna of Ateneo de Davao University. She’s a “haplas user” for as long as she can remember.

Road Trip

Poetry by | August 20, 2016

We are on a road trip
riding a two-wheeler vehicle
for this way it’s cheaper
both labor and fuel
relying on concentration and skill
we hide in our helmets

We are on a road trip
dealing with all types of road
from flat to steep, rough to smooth
adjusting speed to its surface
relying on strength
we stop for breaks

We are on a road trip
breathing dust, smoke and uncertainty
taking caution over blind curves
careful over overspeeding
estimating when to overtake
we’re close to death

We are on a road trip
we don’t know if we’re halfway there
or where we really are heading
we just hope we’ll find a shed
where we can rest our vehicle
rest our hearts
and abandon our helmets.

Abi Andoy graduated from the Ateneo de Davao University last March 2015. She is currently on a road trip called the adult life. She’s a proud Surigaonon.

A Year Without Rain

Poetry by | March 23, 2014

My window’s open
I searched for you
in burning heat
in cracked soil
in withered leaves
in empty fields
in dusty highways.
The season’s lonely
all wells are dry
no flower blooms
no grasses grow
no heavy clouds
no cold wind blows.
The sun now burns
each rays pierced
my wounded heart
my lonely soul
a year of drought
a year without rain
a year without you.

Abi Andoy is a student from AdDU.


Poetry by | September 28, 2013

I admire the willow that grows over there
Branches are pliant can sway everywhere
Leaves so narrow can fly like a sparrow
Cat skin bearing so dark and hollow.
Has yield itself osiers and woods
Down that edgy soil where it grows
Thankful is he to find great comfort
To climate that gives him all sorts.
Such beauty exonerates pain
False convictions to deceiving lies
Subtle cries to pretentious smiles
Obvious lies to innocent pleading.
The willow itself speak out its meaning…

Abi is a third year Accounting Technology student at the Ateneo de Davao University.