Mt. Dos Cuernos (Cagayan Valley’s Paradise)

Mt. Dos Cuernos

(Cagayan Valley’s paradise)

By Apolinario Villalobos



A valley of green

            and a little

of almost everything.

Alas! There, she sprawls

            dented with hills

            gently sliced by a great river

            that sparkles

            under the searing sun –


A land made great

            by sun-tanned people

            patient and frugal all

            whose strong hands

            shaped the valley

            into a haven-

            fit for man.

And, beyond-

            riding the undulating

            horizon of green

            Dos Cuernos beckons.

Mysterious horns

            that harbor secrets

            for centuries

            and songs of the wild

            hummed by birds

            that make trees sway-

            songs, bewitching and gay.

A bit of paradise on earth-

            Dos Cuernos

            scented by Nature’s breath

            oozing from petals

            that cram unlikely nooks

            and moss-laden branches

            equally tempting

            souls whose praise they sing.

Dos Cuernos

            go on with your call

            that more may savor life

            in your bosom as meant to be

            we just hope and pray

            that you’ll last –

            until eternity.



By Apolinario Villalobos



A diminutive girl, she is –

With a sweet smile and angelic face

Marianne struck me

When one day in a mall lounge

She walked in with confidence

Strode to the restroom

With a dust pan and a broom

While giving those in the lounge

A warm smile –

That brightened the room.

When I called her as she came out

She did not acknowledge

Instead, walked out of the lounge

But after an hour was back

This time throwing me a glance

And I think, it was done by chance.

So I beckoned to her

And as she approached me

She held her plastic- covered ID

Instead of speaking, she gestured

Pointing at her left ear and lips

She slightly shook her head,

Only then I knew –

Marianne is mute and deaf!

Marianne is a janitress of the mall

And for months, honestly worked

Earning precious pesos for a living

To support herself, parents and sibling.



Mother Earth and Man

Mother Earth and Man

By Apolinario Villalobos


Looking back when time began

God said the words

Giving life to all

That He desired,

The endless expanse of the void

Was filled with motley specks

That moved with harmony –

A prodigious task

Of  the  Almighty.


A tiny dot in the universe

Mother Earth throbbed with life

As God made her a living sphere

Covered with green and blue

All part of God’s grandiose plan

Done in a few days of divine toil,

Though, He rested finally

Being, at last satisfied –

On the seventh day.


Out of a handful dust from her womb

God made Adam, by such name he was called

And with God’s breath of life

What was once a lump with limbs

Has become like Him in image

And let to roam the garden of Eden

But then, loneliness soon had its toll

Which when God has perceived –

From Adam’s rib, He made Eve.


Mother Earth now nurtures

Not only lesser creatures

But the pair that God made

In some aspects, in His own image.

A paradise, Eden was supposed to be

But to it, a serpent found its way

Tempting Eve to have a taste of ecstasy

And, no sooner than she did have a bite

She made Adam commit the same apostasy!


The blunder made by Adam and Eve

Instigated the misery of Mother Earth

As they opened the floodgate of afflictions

That soon blemished her once pristine face;

Greed and selfishness, for long led lives –

Cain putting to death his own brother Abel,

And many other stories that are written

On the sacred pages of the age-old Book-

All it needs is for us is to take a serious look.


Warnings that Mother Earth belched

In her effort to wake man up with a jolt

Did not budge him even a single bit

Instead, pride bloated him to the utmost

That into the fetid air, made him float

And, as he breaths in more turpitudes-

Would be no wonder, when he bursts!


That will be the day when not even time

Shall move its hands as they should be

That will be the day when not even rain

Shall fall with life giving sweet droplets

That will be the day when not even birds

Shall fill the air with their lilting tweets

And the cool breeze shall no longer blow-

Leaving Mother Earth cloaked in sorrow!