B’S POETRY CHALLENGE #36 – Challenging


Trying street food in the Philippines is fun but challenging
Emerge yourself by tasting some weird food like balut and kwek-kwek
But also be prepared to have some belly ache afterwards

Street food in Manila is cheap but you can’t be sure
It’s very popular but you also have to be careful
You never know where they come from and might not suit your system

street food
challenging enough
cheap and fun
you can get them anytime
tell me what you think*

(c) ladyleemanila 2017

* How to Write a Sijo

* There are three lines which average 14-16 syllables. The final count is 44-46 syllables;

* Line one introduces the theme;
* Line two elaborates on the theme;
* Line three introduces a counter-theme and concludes with a “twist”;

* Each line has a pause – or caesura – roughly in the middle (commas are great for this);
* Each half line is 6-9 syllables long;

* There is no end rhyme;
* There is no title;
* Western sijo are often printed in six lines, breaking lines at the pause.
…This is because a 16-syllable line is quite long – spilling beyond the space allotted to one printed line.


Jeepney – a villanelle


Oh to ride a jeepney is quite fun
We can go from place to place pretty fast
Depends on the traffic and we’re done

Things to do, busy me, got to run
The driver’s radio is always in full blast
Oh to ride a jeepney is quite fun

Many passengers including a baby and nun
Listening to radio for its daily forecast
Depends on the traffic and we’re done

I’m going to the market for some bargain
Interesting street scenes as we passed
Oh to ride a jeepney is quite fun

Thinking of what to buy, eggs and bacon
Saving some money by buying things that last
Depends on the traffic and we’re done

I just remembered I need to buy a cauldron
To make paella for a family that’s vast
Oh to ride a jeepney is quite fun
Depends on the traffic and we’re done

For: MTB–How to Write a Villanelle by frankhubeny in Meeting the Bar: Critique and Craft


Soil poetics

The soil that I call home
I come back even when I roam
Ancestors fought for us
What we have is a plus
So we could all be free
Relish the soil that is bounty
Blood and sweat were sacrificed
What we have now is our prize
My parents tilled the soil for us
So we could all enjoy Christmas
To rear us well in this wide world
So we could all swirled and whirled
In return we burn the midnight oil
We know our role, we’re not spoiled
To have good grades and later jobs
Our freedom no one can rob

(c) ladyleemanila 2017

For: Soil poetics by Björn Rudberg (brudberg) , Nurt Thurs – Message for You


TELL ME A TALE IN 120 WORDS – Your earliest memory


When we first moved house, I must be seven, my brother, eight and little sister, three. The new house wasn’t far from the old one and I was put on top of all our things in a cart and Dad and other uncles pushed the cart. Like a queen, I waved goodbye to old neighbours and saw people on the streets on our way to the new house. My brother said not to move that much, as we might fall off. We first entered the house with a bag of rice and salt. My cousins welcomed us and they were to be our new neighbours.

On top of a cart
As we moved to our new house
Cousins welcomed us

For: Joelle’s tales: First Thursday of the month #TMAT120 #writing #prompt for May


Philippine Adobo

May 4, 2017 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about comfort food. How can this familiarity influence a story or character? Is it something unusual, like Twinkies from the 1970s? Or is it something from home, from another place or time? Go where the prompt leads

My comfort food
Our national dish
One way to preserve food
The taste of the Philippines anywhere in the world
I can use chicken or pork, marinade it with vinegar
Soy sauce, garlic, onions, salt and pepper, bay leaves
Cook the meat until brown, then add the marinade
Simmer until cooked. Serve with rice and peas
Also good for picnics and family gatherings
So easy to make and no two adobos are alike
No other dish can replace adobo in my heart!

My adobo
with chicken or pork
to preserve
vinegar, soy sauce, garlic
my comfort food!

For: May 4: Flash Fiction Challenge, ALL SEASONS – ENTER LOVELY MAY

may-4  all-seasons-red-gray-blog2_4269

#SoCS Apr. 29/17 – “yard”


I love our 3-door apartment. I think we moved there when I was three and stayed until I left for Europe. Our cousins lived in the first door and we’re in the third. The back yard connected us all, so we went back and forth through it. That was also where we did our laundry and hanged our clothes. There were 4 cousins and 4 of us siblings who were always together. Playing, talking and listening to music. Arguing, fighting and being friends again.

That was also the time when we used to have phone friends. In those days, there was only one phone between 2 families. That was tough! We took turns and somehow a system and a schedule was followed.

We started having parties. Any excuse for a party, we would have one. We used one house for food, drinks and entertaining. We removed all the furniture in the second house – that’s our disco house! We set up some strobe lights, disco lights and loud music and we partied all evening.

We lived in a busy street. It wasn’t the main road for cars and jeepneys but we could hear them all. From sweltering morning – traffic was starting to build up in Dapitan. The noise of cars, taxis, motorcycles, vans and jeepneys beeping and honking, children going to school and adults to work, street vendors selling taho (soya), barbeque or peanuts. That was a normal hectic day in Dapitan. I always have fond memories of it.


For: The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS Apr. 29/17