OPINION: Floy Quintos pays tribute to the quiet courage of Junel Insigne

Ellen T. Tordesillas

Posted at Jun 24 2019 12:25 PM

Writer Floy Quintos wrote this poem after he watched Junel Insigne, captain of the fishing boat Gem-Ver, which was rammed by a Chinese fishing boat midnight of June 9, beside Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol in a press conference June 19.

Insigne, who had insisted the ramming by the Chinese vessel was intentional and denounced the Chinese for abandoning them in the high seas near Recto Bank at midnight, became unsure of what happened during the press conference with Piñol.

Insigne also apologized to President Duterte for thinking that the ”invitation” which he declined came from Malacañang.

Some ridiculed Insigne. Some pitied him. Some were enraged.
Quintos sensed something deep in the forlorn demeanor of Insigne which inspired him to write this searing piece:

You may buy my silence,
my compliance with your twisted truths.
But there is no price
for the tiredness
in my eyes
and the
hardening of my heart.

I will not care for you
when the day of reckoning comes.
No pay-offs
will buy my grief
over your insults,
now masked in
a silence
that screams louder
than the waves.

My eyes have seen them all,
have pierced through
your cowardice and rot.
I accept your bribes
with no gratitude,
for you give me only
what you have taken away.

One day,
when waves of justice
wash relentlessly
over your bodies,
you will know what
it is to cling to even the
falsest of pity.

I shall be watching you then.
The tiredness in my eyes turning into hate.
The hardened core
of my heart
beating once again
with irrational joy.

I shall become
what you have
made me.
A monster of the sea.

Elmer L. Gatchalian translated it to Filipino:

Mabibili mo ang aking katahimikan,
ang aking pagtalima sa iyong mga binaluktot na katotohanan
Ngunit walang katumbas na halaga
ang pagkahapo
sa aking mga mata
at ang paninigas ng aking puso.

Hindi ako mahahabag sa iyo
kapag dumating na ang araw ng paniningil.
Hindi mo mababayaran
ang aking pagdadalamhati
sa iyong mga panlalait,
na ngayo’y natatakpan
ng katahimikang
mas malakas pa ang pagpalahaw
kaysa sa mga alon.

Nakita na ng aking mga mata ang lahat-lahat,
kitang-kita rin nito
ang iyong kaduwagan at pagkabulok.
Tatanggapin ko ang iyong mga suhol
nang walang pagtanaw ng utang na loob,
dahil ang ibinibigay mo lang naman
ay iyong ninakaw mo rin sa akin.

Darating ang araw,
kapag rumagasa na ang mga alon ng hustisya
sa inyong katawan,
mapagtatanto n’yo rin
kung paano kumapit sa awa,
gaano man ito kahuwad.

Pagmamasdan ko kayo sa araw na iyon.
Ang pagkahapo sa aking mga mata’y
mapapalitan ng pagkamuhi.
Ang pinakamatigas na kaibuturan
ng aking puso
ay muling titibok
dahil sa di maipaliwanag na kaligayahan.

Ako’y magiging nilalang
na kayo rin ang may kagagawan.
Isang halimaw ng karagatan.

 ***

Blog: www.ellentordesillas.com
Email: ellentordesillas@gmail.com

Disclaimer: The views in this blog are those of the blogger and do not necessarily reflect the views of ABS-CBN Corp.