My photo
ALBERT B. CASUGA, a Philippine-born writer, lives in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, where he continues to write poetry, fiction, and criticism after his retirement from teaching and serving as an elected member of his region's school board. He was nominated to the Mississauga Arts Council Literary Awards in 2007. A graduate of the Royal and Pontifical University of St. Thomas (now University of Santo Tomas, Manila. Literature and English, magna cum laude), he taught English and Literature (Criticism, Theory, and Creative Writing) at the Philippines' De La Salle University and San Beda College. He has authored books of poetry, short stories, literary theory and criticism. He has won awards for his works in Canada, the U.S.A., and the Philippines. His latest work, A Theory of Echoes and Other Poems was published February 2009 by the University of Santo Tomas Publishing House. His fiction and poetry were published by online literary journals Asia Writes and Coastal Poems recently. He was a Fellow at the 1972 Silliman University Writers Workshop, Philippines. As a journalist, he worked with the United Press International and wrote an art column for the defunct Philippines Herald.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


The stars
and the ricefields
and the mountains
were in silent prayer
as they listened to
Ave Marias.
 --- Jason Montana, September 27, 2010

Jason Montana reacted yesterday to the previous blog "Unfinished Poem" and confirmed the existence of these places of worship in caves at the sierras and cordilleras in the Northern Philippines. He said:

"Thank God there are chapels and grottos everywhere in the sierras and cordilleras. Jason and company passed by many and entered several where people welcomed them and invited them to prayer. Once there was a Mass in Hapao, Ifugao,* and it was safe to be there. The squad was no stranger to the worshippers. Where there was no chapel, people would meet in a particular house for a prayer meeting. One time, the squad joined an evening Wednesday Marian devotion.

The stars and the rice fields and the mountains were in silent prayer as they listened to Ave Marias."

*One of the Philippines' mountain provinces, and still a sanctuary of nationalist rebel cadres.

This blog invites  poets inclined to write their "ekphrasis" poems based on photo artist Bobby Wong's "A Place of Worship" (inset -- Please click on image to see a larger version).
Please send them to or as soon as the muse allows. (See the previous post "Unfinished Poem" for this blog's primer.)
Disparate reactions should create a "gestalt" or even a "surprise pregnancy" as the late Filipino-American poet Jose Garcia Villa refers to his ars poetica.

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