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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.

Saturday, June 25, 2011


One of the day's pleasant surprises was an e-mail from my son attaching an "ace" composition by his second child, his only girl, Megan Sarah Casuga, who is finishing her sixth grade this June at the St. Dunstan Elementary School, here in Mississauga. An essay on the Crucifixion of Jesus, the brief narrative/descriptive essay delighted me no end. From a sixth grader, it was a better written material than some of those submitted by my university students.

Here's my fifth grandchild (of the present 9, soon to be 10 some September), Megan, writing about Christendom's holiest event in a palpably anguished but quiet elegance befitting the solemnity of the Crucifixion. Not a word wasted. The narration is served graphically by descriptive words and phrases.

A little while ago, when she was barely five, I remember bringing her to weekly art classes at one of this city's community centers. She can draw and paint. I did not suspect that one day, without my mentoring, she would also add writing to her treasure chest of talents. Writing with aplomb. I cannot fully claim the gene-pool since her father, my only son. Albert Beau, writes and etches himself. Of course, I include myself in that area of "responsibility". Indeed, "the apple did not fall far from the tree."

Avoiding any close analysis or critique, I am posting her composition below. I invite all readers to make a judgment on how well her narrative/descriptive essay was written. I am, of course, proud to say, I have another literary creature climbing the ladder in the family tree.

In an earlier blog post, I called the poem collection (a chapbook entitled
Young Poems) of another grandchild, Taylor C. Kwan, a 7th Grader at St. Valentines Elementary School and Megan's best friend, a "gift outright". Here's another "gift outright" from provident hands, and I am not sure I can thank them enough.

Everything is silent. You can only hear the faint sound of crying. You can hear people praying for forgiveness. The air is filled with sorrow. He is dead. Jesus is crucified.            
When you look back you can see him struggling to carry the cross. Falling again and again. People screaming and crying out. He is in pain yet no one helps. The guards scream at him to move on. He knows he has to do this so he moves onwards. He is coming closer and closer to his death.
All you can hear is the loud pounding nailing him to the cross. Again and again. Jesus has to be brave. Giant storms are cast. Lighting and thunder fill the sky. Rain pounds down. He asks his father to forgive the people. He is calm even though all around him is pain. A tear rolls downs his mother’s cheek as she asked God why? It becomes louder and louder until you can no longer bear to look. He looks up and says his last words. Then… silence.

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