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Alumni News

News from and about MPI Alumni

CALAMANSI

CALAMANSI

(1)
When she got there the first time a decade ago
She didn’t like those small fruits with the taste quite sour
She saw everyone’s meal with that tiny citrus fruits they had with soy sauce
They’re fond of that, like they enjoy the Ngapi1 she used to eat
But she only loves its aroma as she was not used to eating it

When she got there a second time, and the following times
She started liking its juice, although it is strongly sour
She enjoyed it like everyone there since then,
which is lovely Kalamansi
She loves its tang and She loves its smell now

(2)
When the World got its illness about six hundred days ago
Then, the World became sick and came to a halt
And humans were under their own restraint or rules kept them in their nests
Millions of people called for help for a cure of stresses
She was also one of those and looked for MHPSS2

(3)
There is a small space on the rooftop she used to walk
A small green plot has been started with some Pineapple plants
Then, many more other plants walked into there as her comrades
And, a beautiful tiny rooftop-garden has grown up there
Then, she can be seen there every early morning and
every late evening, caring for and talking to her plants and flowers

(4)
While She already missed her lovely Kalamansi, Calamansi
after many days with no moving to other places herself
It happened four hundred days ago
While she drove only for some plants and trees
And, luckily found her Calamansi in a Garden nursery
She didn’t know that she would be delighted that much
when she suddenly saw a sparsely Philippine lemon plant
It was not in their own land,
she had no idea how they’ve arrived to her country but she’s just happy

(5)
Her AM and her PM have been filled up with caring for them
Days and Nights keep going on till another terrible day came in

(6)
Her own land has been under the spell of a curse
It started two hundred and twenty days ago
It is added to the World’s difficult times
The very wicked moment for everyone has arrived but no one was invited
The Blood,
The sounds of bombs,
The Gun shots
The lives lost
The Fire
The Burnt up
The Cry
The Fear
The houses are left empty in the towns
The displaced people have filled the forests
The tears of mothers are flooded across the country
The moans of the wounded people have been heard from everywhere
The many people who have a safe place nowhere
The Children
The Women
The Elders …
All people are unsecure anywhere …

(7)
Her nights became very difficult to pass over again
Her days became filled with apprehension of unseen things
But her Calamansi has been growing with no worries
Its new buds came out cheerfully and bloomed gracefully,
And tiny babies stand out soundlessly
They somehow gave her relief with their wonderful freshness and greenness
Now, she has her first ever own Calamansi
She picked it up full of love, then, she smelled it, and she smells it …
Calamansi is not just a Calamansi for Her.

1Ngapi is a pungent paste made of either fish or shrimp in Burmese cuisine. Ngapi is usually made by fermenting fish or shrimp that is salted and ground, then sun dried.
2Mental Health and Psychosocial Support

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