Do you remember life before the coronavirus? Or even way before that. Before the great urbanization of Manila, when life was arguably much simpler, beautiful, and peaceful?
Can you recall the last time you saw a makahiya and the amusing sight of it folding when touched? Or the time you had the sweet and juicy cotton candy flavored fruit of the aratilis tree? Or when you played with insects like the ladybug or the salagubang, or even just witnessed the magic lights show of dancing fireflies?
The Last Summer Before Extinction, a trip down memory lane, is by Manila Bulletin Lifestyle’s editor AA Patawaran. The poem originally came out in the Philippine Panorama. It is also included in AA’s poetry book, Hainaku And Other Poems (Anvil, 2016).
The poem is a requiem to nature, said the author, an apocalypse fan. “Nature was a big part of my childhood in the city. Now it is gone,” he muses.
For the final installment of Cherie Gil’s four-part series Yakap Sining, an online program designed to celebrate the power of the arts to heal and bring people back together at the height of the quarantine, the renowned actress read the piece over a video screened during the episode, which featured AA and National Artist for Literature Virgilio Almario or Rio Alma.
Watch it here: