I asked Jopet what was happening,
He told me that a rare super blue blood moon
was about to rise in the sky
So we all ran to the bridge.
The moon was slowly showing herself.
She was graceful,
She was alluring.
I asked Jopet why it was special,
He said that Nanay Ester told him that
it only happens once in every 500 years.
I didn’t really get what was special about it – but it didn’t matter.
Perhaps, my mind was not functioning well,
I didn’t eat supper yet,
And all day’s work brought me only 25 Pesos.
I could only buy a half cup of rice
And a serving ginataang kalabasa.
And it was a hot day in the streets,
Even the policemen hid in the shades.
I looked at the moon, and it was bright and round
Like the siopao we received after the basketball competition the other night,
We didn’t win but at least we had some Coke and Tatay Tonyo brought ensaymada.
That was really special.
“Can we make a wish to it, Jopet?” I asked.
“I don’t know. Nanay Ester said that it was only for pregnant women,” he replied.
“Then what are we here for? I am hungry!”
Jopet didn’t mind; he found a half-finished burger in the trashcan near the church today,
He was very lucky, and I was jealous.
Even if he told me that I couldn’t make a wish to the moon,
I looked up to her,
I raised my glass filled with coins and
said it out loud:
“I wish that someday I can finish school and be rich!”
Jopet reprimanded me, said I was crazy. I said I’m not like Tasyo who argues with dogs.
I knew the moon heard me,
She was ashamed and started covering her face
I was asking for spare change in life
Like a merienda of pandesal and iced water.
She couldn’t ignore me
Otherwise, heaven was truly cruel,
And I will stop going to Quiapo to light candles.
Then suddenly the moon turned red,
I remembered my father when he was shot at the corner of Buendia and Aurora,
My mother mourned for weeks.
Months later, we were evicted
because we couldn’t pay the rent.
We were forced to hit streets and ask for alms.
It was too hard to handle but I was the eldest, I had to bite my lips and tuck my tears.
I never really believe in wishes,
But please, Moon
I beg you,
I want to read books,
I know what is the answer to 7 × 8
I know where Zimbabwe is,
I know how to sing Bayang Magiliw,
I know which animal can fly backwards
And I know that you couldn’t resist
The stars I still have
In the tears that brim my eyes.
Be my shooting star
Even just for