Carlos Tayag

by Tristan Buenaflor

Carlos Tayag (Filipino Version)

“Sino itong kumakahol na tupa?
Bakit ‘yan nasa labas ng simbahan dito sa lupa?”

Pero si Caloy ay hinulma ng mga dasal ng kaniyang bayan, 
anak ng Diyos, semenaristang nasa lansangan.

Hindi ba’t ayon sa guadium et spes
tayo’y dapat kaisa sa saya at hinagpis

ng mga taong dapat nating pinagsisilbihan
bakit sinusupil ang dasal, O, anong kasuklaman?

Sa harap ng apoy, 
naglakad si Caloy

Bitbit ang Mabuting Balita, 
nilakad ang mahabang tanikala.

Ginawang sanktwaryo ang simbahan 
sa panahon ng diktadura’t digmaan.

Nagpatuloy si Caloy hanggang siya’y mawala; 
Lumaban hanggang Dekada ‘70. Ganito kita nakilala.

Nilulusong ko rin ngayon ang Dagat ng Pakikibaka, 
Kalayaan, kalayaan, ito ang aking wika.

Kristo ay susundan magpakailanman, 
Mga Tao ay magmamahalan, 
Paglilingkuran ang sambayanan.

Carlos Tayag¹

“Why is this sheep barking?
Outside of its church and here in the landing?”

But dear Caloy² was forged by the prayers of people he meets, a child of God, a seminarian in the streets.

Did not the Gauidium et Spes say our lives for others, we must lay?

For our neighbors, we should serve
Why are prayers caged? Oh, this darkness did we deserve?

It was Caloy’s desire
to selflessly walk through fire

Equipped only with the Good News, he faced the long chain of abuse.

Made the church grounds a haven
in times of dictatorship and corruption

Caloy continued until he went missing;
He fought until the 70s. This is me reminiscing.

Now, I too walk the Ocean of Struggles,
Freedom, freedom desires my bones and muscles.

Follow Christ forever, Truly love thy neighbor
Serve the people wherever.³

¹ Carlos Tayag was a Filipino Martial Law Martyr during the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos Sr. in the Philippines during the 70s-80s. He was a Benedictan monk activist that organized the masses and actively fought against human rights violations. He is a desaparecido. He vanished in August 1976, believed to be state-perpetuated. His name is among those commemorated at the country’s Hall of Heroes.

² This was his common name.

³ “Follow Christ, love thy neighbor, and serve the people” is the motto of the Student Christian Movement of the Philippines (SCMP).It is the oldest mass-organization in the country. Caloy was a member of this organization during his college years.


Tristan Buenaflor is a Christian writer from the province of Batangas, Philippines. He is a current lecturer at the University of the Philippines Baguio, teaching language and literature. It is also where he graduated in 2019. Alongside teaching, he is also taking up his masters in Malikhaing Pagsulat (Creative Writing) at UP Diliman. He has been a fellow of various national writing workshops in the Philippines, like the prestigious Palihang Rogelio Sicat 15 and the Teaching Philippine Queer Literature Workshop. Outside the academe, he spends his time as the Deputy National Spokesperson of the Christian organization, Student Christian Movement of the Philippines (SCMP). In 2018, he was awarded the Ignite Brave Awards by Amnesty International Philippines for his work regarding human rights. He likes writing about the local gay experience, food literature, epic fantasies, and crime fiction. His first two works can be found on Likhaan.com. He also has a small vlog called “Kwentong Santan” (Santan Stories).

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