Marvin Davila Aquino, 34 years old, is a licensed teacher based in Tamban, Tinambac, Camarines Sur. He was a fellow of the 2nd Central Bicol State University of Agriculture (CBSUA) Creative Writing Workshop in 2015, the 6th Saringsing Writers Workshop in 2016, and the 1st Saling-Panitik Beinvenido Lumbera Translation Seminar Workshop in 2018. His Bikol usipon, “Abo sa Pag-gabas” was shortlisted for the 8th Premio Tomas Arejola sa Literaturang Bikolnon in 2016, a counterpart of CPMA in the Bicol Region. He has been published in GIROK: Erotika, a collection of erotic poems in Bikol, and Pagkamoot (Mga Binirikol na Usipon Gikan sa Europa), an anthology of European short stories translated into Bikol. He self-published his poetry collection Rigsok asin iba pang kinabanon na ramiram in 2017. He will be featured writers in BKL, an anthology of Bikol gay writing due to come out in November 2018. He is currently working on a novel called “The Friar.”
An Gamgam na Matugdon Sako
(Ang Ibong Dadapo sa Akin)
(The Bird that Will Land on Me)
English translations by Johann Vladimir Espiritu
Where I'm From
One thing that will help a person intellectually grow is tracing his origin. Regardless of how far, how near, a person will always long to seek what seems to be missing in his identity. He will try to either make or break relationships because of what his belief will ask him do. There are many who tried and succeeded, but there are also some, who failed.
I am an offspring of love. I believe that I was the fruit of my parents’ valentine’s date because I was born in November. Never mind the astrological matters about where or when I was born because I personally don’t believe in it. I was born to a catholic family and I was raised with siblings in great holy fear of God. Friction is where it all started and friction still coexisted with the family as we grew older. With enough motivations and proper upbringing, I started going to school and I was not the best at it, but I was not the least either. Because of their business, I graduated in elementary while my parents are out for a trip. From that point forward, I made a promise to myself, that when time comes that I will be out of that small community where we had to cross three rivers and a long walk plus a travel by sea for an hour, I assured myself that I will no longer do what I think is not my best. From Pagsimbugan, I had to attend high school in Tamban, a somewhat civilized still rural area in Tinambac, Camarines Sur.
I am a son of hope and faith. There was so much learning from the changes of environment. There was so much longing to come home during weekends too. Time was fast and I achieved to graduate in high school. I moved to Naga for college and I had to stop for a very cliché issues with financial concerns. I stayed in the parish as a volunteer Catechist and up until today, I am still affiliated with them. I moved to Mandaluyong to work in a callcenter in 2010 and it was the first time that I experienced to live alone. The experience was cool and gay, but I had to stop and come home when Papa died in 2012. Homecoming is always poetic to me, especially so that the entire family was mourning for the loss.
I am ambitious. In 2014, I went back to college. My sister asked me if I am still interested to pursue my ambition of becoming a teacher and I grabbed it. There, I met the first Bikol writers and I was encouraged to join workshops and it was the beginning of the involvement to other activities related to writing. After I joined the 1st Saling Panitik Beinvenido Lumbera Translators Seminar Workshop, I always wanted to go back to U.P. for whatever reason I don’t completely understand. When the university called for submissions to the workshop called, 1st Global-Grace -UP National LGBTQ Poetry Workshop, I did not hesitate to send entries and I was luckily chosen to be one of those who represents the Bikol region. I was honestly hesitant to go, couple of weeks after the announcement because of financial issues again, because as of the moment, I am still in the recruitment process of DepEd, and I was driven by these challenges to proceed because I know how it will help me intellectually grow as a private individual in a public community.
I am a gay of journey to many lives outside. I left Tamban by noon time to travel by van to Naga. Mama only gave me like two thousand pesos and I feel that it would not be enough for the journey. But it did not stop me from coming. So, I visited my sister in Naga and left at 9PM. I was thinking, if I would leave by night time, I would reach the university at noon time or so before the check in time to the hotel. But the bus was furious and in less than 10 hours, I was already in Guadalupe. I had to wait for someone to pick up the baggage that my sister asked me to bring and get paid for it. It was sad and tiring. But during the time at I was already in the campus, I was already feeling the temporary detachment to a life in the province for an academic and intellectual purpose.
I am a small and resilient voice of Bikol whose dreams is bigger than the archipelago. Today, the workshop is about to end and I am very happy with what I have learned from the workshop. I can now go home and start working on the project and apply what I have learned from the fellows and the panelists. Rokyaw Bikol, Rokyaw LGBTQ!