By Luis G. Dato

Manila, city of noise,
All day the wheels have dinned in my ears
The cry for money, cause of all the noise,
All counters, offices, markets, bodegas, piers, movie-houses, hotels,
Repeat with variations the self-same theme,
As mosquitoes at night din in my ears the ancient cry for blood!

All the voices,
From painted lips, throats of newsboys, conductors,
Smile of salesgirls, press relations,
The Escolta Walking Corporation,
Even honeymooners intersperse money
With kisses between honey and moon!

Everything is on the auction block to the highest bidder!
Office, honor, sex, title,
Even the cat mews for Mike Cuaderno,
And for all we know too late the last time,
Our bills may not be worth the paper on which printed,
And all the vociferation which makes Manila

City nonpareil of noise,
Will give way to more.

Luis Dato
Luis Dato

Luis G. Dato (July 4, 1906 - January 29, 1985) was a poet, writer and educator from Sta. Cruz, Baao, Camarines Sur. He published books in English including Manila A Collection of verse (1926), My Book of Verses (1936) and the Land of Mai in 1975. He also wrote several books and text in Bikol such as, Vocabulario Bikol-Ingles-Kastila (1963), Cantahon na Bikol (1969), Morfologia kan Tataramon na Bikol (serialized in Naga Times), Patotodon sa Bikol (Bikol Mail) and Sarabihon sa Bikol.

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