TO THE QUEENS OF ANTIPOLO

by Luis G. Dato

I think it is a great honor this evening to proclaim
The queens of Antipolo, the glory of their name,
Not gems and precious jewel we’ll place upon their brows,
Such as by usual custom an all queens love bestows,
For crowns we’ll weave wildflowers and scented grasses green
That grow upon the roadside to grace the rural scene.
Their courts, the inns and gardens, the brooks that murmur near,
The bending starry heavens, blue hills from dark clouds clear.

Their subjects — all their classmates, in red, blue, black, green, white
Green, 1ike the open meadows, black like the summer night,
And blue, like azure Heaven when sides are clear above,
Red, like the badge of valor, and white of purest love.
With grace they executed the ring and bao dance,
We only missed the arrow and bow, the shield and lance.
How rhythmical their movement, their rings of blue and white,
In the late eve they dazzled in sunset’s fading light.
Soon, it wil1 be no longer the pantomine of rings
Insentient, artificial, like all unliving things,
But, grown-up men and women, as pillars they will stand,
No shells nor rings but banners of a triumphant land.

What more can we who love them bestow as we depart;
We give as final homage the present of our heart!
May then their reign eternal the good Lord deign to bless
That it may give abundance, peace, love and happiness,
We hope that they remember these pleasures of today,
And treasure them forever in memory always,
Though we be dead, dear children, the poet with the rest,
Like some gold sun descending into the distant west.
Then let us make at parting one last dear prayer to you,
Remember us and bless us as we bid you adieu;
That thus as we this evening take each his separate way,
All shall keep in remembrance the loves of yesterday,
To you, our dear princesses, we also chant high praise,
May you give Antipolo the dawn of happier days.
And you, O holy Virgin of Antipolo dear,
Shed 1ight an our homes humble to shine from far and near,,
May you make us united, one church es well one state,
And through your queens our people become s nation great.

May 20, 1965

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