On a little corner of the rubicund shore,

blest by the constant shower of golden rays

from the eastern Sun, stands this Talisay Tree

strong and sturdy across countless seasons.


It has winged fruits which can make them sail

in the winds to distant and nearby places,  until

one day a gentle wind carried one of them unto

the dwelling site of the hapless grassroots masses.


Here it planted itself on a fertile ground and it grew—

yes, it sprouted and grew and bloomed and bore fruit,

and its fruits became a delicious and favorite food

of  diverse fowls that frequented  daily on its  boughs.


Soon a freedombird  alighted on one of its verdant

branches and flapped its tiny wings and sang a song—

and the song weaved a nest for a dream. . . an Ideal,

the Cause of national freedom, justice and democracy.


And not long afterwards, there came a gentleman

who took shelter beneath its comforting shade and then

ate of its fruit; and having eaten, he soon heard a hymn

wafted down the cascading stream of a gentle wind.

And drink he did of the juice of the Dream that soon flowed into his veins and into all the fibers of his being, and before long, in the innermost chamber of his mind was conceived a solemn pledge of  commitment.

And numberless seasons of sun and rain did pass.

And the gentleman has since been riding constantly on his BALSA, directed by the gentle wind to nooks and corners of the Big Island where the grassroots dwelt.


Across the changing sheets of  mists through the years,the grassroot masses have rallied behind the BALSA—they who have  been steadily sinking in the quagmire of penury,who have been constantly clawed by the hawks  of prey.

But the gentleman who has held the reins of the BALSA and resounded the  Call for Struggle has ceaselessly kept the BALSA on the paths that would lead  the  masses of the grassroots people to the rubicund realms of dawn.

And he has imparted to them the ways of sowing the seeds of empowerment so that the people can build a fire whose flames can ignite and consume the cobwebs of darkness, burn to cinders the fangs of  night’s beasts and monsters.

This gentleman who has held the reins of the BALSA is none other than Ka Francis “Bong” Morales who has tirelessly engaged the tyrant seasons’ scourges of  sun and rain,relentlessly braved the storms, swam against the tide.

He has safeguarded the BALSA as vehicle of the  masses, dauntlessly directed the journey of the BALSA onward, conditioned  always its wheels so that it vigorously moves smoothly towards the glow of  dawn at the eastern sky.

O, how nobly crafted is the shaft of Ideal embraced by Bong.

And sparkling the unrehearsed display of his gentle ways— the soft touch of his speech, the rhythm of his actions that the gentle wind carries in all the fragments of  day and night.

Verily, his memory shall always remain playful with us his name shall ever be a radiant beacon in the realm of our remembrances — the gentle breeze of his quiet toughness,the supple tenacity of his will to fight for the masses.

Let us trace and try to trek the mountain trails that have kissed the soles of his feet!  Pick up the golden pieces of kind words scattered by the wind, as we see him armlinked with the grassroots their welfare throbbing loud in his breast.

Let us not shed tears, nor twitch our quivering lips that once or twice  have spoken his name in greeting as he arrived from the peasant’s cottages and farmlots in mountains villages,riding on the BALSA of national democracy and social justice .

Rather let us press our palms on our breasts and try to feel the warmth of  the kind of love and concern Bong has shown in his communion with the grassroots masses!  And let our oath of commitment ride on the Ideal of our own BALSA!

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