- June 03, 2020 12:15
By Natasha Nicole M. Dimaculangan and Alyssa Ferelli F. Abario
“Gusto ko nang huminga… gusto ko nang ibuga… gusto ko nang ibuga ang huli mong hininga.” These words weren’t exhales of relief for 3rd year Communication student John Bernard Juanich, but exhales of bottled grief.
Juanich’s Ang Huli Mong Hininga Na Nais Kong Ibuga resonated across the Green and Gold community during the TamHunt's open stage event last September. At first, it was stereotyped as an all-too-familiar “hugot” poem, but as his words reached the end pole, the audience were moved by his lines filled with sadness and despair.
But before his breakthrough piece, Juanich was already a blossoming poet before he stepped into college. His ability to craft touching compositions and connect with people was somewhat innate.
“Nung high school ako mahilig talaga ako sa poems. Pinapagawa kami ng teacher namin ng poems tapos ako ‘yung laging nananalo sa contests (I was already fond of poems back in high school. I always win in poem writing contests conducted by my teacher),” he reminisced.
But despite his knack for poetry, there came a point in his life where he loosened his grip on his ambition. It was not until 2015 when a core portion of his dream was rekindled because of his fateful encounter with Juan Miguel Severo, a popular spoken word artist. Awed with the existence of spoken word poetry, Juanich immediately broke the virtual walls, amassing pieces of inspiration for his upcoming pieces.
“Nagsimula akong magsulat ng spoken word poetry, pero hindi ko siya nailalabas, na para sa akin lang, sinusulat ko lang siya (I started writing spoken word poems, but I don’t publicize it; I only kept it to myself, I just write it),” Juanich expressed.
He always liked to keep things bottled up but when the biggest daybreak of FEU TamHunt open stage arrived, he grabbed it in an instant; his moment has finally arrived.
“I was so happy I felt like that would be the start that I would be able to showcase my talent to others, that, it would be the start of something that I waited for so long for me to release the gravity of pain I have in my heart (Sobrang saya feeling ko ‘yun na 'yung magiging start ng pagpapakita ko ng talent ko sa iba,’ yun na ‘yung start na matagal kong hinintay para mailabas ko na ‘yung bigat na meron ako sa puso),” Juanich happily shared.
His video performance made rounds on Facebook gaining a whopping 230,000 views and 4,000 shares as of press time.
Juanich truly captivated his audience’s attention with his tear-jerking performance. His poem goes: “Mayroon lang akong nais ibuga...Kailan ko tatanggapin ang lubusan mong pag-alis kasama ang alala’t kalahating hininga?”
It clearly manifested raw emotions of sadness, anguish, and regret. But Juanich shares that his piece is not about heartbreak, like what most people assume it to be.
“Ang inspiration ko sa ‘Ang Huli Mong Hinga Na Nais Kong Ibuga’ ay ‘yung mother ko na namatay nung April 2 lang dahil sa sakit na cancer (I’ve never been heartbroken by a girl or a person. My inspiration in making my poem was my mother who died last April 2 because of cancer),” he shared.
A piece made from scratch, it was just initially a blank page that thirsted a striking blot of ink.
“Sobrang emotional ko nung sinulat ko ‘yun. Naalala ko gabi ‘yun patulog na ako pero ‘di ako makatulog tapos sinulat ko siya [poem] na umiiyak ako (I was so emotional when I wrote my piece. It was already late. I could not sleep that night. I was about to sleep but couldn’t so I just wrote that piece. I was crying while writing it),” he narrated.
It had become a breath of fresh air as he belted his last few words towards the end. A part from the poem goes “Hihinga ako. Bubuwelo ng matagal. Sisiguraduhing mararamdaman. Sisiguraduhing lalabas ang lason na bumabalot sa aking pagkatao. Ang nagpapabigat sa aking puso at sa aking ulo. Gusto ka nang huminga. Gusto ko nang ibuga ang huli mong hininga.”
Every word that came out as Juanich parted his lips finally became exhales that brought cure to his sorrow. Releasing one's emotions is therapeutic but when anchored on the right kind of inspiration, it becomes life-changing.