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  • Writer's pictureMarías at Sampaguitas

Poetry by Christine Fojas

Boracay, 2006

Every morning in paradise, the locals go out to bury the remains 

tourists have left in their wake under the sand. They sweep grains

off the steps of their seaside establishments, and flatten the shore

for another day of foreign feet to walk on. I'm just another visitor,

unable to speak the local tongue, so we use our borrowed English,

strangers with the same flag. Cliffside steps carved in stone are polished  

for safety. Maybe the water is tinted mint for max postcard aesthetics,

who knows? Every morning in paradise, the sun kisses my skin, and I mix

drinks to cure my hangover, 

take photographs of my skimpy bikini,

while the locals hose down the vomit, scrub stains, count the money, 

and dream of summer’s end. Then rewind the reel and start over. 

Manila Bay, 2020

Be grateful for beauty and dolomite money.

Tourism is about spending money to make money.

Dead fish had other probable causes. 

Probably ate too much fake money.

There's no answer that will satisfy the people.

There's only might makes right money.

People protesting on the streets make no sense

like who wants to fight money?

White sand? Why not? Projects create jobs

so we can hire people to rake money.

Everyone deserves a good swim, Christine.

Progress, equality, all those values take money.

Christine Fojas (she/her) is a Filipino-Canadian hailing from Las Piñas City and currently living in Metro Vancouver. She has a BA in Comparative Literature from University of the Philippines and works as a library technician at Douglas College. A list of her publications can be found at her website. She is also on Twitter as @chrisfojas. Fojas is a regular contributor for Marías at Sampaguitas.

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