Pilifino Efitaps

Three veiled figures painted in an early modernist style.
Veils, by Maia Cruz Palileo


Here lies Macario “Mac-Attack” Dacanay, 53, who went into cardiac arrest after winning the chicharrón-eating contest. Don’t blame the pig.

Here lies Prudencio Aguilar, 12. Asphyxiation by his thick accent.

Here lies Noelani Baltazar, 44. Overdosed on OPD: Other People’s Demons.

Here lie Imelda’s three thousand pairs of shoes. Please do not remove toe tags.

Here lies Ecclesiastes 7:1—“A good name is better than fine perfume, and the day of death better than the day of birth.”

Here lies Corazon Chu, 64, along with her glass-framed TOEFL certificate.

Here lies Bonifacio Cruz, 65. Born cutting sugarcane in Waipahu. Died folding hotel linens in Hilton. Collapsed between swing-shifts.

Here lies Buenaventura Macadangdang, 58, the Turo-Turo Queen, owner of Bona Petite Turo-Turo & Bakery. “You point ’em, she’ll cook ’em.” Shot in the face and chest by a member of Da Manong Gang.

Here lies Jacqueline “Jackie-H” Hernandez, 15, Winter Prom Queen aspirant and Hawaii Kai social climber. Killed in a shoot-out with HPD officers after shoplifting a gown at Chocolates for Breakfast in Ala Moana. Gown was two sizes too small.

Here lies Manong Artemio Cruz, 73, World War II vet. Right-hand man of MacArthur before the General fled to Australia midway thru the war. Still waiting for his green card and second-class US citizen vet benefits.

Here lie deposed President Ferdinand Marcos’s dozen kidney dialysis machines.

Here lie his boxing gloves, Made-in-Bangkok gold war medals, and pubic hairs of his mistress, Dovie Beams.

Here lies John 10:10—“The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”

Here lies Pontifico Agmata Carandang, 82. Died blissfully on top of his newlywed wife sixty-four years his junior.

Here lies Mary Ann Maliglig-Wong, 89, native of Negros Occidental, aka “the Elizabeth Taylor of Kalihi.” Survived by nine ex-husbands and current fiancé.

Here lies Sebastian Buenaventura, 25, leader of Da Manong Gang. 47 stab wounds.

Here lies Doña Carmen Ilusorio Viuda de Don Jaime Augusto Revilla y Tordesilla, 85, died en route from Honolulu–Carson City–Las Vegas–Jersey City–Vatican.

Here lies Simplicio Bueno, 86, godfather of Cebu Pool Hall and cockfights and first franchise owner of the first Church’s Fried Chicken on the island of O’ahu.

Here lies comedian Fabian Ovalles Bustamente III, aka “F.O.B.” 27. Multiple BB gunshot wounds. Suspects: Machado and Pacheco mafia members. Probable cause: one of his Portuguese jokes went awry.

Here lies Charmaine Blanca-Whyte, 32, aerobics instructor and nutritionist for Hale Nani Home for the Elderly. Former MISS UNITED FIL-AM ’83. Survived by her husband, Atty. John Whyte-Blanca.

Here lies Bong Espinosa, 19, who jumped out of his ghetto existence from the first story of his government-subsidized apartment and got crushed by a reversing garbage truck.

Here lies Pinky del Rosario, 59. Survived by her two Pomeranians, five Chihuahuas, and a Doberman Pinscher. The only Filipino vegetarian on the island since Filipinos began arriving in 1906.

Here lies Anastasio Sanchez, 70, People Power lifeline to activists in Hawaii.

Here lies an unpublished manuscript about how the conjugal dictators stole billions of dollars from the people and got away with murder. Author still unknown.

Here lies Felipe Alcantara, 82. Of brain aneurysm while memorizing the Declaration of Independence for his citizenship exam.

Here lies Nicolas Santos, 88, Hawaii’s longest illegal alien. Victim of hit-and-run. Same day his Amnesty International papers were denied for the nth time.

Here lies ex-Bayanihan-dancer-turned-yoga-instructor and Marcos loyalist Sammy “Samsara” Alejandro, 71½, found dead by his houseboys, on the floor of his Makiki Heights home, purportedly in the lotus position.

Here lies Octavio Sison, 24, right beside his golden suitcase of equally missed opportunities. Denied tourist visa extension due to mixing He-She pronouns and V-B pronunciations.

Here lies Corinthians 15:51—“Behold I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be sex changed.”

Edmund “Manaj a twat” Carvallo, 54, a Glades celebrity and first-rate female impersonator.

Here lies Juana Asuncion, 56. Virgin. Until now.

And here lie the ghosts of your former loves, present-day dreams, and eternal disappointments.

Maia Cruz Palileo (www.maiacruzpalileo.com) is a Brooklyn-based artist influenced by her family’s oral histories. Maia is a recipient of the Jerome Foundation Travel and Study Program Grant, Rema Hort Mann Foundation Emerging Artist Grant, NYFA Painting Fellowship, Joan Mitchell Foundation MFA Award, and the Astraea Visual Arts Fund Award.

R. Zamora Linmark’s most recent poetry collection is Pop Verite from Hanging Loose Press. Forthcoming is These Books Belong to Ken Z from Delacorte Press. He lives in Manila and Honolulu.