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Formes, Lyra Joy M.

Society: Flawed and Expressed

If only we could see through the façade of people’s situations and see the
consequences of our actions ahead of time, we could have been wiser and more responsible
of our actions. This was my take-away from Cirilo Bautista’s poem entitled “A Man Falls to
His Death” which shows a case of a factory worker’s sudden death. It is one of the written
works that served as a wake-up call for some and showed the excellency and creativity of
the national artist Cirilo Bautista.

Cirilo Bautista, as a young boy, grew up in a ‘linguistic’ environment where he was

surrounded with literature and was able to have a grasp of the fascinating world it offers.
He had a passion for literature that contributed to his decision to pursue a degree in
English which he completed as Magna Cum Laude and also Masters in Literature.

In 1973, he published “A Theory of Poetry” where he said that poetry is a science.

Similar to all sciences, poetry has a system of principle which is explicable and defendable.
It’s accurate and mathematically precise. He gave its formula: “Poetry is formulated thus:
P=IE, where P stands for poetry, I for idea, and E for enlightenment.”

As an exceptional writer, he was able to incorporate the principles of science and

mathematics in his written works. Aside from that, he wrote poems and books related to
the history of the Philippines, the state of the nation and its people. An example was when
the tragic assassination of then Sen. Benigno Aquino triggered Bautista to assemble with
his poet friends to express their feelings towards this event through poems, which then
resulted to “In Memoriam”.

Cirilo Bautista exposed some of the problems in the society through his poems. One
of those poems was “A Man Falls to His Death” where aside from having financial problems
and committing suicide, the way casualties were treated in a company was also reflected.
In the poem, the casualty was not given enough attention to be solved but just sympathy as
to say that the company cares.

In today’s time, this kind of approach still remains. Companies still lack sincerity,
often apologize for casualties and give money to workers, customers, and sometimes to
relatives privately to settle the case so that there wouldn’t be a need to go to justice court.
Still, the consequences of the actions being made aren’t seen ahead.


"Cirilo Bautista and His Lifelong Affair with Words." The Manila Times,

de Ungria, Ricardo M. “The Winged Minotaur: (Notes On) Experimentation in the Poetry of Cirilo F. Bautista” U.P. Diliman
Journals Online,

"The Epic Imagination of Cirilo Bautista | The Varsitarian." The Varsitarian | The Official Student Publication of the
University of Santo Tomas,

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