Because of my OJT, I haven’t really had the time to write poetry. In fact, this is my first published poem for this year (I previously had published one this year but I took it down because my sister was worried that I might be sued for libel due to that poem, which is about how Holy Week is spent by non-Catholics and non-believers here.)

Background: Filipinos have a knack for being sociable, whether it is among family members or among friends. Unfortunately, vices play a key role in fortifying most social relationships. But how do some people do have strong social relationships that don’t involve vice? This poem tries to find out why.

In the past, people didn’t care about their health
Simply because there was no one to warn them
About the dangers of tobacco and alcohol.
Yet these vices were imbued into our culture many decades ago.

Now, with many faiths that advocate
The well-being of its members and the public as a whole
Having a place in our society today,
Many of us are teetotalers or abstain from all vices;
Yet there are some who continue the tradition of vice
And give their significant others a hard time to control them.

What is their hope for them? Is it non-existent?
Or perhaps in the form of long shots or wishful thinking?
So long ago, they have turned their backs on their maker
Or while they still believe in one, they don’t really follow His principles in life.

Although there are “social” vice-takers,
No vice is still better than any at all
That’s why we need to stay clean and steer clear
Of any temptation that nears us
So that we all have an equal chance to be in heaven, if we believe in one,
Where it is by choice, not by chance or fanaticism.

Creative Commons License
The Consequences of Vice by Bona Rae Villarta is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Philippines License.

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