In response to Word High July the snippet below is inspired by the Filipino word ‘kundiman’ or ‘lovesong’. It’s part of a series charting the impact of the discovery of intelligent life in space on five ordinary people over the course of a month. Enjoy!

Image taken from Buzzfeed: “36 Of The Most Beautiful Words In The Philippine Language”. All credits goes to them.


“Momma, I’m home!” Luke called as he push past the porch door and into the house.

There was music playing somewhere in the house and Luke dropped his bag at the foot of the stairs and followed the noise to the kitchen, where his momma was stood at the stove. She was still dressed in work clothes, stockinged feet silent on the tiled floor as her hips swung in time to the beat.

“You have a good day baby?” she asked, stirring a simmering pot without turning. “Oh, and there’s a fresh pitcher of sweet tea in fridge, pour me a glass while you’re up.”

“Yeah, pretty good I guess,” Luke said as he fixed two glasses up with ice and lemon slices. “Dr Strass got me running some of the numbers, said he wanted to see if I had a head to help out with more of the complex working. The stuff that’s more theoretical.”

Momma hummed in response and covered the bubbling pan with a lid, spinning lightly on her feet she clicked the volume on the radio up a few notches and held out a hand towards Luke.

“This was your grandma’s favourite, she and grandpa used to play it every Sunday after dinner,” she told him. He smiled and took his momma’s hand and swayed with her for a little while; he didn’t know the name of the song but he recognized the tune. Something from the sixties he thought, a love song of some kind.

When the song ended his momma rested her head on his shoulder and squeezed him tight. “You’re so smart, baby. Lord knows where you get it from, I ain’t worth two shakes when it comes to numbers; mind you your grandpa new plenty enough to run all his own books for the store. Maybe you got a little of that in your DNA, cause it wasn’t from your daddy.”

“Nah, I got it from Santa that Christmas, when you made me write that letter,” he said with a smile and ducked when his momma went to box him playfully around the head.

“Why you…,” she laughed and pointed at the little table against the far wall. “Get that table set and go wash up, don’t think I don’t know you left that bag of yours all messy in the hall too!”

“Love you too momma!” Luke replied and jogged out of the kitchen, he had some work in his bag he was dying to share and he just knew Momma would love it.


5 thoughts on “Kundiman

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