Amaranhig encounters  

Posted by Laya in

This is a post that resulted from watching Rated K last weekend, lol. Korina Sanchez featured a family who had a family member that refused to stay dead and buried-- a literal "dead man walking." The man died-- but the corpse kept disappearing from the coffin during the wake. The family members swore the corpse kept getting up from the coffin and walking around, even when he was already rotting. They also said that some of their family members were that way... another one of their male relatives kept digging his way out of his grave. And that this was not a case of someone being mistaken for dead-- but a family curse... their relatives were the Filipino version of zombies, or amaranhig. If you haven't come across that term yet, it's because, I think, it's mainly an Ilonggo belief. There's this colloquial expression "you're like an amaranhig (or amamanhig)," which isn't really a reference to the "dead man walking" but to the belief that you can tell these walking zombies from regular, living people (if the stench didn't provide a clue) by the fact that they will parrot everything you say. There's even a family story/ folk tale about an ancestor's encounter with an amaranhig and how he got away.

Continue if you care...

Folk Song Tuesday - Tao tao po  

Posted by Laya in , ,

For today's Folk Song Tuesday, let me share a song I learned in high school, called "Tao tao po." It refers to the old tradition of harana-- a young man who wanted to court a young woman would go with his friends to serenade her in the evening. Afterwards, they would be invited to come up into the house, maybe have some refreshments, and the young man could talk with the young woman, under the watchful eyes of her parents and family members. In this song, does the young woman dislike the young man... or like him too much?

Continue if you care...

Word of the Week: Love  

Posted by Laya in ,

That got your attention, didn't it? :D

To the people who have been reading my blog-- at least I hope there are some! -- I'm sorry I kind of stopped posting here. It was meant to be a Pinoy culture blog, and then stuff happened. Anyway, I hope to do better in the future... post more and all that stuff. So I've drawn up this semi-schedule of regular posts to make. Monday is for Word/s of the Week-- since I do speak at least four languages, I'll choose a word or series of words every week and post their equivalents in the four languages, and maybe discuss their differences from the viewpoint of a speaker of those languages. Tuesday is for Filipino songs-- thank you to everyone who's been reading those posts, and please do tell me if you have any requests. Wednesday is for translations and for Philippine literature. Thursday is for history and similar trivia. Friday is for  Pinoy culture-- those little quirks we have that distinguish us from the rest of the world. Saturday will be translations day, or maybe some alone time. Sunday will be for current events.

Continue if you care...

An old love story and stuff like that  

Posted by Laya in , ,

It's been a while since I last posted -- yeah yeah I know, understatement much. I hope to have more time to blog now that I'm supposed to be on vacation. [What's rest, mama?] And more time to notice more interesting things to talk about and actually sit down and analyze them.

Anyway, since it's Valentine's Day, I figured it would be fitting to do this post.

You see,. I'm back at home, so I'm pestering my old aunt to tell me more family stories. For the first time, she told me how my great-grandfather won a princess for his bride. I've always known that one of my ancestresses was a binukot, but I didn't know who exactly.

According to my aunt, my grandmother --her and dad's mother -- was beautiful when she was young. Her father-- my great-grandfather, Tatay Mal-am-- was an encargado on a large estate in Iloilo, and had only two children, my grandmother and her brother. Before he was an encargado, however, he was a revolutionary, and he and his fellow members of the local Katipunan [where my grandfather's father's distant cousin, Teresa Magbanua, later rose to prominence] met and camped somewhere in the middle of Panay, where there were Sulodnon people, the so-called tumandok, the indigenous people of the island. The Sulodnon still carried on the practice of binukot-- the most beautiful women in the tribe were shut away from the eyes of the world, and they were never allowed to set foot on the ground. But Tatay Mal-am, so my aunt said, somehow made up his mind to win one of these princesses for his bride... so he went to the house of the woman's father and thrust his bolo into the foot of the stairs leading up to the house, announcing his intention to court her. He and his men often brought gifts-- meat of the wild boars they had caught, among others. Anyway, he finally got the father's permission to marry the girl he wanted.

The problem was that the village required the marriage ceremonies to be long and elaborate... he was going to marry one of their princesses after all. Tatay Mal-am, my aunt said, got fed up with all the hoopla and stole his bride away to the lowland, where he married her in a church. She was my great-grandmother, Nanay Mal-am. After the Revolution, he became encargado on an estate, and raised my grandmother and her brother in luxury. Aunt says that when grandmother was younger, and even after she married grandfather and had children, she liked to wear silk dresses and silk stockings -- in many different colors, each wrapped in tissue to prevent snags and runs -- and pretty shoes. Guess I know where I got that streak, huh?

Anyway, Tatay Mal-am wanted his precious daughter to marry someone he liked, and when he set eyes on my grandfather --who was fifteen years older than grandma-- he wanted him to be his son-in-law. Grandfather was then just a visitor to their town-- he ended up marrying grandma and moving in with them, since Tatay Mal-am wanted his daughter to go on living in luxury. Their oldest child-- my oldest uncle, the one we tracked down on Friendster after he left home over 30 years ago-- was born in the encargado's house, and my aunts spent their early childhood there. It was only after World War II-- a time when villages were warned by tambulis [carabao horns] that the Japanese were coming, and the people hid in bamboo thickets and cornfields until they had passed, for if the Japanese found anyone they would kill them--  that Grandfather brought his family back to his own hometown, and there my father, his youngest child, was born.

Continue if you care...

Sabi Ko Na Nga Ba, Nag-iisang Ikaw, Sayang Na Sayang  

Posted by Laya in , ,

So, random post for 11/11/11. What is it with today's date, lol. Feeling sort of nostalgic today-- and it's Friday after all-- so here are three songs from way way back when. I was in Grade Four when these songs became hits-- I know, because we kept singing them until we'd memorized them and they are the first pop songs I've ever memorized. Some may say they're old and sentimental and bakya, but the lyrics are beautiful. As usual, I provide a loose translation. "Sabi Ko Na Nga Ba" means "I said so" or "I knew it." "Sayang Na Sayang" is kind of hard to translate, because "sayang" can mean regret or waste, but the English words kind of fall short. Used in this song, it signifies regret for a love that had been thrown away.

Here are the lyrics of the songs  "Sabi Ko Na Nga Ba" (Sheryl Cruz), "Nag-iisang Ikaw" (Ronnie Liang), and "Sayang Na Sayang" (Manilyn Reynes) with translations in English.

Continue if you care...

Finally, an Anti-Epal Bill, thank you Senator Miriam  

Posted by Laya in ,

So I suddenly came back to this blog because of this:

Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago has filed an "Anti-Epal" Bill entitled “An Act Prohibiting Public Officers from Claiming Credit through Signage Announcing a Public Works Project.”

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Temandan, Kayo Mdata, Bagbagto and Sang Isa Ka Gab-i  

Posted by Laya in , ,

This blog is really getting to be a repository of old songs and stuff. Har har. Here are some more songs that I remember from old school days. We performed "Temandan" in several choir competitions when I was in elementary school-- some old friends who didn't go to the same school with me may not agree, but we were the best choir in the municipality for two years!-- and "Kayo Mdata" was a staple for command performances. Yes, I sang when I was in elementary and high school. Don't believe my family when they tell you I don't have a voice. I like singing. So there. :P Both songs are fast-paced, and the fun with "Kayo Mdata" is that it's actually a round that gets faster and faster. Bagbagto is a song that my teacher aunt taught me when I was very small; I still have it memorized because of the pattern. Don't ask me what they mean though-- I have absolutely no idea. I think "Kayo Mdata" might be a T'boli or B'laan song. Also, spelling and some parts might vary because we learned these songs orally.

Continue if you care...

Of language and culture  

Posted by Laya in ,

Genesis: A writer was tasked to write an article on Language Month and came up with a piece advocating the use of Filipino alone, at the same time lambasting "misplaced regionalism" blaming it for "backwardness," "lack of unity" and "failure to progress." After getting my blood pressure back to normal-- and sending the article back with a few choice comments and a stern admonishment to do more research and rewrite the whole thing-- I wrote this piece in response.

Continue if you care...

Cesar Barreta's Parang Langit Na  

Posted by Laya in ,

Have you ever remembered an old song and found that it was hard to find, even on the internet? I have. That's why I was glad when I found this...

I remembered this song from the 1990s as "that song that went 'mundo ko'y parang langit na...'" I do have a memory of a DJ saying that it won some sort of song-writing award. That was circa 1992 - 1993. I remember because I'd woken up from a nap one Saturday afternoon on the second floor of our old house -- a house that was made of planks with a bamboo floor on which we slept. I'd had a good dream and was feeling great, and the radio, which was playing in the living room directly below my room, played this song. I thought it was the perfect complement to the way I felt at that moment.

Continue if you care...

More songs from school  

Posted by Laya in ,

I thought I'd post a couple more songs we used to sing during flag ceremony, if anyone still remembers these.

Panalangin ng Bayan

Huwag mo pong pababayaan
yaring mutyang bayan namin
Ipag-adya sa kalaban at mga mang-aalipin
Kasihan mo po ng lakas
ang bawat isa sa amin
Ituro mo po ang landas
na siyang dapat patunguhin
Inyong pagpalain ang Pangulo ng aming bayan
Yaring panalangin nawa'y inyong mapakinggan
Inyong pagpalain ang Pangulo ng aming bayan
Yaring panalangin nawa'y inyong mapakinggan

The Nation's Prayer
[Translated by Laya]

Grant that you not forsake
this treasured land of ours,
protect it from the enemy and those who might enslave us
Please give strength
to each and everyone of us
and please show us the way
that we should go.
Bless the President of our nation,
this prayer we hope you will heed.
Bless the President of our nation,
this prayer we hope you will heed.


Ako ay Pilipino

Ako ay Pilipino, ang dugo'y maharlika
likas sa aking puso, adhikaing kay ganda
sa Pilipinas na aking bayan,
lantay na perlas ng silanganan
wari'y natipon ang kayamanan
ng Maykapal...
Bigay sa'king talino, sa mabuti lang laan
Sa aki'y katutubo ang maging mapagmahal
Ako ay Pilipino, ako ay Pilipino
isang bansa 'sandiwa* ang minimithi ko
sa bayan ko't bandila laan buhay ko't diwa
ako ay Pilipino, Pilipinong totoo
Ako ay Pilipino, ako ay Pilipino
taas-noo kahit kanino,
ang Pilipino ay ako.

I am a Filipino
[Translated by Laya]

I am a Filipino, I have the blood of a free man
noble ideals are natural to my heart
for the Philippines my country,
pure pearl of the East,
where all of the Creator's treasures seem to have been gathered...
The intelligence granted me is intended only for good
for me, it is natural to be loving
I am a Filipino, I am a Filipino
one nation, one mind* is my dream
My life and mind are dedicated to my country,
I am a Filipino, a Filipino true.
I am a Filipino, I am a Filipino,
head held high to everyone,
the Filipino is me.

*This dates the song to the Marcos regime. However, the sentiments it expresses should still hold true.

These songs keep coming back to me, although I'm not sure of the titles and some of the lyrics. I suppose it's the musical equivalent of the "pass the rumor" game-- these lyrics were never really posted on the blackboard for us to copy and memorize. We learned them by rote, from listening to the students in the higher grades / years sing them! Gawd, I suddenly miss those class songfests.

The pink and white led by day and night
as a symbol of our youth
our banner great and the creed we've said
will symbolize our truth
one purpose binds us together
a purpose so strong and great
that we join each other in a song
to show our pride and strength
Future homemakers of the Philippines,
we are ever moving on
to live better lives and to build better homes
now and in the years to come
we strive towards new horizons
always trying to reach our goal
Future homemakers of the Philippines
so true, so brave, so bold...
The sun and the stars are all singing
the song rises strong from the earth
the hope of humanity bringing
a hymn to a new world in birth
United Nations on the march with flag unfurled
Together fight for victory a free new world
Together fight for victory a free new world.
Isang gabi noon ako'y nangarap
namamangka ako sa dagat
nakakita ako ng isang bulaklak
lulubog, lilitaw sa dagat
at nang lalapitan ko at kukunin
hinahampas pa rin ng hangin
ibig mo ba giliw aking hahabulin
lulubog, lilitaw sa dagat,
lulubog, lilitaw sa dagat.

one night I had a dream
I was in a boat on the ocean
when I saw a flower
sinking and floating on the water
and when I would go near and get it
the wind would blow it away
darling, do you want me to go after it,
sinking and floating on the water
sinking and floating on the water?
Isang gabi, maliwanag
ako'y naghihintay sa aking magandang dilag
namamanglaw ang puso ko
at ang diwa ko ay laging nangangarap
Malasin mo giliw ang saksi ng aking pagmamahal
bituing nagniningning kislap tala't liwanag ng buwan
ang siyang magsasabi na ang pag-ibig ko'y sadyang tunay
araw gabi ang panaginip ko'y ikaw...

one bright night,
I was waiting for my lovely girl
my heart was pining
and my mind was often dreaming
Look my darling at the witnesses of my love
sparkling stars, starshine and the light of the moon
will tell you that my love is true
day and night my dream is of you...

Continue if you care...

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Now pre-selling units in Tower 5.
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1BR (39.36 - 40.73 sq. m.) - P2.9M - P3.3M
2BR (45.49 sq.m.) - P3.5M - P3.8M
Loft (39.85 - 66.83 sq. m.) - P3.2M - P5.1M

For inquiries please contact Eva at
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