Bituing Walang Ningning, Cleopatra, and Elizabeth  

Posted by Laya in ,

Yes, okay, who could forget Dorina and Lavinia and the immortal line "You're nothing but a second-rate, trying hard copycat!" with matching throw-wine-in-face action. At least that's what people immediately remember when they think of "Bituing Walang Ningning".

Me, I love the movie and the made-for-TV series, but mostly I love the song itself, "Bituing Walang Ningning". Yes, okay, knock me on the head. (My roommate says: With pleasure!)

I just love the way the lyrics were written (the original Filipino is still more poetic and beautiful, I apologize for my poor translation). So it's idealistic. So it's hopelessly romantic. But I've always thought that fame is a cold companion when you're at the top alone. As another former roommate of mine once said: "So what's a career? You retire when you're 65, after that, what do you do? Do you grow old alone? No matter if you are the very best there will come a moment when you have to step down and make room for the next generation. If your work is all you have, and you can't do it anymore, do you die if you find yourself all alone? Cold comfort all that money, all the memories of past success, if you don't have anyone to share it with."

For me, that's what the song "Bituing Walang Ningning" is all about. One can't get so wrapped up in the material things that one forgets to feed one's heart. (Shall I knock you on the head now? asks my roommate, brandishing the palu-palo that she is using to do the laundry.)

I've posed this questions to so many people already: Would you rather be Cleopatra, or Elizabeth I? Would you choose your crown, or your heart?

Both were queens, great politicians in times when men dominated everything. Both used their feminine wiles to keep their countries safe from others who wanted to conquer them. But Cleopatra made an error: she fell in love with Marc Antony, and paid for that price with her country and her life. She chose her heart, and now she is known not for the statesman that she once was, but for the tragic love affair that doomed Egypt (and that dramatic death-by-asp rather than be captured). On the other hand, Elizabeth was also young and impetuous, always walking the thin line, always in danger of being executed should she make the tiniest mistake. She got linked to men, 'tis true (Thomas Seymour and Rob Dudley, to name two), sometimes to the point when her enemies thought they had her. But she always avoided their traps. In the end, she died alone, but the country that had been destitute when she inherited it had become a world power during her reign. Yet, she died alone, some say, a bitter old woman who could not bear to have lovers in her vicinity and who even did not want her male courtiers to marry. She was known and revered as a great statesman... reputed to have once said "I am a failure as a woman, yet my very failures as a woman are what make me a great queen."

So which one? Cleopatra, or Elizabeth I?

Some time ago I watched the Koreanovela Hwang Jini (the famous kisaeng) on TV. Hwang Jini said, "Hindi ba maaaring pagsabayin ang tungkulin at ang pag-ibig (Can I not have both duty and love)?"

Go figure.

*repost from Soulcast.com*


Bituing Walang Ningning
(Originally sung by Sharon Cuneta)

Kung minsan ang pangarap
Habambuhay itong hinahanap
Bakit nga ba nakapagtataka
'Pag ito ay nakamtan mo na
Bakit may kulang pa

Mga bituin aking narating
Ngunit langit ko pa rin ang iyong piling
Kapag tayong dalawa'y naging isa
Kahit na ilang laksang bituin
'Di kayang pantayan ating ningning

Balutin mo ako ng hiwaga ng iyong pagmamahal
Hayaang matakpan ang kinang na 'di magtatagal
Mabuti pa kaya'y maging bituing walang ningning
Kung kapalit nito'y walang paglaho mong pagtingin

Itago mo ako sa lilim ng iyong pagmamahal
Limutin ang mapaglarong kinang ng tagumpay
Sa piling mo ngayon ako'y bituing walang ningning
Nagkukubli sa liwanag ng ating pag-ibig

[Repeat 2nd Stanza]
[Repeat CHORUS 1]
[Repeat REFRAIN 2 except last line]

Nagkukubli sa liwanag at kislap ng ating pag-ibig


Star Without Shine
(Translated from the original Filipino by Layamaria)

Sometimes our dreams
We search for them all our lives
Why is it so mysterious
When you have achieved them
Why is something still missing?

The stars I've reached
But my heaven is still to be with you
When the two of us are one
Even a million stars
Cannot compete with our brilliance

Wrap me in the mystery of your love
Let it cover the sparkle that won't last
I would rather be a star without shine
If in exchange I get your unfading love

Hide me in the shelter of your love
To forget the treacherous sparkle of success
With you now I am a star without shine
Hiding in the brightness of our love

[Repeat 2nd Stanza]
[Repeat CHORUS 1]
[Repeat REFRAIN 2 except last line]

Hiding in the brightness and sparkle of our love

This entry was posted at Tuesday, April 07, 2009 and is filed under , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

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