Why Child of Earth...? (revised)  

Posted by Laya in

As a child, my reading material included my teacher aunts' copies of the Philippine Journal of Education (PJE), because of its stories, poems and educational articles. Among those poems was one that stood out because of its simplicity and imagery. I ended up memorizing it. Decades later, when I was looking for a blog title, I remembered it. Because it was in the masculine voice, however, I had to adapt it. "Woman of Earth" at that time was an Avon brand of perfume (my favorite, too, BTW) so that was out. That left "Child of Earth," which is the name of this blog.

"Man of Earth" was written in 1932 by then 20-year-old Amador T. Daguio, who, like us Filipino bloggers of today, was faced with the challenge of introducing his Filipino self and culture to non-Filipinos in a language they could understand, yet not lose his Filipino identity in the translation. It is still one of my favorite poems. I especially love the challenge in the last verse.

Man of Earth
Amador T. Daguio, 1932

Pliant is the bamboo;
I am man of earth;
They say that from the bamboo
We had our first birth.

Am I of the body,
Or of the green leaf?
Do I have to whisper
My every sin and grief?

If the wind passes by,
Must I stoop and try
To measure fully
My flexibility?

I might have been the bamboo,
But I will be a man.
Bend me then, O Lord,
Bend me if you can.


Anak ng Lupa
Halaw ni Laya sa orihinal na tula ni Amador T. Daguio

Malubay ang kawayan;
Ako ay anak ng lupa;
Sabi nila'y sa kawayan
Tayo unang nagmula.

Ako ba'y sa katawang-tao,
O sa dahong luntian?
Kailangan ko bang ibulong
Lahat ng aking sala't kalungkutan?

Kapag dumaan ang hangin,
Kailangan bang yumuko at pilitin
Na ganap na masukat hanggang gaano
Ang pakikibagay na kaya ko?

Ako ay maaaring naging kawayan,
Ngunit ako ay magiging tao.
Kung kaya baluktutin mo ako, o Panginoon,
Baluktutin mo kung kaya mo.

Okay, so I couldn't resist the Hiligaynon translation... and then the Cebuano. LOL.

Anak sang Lupa
Gikan sa orihinal nga binalaybay ni Amador T. Daguio

Madali padukuon ang kawayan;
Ako, anak sang lupa;
Hambal nila sa kawayan
Kita halin sang-una.

Halin bala ako sa lawas sang tao
Ukon sa berdeng dahon?
Kinahanglan ko pa bala nga ihutik
Tanan ko nga sala kag kasubo?

Kung mag-agi ang hangin,
Kinahanglan ko pa nga magduko kag piliton
Nga takson kung asta diin
Ko gid kaya nga makiangay?

Kung ako sadto kawayan
Ako karon mahimo nga tao
Ti, bali-a ako karon, Ginuo,
Bali-a ako, kung masarangan mo.

Anak sa Lupa
Gikan sa obra ni Amador T. Daguio

Sayon bako-on ang kawayan;
Ako, anak sa lupa;
Ingon nila sa kawayan
Kita unang natuga.

Gikan ba ko sa lawas,
O sa berdeng dahon?
Kinahanglan pa ba nako ihonghong
Tanan nakong sala ug kasubo?

Ug miagi ang hangin,
Kinahanglan pud ba nako miduko ug piliton
Takson ug hangtud asa
Nako kayang makiangay?

Ug ako niadto nahimong kawayan
Ako karon mahimong tao.
Paduk-a daw ko, Ginoo,
Paduk-a, ug sarangan nimo.

This entry was posted at Tuesday, June 09, 2009 and is filed under . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

1 people cared

hello, found your link in one of the blogs that talked about the kinaray-a language. i am compiling for my kinaray-a blog (http://karnesyon.blogspot.com/) a list of blogs in kinaray-a and/or written by Antiquenos or those with roots from Antique. i have listed your two blogs over there if it's ok. if not just tell me as well. salamat gid.

June 9, 2009 at 12:29 PM

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