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Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Linggo ng Wika

I had been asked by the Filipino coordinator to join his little poetry contest in celebration of the Linggo ng Wika and I obliged. Here's the original poem I wrote in Tagalog and my english version. Hope you like them.

Pano bang mamuhay ng malaya?

Tunay ka bang malaya
pagkat ika’y wala sa hawla?
Hindi naninilbihan sa hindi kadugong
iba ang kulay ng balat at anyo?
Malaya ka ba dahil nasisilayan mo ang araw,
napagmamasdan ang buwan
at nararamdaman ang init ng haplos
ng hanging amihan sa gitna ng kadiliman?

Baka naman ika’y parang sampung daliri
na oo nga’t malayang kumilos nang walang paglilimi
pagmasdan mo’t ang kilos naman nito’y
kumporme pa rin sa natural na daloy
pagkat ito’y nakadikit sa iyong palad
kahit gaano pa man ito kalapad.
Oo nga’t maaari kang pumunta kahit saan
ngunit paano itong gagawin kung bulsa mo’y
butas hanggang sa kailailaliman?

Maituturing bang malaya ang isang kaluluwang
ipinapanganak pa lamang ay baon na sa utang?
Utang na ginastos ng walang kapararakan
ng hindi naman dayuhan bagkus ay isang kalahi
na buong hayok na niyurakan yaring kalooban.
Siya na halos isuka ang pagkasarap-sarap na pagkaing
nakahain sa mamahaling pinggan
sapagkat siya’y bundat na sa kabusugan
habang ikaw nama’y kumukulo
ang maasim na sikmurang
parating walang laman.

Ilang beses na bang pinakawalan
itong ibong pipit mula sa kanyang piitan?
Di ba nga’t tuwing may pagtitipong ganyak
Itong mga tibak na hamak
mikoropono’t gitara ‘y pihadong tangan
paliliparin ito at pagbuka ng pakpak ay hahayaan
Subalit , kaibigan, ito’y sa awit lamang
kaya’t kawawang ibo’y umiiyak pa rin sa parang.

Ano ang ganda ng bulaklak na busilak
kung ang pang-amoy mo nama’y manhid
pagkat binara ang ilong mong makitid
ng sangsang ng amoy na basurang hatid?
Aanhin mo ang ganda ng sikat ng umaga
kung bulag ka naman sa sinapit ng inang bayan?
Ano ang silbi ng tamis ng tunog na dulot ng lira
kung bingi ka naman sa panaghoy ng batang ulila?

Malaya ka nga ba kaibigan
pagkat sa hawla ika’y hindi naninirahan?
Pakaisipin mong mabuti
ang ibong pipit na nakapiit ay pihadong kakain
anumang sandali, minsan nga’y pinipilit
samantalang ika’y wala man lang kahit ano
umaasa lamang kung anong sasapit
na tila baga isang aso
nakatali at nag aalumpihit.


What Does It Mean to Live a Free Man?

Can you consider yourself free
because you do not live in a cage;
do not serve foreign masters
who look different than you?

Can you say you’re truly free
just because you can see the sun,
gaze at the moon and feel the gentle breeze
touch your face in the dead of night?

Maybe you are just like your ten fingers
that can move at will
but whose movements are dictated
by the confines of your hand.
Yes, you can go anywhere you please
but cannot do so with barely a dime.

Can one consider free a soul
born heir to debt amounting to trillions?
A debt ill-spent not by a foreign
conqueror but someone of the same race,
who with voracious greed ravaged your being.
He who almost puked the delicious delicacies
served on ornate platters with silver spoons
because he is fully satiated and cannot have more
while your empty stomach grinds
and growls from hunger.

How often have we set the sparrow free?
We have sung in the streets many times
“put a bird inside a cage and it will cry endlessly”
and so we let it go and set it to flight
but that was only in a song
and the poor bird still cries.

Can you claim freedom when all you feel
is the filth of moral degradation?
What is the beauty of a rose
if your sense of smell has been numbed
by the stench of trash all around?
What sweetness do you hear from the sound of a lyre
if you’ve gone deaf to the pleas of the orphaned child?
What will you do with the morning sun
if you’re blind to what has come to this land?

Are you truly free,
because you do not live in a cage?
The caged bird
is sure to eat for he’ll be fed morning till night
while you who have nothing
just like a fettered lapdog waits,
depending on what the day shall bring
if it will ever come.

8 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bravo! An excelent poem. I love my country and my people but hate the government that runs it. I wish that there will be a young politician as bright as Jose Rizal who will change our government for the better.

I hope President Arroyo and her government reads this and take it to heart.

4:47 AM  
Blogger rolly said...

anonymous Thank you. I love my country, too and hate its corrupt leaders with a passion. Matagal pa siguro bago tayo makakita ng taong hinahanap mo. MArami na kasing naka embed na mali sa system natin mismo. Sana nagpakilala ka.

12:26 PM  
Blogger Everlito (ever) Villacruz said...

sa simula pa lang may tanong na..tunay ka bang malaya..

sa tula, mababasa at makikita ang personalidad ng pulitika sa pinas...madumi...pero sa bandang huli kaaakibat ng pagiging makabayan, babangon upang maging malaya!

3:30 PM  
Blogger rolly said...

Ever Kung hindi babangon, baka masalampak na habang buhay e.

7:41 PM  
Blogger Everlito (ever) Villacruz said...

uu nga po..hanggat kaya lumaban at bumangon tayo...kasunod nun pagbabago at tagumpay..kung kelan..di ko alam!

4:05 PM  
Anonymous BlogusVox said...

Okay yung english version, Ka Rolly. Pero mas gusto ko yung Tagalog. Mas dama ko ang diwa ng tula pag sa sariling wika inihayag.

Magaling!

5:55 PM  
Blogger bing said...

malaya bang maituturing
kung di pansin ang galing
ng marami sa kapwa natin
dahil makapangyarihan ay sakim?

10:11 PM  
Blogger rolly said...

ever do ko rin alam

blogusvox iba talaga ang sariling wika no?

bing You said it well in so short but powerful message.

8:20 AM  

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MGA TURO NI TITO:
Twenty years of teaching must sure amount to something. A new friend in cyberspace suggested I ought to have a journal by now. I agree.


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