Thursday, November 22, 2007


[Updated November 23]

Two days ago, I met a very talented singer at the bar in Timog that I frequent. He shared with me a recording that he did as a member of the all-male singing group, the Philippine San Beda Singers.

Now, I'm sharing with you their rendition of the much-loved traditional Visayan love song, Usahay, arranged by their conductor, Robert Delgado. My new friend, JM Lim, sings lead.

I added my English translation of the Visayan lyrics below.


Usahay magadamgo ako

nga ikaw ug ako nagkahigugmaay.
Nganong damguhon ko ikaw
damguhon sa kanunay
sa akong kamingaw?

Usahay magamahay ako

nganong nabuhi pa ning kalibutan.
Nganong gitiaw-tiawan
ang gugma ko kanimo, kanimo da?

Sometimes I dream
of you and me in love.
Why do I dream of you,
always dream of you
in my loneliness?

Sometimes I regret
being born into this world.
Why do you/they mock
the love I have for you
for you?

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The Chronicler's Creed

Where there's water and sun, where there are friends to see or new people to meet, where there's something new to learn, experience, or do, where there's life, there I will be.


Y fue a esa edad... Llegó la poesía
a buscarme. No sé, no sé de dónde
salió, de invierno o río.
No sé cómo ni cuándo,
no, no eran voces, no eran
palabras, ni silencio,
pero desde una calle me llamaba,
desde las ramas de la noche,
de pronto entre los otros,
entre fuegos violentos
o regresando solo,
allí estaba sin rostro
y me tocaba.

And it was at that age... Poetry arrived
in search of me. I do not know, I do not know where
it came from, from winter or a river.
I do not know how or when,
no, they were not voices, they were not
words, nor silence,
but from a street I was summoned,
from the branches of night,
abruptly from the others,
among violent fires
or returning alone,
there I was without a face
and it touched me.

- An excerpt from LA POESÍA (Poetry) by Pablo Neruda