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Thursday, June 9, 2016

Local Poetry or Binalaybay Explained





These old corridos or kurido gave way to the “korridos modernos” which is known as the “komposo” or composition which has a theme taken from real life which cover from the topics of festivities until tragedy. The popularity of komposo reaches until the years of liberation, when the mass media like the radio and newspapers were not yet fully established. These composition were created according to the meters recommended in Spanish poetry. It is made of six syllables. There is a common beginning and common end. It starts with

Binalaybay In Hiligaynon              English Translation of Poems

O, mga Señores                               Oh gentlemen,
Pamati-I ninyo                                 Hear ye    
Ako naga-asoy                                 I am singing
Diotay nga composo                        Little composition
Banwa sang ______                        Town of ________
May natabu didto                            There took place
Apat ka mag-utod                            Four siblings
Puro gid mestizo                       All mestizo, Caucasian, or whites


Their endings is sometimes funny, sometimes impartial and sometimes judgmental in a Pilate-like method.


Pananglit may sayop               If all of a sudden there’s a ____
Inyong dispensaron                Just understand
Bag-o lang mag-alam             Just learned
Sining verso nakon                 This verse of mine


Examples of satire and sarcasm which criticizes is the following verse


Ining pagtulon-an                     This teaching
Madamo ang gadayaw             A lot is praising
Lalaki, babaye                          Men, women
Nagakuyaw-kuyaw                  are shunning
Kon sila maghinambal             When they speak
Puro gid sing Ingles               Everything is in English language




Gali ko sayuron                       What I mean is
Kay enamores.                         To inamorata or lady love
“If I will go”                            “If I will go”
Sa hagdan makadto                 To the stairs will go
Gali kon sayuron                     Which only means
Si Inday malagyo                     Inday* will elope


*Inday is a local term which is affectionately called to a young lady


Along with modern composition, the couplet which is called kopla in vernacular emerged. The most popular in this kind is the series of Si Inday, descriptive verses that celebrates the native lady or the countryside maiden through the melodic singing commonly popular to the Ilonggos.


Si Inday nga maitum-itum               Inday who is dark skinned
Angay guid sa balay nga butong       Ideal to live in a small hut
Kon sia magyuhum – yuhum          When she is smiling
Daw bulak sang cachubong.    She looks like the thorn apple flower
Si Inday nga mapula-pula               Inday who is rosy or reddish
Angay guid sa balay nga tapi.        Ideal to live in a wooden house
Kon siya magliki-liki                      When she sways her hips
Daw bulak sang tapulanga.          She looks like the hibiscus
Si Inday nga maputi-puti               Inday who is white skinned
Angay guid sa balay nga tapi      Ideal to live in a wooden house
Kon sia magliki-liki                       When she sways her hips
Daw bulak sang camantigue.      She looks like rose balsam


The things that were noticeable in composo and couplets is the non-recognition or anonymity of its author. These were created by the people for their sheer entertainment and fun. This is just an aspect of Ilonggo or Hiligaynon poetry.

The importance of moro-moro, comedies and zarzuelas or plays in poetry is the presentation of the names and personalities which can be called today as pioneers in Hiligaynon poetry. This generation or period of dramatists and authors of verses include Angel Magahum, Eriberto Gumban, Antonio Ledesma Jayme and Valentin Cristobal. Recent noted Ilonggo poets include former Iloilo governor Conrado Norada, Ramon Muzones and award-winning author Peter Solis Nery.

Following these pioneers is the Golden Age of Ilonggo or Hiligaynon Poetry in the verses of Flavio Zaragoza Cano, Delfin Gumban, Magdalena Jalandoni and Serapion de la Torre. The poetry is an effective link for political education, lifestyle and culture of the masses. The poets in Hiligaynon were also the poets in Spanish and its bilingual form enriches the vernacular or local literature.

Flavio Zaragoza Cano is third to be crowned as the “Prince of the Ilonggo Poets”. A politician and leader of the American creators of the Empire. However his political and cultural ideas were much greater in Spanish language. He expressed the Hiligaynon lyricism while exposing in the fiery Spanish verses the showing of gratitude of the Filipino to Spain and the bad effects of the American occupation. His Hiligaynon verses is clothed with colorful Latin metaphors. The poetic stresses or meters of Zaragoza is completely Hiligaynon thus his poems is mostly music to the ears.

The “Halad Kay San Roque” (The Offering to Saint Roch) by Flavio Zaragoza is an example of a stress mark with eleven syllables that in Spanish poetry is classified as “verso de arte mayor”. The emphasis is usually at the sixth and tenth syllables if not at the top of fourth, eighth and tenth.


Ginpili ka sang Diwa nga baa-an
Mga mangin bulong sang amon kasakitan
Kay ikaw ang dalangpan nga dumaan
Sa balati-an nga labing dalitan.
O mahal nga San Roque,
Ang imo ngalan
Tima-an sang kalu-oy nga hamili
Kay bisan gani sa tunga sang dalan
Ang gugma nimo wala sing kapili. 

English Translation


You were chosen by the divine God

That will be the cure to our pains
Because you are the old refuge
From the illness that is so toxic or venomous
O beloved Saint Roch,
Your name
Is a sign of precious mercy
Because even in the middle of the road
Your love is unconditional

The difference of verses “arte mayor” and “arte manor” is in the number of syllables of the verses. All verses lower than nine syllables belongs to “arte manor”. The verses which consists of nine or more syllables belongs to the “versos de arte mayor”. Zaragoza is an expert in writing poems of “arte manor”.


Ang bulan sa Mayo            The month of May
Bulan sang sinadya            Month of merrymaking or merriment
Among pagsaulog              We celebrate
Kay Virgen Maria              To the Virgin Mary
May mga pagdayaw          There are praises and honor
nga labing toto-o               which are for real
sa ngalan sang Iloy            In the name of the mother
sang aton Guino-o             Of our God
Sa mata may luha,             In the eyes, there were tears,
May paghinulsol               There is a regret
asawang batan-on             Young wife / husband
Daw sa may pagbasol.      There is some blaming
Sa labing pagsunggod        In her great displeasure
na pilas ang dughan          The heart was wounded
nga hulat nga tamdan        waiting to be attended
kag ulo-ulohan                 and cajoled

Zaragoza is one of the famous “Trinidad Poetica Ilongga”. The two others were Serapion de la Torre and Delfin Gumban.

A delegate from Agusan in the 1934 Constitutional Convention, lawyer and former Justice, Delfin Gumban became a Spanish professor in a university in Iloilo City. His “Suba Ang Kinabuhi” (River is the Life) though marked or influenced with Spanish poet Jorge Manrique is featured as a classic in vernacular poetry.


Suba ang kinabuhi, Naga-ilig      River is the life, flowing
Wa-ay langan kag padayon        Non-stop and continuous
Sa lawod sang kamatayon          In the sea of death
Wala sa gahum kag manggad.    Not in power and wealth.
Mag-alangay ang binilog            Equality in mankind
Halangdon kag pinanambi,         Honorable and adjoining
bata, lampong kag tigulang       child, young and old
Wala sing kapin kag kulang        No more no less
Ang madalom kag manabaw,     The deep and the shallow,
  ang mainit kag masulog .           the hot and cold
Sa dagat tanan madulog.            In ocean all will stop
Ang gamhanan kag timawa        The powerful and the noblemen
  sa lulubngan magatulog.           In tomb will sleep
Diin ang mga tanda-an               Where art thy signs?
   sang kahimtangan napanas        of the condition faded
Katulad sang mga pangpang       Just like the banks
   sang suba nga nagalana!           of the river become greasy!


“Ang Gitara,” (The Guitar) by Magdalena Jalandoni is an ode of love and retrospect that according to Delfin Gumban is enough to enshrine Jalandoni as the first lyrical poet of the country. Doña Magdalena Jalandoni who is a famous Jareña, belongs to the period of time with Zaragoza and Gumban. She has a deep and profound learning and readings in Spanish and not just wrote in that language just like the poets of her time. Nevertheless, she possessed an extraordinary proficiency in Spanish meters. Let’s leave “Ang Gitara” speaks on behalf of the poetic Parnassus.


Ang baw-ing nga manga dalan      The desolated roads
 kon hadkan kag pasili-on              if kissed and polished
Sang bulan nga naga-ugsad           Of the full moon
 kag nangin angay sa sulu              which became like a lamp
Upod sa kulas sang hangin    Together with the rustling of the wind
  nga halus gani bati-on                which was barely heard
Ang guitara nagabuylog         The guitar is accompanying
  hinay nga hilibi-on                      gentle soft weeping
Sa pagsuguid sang kasakit            In telling the misery
  nga una niyang guinmulu.           which he lamented first
Halin sa patag kag bukid          From the fields and mountains
   nga sang bulan napawa-an         of the moon enlightened
Halin sa payag nga diotay             From the small hut
nga daw guinbuksan sing hungod  which seems like it was  
                                                         intentionally opened
Pamatii kay galanton ang          Listen it is humming a tune
  guitara nga duma-an                the guitar which is antiquated



Pamatii kay gatu-aw ang           Listen for the shout
    nahut niyang balaan                  of his sacred piece
Sang paghoy nga sa gugma       In the outburst that in love
    kag sa kamingaw natungod.     and in loneliness is referring to
Kag ayhan sa kasingkasing       And perhaps in the heart
    sang gakuskos nga tag-iya      of an owner who is brushing
May unay nga kasulub-on        There is an attachment of sadness
   nga dili didto makakas             that it will never be removed there
Kay samtang nagalanton          ‘Cos while humming
    ang tagsa ka nahut niya           each of his piece
Wala sing dili mawili     Nothing will never make you hooked up to
     sa pagpamati sa iya,                in listening to him
Wala sing dili bumatyag        No one will not feel or numbed
      sing kasulub-on nga lakas.     the sadness that is so strong


The Ilonggo poetry is, without a doubt, one of the richest treasure chest of our spiritual patrimony as a race. The poets of this language discusses all the angles of everyday living. Today, free stanzas are spreading.

The greatest poets in Hiligaynon today and in recent years were Santiago Alv. Mulato who is also known for his novels and chief editor in Ilonggo philology, Isidro Escarre Abeto, Joaquin Sola, Donato B. Flor de Liza, Conrado Norada, Ramon Muzones, Jerry V. Bionat and Peter Solis Nery. Just like their Spanish predecessors, they maintained without fading the measurement or size and form of poems, even the themes of patriotism and nationalism, history of glorious tradition of Ilonggo poetry.

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