Ang kanta ni Papa

The only times I hear my father sing are during Holy Weeks. Ang kanta niya, ‘pasyon’. Su dakul na ” ahahaahhhh”. Which reminds me of Tarzan. Pero bako po siya si Tarzan. Bako man siya kapamilya ni Barok dahil mestizo siya. Mana kay lolo na maputi, halangkaw ang dungo saka garo may halong Kastila.

Anyway, as I was saying, my father is a singer of ‘pasyon’. Whether the proper Bikol noun for singers like him is “cantor” or “cantador”, I am not sure. But he really sings pasyon, a religious song that lasts for 24 hours. And he sings well. Pasyon is a family tradition from his generation backwards. Some cousins, though, are still engaged with it but not all.

Aside from pasyon, I rarely hear my father sing any song. Medyo shy type si paderes saka bako maribok. He encourages us to sing, though, and even gave us musical instruments as gifts. The other rare occasion that I was able to make him sing a song was when Prof. Eden Nasayao mandated us to submit Bicol folk songs and literatures in one of her English classes. One song my father sang is Salampati which he recalled from memory and I quote:



Salampating guminaro,

Guminaro dahil sako.

Ano daw an kinamundo

Luminayog nin harayo.


Luminayog paibaba,

Tuminuro sakong luha,

Naging salog, naging sapa

Naging danao na dakula.


It’s a sad song though. I have been trying to recall it from memory two days ago when I almost hit a dove while driving. It was only this morning that I was able to recall the lyrics. Too bad we don’t have a repository of such songs. Hopefully such songs will not fade and hopefully, there are still fathers who can recall such songs from memory.


Bicol tongue in a coma?

Just recently, a professor from Ateneo was reported to have successfully defended a new term in the Filipino Dictionary. The term: LOBAT.

Yes, “Lobat” as in low battery. But while Filipino is improving by “copying” foreign tongue, medyo nalalaag sa  comatose ang lenguaheng Bikolnon. Primero pa sana, warang nagtuturo ki tataramon na Bikolnon sa mga eskuwelahan. I only had a Bicol-related subject when I reached college. So even if I am a Bicolano by birth, tiko pa giraray an lenguahe ko. Even the spelling, if you will note, medyo baralanggado. Honestly, I am not a fluent speaker in Bicol tongue. Maski minsan ang tono ko “promdi”, an mga tataramon na gamit ko halo-halong Tagalog, English, Bicol tsaka me diit na Spanish.

And I wanted to learn more. I don’t want to be hypocrite like Jose Rizal who said in Spanish na: An dai tataong mamoot sa sadiring lenguahe mas maraot pa ang parong sa rugok na sira.

Second, I also believe that preserving a tongue is by means of using it and not hiding it in the safe or in the closet. Hopefully, I can also find help from you or any government authority, non-government organization, etc., to help preserve this tongue and share this advocacy. We can share posts or move the advocacy to other areas like legislation, etc.

In reality, though, there are also individuals and organizations who, intentionally or not, are also advocating the use of Bikol in any way they can. Me mga bareta na dakul sa Nagueano an nagsusurat na nin Bikol na tula asin mga prosa. Some schools also have their Bikolniana Libraries while local newspapers such as the Bicol Chronicle have its Ariwaga Section, and the Bicol Mail, its Bicol Section. The only thing needed is to boost their efforts.

What will the blog be?

Daily, I will try to  come up with a word of the day. From time to time, I will also write a tigsik or a rawit-dawit. I will also be posting lyrics of Bikol songs, poetry, and even verses. In most cases, I will be writing prose or snippets of what’s running in my mind.

Hopefully, we can collaborate on this matter.

Welcome to Biklish and enjoy reading!