Lola, Iba Nang Maray An Kinaban

Lola, ano ta dakul daraga ngonyan, nagaaki
Pero mayong agom?
Ano ta kaidto ‘La dakulang disgrasya an
Simbaga daw ko ‘La kun ano ta dakul daraga ngonyan
Nagyoyopyop na nin Malboro
Magpabuga garo tsiminiya
An koko madarag na, an hangaw mabata pa

Ano ta ngonyan dai na napondo an tawo pagbagting nin alas seis
Magkimotkimot an nguso nin pamibi sa Angeles
Ano ta diit na an nangungurus pag-agi sa simbahan?

Garo baga an mga drayber na sana kan Francia
An napangurus ta habong madisgrasya
May rosaryo pang sabit, ginagamit na anting-anting baga

Ano ta an mga bagongtawo kun mabisa ,
Tinitikwas na sana an palad ninda,
Binibisa an saindang angog mansana?

Ano ta bako nang tarakot an daraga makipagseks
Sa lalaking kapwa liberated
sa bagay na dapat ginigibo sana, kaidtong may lisensya?

Ano ta dakul nang nabibihag sa teks sana,
Madaling mapasimbag, mapa-oyon
Paagi nin selpon, sa lalaking tataong magdoondoon?

Lola, ano ta iba nang maray an kinaban?
Kaidto balalong totoo an pinopokpok kun may
Gustong inaapod

Lola, kaidto kamo kun sinisirip nin mga pilyo
Sinusukib an tiklad sa pantaw, maanyapan an susong nakalaylay
Kan daragang nagtatabo’ sa dulay

Dai mo aram ‘La, dai na kaipuhan ngonyan an pantaw
Makamansay lang nin lubot na hilaw?

Iba na talaga, ta an mga tinedyer ta
Sa monitor nasirip sana, nasurf sa mga sex sites baga
Gabos na klaseng boobs, mga baak pa, nakikita ninda!

Lola, ako nariribong
Dai ko marorop an gabos ining nagtatalibong
Iba nang maray an hiro, an nginisi asin an harakatak
Iba naman na maray an mga bagay na pigkakasibotan
Pigkakaintresan, sabihon pa kompyuter an pigkakarongawan!

Naiba na kaya an pagtubod kan mga tawo?

Kaidto simple an orolay
Dapit lang sa karsonsilyong laylay
O ki Kikay na nalislis an tapis

O ki Gurang Kakoy na paramama
Mapula na an ngipngip kasasapa
Kan bunga, apog sa buyo na dahon

Lola, iba na palan an kinaban mo
Sa kinaban kan saimong apo

Posted in 1. Leave a Comment »


It is always fascinating to trace the roots or origins of words.

The etymology offers us an explanation of how a word came about. Consider for instance these two Bikol words, pandog and takal.

The meaning of pandog intrigues me. My mother explained to me it was used in the days of Spanish occupation to punish serious offenders by locking the head and the two hands of a malefactor in a block of two pieces of wood.

Now, in English “pillory” is the exact equivalent of this contrivance.

How come Bikol has evolved a word for “pillory”? Since this is not Spanish-derived, it would seem to suggest bikol society had already devised an interesting way of punishing offenders even earlier than Spanish colonization… In this contrivance, an offender can move or walk about but he carries a dead weight and definitely he is placed in a very awkward position, looking like a buffoon..

Yet, I failed to find this word in Lisboa’s Vocabulario de la lengua bicol. His entry for the word PANDOG means a “trap”(Sp. cepo, p. 275). Is this simply an extension of meaning?. Lisboa’s pandog does not explicitly describe the physical design of the trap Unless the trap is one that locks into one’s leg like an “atipil”, it is farfetched to assume the new meaning originated from the idea of a “trap”. Such extension of meaning would seem inappropriate for while a trap ( li’tag, a Bikol synonym) is passive as it waits only for a prey, a pandog is active as it is purposely clamped upon a person to limit his physical movement.

My mother, who explained to me the construction of this contrivance, often quoted a proverb,: An maisog harani sa pandog (A cruel person is neighbor to a pillory, or Cruelty will reap its just reward.) Likewise, Malanyaon, in his book , Istorya Kan Kabikolan (1991), also includes this same proverb in his collection.

The Bicol editor of Balalong, Luis G. Dato, also quoted a similar proverb in two forms: “An maisog harani sa pandog” and “Marhay an daog ta harayo sa pandog.” (Better a person who is humble for he is far from a garrote) . This appeared on page 3 of the March 4, 1977 issue of Balalong, a now defunct weekly newspaper in Naga City. Since Dato did not give an English translation, I took the liberty of making one according to his understanding of the word.

Dato translated the word “pandog” as a garrote (vide, same issue, same page of Balalong, in his regular section Pambihirang tataramon sa Bikol)

I tend to disagree with Dato, however, for a garrote is a Spanish device; an iron collar, in fact, used for executing criminals by wringing the neck and the old Bikols were unlikely to have invented a similar device, especially if it was made of iron altho the act of wringing the neck, or an act similar to the movement of a torque, is “pagbibiling” in Bikol.

So, where does that leave us as regards the valid meaning of “pandog”? I would still hold to my view “pandog” means “pillory” since the contraption is simply made of wood and, if ever- although it seems far-fetched- it could be an extension of meaning from the old word Lisboa referred to as a “cepo”.

Mintz and Britanico in their Bikol-English dictionary (1985) affirmed the meaning I placed to this word. In page 413, this is their entry: PANDOG, pillory, stocks.

Now, what about “takal”?

Takal as used by vendors in Naga City refer to metal currency or “coins” as distinguished from paper money. This also brings up an interesting observation.

The word takal could have sprung up etymologically in this manner: 1. It could be an ancient reference to the old practice of using shells (cowrie shells or clams) for currency as I half-seriously proposed in a previous article (Takal- Bingkay Na Kwarta Kan Mga gugurang?), or 2.) The word could be ancient and related to coinage or currency and drawn from a much older language such as Sanskrit or Chinese,or 3. It is an authentic Bikol word which only happens to be similar in sound and spelling to another bikol word, takal, referring to a specie of clam

So far no historian has discovered if the old Bikols ever possess a pre-Hispanic minting technology although they were noted by the Spanish chroniclers to be the “best artificers of gold” in the country. Gold processing was highly advanced and the old Bikols had technical words to describe every aspect of gold processing and metal working.

Consider these words we draw from Lisboa’s Vocabulario:

Dudulangan, dulangan la mina de cualquier metal (mine; the mining of metal) (p. 128)
Hirapo, gold of highest carat (p.185)
Dalisay, gold of “muy fino de quilates” (p. 115)
Panica, oro fino en quilates (gold of high carat)) (p. 276)
Harom, dark gold or gold of lower carat(p. 171)
Gasak, inferior kind of gold, brittle gold) (p. 138)
Bisig, gold with so many impurities(p. 67)
Hinolog, gold containing many impurities(p. 182)
Malamote, gold mixed with too much silver (241)
Apis, separating gold from grit or dirt (p.
Bare, (to barter two tael of inferior gold with one tael of fine gold ) (p. 58)
Tamas, refining of gold (p. 377)
Gangob, purify or refine gold in a forge (p. 135)
Babasingan, weighing scale for taels of gold(p. 60)
Sangbasing na bulawan, a tael of gold

My mother passed on to me these words related to metal- and gold-working: sanghid(to assay ) and bita (ore). From the sense of the word, Fr. Luis Dimarumba coined the name of his 10-page weekly paper in 1927 Sanghiran Nin Bikol.

Possessed with advanced knowledge in goldworking, did the old Bikols succeed in making gold coins? This is an interesting speculation.

Interestingly, Mintz & Britanico acknowledged the presence of the word “takal” in Bikol. In their Bikol-English Dictionary (1985), right on page 508 we find these entries:

takal (sp-) clam
takal any big coin

Current usage does not connote the size or the kind of coin (whether gold or silver or an alloy) in use but rather more in reference to metallic currency as against paper money.

Incidentally, there is this book by Ramon Villegas published by the Bangko Sentral Ng Pilipinas (2004) on the subject of gold and gold coins: Ginto, History Wrought In Gold I have to see a copy. It must be an excellent piece of research on Philippine goldmaking.

Posted in 1. Leave a Comment »

Mga Kantang Bikol


Ining kulibangbang
makuri an lipongaw,
sa tanogd nin burak na
pusong nagtitios sain nanambitan.

An hamot mo jasmin abaa na
sa pusong may sakit nakakaranga
tibaad mahale an sakit ko pasironga.


Nagdudusa an puso ko
nagtatangis huli simo
dai ako nagpepensar
na ako mo pabayaan
sa kinaban.

Ay ay ay ay pobreng
haen ka na mahal na
sakong kadamaydamay
daing iba ika sana
an maranga kan puso kong

*Hale ini sa Balalong, sa paluwas kani kan Abril 1, 1977 asin parte kan Coleccion Nin Mga Kanta ni Luis G. Dato.

Posted in 1. Leave a Comment »


I was rummaging thru my collection of old newspapers and I saw this pile of yellowing, musty copies of a local paper very popular in Naga city way back in the late 1970’s and 1980’s.It was Balalong, a weekly founded by Juan F. Triviño in 1975.

Balalong was my favorite paper and I made concious effort to collect them for it had a soft spot for Bikol history and culture. I flipped over some pages of some issues. I was curious to know what articles then took their fancy to write. In the issue of April 1, 1977, I saw a very interesting item by Luis General, Jr. (now deceased) in his column “Yesterday In Today”.

This article of his struck me as an eye-opener of our situation even today. But he was making a doleful observation of something which happened over 30 years ago.

I quote him:

“Ten Bikolistas from 3 provinces attended their monthly meeting last Saturday. In a shelf in the conference room of the Archbishop’s residence where the meeting was held, they found some 300 copies of Dr. Domingo C. Abella’s Bikol Annals, as undisturbed as when they were deposited there 23 years ago soon after the book came out of the press. The late Msgr. Pedro P. Santos , then Archbishop of Caceres helped pay for the publication expenses, and Dr. Abella delivered to him a sizable part of the 1,000 copies printed.

“Archbishop Alberto last Saturday described the book in the Bikol equivalent of “unputdownable” – once you pick it up and start reading it, you would not like to put it down – but only if you are civilized enough to realize the value of history. That about one-fifth of the meager 1,000 copies printed are still lying unread in a shelf in the archbishops’s house 23 years after the publication date is damaging proof of the Bicolano’s historical illiteracy. In fact, this was the main reason why Idoy Abella never came to write the second column (he must mean the second volumeblogger) of Bikol Annals.”

It’s a pity the author was so discouraged he no longer attempted to put into book form the remaining archival material he had so painstakingly collected from primary sources. What happened to them? Perhaps they could still be retrieved and someone close to the family could still work on them to make them see the light of day.I am sure they would be of immense value, not only to the students of history but also to ordinary Filipinos.

And what is the Bikol Annals all about? It deals on Philippine ecclesiastical history with special bias for the Bikol see of Nueva Caceres. Altho it talks mainly of bishops, priests and church affairs, in the words of the author, it also perforce bring out “many interesting slants on the civil government, social life, and cultural development of Bikolandia through the centuries of its colonial history.”

Abella was waxing enthusiastic and almost declared he would come out with other volumes as he gave us an inkling of what to expect.

As he stated in the preface of Volume 1, “The latter volumes will consist of a collection of documents- papal bulls, briefs and apostolic letters, royal decrees, reports of bishops and governors general, and chronicles of missionaries- relating to topics and issues either directly or indirectly affecting the Bikol provinces. The purpose is to fashion a documentary arsenal for the ready reference and correct guidance of students of our regional history.”

Abella spent his personal fortunes to dig out these materials from the archives of Spain, Rome and Mexico. One could just imagine the frustration he felt due to the outcome of his first major work.

Posted in 1. Leave a Comment »