“Lord Patawad” by Bassilyo: Lyrics & English translation

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The first line is the original Tagalog text, the second line is a gloss, and the third line is an idiomatic translation. Bold text is the chorus.

Video

Lyrics

Kinakausap lang Kita kapag ako’y nangangailangan
[converse-V-OF-COMP] [only] [to you] [when] [I] [need-V-AF-INC]
I only talk to You when I need something

Baka may kakilala Ka na pwede kong utangan
[Perhaps] [there is] [acquaintenance] [your] [that] [can] [I] [borrow-V-INF]
Perhaps you know someone from whom I can borrow money

Kasi alam Mo na sa tong-its talo ako
[Because] [know-V-INF] [you] [that] [in] [Tong-its] [loser] [me]
Because surely you know I lost at Tong-its[1]This is a card game similar to rummy. It is often used for gambling, usually with small amounts such as P1 or P5 coins, but any amount can be wagered.

Pwede bang bigyan ako kahit anim na numero?
[Could] [interrogative] [give-OF-INF] [me] [even] [six] [] [number]?
How about you just tell me six simple numbers?[2]This is an allusion to a state-run lottery game played with six numbers popular in Metro Manila.

Kinakausap lang Kita kapag ako’y nangangailangan
[converse-V-OF-COMP] [only] [to you] [when] [I] [need-V-AF-INC]
I only talk to You when I need something

Sana’y may artista na maka-date man lamang
[If only] [there is] [artist] [that] [become-date-V-MAKA-INF] [[at least]]
How about you help me find a celebrity[3]In this context, “artista” can best be understood as “celebrity”, not “artist” as in a painter. In the Philippines, singers and dancers are also called “artistas”. This is possible in English, but not common. to date?

Okay lang sa akin kahit na si Joyce Jimenez
[Okay] [only] [[with-me]] [even] [that] [NAME-FOLLOWS-ANG] [[Joyce Jimenez]]
I’d even appreciate being hooked up with Joyce Jimenez

Sana ako’y pumogi, pumuti at maging flawless
[If only] [I am] [handsome-AF-INF], [white-AF-INF] [and] [become-AF-INF] [flawless]
If only You’d make me handsome, white and flawless!

Kinakausap lang Kita kapag ako’y nangangailangan
[converse-V-OF-COMP] [only] [to you] [when] [I] [need-V-AF-INC]
I only talk to You when I need something

Noong ako’y binasted ng aking nililigawan
[Then] [I am] [rejected-SLANG] [of] [my] [courtship]
Now that I’ve been rejected (by a woman)

Problemado po ako at wala ‘kong pang-inom
[Heavyheaded] [FORMAL-PARTICLE] [I] [and] [no] [mine] [drink-NOUN]
I’m troubled and I’ve nothing to drink

Ang hina ko Sa’yo, yun ang hinala ko noon
[The] [weakness] [mine] [to-you] [that] [the] [suspicion] [mine]
I’m starting to suspect that I’m not Your favorite[4]This line is quite interesting. A more literal translation may be “I suspect you know that I’m (spiritually) weak”. It is word play with the words “hina” (weakness) and “hinala” (suspicion). I consulted with a native speaker for my idiomatic translation of “I suspect I’m not your favorite (due to my spiritual weakness)”

Kinakausap lang Kita kapag ako’y nangangailangan
[converse-V-OF-COMP] [only] [to you] [when] [I] [need-V-AF-INC]
I only talk to You when I need something

Ang aking iniisip puro pan-sarili lamang
[The] [my] [think-V-OF-INC] [completely] [selfish] [nothing but]
I only ever think about myself

at kapag may mabigat na problema at seryoso
[and] [when] [there is] [heavy-ADJ] [] [problem] [and] [serious]
And only when I have a pressing problem

Doon ko lang naaalala ang pangalan Mo
[Then] [I] [only] [remember-V-AF-COMP] [the] [name] [you]
Only then do I remember Your name!

[CHORUS]
Lord, patawad!
[Lord], [excuse]
Lord, forgive me!

Pagkat ako’y makasalanan
[[For I am]] [sinful-ADJ]
For I am a sinner

Makasalanang nilalang
[sinful-ADJ] [creature]
I am but a sinful creature

[Repeat chorus]

Ako’y nagsisimba kapag gusto ko lang
[I am] [worship-V-A2F-CONT] [when] [enjoy] [me] [only]
I worship You[5]In this context, “worship” means “go to Church”. This turn of phrase may surprise those of a Protestant background, but it is natural here. only when I feel like it

‘Pag may bagong damit na ipagyayabang
[When] [there is (i.e. I have)] [new] [clothing] [] [boast-V-BENEFACTIVE(OF)-CONT]
When I have new clothes to show off

‘Pag may bagong biling mahal na pabango
[When] [there is] [new] [buy-INF + ng] [expensive-ADJ] [] [perfume]
Or when I’ve bought a new expensive perfume

Kapag bago ang shoes o kaya ang relo
[When] [new] [the] [shoes] [or] [for that matter] [the] [watch]
Or when I’ve got a new pair of shoes or a new watch

Ako’y nagsisimba kapag gusto ko lang
[I am] [worship-V-A2F-CONT] [when] [enjoy] [me] [only]
I worship You only when I feel like it

Pag may jowa akong makakalampungan
[When] [there is] [girlfriend-SLANG-RUDE (implies the relationship is not serious or will not last long)] [my] [wild courtship-V-MAKA-CONT]
When I’ve hooked up with a new girl

Kapag may mga bebot na ang gaganda
[When] [there is] [plural] [woman-SLANG] [that] [] [beautiful-V-AF-INC]
Or when there are beautiful women around

Kapag merong baklitang[6]This is a play on words. In Filipino, bakla means a homosexual man, while balita means news. So a baklita can be interpreted as a story somehow related to being gay — in this case a humorous one. nakakatawa
[When] [there is] [news + ng] [laugh-V-CAUSATIVE-INC]
Or when there will be gays telling funny stories

Ako’y nagsisimba kapag gusto ko lang
[I am] [worship-V-A2F-CONT] [when] [enjoy] [me] [only]
I worship You only when I feel like it

‘Pag andyan ang tropa’t nagkayayaan
[When] [there] [the] [troupe + at (and)] [group-decision[7]According to this page (http://www.diegomaranan.com/?p=203) at least.]
When my band and I go to worship as a group

Hahanap ako ng mapagtitripan
[look for-V-OF-CONT] [me] [] [trip-SLANG-V-CAUSATIVE-A2F-INC-ADJ[8]There’s a lot to unpack with this word. It’s a slang word by way of English “trip”. It’s first conjugated in the causative (pag…an) actor 2 focus (CAUSATIVE A2F) resulting in pagtripan, which by itself would be “to cause to trip”. Its aspect is incompleted, resulting in pagtitripan (“to cause to trip [ongoing action]”). The addition of “ma-” is what makes this word so interesting, in that it turns the verb into an adjective describing an unnamed noun, making mapagtitripan, i.e. “[something which] would cause me to “trip”/to be distracted”. See also http://learningtagalog.com/grammar/verbs/verb_affixes/pagan_3.html]
I’m looking around for anything to distract my attention

Pagkatapos ng Misa ay aabangan
[After] [] [Holy Mass] [is] [anticipate-V-OF-CONT]
The end of Mass cannot come soon enough!

[Repeat chorus 2x]

Akala ko dati ay kaya ko na
[Believe] [my] [formerly] [is] [able to] [me] []
I once thought I was able to

Kaya ko nang mabuhay mag-isa
[Able to] [me] [ADV-MARKER] [live-ADJ] [one-V-AF-INF]
Live on my own

Ang daming trabaho, babae’t pera
[The] [plenty] [job], [women + at (and)] [money]
I’d plenty of work, women and money

‘Pag ako’y sagana ‘di Kita kilala
[When] [[I am]] [abundance] [not] [to You] [be-acquainted-V-AF-INF]
When I wanted for nothing, You were last on my mind

Naalala Kita noong ako’y nakulong
[Remember-V-AF-COMP] [to You] [when] [[I am]] [trap-ADJ-COMP]
I remember You when I’m caught in a bind

Parang bubuyog, bulong ng bulong
[Like] [bumblebee], [REDUPLICATION [whisper-ROOT] [] [whisper-ROOT]]
Like a bumblebee, I buzz in Your ear

‘Pag may kamalasan sa ‘king nangyari
[When] [there is] [bad luck] [in] [my] [happen-V-AF-COMP]
When my luck has turned for the worse

Ikaw lang nang Ikaw aking sinisisi
[You] [only] [] [You] [my] [blame-V-OF-CONT]
You are the one who I am first to blame

Kapag merong debate, sinong magaling?
[When] [there is + ng] [debate], [who + ng] [awesome-ADJ]
If we will debate, who is the awesome one?

Sinong matuwid sino ang nagsinungaling?
[Who + ng] [righteous-ADJ] [who] [the] [liar-V-AF-COMP]
Which of us is righteous? Which of us tells lies?

Ako’y naiiling at mistulang sanggol
[[I am]] [troublesome-ADJ-COMP] [and] [identical to + ng] [baby]
I’m whinging to you like a baby

‘Di man lamang Kita kayang ipagtanggol
[Not] [[at least]] [to You] [able to + NG] [defend-V-BENEFACTIVE-INF]
I cannot even defend myself before You

SINOSOLO KO LANG ANG BIGAY MONG BLESSING!
[Uniquely] [me] [only] [the] [give] [You + ng] [blessing]!
I’m the only one asking for Your favor!

Kumanta ako dapat ay bayad din
[sing-V-AF-COMP] [I] [[must be]] [payment] [also/in kind]
I’m singing this, aren’t I? Surely I deserve to be paid

Bakit nga ba Sa’yo ay wala akong time
[[Why]] [INTERROGATIVE] [is] [no] [my] [time]
Why do I have no time to worship You?

Pa’no kung Ikaw na ang mawalan sa akin ng time?
[How] [if] [You] [that] [the] [deprived-ADJ] [towards] [me] [of] [time]?
Why is it that You’re robbing me of time?

Lord, patawad (forgive me)
Lo-o-o-o,o-o-o
Lord…
Lord, Lord, Lord, patawad (forgive me)
Lo-o-o-o,o-o-o
Lord…

Sa puso ko’y lagi Siyang kumakatok
[To] [heart] [[of mine]] [always] [He + ng] [knock-V-AF-INC]
God’s always knocking at the door of my heart

‘Di ko binuksan, ‘di ko pinapasok
[Not] [me] [open-V-OF-COMP], [not] [me] [pass-V-OF-COMP]
I don’t open it, I don’t let Him pass

Tuktok ng bundok na Kanyang inakyat
[Summit] [of] [mountain] [that] [He + ng] [go up-V-OF-INF]
The Lord ascended to the top of a mountain

Tignan ko pa lang ako ay nilagnat
[See] [me] [[only when]] [I] [is] [fever-ADJ-CONT]
Yet I only see Him there when I have a fever

Dapat ako ang ipako sa Cross
[Should] [I] [the] [nail-V-BENEFACTIVE-INF] [to the] [cross]
Shouldn’t I nail myself to the Cross?

Dapat ako ay siyang nanlilimos
[Should] [I] [is] [him + ng] [beg-V-AF-CONT]
Shouldn’t I be begging?

Nag-awad ng tawad sa ating Ama
[Mercy-V-AF-INT] [of] [forgiveness-ROOT] [to] [our] [Father]
We ask for the forgiveness of our merciful Heavenly Father

Ngunit masama pa ang pinadama
[However] [bad] [as yet] [the] [feeling]
However in our hearts we still feel bad

Dadadadadadadadadada

Puro ako salita at dada
[All] [me] [word] [and] [“dada”]
Everything I say may as well be “dada”

Sa biyaya ako’y naaatat
[Towards] [grace] [[I am]] [impatient-ADJ-COMP]
I am so impatient to receive Your favor

Pero kahit kailan ‘di nagpasalamat
[But] [even] [when] [not] [thanks-V-CAUSATIVE-AF-COMP]
Yet when I do get it I don’t even say thanks

Nagduda ako sa kakayahan Mo
[Doubt-V-AF-COMP] [I] [towards] [power] [you]
I doubt Your power

‘Di ako nararapat Sa’yo
[Not] [I] [worthy-ADJ] [to you]
I am not worthy of Your grace

Masyado akong mapagmalaki
[Too much] [I + ng] [proud-ADJ]
I am far too proud and vain

Pero kahit kailan, hindi Ka nag-higanti
[But] [even] [when], [not] [You] [revenge-V-AF-COMP]
But despite that, You show me mercy!

[Repeat chorus 2x]

Commentary

This song was extremely popular when I first came to the Philippines. It was played on television and radio constantly. It was the first major hit of rapper Bassilyo (Lordivino Ignacio). Although when I was new to the country I could only remember the chorus, this song stuck with me during the years I’ve spent learning Tagalog. It really is a masterpiece, there are many places in the song where double entendres are in the lyrics, such as the ambiguous use of sisi and the wordplay with hina and hinala.

I hope my translation does justice to the author’s intent. What I really like about this song is that it is rap, but the rap that becomes popular in the Philippines is so different than what becomes popular in the West. In this song, Bassilyo repents for his sinful nature and boastful ways…it is the opposite of Western rap, and that’s what makes it special.

TL Notes    [ + ]

1. This is a card game similar to rummy. It is often used for gambling, usually with small amounts such as P1 or P5 coins, but any amount can be wagered.
2. This is an allusion to a state-run lottery game played with six numbers popular in Metro Manila.
3. In this context, “artista” can best be understood as “celebrity”, not “artist” as in a painter. In the Philippines, singers and dancers are also called “artistas”. This is possible in English, but not common.
4. This line is quite interesting. A more literal translation may be “I suspect you know that I’m (spiritually) weak”. It is word play with the words “hina” (weakness) and “hinala” (suspicion). I consulted with a native speaker for my idiomatic translation of “I suspect I’m not your favorite (due to my spiritual weakness)”
5. In this context, “worship” means “go to Church”. This turn of phrase may surprise those of a Protestant background, but it is natural here.
6. This is a play on words. In Filipino, bakla means a homosexual man, while balita means news. So a baklita can be interpreted as a story somehow related to being gay — in this case a humorous one.
7. According to this page (http://www.diegomaranan.com/?p=203) at least.
8. There’s a lot to unpack with this word. It’s a slang word by way of English “trip”. It’s first conjugated in the causative (pag…an) actor 2 focus (CAUSATIVE A2F) resulting in pagtripan, which by itself would be “to cause to trip”. Its aspect is incompleted, resulting in pagtitripan (“to cause to trip [ongoing action]”). The addition of “ma-” is what makes this word so interesting, in that it turns the verb into an adjective describing an unnamed noun, making mapagtitripan, i.e. “[something which] would cause me to “trip”/to be distracted”. See also http://learningtagalog.com/grammar/verbs/verb_affixes/pagan_3.html

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