“Sirena” by Gloc 9: Lyrics, explanation & English translation

Commentary

It’s usually my rule here on the blog that I don’t translate songs natives already have, so long as I wasn’t able to find their translation after a moderate amount of research. However, the ones I found online for this song, unfortunately had many errors which made me unsure if I was even understanding the song. Or, worse, were very whitewashed as regards the abuse in the song. After realizing I was right about footnote 3, I decided I needed to translate this.

Video

Lyrics & translation

[CHORUS]
Ako’y isang sirena
I am a mermaid[1]This translation is not exact. Sirena comes by way of Spanish in this case, where it has more negative connotations than in English, and is often used as a synonym for a femme fatalemujer fatal. Wikipedia has an article which attempts to explain the differences. There is also a connotation, similar to Spanish maricón, that makes the word slang for a homosexual man, (which obviously makes sense given the topic.)

Kahit anong sabihin nila
No matter what they say,

Ako ay ubod ng ganda
(I know) I’m very beautiful.

Ako’y isang sirena
I am a mermaid

Kahit anong gawin nila
No matter what they do,

Bandera ko’y di tutumba
My flag[2]Rainbow LGBT rights flag implied. will never fall

Drum na may tubig ang sinisisid
Into a drum of water I’m made to dive[3]In this context, it’s a punishment for a child seen as misbehaving. It’s also a reference to a Filipino joke, according to a comment on Reddit.

Naglalaki ang mga braso, sa’kin dumidikdik
Strong arms are holding me down

Drum na may tubig ang sinisisid
Into a drum of water I’m made to dive

Sa patagalan ng paghinga, sa’kin kayo ay bibilib
You’ll all be surprised at how long I can hold my breath

Simula pa nang bata pa ako,
From the start, when I was still a child

Halata mo na kapag naglalaro
You very easily noticed it[4]It, meaning his gender, or queerness (kabaklaan). Thanks to the anonymous commenter who left reply № 1 to this post! when I was playing

Kaya para lahat ay nalilito,
Of course for everyone it was confusing,

Magaling sa Chinese garter at piko
To see how good I was at Chinese garter[5]A game something like an opposite of the game of “limbo”. Instead of going under the fixed “garter” (rope, etc.), players cross over it. As it gets higher and higher, more and more difficult techniques will be required to jump over it. Most often played by little girls. and hopscotch

Mga labi ko’y pulang pula,
While I had lips, as red as could be,

Sa bubble gum na sinaba
Chewing gum loudly[6]Literally, “to a pulp” or “until flavorless”.

Palakad-lakad sa harapan ng salamin,
Always walking in front of the mirror,

Sinasabi sa sarili “ano’ng panama nila?”
Saying to myself, “who can match me?”[7]Literally, “what match are they to me?”, essentially a statement of extreme self-love.

Habang kumekembot ang bewang,
While I shake my booty,[8]This is a bit of artistic license on my part. Kembot is hard to exactly translate; sometimes “swaying hips” are used but it’s more like one single motion which pronounces the hips, often used by homosexual men in the Philippines.

Mga hikaw na gumegewang
With my earrings bouncing around,

Gamit ang pulbos na binili kay Aling Bebang
And powder on my face which I bought from Ms. Bebang

Upang matakpan ang mga pasa sa mukha
To hide the bruises on my face

Nga galing sa aking ama
Which my father gives me.

Na tila di natutuwa sa tuwing ako’y nasisilayan
It seems he hates even a glimpse of what I look like.

Laging nalalatayan,
He always gives me fresh wounds,

Sa paglipas ng panahon ay di ko namamalayan
So many that eventually I stop caring.[9]Literally, “I’m no longer aware.”

Na imbes na tumigas ay tila lalong lumlambot, ang puso kong mapagmahal
My tender heart, instead of hardening, seems to get even softer

Parang pilikmatang kulot.
Like eyelashes made curly[10]Literally, “like curly eyelashes”. This seemed like a non sequitur to me at first, maknig me wonder whether I understood the word kulot. Then, when I was looking through a dictionary, I found pilikmata pangkulot, eyelash curler. I decided to look into the process, now this line makes sense. From Bustle: “For the first 24 to 48 hours after the treatment, your lashes are still a little flexible, so avoid moisture for the first day or two.”

[REPEAT CHORUS]

Hanggang sa naging bibinata na ako
Even during[11]Literally, “until” or “through”. the time I was becoming a young man

(Teka muna mali, dalaga na pala ‘to)
(Well, rather, a young woman)

Pero bakit parang lahat ay nalilito pa rin?
Why is everyone still confused?

Ano bang mga problema nyo?
What is your problem?

Dahil ba ang mga kilos ko’y iba,
Is it just because I behave differently,

Sa dapat makita ng inyong mga mata?
Than from what’s proper in your eyes?

Sa tuwing nanonood ng liga laging natutulala
Whenever I watched basketball, I was always transfixed

Kahit di pumasok ang bola ako’y tuwang tuwa
Even if there wasn’t a goal, I was excited

Kahit kinalyo na sa tapang, kasi ganun na lamang
Even despite my callouses,[12]Literally, “even despite the callouses (inflicted upon me) by the brave”. Clearly, to me at least, somewhat mocking the bravery/manliness of leaving wounds on a child. I just learned to live with them[13]Ganun na lamang is similar to the Japanese phrase しょうがない (shōganai), and literally means “it’s just like that” but has a sense similar to “nothing can be done about it” or “it can’t be helped”.

Akong paluin ng tubo kahit kinakalawang
As I learned to live with being beaten by a rusty tube

Tama na naman itay, di na po ako pasaway
Enough daddy, I promise not to be naughty anymore

Di ko na po isusuot ang lumang saya ni inay
I won’t wear mommy’s old dresses anymore

Kapag ako’y naiiyak ay sumusugod sa ambon
When I feel the tears coming on, I’ll just cry in the rain

Iniisip ko na lamang na baka ako’y ampon
I’ll just think to myself, “maybe I’m adopted.”

Kasi araw araw na lamang ay walang humpay na banat
Because there is no end to our daily tension,

At inaabot ang ganda ko papailalim ng dagat
Neither to my reaching out for beauty underneath the sea.

[REPEAT CHORUS]

Lumipas ang mga taon na nagsipag-asawa
Years have passed since the marriages

Aking mga kapatid, lahat sila’y sumama
Of all my siblings, they all live (with their spouses)[14]Literally, “are together”.

Nagpakalayo-layo; ni hindi makabisita
Far away; they aren’t able to visit

Kakain na po itay; nakahanda na ang lamesita
Time to eat, Dad; the table is ready for you

Akay akay sa paglakad paisa isang hakbang
You’re led in by the hand, one step at a time

Ngayo’y buto’t balat ang dati matipunong katawan
Your once muscular frame is now just skin and bones

Ngayon sa inyong kaarawan, susubukan kong palitan
Now that it’s your birthday, I’ll try to replace

Ang lungkot na nadarama, wag na po nating balikan
The sadness that you’re feeling, let’s not go back to how things were before

Kahit medyo naiinis hindi dahil sa nagca-cancer
Even though you’re annoyed, and not due to your cancer

Kasi dahil ang tagapag-alaga mo’y nakaduster
But rather because your son is taking care of you in a duster[15]A type of cheap dress for wearing around the house.

Isang gabi, ako’y iyong tinawag
One night, you call for me

Lumapit ako sa’yong tabi, ika’y tumangan
I come close to you, you grab hold of me

Kumapit ka sa aking kamay kahit hirap magsalita
You cling to my hand, and say, even though it’s hard for you to say it:

“Anak, patawad sana sa lahat ng aking nagawa
“Son, please forgive all I’ve done

Di sinusukat ang tapang at ang bigote sa mukha
A man doesn’t need a moustache to be brave[16]Literally, “a man’s bravery isn’t measured along with his moustache.”

Dahil kung minsan mas lalake pa sa lalake ang bakla”
Because sometimes, bakla[17]The word bakla in the Philippines is used also for all three: crossdressers, gay men, and transexuals. A footnote really cannot explain why. If you are interested, I recommend Ceperiano, et al. (2016), “Girl, Bi, Bakla, Tomboy”: The Intersectionality of Sexuality, Gender, and Class in Urban Poor Contexts”, § Philippine Cultural Context, p. 8 make better men than men do.”

[REPEAT CHORUS]

TL Notes    [ + ]

1. This translation is not exact. Sirena comes by way of Spanish in this case, where it has more negative connotations than in English, and is often used as a synonym for a femme fatalemujer fatal. Wikipedia has an article which attempts to explain the differences. There is also a connotation, similar to Spanish maricón, that makes the word slang for a homosexual man, (which obviously makes sense given the topic.)
2. Rainbow LGBT rights flag implied.
3. In this context, it’s a punishment for a child seen as misbehaving. It’s also a reference to a Filipino joke, according to a comment on Reddit.
4. It, meaning his gender, or queerness (kabaklaan). Thanks to the anonymous commenter who left reply № 1 to this post!
5. A game something like an opposite of the game of “limbo”. Instead of going under the fixed “garter” (rope, etc.), players cross over it. As it gets higher and higher, more and more difficult techniques will be required to jump over it. Most often played by little girls.
6. Literally, “to a pulp” or “until flavorless”.
7. Literally, “what match are they to me?”, essentially a statement of extreme self-love.
8. This is a bit of artistic license on my part. Kembot is hard to exactly translate; sometimes “swaying hips” are used but it’s more like one single motion which pronounces the hips, often used by homosexual men in the Philippines.
9. Literally, “I’m no longer aware.”
10. Literally, “like curly eyelashes”. This seemed like a non sequitur to me at first, maknig me wonder whether I understood the word kulot. Then, when I was looking through a dictionary, I found pilikmata pangkulot, eyelash curler. I decided to look into the process, now this line makes sense. From Bustle: “For the first 24 to 48 hours after the treatment, your lashes are still a little flexible, so avoid moisture for the first day or two.”
11. Literally, “until” or “through”.
12. Literally, “even despite the callouses (inflicted upon me) by the brave”. Clearly, to me at least, somewhat mocking the bravery/manliness of leaving wounds on a child.
13. Ganun na lamang is similar to the Japanese phrase しょうがない (shōganai), and literally means “it’s just like that” but has a sense similar to “nothing can be done about it” or “it can’t be helped”.
14. Literally, “are together”.
15. A type of cheap dress for wearing around the house.
16. Literally, “a man’s bravery isn’t measured along with his moustache.”
17. The word bakla in the Philippines is used also for all three: crossdressers, gay men, and transexuals. A footnote really cannot explain why. If you are interested, I recommend Ceperiano, et al. (2016), “Girl, Bi, Bakla, Tomboy”: The Intersectionality of Sexuality, Gender, and Class in Urban Poor Contexts”, § Philippine Cultural Context, p. 8

“Matira Matibay” by Bassilyo and CrazyMix: Lyrics & English translation

Reviewed by Renan Pagador

Video

Lyrics & translation

[4x CHORUS]
Matira matibay
The fittest survivors[1]I chose this as a bit of a play on words. I feel it matches better than the most common scientific translation of matira matibay, which refers to “survival of the fittest” in a Darwinian evolution sense, and is used by e.g. Filipino life science textbooks.

Sumabay ang matigas
Let’s go, hard[2]The meaning here is very similar to US English rap; someone “hard” in this context is strong, cold, hedonistic, and seen by others as someone not to be messed with. men

Sino ang matigas
Who among you are the hard?

Sino ang sasabay
Who among you will answer my call?

Sino ang may pusong bakal
Who among you has a heart of iron?

At handa nang pumatay
Who among you is ready to kill?

At talas ang kailangan
The hard need to be sharp

At ang husay ng kutob
The hard need good instincts

Kung paano iiwasan ng sumpak at Molitov
If they are to avoid guns[3]So-called “improvised” guns in this case, perhaps more accurately called “guns locally produced without a license” as they can be very similar in function and appearance to “real” guns and are often made by experienced metalworkers. and Molotov cocktails

Pagbigkas ng banat na banat ng goma ng pana
Rapping phrases as exact as a bow and arrow ready to fire

Napakamalas[4]The root here is malas, meaning “unfortunate” or “unlucky”. Compare to napakasuwerte. ng tamaan natagpuan siyang kawawa
Those hit are very unlucky and are left in a horrible state

Buti sana kung ang sima kay Kupido manggagaling
Wouldn’t it be nice if those who are shot come out like those shot by Cupid?

Pagibig ang mananaig kung sino mang abutin
Love being the main effect upon those who are shot

Gumising tayong lahat at magpakatotoo
Let’s all wake up and be honest about it:

Na ang sima na lumilipad galing sa kalaban mo
The arrows that fly towards your enemies

Kalawangin ay laso na rin matulis at bumabaon
Despite rust are still sharp and sink deep (into the skin)

Kapag tinamaan ka sa ilong sabog ang ‘yong sipon
If the arrow hits your nose, snot will fly out

Microphone o ang mic ay hindi rin pinaligtas
Even the microphone will not spare you

Ginagawang kasangkapan
The mic becomes a tool

Upang kanilang mailabas ang galit sa mga kalaban
To release the anger towards enemies

Sisiraan, iti-tease, mumurahin, sasabihin, “tatay mo ay may galis!”
Bad-mouthing, teasing, swearing, telling them: “your father is diseased!”

[REPEAT CHORUS 4x]

Kung isa ka sa mga matigas, wag kang tatanga-tanga
If you are among the hard, don’t dare act a fool

Baka ka bigla madikitan at magilitan sa talas ng labaha
Because maybe you’ll be shocked to find[5]Literal translation of bigla would be “suddenly”, but this is more natural. the end of a razor slitting your throat

Bente nueve o tres kantos at mahabang ice pick
A balisong[6]The traditional balisong is also known as bente nueve, or “twenty-nine,” in the Philippines, because they are 29 cm long open. or even a broken bottle,[7]Literally “three corners”. This translation is conjecture on my part, but I do believe I’m right. Kwatro kantos, literally “four corners”, is the colloquial name for a gin that comes in a rectangular bottle officially known as “Ginebra San Miguel“. If you break a bottle of kwatro kantos, what do you get? Tres kantos, of course. This song is full of references to improvised weapons: sumpak, Molotovs, an ice pick; it just seems to make sense. and a long ice pick

Kapag wala ka nang makitang lusot gamitan ng istyle intsek[8]Intsek is seen by some as an anti-Chinese slur.
If you don’t see a way, do it “Chinese style”

Sayo nachi ang sagot, sayo na tsinelas ko
To you I say “nachi”,[9]This might be faux-Chinese, or it might be 哪吃 (nǎ chī), “Where can I eat?” My Mandarin is not good enough to come up with any alternative. The point is to rhyme with tsinelas, not really the meaning of the Chinese anyway, it’s to confuse the listener with perhaps faux-Chinese so you can hit them with a shoe. I hit you with my shoe

Sabihin mo lang ang mga pangalan ko dumilat ka sabay takbo! (Takbo!)
You’ll say my name, open your eyes wide, and run! (Run!)

Kapag hinarangan ka ng baseball bat sibat[10]The definition I relied on isn’t in the standard dictionaries, but is accurate. It’s colloquial; see the UP Diksiyonaryong Filipino, meaning №2. patungong home base
When blocked by a baseball bat, run instead to home base

Pilitin mo na lang maka-homerun, maghelmet ka yung full face
Make the choice to attempt a homerun, put on a full face helmet

Back in the days parang ninja na may samurai nakatakip pa ang mukha para ‘di halatang umaaray
Back in the days, when there were ninjas and samurai, they covered their faces to avoid showing their pain[11]Literally, “saying ouch”. Aray! is an interjection, and umaaray makes it an uncompleted -um- verb.

Wag bibigay, wag din sa laki ng braso ang itak
Don’t give up, not even when up against a strong arm holding a Bolo knife

Kapag tinamaan ka, wag mo rin ilalakas ang iyong iyak
When you’re hit, don’t scream loud

Baka sabihan kang, “duwag!” Bale, “walang bayag!”
Because maybe they’ll say about you: “Coward—he’s got no balls!”

Sila ay kumakaway daliri ay nakangarat
They beckon towards you, giving you the finger[12]Per J. Corcinto (2014), Teka, Wait…Di Ako Prepared, p. 51

Yamot! Asar talo! Iyak tawa! Ano ba?
Annoyance! Loser! Baby![13]Literally, “your laughs have turned into tears”, like a baby with very unstable moods. Often in other contexts translated “tantrum”. What to do?

Gusto mo bumawi? Uwi!
Do you want revenge?[14]Literally, “do you want to be able to recoup your loss?” Forget it![15]Literally, “go home!”

Sibat na, ah
Plan for this, ah

[REPEAT CHORUS 4x]

Isa lang ang ating buhay
We only get one life

Bakit di pa ka ingatan
So why don’t you safeguard it?

Gaano ba kalalim ang iyong ipinaglalaban
Why spend it fighting such dark battles?

Dahil lang sa paangasan
Just because of a boast,

Ilan na ba ang mga natigok
How many people will you need to kill?

Walang timbangan ng buhay
Such a life will have no balance

Parang pumatay lang ng mga lamok
You’ll kill people (easily), as if they’re mosquitos

Walang humpay ang mga putok
There will be no ceasefire,[16]Literally, “end to the explosions”.

Kung ayaw mong tamaan ang mga balang ligaw
If you can’t handle being hit with a stray bullet (once in a while).

Tili at hiyaw ang mga palatandaan na isa na namang buhay
Shots and screams will be the only signs your life happened

Bigla na namang pinatay
Well, other than your untimely death

Siya lang ang pwede bumawi pagka’t Siya rin naman ang nagbigay
God is the only one who can undo that, He’s the one who did it

Walang karapatan ang sinuman maging ang nagmamahala[17]Literally, “the highest authority”.
No one has the right to put themselves on God’s level

Sa patayan katulad nito parang ‘di sila nababahala
And when they kill, those who do so don’t even notice

Sige lang! Sige lang! Magpatayan kayo panalo ang matitira!
Go ahead, you guys! Go ahead! Keep on killing until there’s a clear winner!

Kapag ang natira: isa, dalawa, tsaka na sila bibira!
The survivors: the last two see each other, then they fight!

Oh! Matira pula; ibaba nyo na para matigil na po ang gulo
Oh! It’s over, and red[18]My understanding is that this is a reference to boxing, with a “red corner” and a “blue corner”. So, the man in the “red corner” remains. is the winner; come down from the stage, end this confusion

Ang gulo: wala sa pulo, wala sa Tondo,[19]Tondo is the main informal settlement in Manila, and has one of the most dense populations in the world. Life for the poor there is very hard, perhaps the hardest in the Philippines. wala sa bundok
This confusion: it’s not found in farflung islands, it’s not in Tondo, it’s not in the mountains

Ang gulo: wala sa lungga, wala sa paligid-ligid mo
This confusion: it’s not in the caves, it’s not in your environment

Pagka’t ang gulo ay nariyan lang nandiyan sa puso mo
Because this confusion only exists right there in your heart

4x Diyan sa puso mo… (sa puso mo)
Right there in your heart… (in your heart)

TL Notes    [ + ]

1. I chose this as a bit of a play on words. I feel it matches better than the most common scientific translation of matira matibay, which refers to “survival of the fittest” in a Darwinian evolution sense, and is used by e.g. Filipino life science textbooks.
2. The meaning here is very similar to US English rap; someone “hard” in this context is strong, cold, hedonistic, and seen by others as someone not to be messed with.
3. So-called “improvised” guns in this case, perhaps more accurately called “guns locally produced without a license” as they can be very similar in function and appearance to “real” guns and are often made by experienced metalworkers.
4. The root here is malas, meaning “unfortunate” or “unlucky”. Compare to napakasuwerte.
5. Literal translation of bigla would be “suddenly”, but this is more natural.
6. The traditional balisong is also known as bente nueve, or “twenty-nine,” in the Philippines, because they are 29 cm long open.
7. Literally “three corners”. This translation is conjecture on my part, but I do believe I’m right. Kwatro kantos, literally “four corners”, is the colloquial name for a gin that comes in a rectangular bottle officially known as “Ginebra San Miguel“. If you break a bottle of kwatro kantos, what do you get? Tres kantos, of course. This song is full of references to improvised weapons: sumpak, Molotovs, an ice pick; it just seems to make sense.
8. Intsek is seen by some as an anti-Chinese slur.
9. This might be faux-Chinese, or it might be 哪吃 (nǎ chī), “Where can I eat?” My Mandarin is not good enough to come up with any alternative. The point is to rhyme with tsinelas, not really the meaning of the Chinese anyway, it’s to confuse the listener with perhaps faux-Chinese so you can hit them with a shoe.
10. The definition I relied on isn’t in the standard dictionaries, but is accurate. It’s colloquial; see the UP Diksiyonaryong Filipino, meaning №2.
11. Literally, “saying ouch”. Aray! is an interjection, and umaaray makes it an uncompleted -um- verb.
12. Per J. Corcinto (2014), Teka, Wait…Di Ako Prepared, p. 51
13. Literally, “your laughs have turned into tears”, like a baby with very unstable moods. Often in other contexts translated “tantrum”.
14. Literally, “do you want to be able to recoup your loss?”
15. Literally, “go home!”
16. Literally, “end to the explosions”.
17. Literally, “the highest authority”.
18. My understanding is that this is a reference to boxing, with a “red corner” and a “blue corner”. So, the man in the “red corner” remains.
19. Tondo is the main informal settlement in Manila, and has one of the most dense populations in the world. Life for the poor there is very hard, perhaps the hardest in the Philippines.

“Taxi Driver” by Bassilyo: Lyrics & English translation

Video

Lyrics & translation

Pagkatapos kong magalmusal ng pandesal ‘tsaka tapsilog
After finishing my pandesal and tapsilog

Ay lalabas ako ng bahay upang magmaneho ng taxi ko
I leave home and get ready to drive my taxi

At itong pagbiyahe ko upang kumita ng salapi
The purpose of this trip is to make money, naturally

At baka sakaling makabili ng bahay na malaki
And maybe if I get lucky I can buy a big house[1]Sarcastic, obviously.

Unang passenger isang mukhang mayaman na lasing
My first passenger is a drunk man who looks rich

Di siya magalang napakayabang at amoy alak na
He was rude, arrogant and smelled like wine

Kasing-gasing[2]This word is very interesting. I heard the “g” clearly but was very unsure about it. It’s obviously there though, the previous word is kasing, so the difference is extremely clear; native speaker also confirms she hears “gasing”. I entertained a lot of possibilities here: 1. that he might have meant “gassing” as in “filling up my taxi was hard (due to lack of funds)”; 2. that he might have actually meant kasing, but it makes no sense. You can’t have kasing ng, you need a word in between. I asked a few natives who all did not know. After doing some more online research, I noticed kasing-kasing in a Cebuano dictionary, meaning “heart”. I originally had the “kasing” on the line above, but decided that this is the most likely answer. However, I’m very much up to discuss it in the comments or via email if you think I’m wrong. ng mga gipit, kulang binayad wala man lang tip!
He looks rich but acts broke…he didn’t pay for his whole trip; no tip!

Kakabadtrip, pwede ba sa susunod sumakay ka na lang ng jeep
Shitty experience, next time take a jeep instead![3]Cheapest transportation in Metro Manila, full name *jeepney*. Costs around ₱6 per ride, while a taxi to go the same distance will be ₱100.

Ikalawang pasahero binibining estranhero
Second passenger: a foreign-looking woman

Sa suot niyang miniskirt gumaling ang aking pagkabolero
Her miniskirt excited my inner playboy[4]Or perhaps “awoke” or even “spurred on”. Literally, “The miniskirt she was wearing made my playboyness come out.”

Nagpahatid siya sa Monumento, binayad niya ay limang daan
She sent me to Monumento, and paid a ₱500 note[5]This would be a very high fare, even during high congestion.

“Keep the change!”

Sabi ko, “napakasuwerte ko naman?”
I said, “I can’t believe my luck!”

Manananghalian na muna ako, pahinga di na muna ko babiyahe
I ate dinner and took a rest, no need to work so hard the rest of the day![6]This is more implied than stated outright.

Nang may napansin ako sa limang daan na binayad ng babae
Then I noticed something about the ₱500 she passed me…

Kaya pala “keep the change”! Peke pala ‘yung limang daan!
Oh, that’s why she said “keep the change”! This ₱500 is fake!

Pag nakita-kita ulit ika’y aking kakantahan
If I see you again, I’ll sing you those last lines![7]Literally, “I’ll sing you my song,” but in context, he means he’ll accuse her of giving him fake money, essentially.

[CHORUS]
‘Andito na ang inyong gwapong-gwapong taxi driver!
Your very handsome taxi driver has arrived!

Handa kayong ipagmaneho? “Hello, ma’am? Hi, sir?”
Are you all ready to go?[8]This is more natural, but it’s literally “Are you ready for me to drive for you?” “Hello, ma’am? Hi, sir?”

Liko dito, liko here, liko-liko there
Turn left, turn right, turn twice[9]Literally “Turn here, turn here, take a (short) detour there.” Another possibility I considered is: “A shortcut here, a shortcut there; a winding detour there!” but I felt that “turn twice”, even if not literally the meaning, fits the reduplication better.

Pwede ring dirediretso, basta ‘wag lang sa pader!
Of course, I can even go straight there, just not into a wall!

‘Andito na ang inyong gwapong-gwapong taxi driver!
Your very handsome taxi driver has arrived!

Handa kayong ipagmaneho? “Hello, ma’am? Hi, sir?”
Are you all ready to go? “Hello, ma’am? Hi, sir?”

Bababa ba? Teka, gilid-gilid lang ako
You’re getting off now? OK wait, I’ll pull over.

Bago niyo ako layasan iabot niyong bayad niyo!
Before you run off, hand over your fare!

Isang lola ang naisakay ko na kung makatingin ay makamandag[10]Interesting grammar. Literally “When she was able to see me, [her gaze] was venomous.”
A grandma gets on who gives me the evil eye

Sa kamadali niyang magbayad naiwan niya ang kanyang bag
She pays in a hurry and leaves behind her bag

What? Ano ang laman ng bag, dali-daling binulatlat
What’s inside this bag? I quickly look through it…

‘Kala ko pera yung pala tiyanak so, tinapon ko sa tapat
Meh, not money, just a goblin,[11]Costume, based on video context. so I threw it out the window

Ng kambingan at tindahan ng gamot saka bulaklak
Next, a kambingan,[12]Restaurant specializing in the dish kalderetang kambing. then a drugstore, then a florist

Nang sa taxi ko ay may biglang kumatok, napakalampag
Back in my taxi, there’s a sudden knock-knock-knock

Isang mamang malaki katawan na semipanot ang gupit
A big dude with a balding head[13]Due to old age implied. stands outside

May kasama siya na dalawang seksing bebot, ang lupit
He had two sexy ladies with him, what an outrage!

Ngunit bakit sa aking sakay? Di ako mapalagay
Why my taxi? I’m feeling uncomfortable

Ako’y tinutukan ng baril, ang sabi nya? “Holdup to, taas kamay!”
He shoves a gun in my face and says, “This is a holdup, hands up!”

‘Naku,[14]Shortened form of hay, naku! Translation is entirely context-dependent and depends even on tone of voice. patay! Holdupper pala itong naisakay ko na semipanot
Damn, I’m gonna die! My balding passenger is a thief!

Paano na yan? Wala pa kong kita kalalabas ko pa lang. Eh di lagot
How could this happen? I’ve no money, I just got on the road. I’m a goner![15]Eh di lagot is like the more common phrase Eh di wow. I thought this may have been posed as a question (“Eh, di lagot?” meaning perhaps “Maybe it’s a good thing [I don’t have anything to give them]?”), but a native speaker corrected me. It’s more like “Eh hindi, lagot na ako“.

Mabuti nalang ay may biglang dumaang mobile patrol
Fortunately, I suddenly see a police car on the road

Silang tatlo ngayon ay nasukol at sa kulungan sila nagmaktol
The three of them are handcuffed and get sent to jail

Pinagtanggol ako ni Lord at sila’y kalaboso na
The Lord protected me, they’re now in prison

Oy, panot, one time lang sa bumbunan, pakutos muna?
Hey, baldy, can I slap your head[16]Bumbunan is almost always used for babies, so it’s particularly emasculating here in a way the English translation doesn’t really match. just once?

[REPEAT CHORUS]

Mula Batanes hanggang Jolo iniikot ko
From Batanes to Jolo[17]This is a joke and would not be possible. Both are small islands, one at the very north of the Philippines, the other at the very south. is my range

Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao ay nililibot ko
Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao, I visit each one by one

Minsan para bang gusto ko nang tumawid ng ibang bansa
Sometimes when I feel like it, I drive my taxi in foreign countries

Kapag may nanghuli ng taxi ko, sa kanya ko ibabangga
If someone runs without paying, I’ll just run him over!

Simula!
Start!

Marikina, Katipunan, San Juan, UP, Kalayaan

Pagliko ko, sa
When I turn…

Litex, Kanan, Commonwealth, Novaliches, Bayan
Montalban, Angono, Cogeo, San Mateo, Antipolo, Taytay, Cainta
Valenzuela, Tondo, Caloocan, Malabon, Navotas, Malanday, Malinta
Diliman, Quezon at (and) Timog!

Cubao, Makati at buong EDSA
Cubao, Makati and all of EDSA[18]Most important road in Metro Manila.

Bicutan, Taguig, Alabang, Pasig, Pasay at (and) Mall of Asia

Welcome Rotonda, diretso sa Recto
Welcome Rotonda, straight to Recto

Sa dating hotel kung saan puwede pumuwesto
At the site of the former hotel where I can park for free

Simbahan ng Quiapo, Baclaran, Batasan
Quiapo Church, Baclaran, Batasan

Payatas, Sandigan[19]Short for Sandiganbayan, a major court in the Philippines tasked with trying all cases of corruption; the Quezon City neighborhood around it is unofficially called Sandigan. at (and) Ever Gotesco
Boni, Magallanes, Sucat, Parañaque, España, Luneta, Laloma, Malate

Sa 7-11 kumakaway sakin na magisang nakatayo na lalaki
At 7-11, a man standing on his own calls out to me.

Isasakay ko na ‘to. Last na ‘to, isa na lang
I’ll take this guy. One last passenger, just one.

Saan kayo,[20]In formal speech, it’s okay to use a plural pronoun for a single person, however usually we’d expect po as well. This might be a joke, therefore, given the previous line. boss?
Where to, boss?

“Sa heaven tayo!”
“We’re going to heaven!”

‘Wag muna, saka na lang!
Not yet! Maybe next time!

[REPEAT CHORUS]

TL Notes    [ + ]

1. Sarcastic, obviously.
2. This word is very interesting. I heard the “g” clearly but was very unsure about it. It’s obviously there though, the previous word is kasing, so the difference is extremely clear; native speaker also confirms she hears “gasing”. I entertained a lot of possibilities here: 1. that he might have meant “gassing” as in “filling up my taxi was hard (due to lack of funds)”; 2. that he might have actually meant kasing, but it makes no sense. You can’t have kasing ng, you need a word in between. I asked a few natives who all did not know. After doing some more online research, I noticed kasing-kasing in a Cebuano dictionary, meaning “heart”. I originally had the “kasing” on the line above, but decided that this is the most likely answer. However, I’m very much up to discuss it in the comments or via email if you think I’m wrong.
3. Cheapest transportation in Metro Manila, full name *jeepney*. Costs around ₱6 per ride, while a taxi to go the same distance will be ₱100.
4. Or perhaps “awoke” or even “spurred on”. Literally, “The miniskirt she was wearing made my playboyness come out.”
5. This would be a very high fare, even during high congestion.
6. This is more implied than stated outright.
7. Literally, “I’ll sing you my song,” but in context, he means he’ll accuse her of giving him fake money, essentially.
8. This is more natural, but it’s literally “Are you ready for me to drive for you?”
9. Literally “Turn here, turn here, take a (short) detour there.” Another possibility I considered is: “A shortcut here, a shortcut there; a winding detour there!” but I felt that “turn twice”, even if not literally the meaning, fits the reduplication better.
10. Interesting grammar. Literally “When she was able to see me, [her gaze] was venomous.”
11. Costume, based on video context.
12. Restaurant specializing in the dish kalderetang kambing.
13. Due to old age implied.
14. Shortened form of hay, naku! Translation is entirely context-dependent and depends even on tone of voice.
15. Eh di lagot is like the more common phrase Eh di wow. I thought this may have been posed as a question (“Eh, di lagot?” meaning perhaps “Maybe it’s a good thing [I don’t have anything to give them]?”), but a native speaker corrected me. It’s more like “Eh hindi, lagot na ako“.
16. Bumbunan is almost always used for babies, so it’s particularly emasculating here in a way the English translation doesn’t really match.
17. This is a joke and would not be possible. Both are small islands, one at the very north of the Philippines, the other at the very south.
18. Most important road in Metro Manila.
19. Short for Sandiganbayan, a major court in the Philippines tasked with trying all cases of corruption; the Quezon City neighborhood around it is unofficially called Sandigan.
20. In formal speech, it’s okay to use a plural pronoun for a single person, however usually we’d expect po as well. This might be a joke, therefore, given the previous line.

“Siya” by Papuri Singers: Lyrics & English translation

Video

Lyrics & translation

Buhay ko’y may kaguluhan
My life has many tribulations

Ang landas walang patutunguhan
My life has no direction

Kaibigan, ano kaya ang kahahantungan?
My friend, what will my destiny be?

Ngunit salamat ako’y natagpuan
But I’m now thankful I am found

Binigyan Niya ng kapayapaan
He gave me peace

Tanging kay Hesus mayroong tagumpay.
Only in Jesus is there victory

[CHORUS]
Siya ang aking patnubay
He is my companion

Siya ang aking gabay
He is my guide[1]Patnubay and gabay are very similar words, so the differentiation is only done here so as not to translate these two lines exactly the same, as patnubay can also have the sense of “companion”, while gabay cannot.

Siya sa aki’y nagbigay buhay
He’s the one who gave me life

Si Hesus, ang katotothanan
Jesus Christ is the truth

Si Hesus, ang daan
Jesus Christ is the way

Siya ang tanging Panginoon magpakailan pa man![2]Sic. This is a valid construction, if rare. The more familiar word magpakailanman, meaning “forever”, has over time become a compound word of magpakailan (root kailan) and man, which has many grammatical uses, but here serves a purpose similar to the English word “until”. Pa gives it a sense similar to the continuing aspect.
He’s the only Lord, now and forever!

At ngayon sa aking buhay
And now in my life

Sa tuwina Siya’y nagbabantay
He always watches over me

Ang pag-ibig Niya’y tunay na walang kapantay
His love is true and nothing can be compared to it

Hinding-hindi na ako mangangamba
I will never be troubled

Si Hesus laging kasama
Jesus is always with me

Siya ay akin at ako’y sa Kanya
I am His and He is mine

[REPEAT CHORUS]

TL Notes    [ + ]

1. Patnubay and gabay are very similar words, so the differentiation is only done here so as not to translate these two lines exactly the same, as patnubay can also have the sense of “companion”, while gabay cannot.
2. Sic. This is a valid construction, if rare. The more familiar word magpakailanman, meaning “forever”, has over time become a compound word of magpakailan (root kailan) and man, which has many grammatical uses, but here serves a purpose similar to the English word “until”. Pa gives it a sense similar to the continuing aspect.

“Kapuso” (2012-2018 version) Lyrics & English translation (GMA station ID)

NOTE: This is the 2012-2018 version of the GMA station ID. These songs all seem to be referred to online as “Kapuso” for some reason, but all have slightly different lyrics. I lived in Philippines between 2014 and 2/2020, and so I prefer this version just because I have a lot more experience with it. If you’re not aware of it, it’s really catchy, you’ve been warned.

Video

Lyrics and translation

Kapuso[1]Kapuso is one of the three words usually, in context, best translated “viewer”, but meant to convey a greater closeness, used by Philippine television networks. Literally meaning “of the same heart”, it’s GMA’s. ABS-CBN’s is kapamilya (family member), while TV5’s is kapatid (friend)., makulay ang buhay
Viewers, life is colorful

Kapuso magsamasama
Viewers, let’s come together.

[REFRAIN]
Kaisa tayo sa isip
We’re of one mind,

Kaisa tayo sa damdamin
We’re of one feeling.

Iisa ang ating pangarap:
We have one dream:

Makulay na mundo
A bright world

Maging lalong makulay
Which is becoming always brighter.

Ang buhay laging makulay
Life is always colorful,

Gumaganda ng tunay
and becoming always more.

[CHORUS]
Kumikinang
Your life[2]Implication being: “your life with GMA“. is sparkling,

Tumitingkad
Shining,

Lumilinaw
Getting clearer,

Sumisikat,
Like the sun.

Kapuso anumang kulay ng buhay!
Our viewers come from every walk of life!

Noon at ngayon
Then as now,

Tahanang Pilipino
We’ve been the home of Filipinos

Walang kasingsaya
There’s nothing that makes people happier than us.[3]A native speaker verified this one as I really struggled with it.

O kay sarap
The joy that

Nadarama
We feel

Samahan at halakhakan
When we’re laughing together…

O kay tamis
How sweet is

Sumisidhi
The depth of

Pusong nagmamahalan
The love of all our hearts for one another!

[BRIDGE]
Sa GMA makulay
With GMA your life is vibrant!

Sa GMA ang buhay
With GMA you’re alive!
[4]Another translation would be “your life revolves around GMA.” This better matches the meaning, but is longer.

[REPEAT CHORUS]
[REPEAT ENTIRE SONG UP TO BRIDGE]
[REPEAT REFRAIN]
[REPEAT BRIDGE]
[REPEAT CHORUS MINUS FINAL TWO WORDS (“ng buhay”)]
[REPEAT BRIDGE]
[REPEAT ENTIRE CHORUS]

Sa GMA—makulay ang buhay!
With GMA—your life is vibrant!

Sa GMA⸺sa GMA!
With GMA⸺with GMA!

TL Notes    [ + ]

1. Kapuso is one of the three words usually, in context, best translated “viewer”, but meant to convey a greater closeness, used by Philippine television networks. Literally meaning “of the same heart”, it’s GMA’s. ABS-CBN’s is kapamilya (family member), while TV5’s is kapatid (friend).
2. Implication being: “your life with GMA“.
3. A native speaker verified this one as I really struggled with it.
4. Another translation would be “your life revolves around GMA.” This better matches the meaning, but is longer.

“Lord Patawad” by Bassilyo: Lyrics & English translation

This post is formatted as follows:

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

“Sana” by Amy Nobleza: Lyrics & English Translation (From the teleserye Mutya)

This post is formatted as follows:

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

Sana ang buhay ay walang dulo o hangganan
[If only] [the] [life] [is] [no] [end] [or] [boundary/border/limitation]
If only our lives never ended and were unlimited

Sana’y wala nang tao mahirap o mayaman
[If only] [is] [no] [] [people] [poor-ADJ] [or] [rich-ADJ]
If only there were no rich and no poor

Sana’y isa ang kulay
[If only] [one] [the] [color]
If only there was but one color

Sana’y wala ng away
[If only] [no] [] [quarrel]
If only there were no disputes

[CHORUS]
Sana’y pagibig na lang ang isipin ng bawat isa sa mundo
[If only] [love] [] [only] [the] [thought-V-OF-INF] [of] [each] [one] [of] [world]
If only love was the instinct of everyone in the world

Sana’y pagibig na lang ang isipin, Sana’y magkatotoo
[If only] [love] [] [only] [the] [thought-V-OF-INF], [If only] [become-suddenly/unexpectedly-true]
If only love was our instinct…If only this could just become true!

Sana’y laging magbigayan
[If only] [always] [give-V-RECIPROCAL]
If only everyone did their share

Sana’y laging magmahalan
[If only] [always] [love-V-RECIPROCAL]
If only everyone loved one another

Sana ang tao’y di nagugutom o nauuhaw
[If only] [the] [people] [did not] [hunger-V-AF-INC] [or] [thirst-V-AF-INC]
If only there was no hunger or thirst

Sana’y hindi na gumagabi o umaaraw!
[If only] [there was no] [] [night-V-AF-INC] [or] [day-V-AF-INC]
If only the sun would never set!

Sana’y walang taginit, sana’y walang taglamig
[If only] [no] [summer], [if only] [no] [winter]
If only there was no summer or winter

[REPEAT CHORUS 3x]

Commentary

This is probably one of my favorite OPM (original Philippine music) tracks. It’s grammatically simple, which makes it an excellent starting point for foreign learners of Tagalog. It’s extremely catchy, and the message is sweet as long as you don’t read too far into it.