Essays On Ilokano Contemporary Songs


 


= Common Folk Songs
= Less common songs


(Stone hearted lady)

Pamulinawen
Pusok imdengam man
Toy umas-asug
Agrayo ita sadiam.
Panunotem man
Dika pagintultulngan
Toy agayat, agruknoy ita emmam.

Issemmo diak kalipatan
Ta nasudi unay a nagan,
Ta uray sadin ti ayan,
Disso sadino man,

{Aw-awagak a di agsarday
Ta naganmo nga kasam-itan}

No malagipka, pusok ti mabang-aran

Adu nga sabsabong, adu nga rosrosas
Ti adda't ditoy, Nena, nga mabuybuyak,
Ngem awan manlaeng ti sabali nga liwliwak
No di la dayta sudim ken imnas.

No umulogak nga mapan magmagna
Dayta raniagmo, Neneng nga gapu kenka.

(Older Sister Biday)

Manang Biday, ilukatmo man
Ta bentana ikalumbabam
Ta kitaem toy kinayawan
Ay matayakon no dinak kaasian

Siasinno nga aglabaslabas
Ditoy hardinko pagay-ayamak
Ammon ngarud nga balasangak
Sabong ni lirio, dipay nagukrad

Denggem ading ta bibinenka
ta inkanto diay sadi daya
agalakanto't bunga't mangga
ken lansones pay, adu nga kita

No nababa dimo gaw-aten,
no nangato dika sukdalen,
no naregreg dika piduten,
ngem labaslabasamto met laeng

Daytoy paniok no maregregko
ti makapidot ikutannanto
ta nagmarka iti naganko
nabordaan pay ti sinampuso

Alaem dayta kutsilyo
ta abriem toy barukongko
tapno maipapasmo ti guram
kaniak ken sentimiento

(Shiny Moon)

O naraniag a bulan
Un-unnoyko't indengam
Dayta naslag a silawmo
Dika kad ipaidam
O naraniag a bulan
Sangsangitko indengam
Toy nasipnget a lubongko
Inka kad silawan
Tapno diak mayaw-awan

No inka nanglipaten
Karim kaniak naumagen
Samsam-itek ni patay
O bulan ket aklunem
Nanglaylay toy ayatkon
Inka kadi palasbangem
Un-unnoyko, danasem nga ikeddeng

(For the love of a child)

Ti ayat ti maysa nga ubing
Nasamsam-it ngem hasmin
Kasla sabong nga apag-ukrad
Iti bulan ti Abril

Ti ayat ti maysa nga lakay
Aglalo no agkabaw
Napait, Napait, Napait nga makasubkar

Anansa a o Lelong
Agsapulka iti balo
A kapadpad ta ubanmo
Ken dayta tuppolmo

(If You Still Doubt- Serenade)

No duaduaem pay laeng ti pegges ni ayat
Nalawag unayen a ranggas mo kaniak
Ala man biagko, sawem ti pamuspusak
Tapno mabalinka a lipaten o imnas

Lipatenkanton wen ngem
addaakton ti tanem
Ngem no itan, saanen nga mabalinen

Ay, itdem ni ayat, dinak kad pagtuoken
Yantangay siksika ti innak ay-ayaten.

(Bannatiran Bird)

Bannatiran, ta dutdotmo't kalilibnosan
Ta panggepmo dika patuluyan
Suminakan sadino aya't papanam?
Sadino, bannatiran, ania nga kayo ti inka pagdissuan?

Daydiay kayo nga agsabong ken ayat
panawam man,
Ay babawyem ton kamaudianan
No ni liday ti matumpungan

Ania nga sabong ti kayatmo bannatiran,
Ta uray awan pilit nga inka isapulan.
Ta sika ti sarming nga paganninawan
Iti raniag da init ken bulan.

(Lullaby of Love (I will love you))

Dungdunguenkanto unay unay,
Indayonenkanto't sinamay
Tultuluden kanto't naalumamay
Pagammuanen inkanto mailibay

Apaman nga inkanto makaturog
Iyabbongkonto ta rupam daytoy paniok.
Tapnon dinakanto kagaten ti lamok
Ken maimasmonto't maturog.

Annay, puso, annay, annay,
Nasaem, naut-ut la unay.
Itdem kaniak ta pannaranay
Ta kaasiak nga maidasay.

(Precious Gift)

Ta nagsaway a pintasmo awan umasping
No maraniagan ta lumabbaga nga pingping
Nga nakaitangpakan ti kallidmo nga kasla bituen

Awan ngatan ti kas kenkan
Nga imparabur ti Dios nga inka kaasping
Ta binukbukudam aminen nga talugading
Ta uray no agmisuotka, napintaska laeng

No bingiem dayta bibigmo saka umisem
Agparang a dagus dayta kas marfil a ngipen
Daegen met ta buok mo pangulkuloten
Ket ta kidaymo kas bullalayaw iti malem

(If I were the one to love)

No siakto ti agayat
Kadagita nga pintasmo
Dikanto paulogen
No nalamiis ti tiempo.

Tay-akto nga payatam,
Butaka nga pagtugawam,
Ap-apakto't paniolito,
Paniolito ni Lirio.

No koma no mabalin
Agbalinak nga singsing,
Nga umay umapiring
Ta ramaymo no mabalin.

No koma no piniaka
Burasenka nga naata,
Kanenka nga naganus,
Paluomennaka toy pusok.

No makitak Ading
Napintas a pingpingmo,
Rosas nga eberlasting
panangkita toy matak.

ket uray no matayak
Duapulo't uppat oras,
No makitak isemmo,
Dagus met nga agbiagak.

(Chorus)

No sika la koma,
Maysa a kendi lemon,
Iparabawka toy dilak
Tuliden tultuliden.

Saanka a kagaten,
Saanka met alimonen,
Ket ditoy rabaw dilak
Abalbalayen.

No siakto t'agayat
Ading ta imnasmo,
Saanka a palubosan
No dakes ti tiempo.

Tay banglo pagtugawam,
Aplagak paniolito.
Ken daytay pagiddaam,
Abbungakto ay-ayat.

(Please give- Christmas song)

Ala kadin, inkay yawat
Tay aginaldomi a pirak
Ta uray sisiam a sikapat
No isu't itedyo kadakam a pagayat.

Dika ket saksakiten, nanangmi
Ti magted tay aginaldomi
Di mabayag maabrotmonto
No malakoyonto daytoy baboyyo

(Dirge)

Ay ama nga nageb-ebba
Dinak man kaasian aya
A panawan a sisina
Tay uneg balay a kasa.

(Farewell)

Adios, salda toy riknak.
Kalapati nga naimnas.
Biagko, panawanka,
Sayamusom nga liwliwa

Daytoy retratok ipenpenmo
Ita let-ang ta barukongmo,
Ta isunto't murmuraymo
No sumken ta ladingitmo.

(Farewell)

Idiak siak iti
Bassit nga tinagibi,
Diak pay nakasubalit
Ti ayatna nga nasudi
Ta narigat gayam
Iti anak nga lalaki,
No dumtengen ti gasatna,
No dumtengen ti gasatna,
Dika makalisi

Agpakada'kon
Balay a dinakdakkelak,
Ken kasta met kenka,
Paraangan nga nagay-ayamak,
Adios hardin
O hardin a nagmulmulaak
Adios Tatang ken Nanang,
Adios Manong ken Manang,
Inggat iti patay.

(Farewell, my Love (deathbed song, lit: I am leaving you, my life))

Itan ket umasideg ket umadani
Ti ipupusayko dita arpadmo
Biagko, agsingpetka.
Ta no itan ket panawankan.
Luluak agarubos punasem ida.

(Potters)

Taga-awaykami nga agdamdamili
Naragsak ti biagmi
Awan dukdukotmi
Nupay aduda't manglalais kadakami
Ta napanglawkam laeng nga mannamili

Toy napigket nga daga
Pitpipitpitenmi ammona
Dangga yanmi't kankanta
Takkiagmi a napigsa
Kettang ken bannogmi dikam igingina
Aglalo no adda ni Manong ditoy denna

Sakamto sukogen
Banga, dalikan, damilien
Linisen, pasilengen
Pitpiten a nalaing
Tapno maayo, magargari kay amin
Ket madardarasdanto nga lakuen

Lalaki:
Adingko, maluksawak
Ta nabuong tay banga

Babai:
Maisublim pay ita
tay patgek nga banga?
No dimo tinippay saan a nabuong
Agaluadka to ipulongka ken Nanang

Lalaki:
Mano, ading ti bayadna
tay damili nga banga?
Nangina ken nalaka, ituredko latta

Babai:
Nalaka, ading
Dios unay ti agngina

(Lullaby)

Maturog, duduayya
Maturogkad tay bunga
Tay lalaki nga napigsa
Ta inton dumakkel tay bunga,
isunto aya tay mammati
Tay amin nga ibagami.

Ay duayya, maturog man tay
binonga lalaki nga napigsa
Anakka nga binonga
lalaki a napigsa
Ta no dumakkel ket
sanggirkonto nga napigsa
Ket sarukodkonto nga napigsa
No kunkunak la ket tay binonga
Ta bareng dumakkel ket nalaka
Sikanto ti yan ti namnama
No maibuston daytoy pigsa.

Maturog aya ti lalaki
Nga arkos bakodtot' ili
Ta inton mapadakkelmi
Ket mapatan-aymin lalaki
Ta mapanto aya agbiahe
Tay ad-adayo nga ili.

Ngem ti kad ibilinko nay
Ket mangalakanto kadi
Tay manto kad a tamburi
Ken singsingko nga diamanti
Ken tay aritosko nga birilyanti
Ta addanto inta pangrirriri
Tay napintas nga babai.

(Love is grand)

Nasudi unay ni ayat no dipay maumag,
Katimbengna toy biag ket puon met amin da ragsak
Ta na dadduma kasla awanen ti makarsaak,
Kas agnanayonto laeng
Ti langtona nga sibibiag.

Ta no ni ayat uray kasano ti kasam-itna
No gaguemna ti mangulbod ken manggulib
Nalaka unay ti inna pinangliklik
Ay awanen kaasi ti agayat no dina ipasnek.

Gapuna nga lagipen ti pateg ni annad,
Tapnon maliklikam ti sikap ni naulbod nga agayat,
Ta no kas agbaybay-a ket agpaay sabali nga biag,
Siaaddanto la da ragsak ken dalus nga awan pumadpad.

(The fisherman and salt makers)

Ipagsanaankami
Asin ti pagbiaganmi
Awan ti dukdukotmi
Naragsak ti biagmi,
Nupay aduda't manglalalis mangbabain
Ta napanglawkam la nga mangasasain.

Girl:
Diay sibay ti baybay
Kellangami nga umuna,
Danggayanmi't kankanta
Taktakiagmi a napigsa,
Kettang ken bannagmi dikam igingina
Aglalo no adda ni Manong ditoy denna.

Boy:
Adingko, aganuska,
Bagim ti agsansana.

Girl:
Wen, Manong agalistoka
Agkalap ikan ken kurita,
Nakaap-apal nga agpayso't pinagbiagda
Nangngalap ken agsansana agbagayda.

(Song of an orphan)

Simpuonek nga irugi
Tay pinagbiagmi nakakaasi
Anaknak ti maysa nga pobre
Nga naipalpalais ditoy ili.

Ubingak nga maladaga
Binilbilinnak daydi nana,
Anakko agsingsingpetka
Ket innakon sabali nga daga.

(Eggplant, Tomato, Bittermelon)

Iti bigbigat nga agsapa
Agtatamdagkam man idiay tawa
Addada tarong, kamatis, paria
Nangngegko ida nga'gsasarita
Ti kunan tarong kadakuada
Siak ti kaimasan kadakay a dua
Ni ngarud parya simmungbat ita
sika tarong napalangguadka
Siak ti mangmangted-salun-atda dagiti tattao
Ay aduda nangnangruna pay dagiti agbasbasa
ken dagiti ubbing nga maladaga
Ni kamatis, immisem laeng ay gagayyem
Inkay agparbeng no siak ti mailaok iti dinengdeng
no maluto naimas manen

(Door of Heaven, Humorous song)

Laguerta ti langit agkansion ni umed
Agsigsigunda ni baed
Agdengdengngeg met ti tuleng
Aggitgitara ni pukol
Agsalsala ni pigsol
Adda met ni dulingnaka mulengleng laeng.

Ni tangad binaonda'pan
Simmukmon ti arak
Nasabatna ni singkol
Sinikolna diay botelia ket naburak.
Kinatawaan ni gusing
Kinusilapan ni gilab
Adda met ni lupoy,
Ta sipat la a sipat.

Ni kissiw isu't kosineroda
Nga'glutluto ti kanen ken sidada
No madanonanen tay oras panagkissiwna
Banga ken pariok,
ikusaykusayna.

(Popular Ilocana)

O Ilokana nga nadayag
Sabongka man a napusaksak
Liwliwadaka't marigrigat
Liwliwada met aya ni ragsak

Sabongka nga ap-apalan
Kapatadam a balasang
Dayawmo ti kapatgan
Kupit a di matulawan

Ilokana a napintas
Taeng da singpet ken imnas
Talugading adda kenka
Amin a puso agrukbabda
Singpetmo pagraeman da pintasmo
Pagdayawandaka
Ilokanaka patiennak
Bagnoska nga di matulawan

(Condition of a young lady)

Kasasaad ti kinabalasang
Paset ti biag kararagsakan,
No idiamon ket inka panawan
Aminmonton dika masublian

Adda ragsak ti makiasawa,
No ni ayat kabarbarona,
Ngem inton kamaudiananna
Rikut ti biag pasamakenna.

Ay, annadam, ti kinabalasang
Ti dana nga inka addakan,
Ta no dika makapudno ken asawam
Ay, di lumbes kugtaranna dayta rupam.

(The complaints of the souls)

O inami nga bumalay,
Agriingkay nga agmurmuray
Siak ita di kararua
Di minatayyo nga immununa

Addaak ti arubayan
Nga arsadanan ti agdan
Agdan nga inulogan
Idi ipandak idiay simbaan.

Ket idi indak impisok
Di abot inkay kinotkot
Luayo di agarubos
Ket sangityo ti di mabubos.

Ket idi indak gaburan
Luayo di agarubayan,
Sangityo ti di mabubusan,
Ket bangkayko ti inkay gawidan.

Ket idi indak panawan
Kamposanto nga kalawaan,
Leddaangyo ti napalaluan,
Adu nga lua di agpatinggan.

Ket idi inkay nakasangpet
Balay nagpaiduma't ngayed
Timekyo awan ti mangmangngeg
No di ti adu nga saibbek.

Nadanon ti ikakasiam,
Idi kuan ti ibubulan,
Pinagtawen di napuotan,
Sa lagipyo kaniak inaw-awan

Kasta la ti kasasaad
Ti aglak-am adu nga rigat.
Leddaang kas di malasat,
Ngem ti Apo't mangted supapak.

(Evening moon)

Bulan sardam
Pambian ti babbalasang
Pagsunayan ti babaknang
Baknang nga i-San Juan
San Juan a i-Bamban

(My love looks for you)

Tontonennaka toy ayat
Ayat biag daytoy kararuak
Sapsapulennaka toy gasat
Nga mangaklulo ken mangalasag.

O DueÒa nga pagraemak,
Yetnagmo't kaasim ket indengannak,
Ta uray no pakatayak
No isu¼t gustuem sia' namungak.

Mangnamnamaak, mangnamnamaak,
Ngem tinsa met rigat
Nga masansan ken agdama nga kalak-amak,
Ta no ngayangayek nga idaton kenka toy ayat,
Diak ammo dayta kunam met nga isungbat.

(Honor)

Ti Dayaw uray bassit unay,
No ammo nga salimetmetan
Dumakkel nga di agkurang
No awan mangtunday

Ammuen met ti pateg ni ayat
Tapno malisiam ti sikap
Ni naulbod nga 'gayat

Gapuna, Neneng, dika agpuloko
Dika agriro, dimo ipalubos,
Ta dikanto mairuburob
Manipud dapan inggana't tuktok.

(My offering)

No daytoy kuma ket sabong
Napno't banglo agayumuom
Isu¼t innak yarkos
Pagdalanan ket muymuyong.

No daytoy koma ket bituen
Makapurar iti sileng,
Burarek nga ububonen,
Nga ikuentas kenka, Neneng.

Ikutam man wenno saan,
Toy pusok, bukodmo kukuam,
Patgem man wenno ranggasam
Kayawmo inggana¼t patay.

Uray pay no tutuokem,
Uray pay no rabrabakem,
Toy pusok kukuam laeng
Kayawmo inggana't tanem.

(Ideal Farmer¼s wife)

Nagrigat nga agpasion
Panagbiag asawa't mannalon
Kanayon a nasapa't bangon
Lalaki mapantaltalon,
Agawitto manen ti balon
Agsikka pay iti bunubon
No malem ket agawidton
Ta daytayto man agluton.

Ngem nupay kasano't rigat
Adu a dukdukuten ti biag
No lugarmo ti agragsak
Masapul ti tumayaktak.
Ipadas nga'd ti kumanta
Ipadas met ti sumala
Padasen met nga iparang
Sainita idi kalman.

(My plants)

Nagmulaak ti katuday
Diay tuktok diay bantay,
Napan met kinaraykay
Ni nadawel a kannaway.

Agaluadka sika kannaway
Ta uggesek dayta ramay
Ta aramidek a sagaysay
Sagaysay ni Lela Kikay.

Nagmulaak ti tabako
Diay tuktok diay puro,
Napan met sinang-sangdo
Ni nadawel a kabalio.

Agaluadka kabalio
Tuktukkolek dayta sungo,
Ta 'ramidek nga suako
Suakonto ni Lelongko.

(We are pot makers)

Taga-San Nicolaskami nga agdamdamili
Naragsak ti biagmi, awan dukdukotmi
Nupay aduda a manglalais kadakami
Ta napanglawkam' nga agdamdamili

Tay napigket a daga
Gamayenmi nga umuna
Warakiwakan ti darat,
Ramasen tukelen
Ta tapnon agdedekketda nga nalaing
Ket nalaklaka nga intay bibiren

Isagana't pagbibiran
Tay rigis ken danum
Tay natukel a daga
Teptepen nga umuna
Ket itan buklen tay ngarab ti banga
Pulpuligusem tapno nalinis latta.

Tay nabibir a daga
Nga inkam' inpamaga
Pitpiten a buklen
Nalaka a padakkelen
Idiiden pulaan sa ibilag manen
Santo gebbaen ading intan mangilin.

(Listen, O Precious One)

Imdengam, O Imnas
Ta inka kad mangrikna,
Kadagitoy nga un-unnoy,
Toy gumawgawawa.
Ammuen nga toy ayatko
Nagtaud gapu kenka,
Sika awan sabali
Kinayawam daytoy rikna.

Apay apay dayta nakem,
Agmayeng, mangduadua,
Wenno ipagarupmo aya nga rabrabakenka?
Saan, saan, saan biagko,
Punasem kad dayta duadua,
Awanen ti ay-ayatek
No di la siksika.

(Come to school, Childrens' Song)

Umayka ti eskuela, tapno lumaingka
Adu ti masursuro
Maestra ti pangulo

Tungpalem ti bagana paginbagan ida
Ta ragsak da nanangmo
ken ni pay tatangmo

(Saluyot Vegetable Song)

Toy saluyot a nagalis
Nateng dayta nga il-iliwen
No sidaem, dimo ngalngalen
Sul-oyen saka tilmonen

Magustuan ti uray siasino
Nabaknang wenno nanumo
Nateng a saluyot, wen makabiag
Makaited nasayaat a salun-at

Ngarud intay sidaen a sansanen
No sakit kayattay nag atipaen
Ta langa ken bagi ti pumusaksak
Saluyot, ay, makaited salun-at



Domingo, Damiana L. 1996. Philippine Folk Literature: the Folk Songs. Manila: De la Salle University Press.

Back to Carl Rubino's homepage.

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Go to the webpage of Philippine Linguists.

Ilocano literature or Iloko literature pertains to the literary works of writers of Ilocano ancestry regardless of the language used - be it Ilocano, English, Spanish or other foreign and Philippine languages. In Ilocano language, the terms "Iloko" and "Ilocano" are different. Generally, "Iloko" is the language while "Ilocano" refers to the people or the ethnicity of the people who speak the Iloko language.

Ilocano literature in the Philippines is one of several regional Philippine literatures. It is one of the most active tributaries to the general Philippine literature, next to Tagalog (Filipino) and Philippine Literature in English.

History of Iloko literature[edit]

Ilocanos are descendants of Austronesian-speaking people from southern China via Taiwan. Families and clans arrived by viray or bilog, meaning "boat". The term Ilokano originates from i-, "from", and looc, "cove or bay", thus "people of the bay." Ilokanos also refer to themselves as Samtoy, a contraction from the Ilokano phrase sao mi ditoy, "our language here".

Precolonial times to the 19th century[edit]

Pre-colonial Iloko literature were composed of folk songs, riddles, proverbs, lamentations called dung-aw, and epic stories in written or oral form. Ancient Ilokano poets expressed themselves in folk and war songs as well as the dallot, an improvised, versified and at times impromptu long poem delivered in a sing-song manner.

During the Spanish regime, Iloko poetry was generally patterned after Spanish models. In fact, the earliest known written Iloko poems were the romances translated from Spanish by Francisco Lopez, an Augustinian friar who, in 1621, published his own Iloko translation of the Doctrina Cristiana by Cardinal Bellarmine, the first book to be printed in Iloko.

A study of Iloko poetry could be found in the Gramatica Ilokana, published in 1895, based on Lopez's Arte de la Lengua Iloca, earlier published in 1627, but was probably written before 1606.


Some Iloko writers credit Pedro Bucaneg, who collaborated with Lopez in the translation of the Doctrina into Iloko, for having been the first known Ilokano poet, and as the "Father of Ilokano Poetry and Literature." Bucaneg, blind since childhood, authored the popular epic known as Biag ni Lam-ang ("Life of Lam-ang") written in the 17th century. The earliest written form of the epic poem was given by Fr. Gerardo Blanco to Isabelo de los Reyes, who published it in El Ilocano from December 1889 to February 1890, with Spanish translation in prose, and also reprinted it in his El Folklore Filipino, under the title Vida de Lam-ang.

Ilocano literature developed in many ways. During the 18th century, the missionaries used religious as well as secular literatures among other means to advance their mission of converting the Ilokanos to Christianity. The century also saw the publication of religious works like Fr. Jacinto Rivera's Sumario de las Indulgencias in 1719 and the Pasion, a translation of St. Vincent Ferrer's sermons into Iloko by Fr. Antonio Mejia in 1845.

The 19th century likewise saw the appearance of Leona Florentino, who has since been considered by some as the "National Poetess of the Philippines". Her poems which have survived, however, appear to the modern reader as being too syrupy for comfort, too sentimental to the point of mawkishness, and utterly devoid of form.


Fr. Justo Claudio Fojas, an Ilokano secular priest who wrote novenas, prayerbooks, catechism, metrical romances, dramas, biographies, a Spanish grammar and an Iloko-Spanish dictionary, was Leona Florentino's contemporary.

Isabelo de los Reyes, Leona's son, himself wrote poems, stories, folklore, studies, and seemingly interminable religious as well as political articles. The achievement of both Claudio Fojas and de los Reyes is possibly more significant than the critical reader of Iloko literature today is ready to admit.

The comedia, otherwise known as the moro-moro, and the zarzuela were presented for the first time in the Ilocos in the 19th century. The comedia, a highly picturesque presentation of the wars between Christians and Muslims, and the zarzuela, an equally picturesque depiction of what is at once melodrama, comic-opera, and the skit interminably preoccupied with the eternal theme of boy-meets-girl-who-always-live-happily-ever-after-against-seemingly-impossible-odds are still as popular today as they were when first staged in the Ilocos.

The comedia was scripted from the corridos like Principe Don Juan, Ari Esteban ken Reyna Hipolita, Doce Paris, Bernardo Carpio, Jaime del Prado. Marcelino Mena Crisologo helped popularize the zarzuela based on the culture and tradition of the Ilokanos particularly those in Vigan, Ilocos Sur. So did Pascual Agcaoili y Guerrero (1880–1958) of Ilocos Norte who wrote and staged "Daguiti Agpaspasukmon Basi," and Isaias R. Lazo (1887–1983) of San Vicente, Ilocos Sur who wrote comedia and zarzuela.

The year 1892 saw the printing for the first time of the first Iloko novel, written by Fr. Rufino Redondo, an Augustinian friar, titled "Matilde de Sinapangan." Another Iloko novel which was written before the end of the 19th century by one Don Quintin Alcid was "Ayat, Kaanonto Ngata?" ("Love, When Shall it Be?").

Arturo Centeno of Vigan, Ilocos Sur, also wrote three novels titled "Apay a Di Mangasawa?" ("Why Doesn't He Get Married?"), "Dispensara" and "Padi a Puraw Wenno Naamo a Kibin" ("A White Priest or a Good Guide").

20th century literature[edit]

The 20th century was comparatively more intense in literary activity. Some of the literature in this period are "Biag ti Maysa a Lakay, Wenno Nakaam-ames a Bales" ("Life of an Old Man, or a Dreadful Revenge") by Mariano Gaerlan (1909); "Uray Narigat no Paguimbagan" ("Improvement Despite Obstacles") by Facundo Madriaga (1911); "Mining Wenno Ayat ti Cararua" ("Mining or Spiritual Love") by Marcelino Peña Crisologo (1914); "Nasam-it ken Narucbos nga Sabong dagiti Dardarepdep ti Agbaniaga" ("Sweet and Fresh Flower of a Traveller's Dreams") by Marcos E. Millon (1921); "Sabsabong ken Lulua" ("Flowers and Tears") by R. Respicio (1930); "Apay a Pinatayda ni Naw Simon?" ("Why Did They Kill Don Simon?") first known detective novel in Iloko by Leon C. Pichay (1935); "Puso ti Ina" ("A Mother's Heart") by Leon C. Pichay (1936).

When the Bannawag magazine, a sister publication of Liwayway, Bisaya and Hiligaynon, hit the streets on Nov. 3, 1934, Iloko literature reached a headland. Many Ilokanos started to write literary pieces.

The early Bannawag short stories showed sustained growth. The short stories written in the 1920s were poor imitations of equally poor American fiction. Early short story writers had practically no literary background in their attempts.

The growth of the short story was not apparent until Bannawag resumed publication in 1947. Most of the stories published dealt with themes of war; guerrilla activities, Japanese atrocities, murder, pillage and death. By the latter part of the decade, writers of different ages emerged, and from their ranks came stories that were less verbose, tighter,and with more credible characterization than those written previously.

While many articles have been written by Ilokanos and non-Ilokanos about the Ilocos Region, few scholarly studies have been conducted. Among these scholars were Leopoldo Y. Yabes of the University of the Philippines, who made a brief survey of Iloko literature in 1934. His findings showed that Iloko literature began with Pedro Bucaneg.

In 1940, Thomas B. Alcid of the University of Santo Tomas made a study on the Iloko prose fiction and discussed the Iloko short story and the Iloko novel and their possibilities in Philippine literature. His study showed that the short stories and novels at that time were still young and needed more improvement.

In 1954, Mercedes F. Guerrero of the Manuel L. Quezon Educational Institution (now MLQU) made a masteral thesis titled "Critical Analysis of the Outstanding Iloco Short Stories Published in the Bannawag from 1948 to 1952." Her findings showed that the Iloko stories offer a mine of information about the ideals and customs of the Filipino people. In the display of emotions and feelings, the Iloko author has been free or spontaneous in dealing with the life he portrayed. Most often he has been compassionate with his characters. He has treated a wide variety of subjects that there is no important place of Filipino life that has not been depicted. There are stories on mere trifling matters as well as their own nation-slaking subjects. These are stories about persons, about animals, about places and about events.

Guerrero also found out that the Ilokano author served his society by: 1.) Preserving the ideals, customs and traditions of the people. 2.) Bringing out the social consciousness of the era—its mood, conflicts, struggles, and rehabilitation. 3.) Awakening man's sensibilities to the joys, sorrows, loves, hatreds and jealousies of the people. 4.) Casting away sectional sentiments and prejudices and bringing about fuller understanding of the different ethnic groups.

A related literature published by Dr. Marcelino A. Foronda, Jr. in 1967, titled "Dallang: An Introduction to Philippine Literature in Iloko," discussed the traits and characteristics of the Ilokanos. Of their literature, he stated: "...The Ilokano language is so highly developed as to have produced the greatest number of printed works in any Philippine language, next to Tagalog.

Bannawag has played and still plays a major role in the development of Iloko literature. At present, it publishes poems (daniw), short stories (sarita), novels (nobela), essays (salaysay), comics, biographies, folktales and many others including what some call avant garde literary output. It is the only magazine where Ilokano writers hope to publish most of their writings.

During the magazine's infancy years in the 1930s, most of its contents were translations from the Liwayway magazine save a novel by Hermogenes F. Belen titled "Nadaraan a Linnaaw" (Blood-stained Dew) which was serialized in 1947. Other writers at that time included Benjamin M. Pascual, David D. Campañano, Godofredo S. Reyes, Benito de Castro, Jose P. Acance, Benjamin Gray, Marcelino A. Foronda,Jr.

In the 1960s, poems, short stories and novels published by the Bannawag became better — in craftsmanship, development of plots and themes, among others. Writers by then, most of whom were college students and professionals, had a bigger library of literary books.

To help in the development of the Iloko short story, Bannawag launched a writing contest in 1961. The judges were Prof. Santiago Alcantara of the National University, Prof. Angel C. Anden of the Manuel L. Quezon University, and Dr. Marcelino A. Foronda, Jr. of the De La Salle University-Manila. This contest lasted until 1970. One of the judges said the quality of Iloko short stories was competitive with those written in English. Before the martial-law era, most of the poems, stories and novels dwelt on political unrest and protests, like rallies and demonstrations by students, professionals and workers against the government.(From an essay by Jose A. Bragado. Bragado is one of the foremost writers in contemporary Ilokano literature. He is a former literary editor of Bannawag magazine and past president of GUMIL, an international association of Ilokano writers.)

Iloko Literature: Today and Tomorrow[edit]

Ilokano writers have also published their works in foreign countries. One of the most popular authors of Ilocano ancestry abroad was the late Carlos Bulosan, a California immigrant born to Ilokano parents in Pangasinan. And currently, the most internationally translated Filipino author is an Ilokano from Rosales, Pangasinan—Francisco Sionil Jose, popularly known as F. Sionil Jose. He is famous for his Rosales saga, a five-novel work about an Ilokano clan, virtually documenting Philippine history from Spanish time to the years of the Marcos administration. The novels, translated in about 22 languages, are circulated and read around the world.

Back home, many Iloko writers have won major prizes in the annual Palanca Awards, the most prestigious and most anticipated of all literary contests in the Philippines. These famous winners' names include Reynaldo A. Duque, Ricarte Agnes, Aurelio S. Agcaoili, Lorenzo G. Tabin, Jaime M. Agpalo Jr., Prescillano N. Bermudez, William V. Alvarado, Maria Fres-Felix, Clarito G. de Francia, Arnold Pascual Jose, Eden Aquino Alviar, Severino Pablo, Ariel S. Tabag, Daniel L. Nesperos, Roy V. Aragon, Danilo Antalan, Joel B. Manuel, Bernardo D. Tabbada, Noli S. Dumlao and others.

Children's books[edit]

Ti Bantay A Nagayat Iti Maysa A Billit[edit]

Ti Bantay A Nagayat Iti Maysa A Billit is a fully illustrated, colored children's picture book. The original story is The Mountain That Loved A Bird by Alice McLerran. Originally published in the United States with illustrations by Eric Carle, the story has been translated to Iloko by Herminio S. Beltran, Jr. and illustrated with new art by Beaulah Pedregosa Taguiwalo drawn from the landscapes of the Philippines.

The publisher is Mother Tongue Publishing Inc., a new publishing company based in Manila, Philippines formed in November 2006 by Mario and Beaulah Taguiwalo. Their mission is to publish books in as many languages as possible. They are inspired by the words of science fiction writer Ursula K. Le Guin: “Literature takes shape and life in the body, in the wombs of the mother tongue.” They also agree with neuro-scientist Elkhonon Goldberg who refers to mother tongues as “an extremely adaptive and powerful device for modeling not only what is, but also what will be, what could be, and what we want and do not want to be.”[citation needed]

The GUMIL - Gunglo dagiti Mannurat nga Ilokano[edit]

Main article: GUMIL Filipinas

On October 19, 1968, GUMIL Filipinas (Ilokano Writers Association of the Philippines) was organized in Baguio City. Arturo M. Padua, then mayor of Sison, Pangasinan, was elected president. The officers took their oath of office before President Ferdinand E. Marcos.

GUMIL Filipinas or Gunglo dagiti Mannurat nga Ilokano iti Filipinas, Inc., was incorporated and registered with the Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission on January 8, 1977.

GUMIL Filipinas' main objectives are:

    • To provide a forum in which Ilokano writers can undertake common and cooperative efforts to improve their craft of writing literary, historical, research and other works;
    • To enrich Ilokano literature and cultural heritage as phases of the national identity by encouraging the members to concentrate on writing extensively and intensively about the social, economic, cultural and other aspects of growth and development among the Ilokanos through literature, history, research, or the like;
    • To publish books of poetry, short stories, essays, novels, historical accounts, research and critical studies, and other writings; and
    • To assist each member in pursuing his/her writing career and in fulfilling his life as a member of Philippines society.

(Excerpted from an essay by Jose A. Bragado)

List of Ilokano writers[edit]

Main article: Ilocano writers

External links[edit]

See also[edit]

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