©2009 by Antonio Enriquez All rights reserved.

Tumaga Folk Songs

Edited by a.r.enriquez Recorded by Joy Enriquez Already the old people are sitting in the corner sarisari store in Tumaga, Zamboanga City, waiting for us —my wife Joy and me—with anxious, creased faces. It is a pleasant Sunday afternoon, and the 2:00 o’clock sun is cool on the nipa-thatched roof of the store. Señor Cristobal Manuel, 71, a retired teacher, smiles at us and right away recalls seeing me some six months ago. Bueno gayot el memoria –The old man still has a good memory, I think. The others, Señores Ramon Jalon, 52, stocky, owner of the store, and Clem Bascar, a research assistant from Zamboanga State College—sit on long wooden benches. We have come to Tumaga on a tricycle to listen to old folk (maga ancianos, says Manuel) sing folk songs. While the ancianos, with short-sighted vision looking down at their notebook, sing and Jalon strums a guitar, I notice the pure Spanish lyrics (surprising even to me whose mother-tongue is Chabacano) in the serenades, sentimental songs and despididas. NOTE: Tumaga folk songs were translated into English by author’s father, Isidro Enriquez. “This is Melanio’s (Rebel Major Melanio Calixto*) song,” says Ramon Jalon. “Who told us? Gavino Alfredo said this song belonged to Melanio, who composed this while hiding in the swamps from the American invaders.”

Chabacano Orilla En Zamboanga Orilla en Zamboanga Se ven los manglares Con robusto tronco Explendida sombra Con sus verdes hojas Color de ojete Prestando el espiritu Y dulsura sin par. Que triste la vida Lejos de tu seno Cual mi amor existe Fuera de tus campos El cielo entristese Y luz no purgosa. O! este es mi patria, Mi patria de amor. Enlish The Shores of Zamboanga The shores of Zamboanga Abound with swamps With sturdy trunks

Majestic shadows With verdant leaves The color of green Lend the spirit Sweetness uncompared. How sorrowful is life Far away from you. The existence of my life Away from your fields The sky becomes gloomy And light does not shine. O! this is my country, My beloved country. *Melanio Calixto was the most trusted officer of Gen. Vicente Alvarez,the latter had led the Philippine revolution in Zamboanga Peninsula against the Spanish colonizers. Calixto was assassinated by Mayor Midel of Tetuan district, a traitor, who turned over the rebels’ rifles and guns to the American naval commander, waiting along Zamboanga’s shores, to invade Zamboanga. __________ “When I got married, I gave up all vices. Except serenading. I love to sing, and even now I still sing,” says Cristobal Manuel, as we prepared our recording contraption for “taping.” Chabacano Huerfano Soy

Huerfano soy de un amor Que perdi. Que hace tiempo amaba yo Y que nunca pence Que me has de olvidar Por otro amor, mujer. Y que he de hacer si mi Sueño fatal asi me Persigue? Tu ingrata ay de me; Despreciado mi amor Sin su causa mi bien. O! que crueldad y sin Piedad me has arropado. Compacion te pido, para Este desdichado No se la causa por que tu Me has despreciado. Ven, que te quiero yo, Y no seas cruel a este Pobre amador. English I am an orphan of love

Which I lost. Love that long I cherished And never thought That you would forget me For another love, woman. And what shall I do if such Is the cruel fate that Has befallen on me? You, ungrateful! Pity me, You rejected my love Without cause, my dear. O! with what cruelty and Without pity you have Bewitched me. Compassion I asked of thee; To this wretched that is Not the cause why you should scorn me. Come, for I love you! and Do ot be cruel to this Forlorn lover. _________ “Let us sing a despedida cancion before we all go. We have songs for all occasions,” suggested Ramon Jalon. Chabacano

Cancion de Despedida Creis mujer que no amabas con dulce siento tu tierno amor. Duerme, mujer en su cama Creyendo y juro por tu amor Al dispertar que estabas ya enbrazo de otro amador. English Farewell Song Darling, I thought you loved me, with sweet feelings I felt your tender love. Everything has been an illusion on your promises of love. Sleep, darling in your bed while I swear my true love to you. But I woke up to find you

in the arms of another lover. In vain has been my love in vain has been then my desire. Everything was lost; my illusion, that promise of your love. Ungrateful woman, tell me if I am bitter to you then I shall go far away from you. Farewell forever! Farewell! It is now late afternoon. The sun is gone from the nipa-thatched roof of the sari-sari store. If we do leave now, twilight will catch u with us in Tumaga. Not that we wish to leave mi ilucion of the past. Tut we have a five-year-old daughter who is likely waiting for us at home, eager to see our faces. End

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful