Our regional language, Bikol, is yet to be picked up by Google and efforts for that to be possible are only on their initial stages of conception…
Allow me to post for you a rough translation of this poem. Manoy Ben’s or another friend’s could be closer to the original, this nonetheless is how I understand the poem and is as far as the constraints of my vocabulary of our own language reaches, so here goes:
What is it then, really?
beggars that line the stretch of the road
right in front of the house across the neighborhood
from the time i still crept on all four, hands and feet on the floor
till all the Fridays that followed, i’ve never faltered to witness
by the slits of our windows and door
a prodding mystery that in my naivete clouded my mind, o why
these pitiful sights, too heavy of a burden for a child’s mind
till on the daily business of life with the passing of time
all else have become ordinary, and they were seen as a gang reveling
whence, by merits of the academe, ‘midst the witnessed struggles
what broke out into the stream and walked the streets is the activist
and yet the queue of beggars were never removed before our eyes
and the little stream became a river that to the next bend extended
of these paupers and homeless people who appear incessantly by the door
yet whose roots could not be traced, that we must find out and know
turning heads around from this sad movie that plays back everyday
all is blamed to the bespoken corruption that reels in the government
limestone in the crowd, or sand and sediment like them: behind the bars, go!
in the cold of the metal jail fences enclosing,
feeling so sorry for what has become of the self
is the hearkening of the light of understanding,
oh how severe were the ways followed, full of pits and falls!
Is this indeed the road that leads us to our sufferings’ roots?
beggars, from dusted Bible times, well there have already been many
and so perhaps ne’er the government nor it’s said democracy did breed?
perhaps the keys that would shift the gear are right
within the pockets of the mariners of our ship
those aristocrats, they sought the seat of power, and won by many votes
save a little fraction, they all used their political position to further their possessions
but whether inherited riches or stolen from the nation’s people is not the issue
what sums all these talks is their ignorance of what obligation
has he who is entrusted with much things of value
it is in the book that we read ‘responsibilities of wealth’ but ’tis now
forgotten. even though investments are good, nothing can be traded
against providing service that is true to its word.
Profit with honor, SMC by Soriano
would anyone know if it’s still being run
the same way by Cojuangco?
If then the roots of this pauperhood and destitution, could not be found
for the ones seated in power, are not all greedy over wealth,
but in any one who has much, whether stolen or inherited,
all holders of the stake are on the same plane standing:
in their hands fall the burden to alleviate all the suffering
But where could they all be, these who have more
than what they need, truly wealthy indeed and capable
To, with all of heart’s sincerity, give voluntarily,
from all their gains. Dumped with so much graces
that the one ABOVE to them has only willfuly lent,
for just how many Manny Pacquiao’s does our nation,
the Philippines, really need?
This is The Midnight Writer’s rough translation of Manoy Ben Bobis’ “Ano Baya Talaga?”
A little reflection from a parishioner after Manny Pacquiao won his 8th world boxing title.
Read more: Musings of the Midnight Writer: What is it then, really?
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