Parte segundo de la traducción

Remember when I tried to explain the meaning of Sarapen? Well, ice_of_dreams, who I encountered on LiveJournal through our mutual appreciation (or former appreciation) of Ranma 1/2 and fanfiction thereof, has offered a more complete translation. Following is the comment left on my LJ:

World keeps getting smaller. I am Filipino too. 🙂 And you’re fortunate I still live in the Philippines and can translate. (and let me tell you these words are deep and aren’t used in daily conversation so I have to ask my dad and helper who’re from the Tagalog region to make sense of some of the words)

I hope you’re ready for this, this is long


Penpen de sarapen
de kutsilyo de almasen.
Haw haw de carabao
de batuten.

I have to wait for my father for the penpen de sarapen. He would know what that means. (Update: “btw, the first line penpen de sarapen, means nothing my dad says.”)

“Kutsilyo” is knife, you’re right. “Almasen” in Tagalog, means mortar and pestle. The de in front of each syllable means nothing, it’s a place holder for the syllabication to match.

Haw haw de carabao is the sound the carabao makes when it laughs. The carabao will laugh at the “batuten”.

Before I explain further, I’ll have to explain how we played penpen de sarapen when we were children.

As you know penpen de sarapen is a rhyme and it’s played with intonation. A child lands their finger on each of the fingers splayed out as a syllable is sung out (the more children the more fingers the merrier, the longer to finish). At tne end of the song, the finger under the person who’s singing the song should fold. When all your ten fingers are folded, you’re out. Which is actually a good thing. The last person whose finger folds is the “it”.

The “it” is the principle of “batuten”. The “batuten” is the “it” and the song is telling you that it’s going to choose an it.

Saya kong pula, tatlong pera.
Saya kong puti, tatlong salapi.

Although sayang means something, saya ko is completely different. “Sayang” means it’s regrettable, and truly, Sayang ang pula doesn’t mean anything.

“Saya kong pula” means my red blouse and “Saya kong puti” means my white blose.

In the old days (when my parents were young), when one cents and five cents had buying power, one cent was called “pera” and not just money. “Salapi” is fifty cents. Therefore the stanza means My red blouse, three cents (presumably costing this). My white blouse, three fifty cent coins (Php 1.50).

Sipit namimilipit
Ginto‘t Pilak
Sa tabi ng DAGAT!

As you know this is a rhyme, so this stanza is describing the seaside (tabi ng dagat). Therefore it shouldn’t be taken literally. “Sipit” is a crab’s pincers and “namimilipit” is what it does, although I guess namimilipit brings to my head the idea of agonizing pain, (imagine yourself with a stomach ache and you’re doubled over, that’s namimilipit). The first line is a warning against crab’s pincers.

The last lines, “ginto’t pilak namumulaklak sa tabi ng dagat” means as you thought. Gold and silver flowering beside the sea. I remember when I was small, I was told that it was a flower blooming beside the seashore. I’ll have to get back to you on this, but this might just be sea shells that have been washed to shore. (Update: “Dad also says that the ginto’t pilak namumulaklak could also be the sand by the seashore. So you have flower/sand/sea shells.”)

There are other stanzas but this is the main stanzas used here in Manila. Another stanza I got from my helper was this:

Mugmog kalimog
manggang hinog

could be used instead as ginto’t pilak namumulaklak sa tabi ng dagat. (Haha there are coconut crabs)

“Manggang hinog” means ripe mango.

Mugmog kalimog are onomatopeic sounds that mean the mango is almost ready for harvest (or sounds that you’re waiting for harvest).

3 Replies to “Parte segundo de la traducción”

  1. ive never heard of mugmog kalimog, but the saya kong pula….it is saya’ng pula, shortened from saya na pula.

    ill jot the the rest of my 2cents later. gotta get ready for work muna.

  2. It’s “BOG BOG KALABOG BOG, MANGGANG HINOG” the sound of falling ripe mango. I’ve never heard “mugmog kalimog.”

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