Filipino Translation: “The Metier of Blossoming” by Denise Levertov

creative commons flickr Gerald Stolk commons granted by Gerard Stoke on flickr



Fully occupied in growing—that’s
the amaryllis
a Juno, calm in brilliance,
a maiden giantess in modest splendor.
If humans could be
that intensely whole, undistracted, unhurried,
swift from sheer
unswerving impetus! If we could blossom
out of ourselves, giving
nothing imperfect, withholding nothing!


Tagalog/ Filipino Translation

Abala ang kabuuan sa paglago—yan
ang amarilis
isang dyosa, mahinahon sa kanyang ningning,
isang matayog na dalaga sa simpleng kagandahan,
Kung kaya lamang ng tao
ang maging kasing-tindi sa pagkabuo, walang pagkalingat, walang pagmamadali,
mabilis dahil lamang
sa ‘di-matinag na puwersa! Kung kaya lang natin ang bumukadkad
mula sa kaibuturan ng sarili, na ang tanging dulot ay
pagkabusilak, walang pagpipigil!

READ the entire poem Teach this poem: The Metier of Blossoming (Denise Levertov)


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Saranggola ni Pepe (Pepe’s Kite) | Lyrics by Nonoy Gallardo (Translated from Tagalog by Su Layug


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Saranggola ni Pepe
(Lyrics by Nonoy Gallaro, Popularized by Celeste Legaspi)

Matayog ang lipad ng saranggola ni Pepe
Matayog ang pangarap ng matandang bingi
Umihip ang hangin, nawala sa paningin
Sigaw ng kahapon, nilamon na ng alon
Malabo ang tunog ng kampanilya ni Padre
Maingay ang taginting, rosaryo ng babae

Matayog ang lipad ng saranggola ni Pepe
Matayog ang pangarap ng matandang bingi
Hinuli ang ibon, pinagsuot ng pantalon
Tinali ng pisi, hindi na nagsinturon
Dumaan ang jeepney at gumuhit pa sa kalye
Mauling ang iniwang hindi na tinabi

Matayog ang lipad ng saranggola ni Pepe
Matayog ang pangarap ng matandang bingi
Pinilit umawit, ang naglaro’y isang ingit
Lumuha ang langit at ang mundo ay nanliit
Kumakaway sa bakod ang anghel na nakatanod
Sumusuway sa utos, puso’y sinusunod

collection of various white note papers on white background.

The song “Saranggola ni Pepe” written by NonoyGallardo, was popularized by Celeste Legazpi in the late 70’s. Its highly visual lyrics and elusive meaning appealed to political activists who, oppressed under the rule of the Marcos regime, could not openly criticize his government, for fear that they could end up “invited” to the military camps and end up like many who were held as political prisoners without due process, and many of whom became “the disappeared.”

Still, never explicitly categorized as a protest song, the folk song elements of this music also appealed to the masses and the children; and it was routinely included in school program performances.  Personally, this song appeals to me in its poetic ellipse — its levels of meaning and interpretations, as versatile and playful as the archetypal kite.

Ang Nakasakay (The Rider) by Naomi Shihab Nye (Transl. by Su Layug)


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“Cloister” photo credit/flickr/UniversalPops

Ang Nakasakay

~ Naomi Shihab Nye

(pagsasalin ni Su Layug)

Sabi ng isang totoy
kung bibilisan daw niya ang pag-roller-skate
hindi siya mahahabol ng kalungkutan niya,

ang pinakamagandang dahilan na narinig ko
para magpursigeng maging kampeyon.

Ang minumuni ko ngayong gabi
habang nag-pe-pedal sa King William Street
ay kung uubra rin ito sa bisikleta.

Panalo ‘to! Ang iwanan ang kalungkutan
na humihingal sa isang kanto
habang lumulutang kang libre sa ulap ng kapagdakang mga azalea,
mga pink na talulot na hindi kailanman nakaramdam ng kalungkutan,
kahit na gaano pa sila kabagal malagas.

A translation in response to:

A copy of the original poem from Tumblr blog: A Poem A Day

Micropoetry No. 1 “Migration” (Pagdayo)


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Creating an Ecosytem in 140 Characters (NPR's April 14 broadcast of this poem)

UPDATE: This Twitter poem has been selected and read by poet Holly Bass on National Public Radio’s Tell Me More on April 8, 2014 as part of a month-long celebration of poetry. Please click on the link below for the audio and transcript

National Public Radio Tell Me More #TMMPoetry audio and transcript

The original Tweet of Commander Chris Hadfield to which I respond with micropoetry

My Twitter poetry response:

Copyright © 2013 2014 Su Layug. All Rights Reserved

MY Tagalog Translation as #TMMpoetry Tweet:

What is #TMMPoetry?

Telepono (Telephone) ni Grald Soda Alop, Translated to English by Su Layug




photo credit: Aqua Church flickr/Rennett Stowe

This poem was orignally posted in The Hawak-Kamay Haiyan Disaster Relief Project


— Grald Soda Alop  © (all rights reserved by the author)


Kay tagal na isinulat kataga na dapat ,

salitang nais na mabasa nais maiulat ,

sa bawat buga ng sigarilyong nakasamä,

ang pag hingay malalim nakadungaw sa bintanä,


ang nais ng pandinig ,mata o pandama,

balitang mula sa iyo kumusta ka na ba,

ang sisiy sa akin hindi sa bagyo,

hindi rin sa dyaryo kundi

sa panahong sinayang ko


alumpihit sa upuan hawak ang telepono,

naghihintay ako kahit isang mensahe mo,

sa huli napagtanto ,

sa panahon na ganto,


telepono na hawak,

hindi pala bentahe no?


kailangan ay dasal kusang gawa ng mga kamay,

mga salita na kusa sa labi dumantay


pisi ng pag asa ,

lubid ng paniniwalä,

ang tanging kinapitan sa panahon ng sakunä




(translation) by Su Layug (w/ author’s permission)

Creative Commons License
This work (translation) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. (link back when possible)


How long it took for the word to be written,

a word I wanted read, I wanted posted,

for each cigarette puff that comes with,

is a deep breath, while staring out the window,


what the hearing, sight or feeling wants

is news from you, how you are,

the blame is on me not on the storm,

nor the newspaper but on

time that I wasted


unsettled in my chair, holding the phone,

I waited for even just one message from you,

in the end I realized,

In these times,


the phone in my hand,

is not of much use, no?


what I need is prayer, crafted with my hands,

words that willingly come to my lips


lifeline of hope,

rope of faith,

the only thing we hang on to in times of disaster



Please consider donating to UNICEF (verified Twitter Page)

Or directly to UNICEF Philippines:

Notes from Leyte (found poem from the news)


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photo: flickr/Patrick Hoesly

Copyright on TEXT/POETRY © 2013 Su Layug. All Rights Reserved.*

Notes from Leyte

(found poem from the news)

On the rippled edge
of a half-moon paper plate —
perhaps kept dry in a bag
for a wedge of a birthday cake —
the scribbling says,
“Buhi Kami Tanan.”
(We’re All Alive)

On a narrow-ruled page,
ripped from a spiral
that used to bind school notes,
in curly manuscript:
“We’re fine. No house, no food.
Still looking
for Big Diding.
Don’t worry.”

A piece of brown bag,
kept neat, perhaps, to wrap
kan-on, sinugba or a sandwich
that mother or father would have made:
in bold, block letters, says,
“Ate, mom and dad are dead. Please
tell everyone.
No connection.”

I wish the world to write them back:

Mga Sulat Mula sa Leyte

(natuklasang tula, mula sa balita)

Sa alun-along gilid ng hating-buwan
na papel na pinggan —
na maaaring itinabi
para sa isang hiwa ng birthday cake —
nakasulat ito:
“Buhi Kami Tanan.”
(Buhay Kaming Lahat)

Sa makikitid na linya ng isang pahina
na pinunit mula sa alambre
na dati’y nagkukupkop ng mga tala
sa eskwela,
sa mapalabok na panulat:
“Ligtas kami. Walang bahay, walang pagkain.
Hinahanap pa rin
si Diding Laki.
Ayaw la kabalaka.”

Sa pirasong paper bag
na masinop ang tiklop, siguro’y pagbabalutan
Ng kan-on, sugba o sandwich
na gagawin sana ni nanay o tatay:
Sa malalaki’t makakapal na letra,
“Ate, patay na si mommy at daddy. Pakisabi
sa lahat.
Walang koneksiyon.”

Pagnanasa ko ang balik-sulat ng mundo:

All The Words: October 2013 Poetry (excerpt) by @MagdaKapa Translated to Filipino by Su Layug


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ImageCreative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.


Lahat ng mga Salita: Oktubre 2013 



Isipan: isang tsiklet na minumuni-muni mo hanggang mawalan na siya ng lasa.



Pag-ibig: Ang pinakamalalaking katotohanan ay mga tugtog.

Pag-ibig: ang hindi binibigkas ang siyang nakababasag sa sarili.

Pag-ibig: Ang pinakamalulungkot na kapalaran ay mga puntod na.

Pag-ibig: gayunpaman.


All The Words: October 2013



Thought: a chewing gum you keep in mind as long as it takes to take all flavor out of it.



Love: the biggest truths are tunes.

Love: the unspoken leaves one broken.

Love: the saddest fates are now graves.

Love: and yet.


The full text of the English original can be read here:

The Moon Bit the Sun by Su Layug with Filipino translation| stringed haikus under the #eclipse theme


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photo credit (creative commons: attribution/no derivs/non-commercial use):

Copyright on TEXT/POETRY © 2013 Su Layug. All Rights Reserved.*

The Moon Bit the Sun
by Su Layug

The moon bit the sun
over the pi-legged docks~
sleep’s bonus hour


Mom in KSA
poses for half-smile selfie~
kingdom eclipses


A night crab scuttles
among eclipse tourists’ bags~
the apocalypse


Child sleeps in dad’s arm
under sun-and-moon mingling~
oceanic sighs


T’was hide-or-be-killed
sun-moon collapse among rocks~
a vet’s remembrance


The moon bit the sun
the earth goes hide-and-seeking~
a ship sails for home




Kinagat ng Buwan ang Araw
ni Su Layug


Kagat ng buwan ang araw
sa ibabaw ng daungang hugis-pi~
isang oras pa’ng pagtulog


Si Nanay sa KSA
pilit-ngiti sa selfie~
nagsaklob ang kaharian


Talangkang nataranta
sa mga bagahe ng turista ng eklips~
apokalipto na


Batang nahihimbing sa braso ni Tatay
sa ilalim ng pagsasanib ng araw at buwan~
dagat-dagat na buntunghininga


Magtago ba o mamatay
sa mga batuhan, sa nagsanib na buwan at araw~
alaala ng isang beterano


Kagat ng buwan ang araw
naglalaro ng taguan ang daigdig~
may naglalayag papauwi

*reblogging/linking as is usual practice, is encouraged and permitted. If you have questions, you’re welcome to email or comment right below the title of the post. Thank you.