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:: Ibanag Dialect:
Potent Factor
in Cagayan's

:: Ibanag Folk

:: Cagayan Epic:
Biuag and Malana

:: Ibanag Poetry
and Songs

:: Ibanag Proverbs

:: Ibanag Riddles


Ibanag Native Songs

Lappaw na Asusena
(Asucena Flower)

Ay kekasta na matam zigarigatan na
Ay, mataya-k ta aya nu innamma
Ay, neyarig ta ka ta lappaw na asusena
Nga ummaummakkan na alibambang ta kada umma

Neneng ilipem kari nio y matam
Ta makallallo oye oye matay ta aya napannuan ta daddam
Ta sinni a futu y enna pangidangingan
Ta tanakuan na lappaw, Neneng, nu ari sikaw laman

English Version:

Oh, how beautiful are your eyes, they make me suffer
Oh, I die of love when you look at me
Oh, oh, you are like an asucena flower
Which butterflies kiss/smell everyday.

Neneng, please cast your eyes on me
A pitiful one, who dies of love for you
To whom else will he whisper his love
To no other flower, Neneng, if not you.

This song speaks of the admiration of a lover for hid loved-one. He compares his beloved to an asucena flower which is visited everyday by butterflies.

Asucena is a white and delicate of flower with green elongated leaves. This is the flower usually held by the statues of Saint Joseph. It is a favorite flower for bridal bouquets.

Bagu Nga Aya
(New Love)

Awan Senyor tu gannugannud
Nga emmi sangaw nikaw itulud
Nu ari la y ngagan na Dios marayaw
Y emmi sangaw nikaw idungaw

Nu y piam Senyor innainnan
Iddanamammi kari tu iyaluvun nikami
Tu rekuerdo na pakallollo
Nga payaya mia a nepallo

English Version:

There are not many things Sir,
That we come to bring you now
If not only the Holy Name of our Lord Divine
With which we come to greet you now

Your goodness sir, That we see
We hope you will pour them to us
As a remembrance
Of our poor, yet ardent love.

This song is usually the first of a series of songs of a young man who is starting to court a young woman.

The first stanza clearly shows that before an Itawes/Ibanag young man ventures to do something he invokes the name of our Lord. This proves to us that he has a deep faith in God.

The second stanza speaks of humility of the young man. He is asking the father of the woman he intends to court to shower him with goodness.

This song shows that before an Itawes or Ibanag young man courts a woman, he must first court the parents.

O Lappao A Macayaya
(O Lovely Flower)

O lappao a macayaya
Nga inimmiimian na mata-k
Pare nakuan tu ari ka a matay
Tape manayukka a gugamay

Sinni y ari mangimmi
Ta nikaw maski, nu sinni
Makapabbaw ka nga sinolay
Ta davvun awan nikaw tu kunnay

Makua pare la nakuan
Ta gako-k emmu a pamerigan
Tape melamma ta futuk
Y aya ku nikaw a magiddu

English Version:

Oh, flower, you are so lovely
To my eyes, so admirable to behold
I hope that you will never die
To be an everlasting toy.

Who would not be attracted
To you, whoever he is
You are such a wonderful creature
Unequaled here on earth.

Would that it were possible
That on my chest you could lean
So as to imprint into my heart
My desire to endear you, my love.

Would that it were possible
For you to die in my arms
So that after your last breath
You would rest on my chest.

Here, a young man likens his beloved to a flower that is so lovely. To him, his beloved is the best on earth whom no one can equal.

The third and fourth stanza speak of the intensity of the love on the man to his beloved, wishing that when his beloved dies, be will on her side.

Ideddukak ku
(My Dearest Love)

Mellipe ka kari iddedukak ku
Ta ginnan mu yoye y agaagal ku
Megafu toye ta aya y agaagal ku
Megafu toye ta aya ku, itangi na futu-k
Y aya na nikaw a manimmayu

Nu masingatta-ka nga ideddukak-ku
Kunna mapawan ngamin nio y zigariga ku
Ta sikaw laman y tatagenappan
Noye na maya nikaw nga awan tu babang

A magattam ta ziagariga
A ya kegafuanan na y pangaya
Itabba nikaw ta adde noka
Ta pate na tadday nitta nga dua

English Version:

Please turn to me your eyes my dear
And listen to my yearnings
On account of my love, my heart cries out
Its ardent desire to endear you.

Whenever I see you dearest
I feel relieved of all my pains
Because only of you I dream
And only to you I give my love, true and sincere.

For, I suffer so much pain
Just because of love for you
And I promise you my everlasting love
Till death to us part.

This is a reflection of Ibanag's/Itawes attitude towards love. To them nothing is painful or difficult when they truly love. An Itawes or an Ibanag is willing to undergo any kind of suffering for the sake of his beloved.

Y Aggideddu
(Deep Love)

Inga ta pakayaya
Na dua futu makka-aya
Kun nira ari duttal
Y patay makanninipan
Nu y futu na makka-iddu
Ay malunag da y batu
Bannay nga pakayaya
Nangiyawa ta palupagya

Simmayu, pare nakuan
Tu y pate e maggiddan
Tape y pate e maggiddan
Tape awan tu mabattang
Ta davvun aw nga maraddam
Nu mapappavulun nukuan
Tu y lungut ta tadday laman
Ay tape are massina y tulatulang ta nga dua

English Version:

O' how nice it would be
For two hearts to be in love
Unaware and not expecting
The coming of cruel death
For two hearts in love
Can even melt a stone
It is a joy so inspiring.

O' beloved I hope and pray
That we shall die together
So that neither to us will be left
In this world to mourn bereft.

And if it were possible
That in just one coffin we could lie
So our bones will not separate
Until they will turn to dust.

The above song reveals to us how deeply devoted are the Ibanags/Itawes husband or a wife. Because of their love everything runs smoothly in the home so that even pains, sacrifices and sufferings are borne in the spirit of love.

The second stanza projects their trait of sentimentality and the value of family solidarity where the wish to be together even up to the grave.

Aya Nga Ari Logo
(True Love)

Babay: Ariak ku kagian tu aria nga melogo
        Ta itangi-tangi mu a malummamo
        Ngam innak ku bi y kalaramman
        Ta nu y uvovug ira na lallaki
        Mammi paga anne ta issi
        Ta mameppemmi ira ta uvovug
        Ta daga ra la y mangalawi

Lalaki: Ta nu y uvovug mi a lallaki
        Ari gamma meyarig tas issi
        Ta gagange na babbagitolay
        Ta mangaya ira ta mammaginganay

English Version:

Girl: I do not say that I will not be swayed
        By your soft spoken please
        But I have to test and observe you
        If your love for me is true
        For men use honeyed words
        Sweetly said to entice you.

Boy: The words that we men use
        Do not compare to sugar
        For it is but natural for a young man
        To love and court young women.

This song shows that the Ibanag/Itawes young lady is reserved and modest in her ways. She is very careful in her dealings with the opposite sex. When a young man starts to speak of his love to her, she does not immediately believe for she is aware that men are good deceivers. They promise heaven and earth to convince a woman to fall in love with them. In short, they use sugar-coated words which often deceive.

The last stanza is a defense made by the man. He says that it is but natural for him to court a young woman. It is up to a woman to observe that man and find how true and sincere are his love and promises. All young girls are therefore warned to study a man carefully and to be sure he is not pretending or bluffing.


O Neneng magubbao ka bi
Ta bentam nga balabaddi
Tase nu kabannyan
Y futu nga sigaraddam

English Version:

O beloved please look out of
You small window
To enlighten my heart
Tormented with love for you.

When the Ibanags/Itawes gentlemen goes out for serenading, he sings this song to his beloved.

The song tells about a young man asking his beloved to peep out of her window to listen and comfort his sorrowing heart.

Tu Manoli Y Aya
(That Love May Return)

Nu tangabakku y utun
Ta nanaddaggak ku a davvun
Kunna mappippig y pangingo ku
Nu keraddammak ku y ngam mu

Aagalak ku nga agalan
Y ngagam mu maski ka awan
TA kunna egga ka la nio
Nga makipaggalo-galo

Makua pare tu danu ma
Tape nu inenuman ma
Tape umaya massinayun
Ta konoggan na futum

English Version:

When I look up
From the ground I stand on
I feel my breath quivering
Every time I remember your name.

I call out again and again
For your name even if you are not around
Imagining you are always here
Sharing our joys and laughters.

How I wish I were water
So you would drink of me now and then
Be within your being there to love forever
In your heart's deepest chamber.

The song is about a lover who is wishing that his beloved will come back to him. He is praying that their love will bloom again.

O Lappaw
(O Flower)

O lappaw a makayaya
Makabanne toye tam mata
Makabanne toye ta futu
O Neneng, kuruga meddu

Y yenam iggian na liwa
Ta enna ka neyana
Enna nga ini inirettrato
Y pia figura na mutung mu

Anni kari pano nga vulan
Y emmu nga neyanakan
Vulan tamma na Abril
Ta aru nikaw y mapassil

English Version:

O flower so lovely
You give joy to my eyes
You give joy to my heart
O maiden, who really cares.

Your mother is to blame
For having given birth to you
For having imprinted
The loveliness in your face.

I wonder what month
You were born
Me thinks it is April
For many are envious of you.

The song speaks of a lover comparing his beloved to a flower. According to him, the beauty of his beloved is the source of his joy and consolation.

In the second stanza, he blames the mother for having given to so lovely a maiden who becomes an object of envy to men.

Nerulay Nga Daddam

Anni nga daddam
Y daddam a limibbe niakan
Aggaw, gabi, rekuerdom nio y manibigi
Lubbe ka niakan
Tape mari yaw nga daddam
Y aggaw nga pappasan

O anhel ta langi
Uffunam ma nga makilalawi
Tape nu mapanawan
Yoye nga daddam
Ta mas mapia y patay
Anne ta ipattolay
O (ngahan), nu arian na ayatan
Y futu matay ta daddam

English Version:

O, how sorrowful
Is the grief that has come to me
All days, all nights
Thoughts of you keep coming back to me
Return to me
And drive away this grief
Let us recall, let us recall
The happy days
That has passed away.

O angel in heaven
Help me to pray
That this grief would vanish
For death would be better
Than to live
O (name), if you will not love me
My heart will die of grief.

The song unfolds to us the bitterness that a lover experiences when his beloved turns away from him. He experiences self-pity. He prefers to die than to live if his beloved will not come back to him.

This shows that when an Ibanag/Itawes man loves, he truly loves so that he is ready to sacrifice his love for the sake of his beloved.

Ta Laguerta
(In the Garden)

Ta laguerta, Neneng nasingat ta ka
Nga namusi ta lappaw mageddu nitta
Sinkilalak ku y kinagim tu iyawa mu
Ta iyawa mu y lappaw na pinusi mu

Iyawa mu nio y lappaw nga kiniddo
Ariam mu pavulunan ta luam o nu daddam
Ta y karagatan ku y renu na nono mu
Y nono mu, nu ipamavulun mu.

Ta kappawan etta nassimmuan
Ta kastam Neneng inna-innan
Ta nu ziga onu daddam
Ziga aya ta kunne niakan
Ngem kiddawak ku la nikaw y inimiak ku
Nga lappaw, nga alejandria
Initabbam gabba

English Version:

In the garden I saw you
Plucking a flower
I remember the promise you made
That you will give the flower you plucked
Give me the flower I asked for
Not accompanied with sorrow nor tears
Just your willingness to give
If you please.

In the flower garden we met
How beautiful you were to behold
Sorrow, love or pain I would willingly suffer
All I ask of you dear
Is the flower, the rose
You promised me.

This song the one, which is the faith of a lover, puts on the promise made by a young lady.

Y Lulua

Nu y daddam anna luluam
Ira nesesingang
Isilasigo na futu
Nio sa nga manaddaddam
Inenumak ku y lulua
Tat taki na niakan
Ariak ku nga mavuya
Neneng a palappatan

Sitaw pano a lugar
Y nesisingan-ngan
Na luluam ta ekku ira patalyan
Ta y akkenga
Na kunne niakan
Arial ku na mavuya
Neneng a palappatan

Metalugaring egga nga ta panaddad-dam
Ta nakkatratuat ta nga dua
Nga napavulunan ta assingan
Ta inipangi Cruz mu gare ta gako Neneng
Tu ayatam ma ay ayatat taka
Ta adde no ka

English Version:

For your sorrows and your tears
That are flowing (falling)
I feel my heart asking
As I start remembering
Due to this pain that I feel
I weep and drink of my flowing tears
Oh, Locan hardly say the words
To express my feeling, dearest one.

Where might be the place
Of your fallen tears
So I would go ande retrace them
For they values of one like me,
To express my feeling dearest one.
Especially I am confronted
With the thought of your engagement
A vow strengthened
With the sign of the cross on my chest
That you will love me, and I will love you forever.

This song tells about a man who, sincere in his love finds out that his beloved has changed her mind and does not care for him anymore. The lover pours his sadness into a song. He recalls how his beloved has given her heart to him a promise that they would love each other forever.

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