"O Naraniag A Bulan." How an old folk song can help choose new Senators!

naraniag a bulanASINGAN, PANGASINAN: I was in my hometown for almost 2 weeks, from 09 April to 18 April, smack in the weeklong town fiesta starting 13 April, and the evenings were full of dancing and music. I attended only the Balikbayan Night, Wednesday, 17 April, but all the time I was staying at the Danggay Office of the Nagkaisa Multi-Purpose Cooperative, so that I heard every single note from late afternoon to early the next morning for many nights; it was difficult to sleep. You see, the Danggay building is inside the town plaza, right next to the public auditorium.

It isn't music when the decibels are too high, and many a time I approached the technicians to please keep the volume down, from 100 times too high for my listening pleasure. I must say the quality of the sound systems is 1st class; the quality of the technicians is 3rd class.

Yet, the writer's voice must rise above the din! The one song that has kept ringing in my ears until now, 1 week after I left Asingan, is the Ilocano folk song of love that has kept bugging me long enough I have decided to translate it into English: "O Naraniag A Bulan" becomes "O Moon Shining So Bright." While I have been working on it since Wednesday, 24 April 2013, I have intuited that this old Ilocano song is a new metaphor for old Philippine politics. No love's labor's lost.

To appreciate that, first grab a microphone and sing with me!

O Naraniag A Bulan

O Moon Shining So Bright

O naraniag a bulan
Un-unnoy ko indengam
Dayta naslag a silaw mo
Dika kad ipaidam.


O moon shining so bright
Fill up my longing tonight
Your lustrous glow now on sight
Don't be selfish about.

O naraniag a bulan
Sangsangit ko indengam
Toy nasipnget a lubong ko
Inka kad silawan
Tapnon diak maiyaw-awan!


O moon glowing so bright
Hear my crying tonight
Into this darkened world of mine
Do come visit & shine
So I won't go astray!

No inka nanglipaten
Karim kaniak nagguibusen
Samsam-itek ni Patay
O bulan ket aklunem.
Nanglaylayen ni ayat
Inka kad palasbangen
Un-unnoy ko darasem
Nga ikeddeng!


If you choose to forget
Your vow to me ending up short
Sweet for me will I choose Death
O moon, you will know it such.
My love now has wilted much
Please refresh it as you must
My longing fill it fast
Just do it please!

By Frank Hilario, 25 April 2013

Gary Granada has a short Tagalog introduction of it (garygranada.com), but it doesn't quite match the original. I don't blame him if he's not Ilocano; if he is, he has a lot of explaining to do! I'm an Ilocano; my translation is not perfect, but now you have a pretty good idea what you're singing whether or not you're Ilocano.

"O Naraniag A Bulan" is a paradox because the girl who is singing is sad; her love story is very sad. If she doesn't get some enlightenment soon, she is now contemplating suicide ("samsam-itek ni Patay"). And yet the music has a fast beat and it is uplifting. Exactly like Philippine politics today as we approach election day!

The girl's story is maddening; she has been abandoned by her love. The same as in Philippine politics - the poor Filipinos have been abandoned by and large by the politicians, including those in President Noynoy Aquino's Administration. Noynoy promised to solve the problem of poverty; after 3 years in office, in the words of the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB), "poverty remained unchanged" from 2006 to 2012 (23 April 2013, nscb.gov.ph). So, if politicians - or their pollstergeists - tell you we Filipinos are less poor now, remember this: Figures don't lie, but liars will figure.

Now then, this writer's discovery is that in fact "O Naraniag A Bulan" is the enlightenment that predominantly Roman Catholic Philippines has arrived at in choosing major candidates for elective offices: the Senators. The Senate is crucial because it is the final hurdle for any proposed legislation, after which it is the President's game.

naraniag a white voteThat enlightenment is the Catholic White Vote Movement launched 2 weeks ago, on Saturday, 13 April 2013. Brother Mike of El Shaddai is the spokesman; Ligaya Acosta is the convenor (17 April 2013, lifenews.com). Here is Batch #1 of those endorsed for white voting:

Aquilino Pimentel III
Antonio Trillanes
Cynthia Villar
Gringo Honasan
JV Ejercito
Mitos Magsaysay.

O moon glowing so bright!

"O Naraniag A Bulan" / Catholic White Vote is particularly applicable to those who are at loss for whom to vote: "In this darkened world of mine / Do come visit & shine / So I won't go astray!" When you sell your vote, you don't get enlightenment - you get instant gratification. You are also abetting corruption in high places.

Archbishop Soc Villegas of Lingayen-Dagupan opposes the Catholic White Vote Movement choosing for us Catholics whom to vote for as Senators (Amanda Lago, 11 April 2013, gmanetwork.com). He has 2 lines of attack, and I find that they are rather easy to parry:

One, Villegas says that white voting is block voting, and that it is wrong. He fails to see that white voting is selective, while block voting is non-selective, only party-selective. In fact, the Catholic White Vote as of today goes equally to senatorial candidates of the United Nationalist Party (3 warm bodies) and of Team PNoy (3 warm bodies). What is more non-partisan than that!?

Two, Villegas says that the conscience vote is the correct Catholic Vote. But the conscience is precisely the one that is being manipulated by the politicians who are anti-family and anti-life! What kind of conscience do you expect people have when they are either ill-informed, misinformed or disinformed?

"No inka nanglipaten" is the Filipino Catholic who has forgotten to practice his religion and now is in the dark ("toy nasipnget a lubong ko"), listening to so many attractive songs of self-enlightenment. "Inka kad silawan / Tapnon diak maiyaw-awan!" We live in a darkened world of politics. We need some light on whom to vote as Senators, not simply our conscience, which may be clueless about the political realities.

"O moon glowing so bright / Hear my crying tonight / Into this darkened world of mine / Do come visit & shine / So I won't go astray!"

"O Naraniag A Bulan" is a waltz and very danceable; let's dance to it! If you want to listen to a variety of performers, click these links:

O Naraniag A Bulan, sung by Tres Rosas, youtube.com
Naraniag a Bulan Blues, original by JhenL,
Naraniag nga Bulan, piano cover by ShaFrance,
O Naraniag A Bulan Dance, uploaded by Jules Abundo,
Ruperto Cayabyab on guitar, Michelle sings in background:
O Naraniag A Bulan - Marcy de Luna,
youtube.com (sexy voice, I love it!)
O Naraniag A Bulan by the Mabuhay Singers,
youtube.com (I like them here)

I have a total of 53 hyperlinks to YouTube videos to the song, but with those selected 7, now you can enjoy this old Ilocano folk melody even more. But more than that, remember now:

"O Naraniag A Bulan" is the Enlightenment called the Catholic White Vote!

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