Alben meng manyaman, boy!

January 18, 2007

The Kapampángan polosador

A long time ago, a friend of mine handed me a seemingly old casette tape and told me that her Imâ was listening to it while laughing at the lyrics. The tape contains songs in Kapampángan.

It wasn't until weeks ago that I found my walkman so I decided to listen to it at once. This humorous song called Istorya Nang Raffy Balboa was what I heard first, making me smile in glee. It was sang by a man whose voice and style would make me imagine a slightly drunk karaoke star indulging himself in fun-filled singing in the presence of friends and relatives.

The song is nothing philosophical or thought-provoking. It's merely a story of a man trying to kill himself after seeing his wife with another man when he went home from Saudi Arabia. However, cosmic forces and Raffy's middle-class logic both conspire and prevent him from succeeding in his suicidal attempts. When he and his wife were finally okay, Raffy lost his tongue due to torrid kissing, making him incapable of eating.

And that, my friends, is the story of Raffy Balboa. Let me show you the lyrics, which I myself transcribed, with the English counterpart, that I, myself, too, have written.

Click Istorya Nang Raffy Balboa on my podcast on the right column to hear the song.

E ku pa kelinguan (I still remember)
Istorya nang Ráffy (The story of Raffy)
Iniang dinatang yang (When he arrived)
Menibat kng Saudi (From Saudi)
Dasnan ne ing Misis na (He finds his wife)
Atin yang laláki (With another man)
Ing magpakamate (Killing himself)
Áyisip nang Ráffy (Was what Raffy planned to do)

Kingua ne ing baril na (He grabbed his gun)
Ding ausan dang 'pikbung' (The type people call 'pikbung')
'Tsaká ne tinutuk (Then he aimed the gun)
Kng busbus nang árung (At his nostrils)
Ot ápansinan na (But he realized)
Damdaman da ing akbung (People would hear the gunfire)
Pota dimándá reng (He might be sued)
Illegal possession (For illegal possession)

Belákan na námu (And so he just decided)
Kng ilug niá ume (To go to the river)
Karin nia pailumud (There he'll drown himself)
Ban neng agad mate (To quickly die)
Lulundag ne sána (He was about to jump)
Kng bábo ning tete (From the bridge)
Oneng áyisip na (But then he thought)
E ya biásang káue (He knew not how to swim)

Minuli ne naman (And so home went)
Ing magpakamate (The suicide-taker)
Karin ya migkulung (There he stayed)
Kng karelang bale (Inside their house)
Atsaká ne kingua (And grabbed)
Itang bainti-nueve (the 29 knife)
Ya sang gamitan na (It was what he planned to use)
Ban niang agad mate (For a quick death)

Iniang akua na ne ing (When he got hold)
Mesábing pataram (Of the said blade)
Isaksak na ne sa (He planned to stab)
Ketang kayang bátal (His neck)
Ot ápansinan ne (But then he noticed)
Atnu yang kaláuang (How rusty it was)
Nung mayimpeksyun ya (If he would get infected)
Gumástus yang dakal (He would have to spend a lot)

Kng pali nang buntuk (Pissed)
Linual ya kng dalan (He went out to the street)
Ing Philippine Rabbit (Where a Philippine Rabbit bus)
Sáktu yang dáratang (Was arriving just in time)
Saganan na ne sa (He planned to have himself run over)
Ban niang mamisan (For once and for all die)
Ing buysit a Rabbit (But the stupid bus)
Kinorba yang uanan (Turned right)

Sáktung-sáktu naman (Coincidentally)
Lálábas ya i Vicky (Vicky was passing by)
Atne ping kabalbun (She's got a lot of body hair)
Atne pang ka-sexy (And she's very sexy, too)
Ngána, "Koyang Raffy, (She said, "Raffy,)
Atiu na ka keti (You're already here)
Likuan da ka pá mu (I thought I just left you)
Iniang atiu tá Saudi" (When we were still in Saudi")

Inisip nang Ráffy (Raffy thought)
I-rape na niá i Vicky (He could just rape Vicky)
Bán niáng miparusan (So he would be sentenced)
Ketang death penalty (With death penalty)
Oneng ing masákit (What was hard, though, was the fact)
Crush ne palang Vicky (That Vicky had a crush on him)
Ya pa ing menagkat (In fact, it was she who invited)
Kng hotel kang Ráffy (Raffy to do it in a hotel)

Kaibat ning ligáya (After the sensual fun)
Tikman dang manyáman (Which the two had)
Ing magpakamate (The suicide-taker)
Minuli ne naman (Went home again)
Pángaras na bale (Upon arrival)
Minyara yang áuang (He shut the windows closed)
Isip-isipan na (And pondered)
Ing dápat nang gáuan (On what to do)

Tináli neng lubid (He tied a rope)
Itang kayang bátal (Around his neck)
'Tsaká ne sinábit (And attached the other end)
Bábo ning bubungan (To the ceiling)
Sáktu yang lulundag (He was already about to jump)
Iniang bigla deng ausan (When someone called for him)
Ngána, "Koyang Raffy, (He said, "Raffy,)
Atin kang long distance" (You have a long distance call")

Kelagan neng agad (Quickly he got rid)
Lubid kng bátal na (Of the rope around his neck)
'Tsaká ya kinuldas (And then he went down)
Malaguang tinipa (As quickly as he could)
Iniang sagutan ne (When he answered)
Itang long distance na (His long distance call)
Ing mámáus pala (The one on the line)
Ing Misis nang sinta (Was his beloved wife)

Ngána ning Misis na, (His wife cried,)
"Aku ini, Raffy ("Raffy, it's me)
Paniáuad keng táuad (I ask you)
Ing kákung sarili (To please forgive me)
E na ka mimimua (Be angry no more)
Ala nang maliári (It won't happen again)
Pángaratang ku ken (When I get there)
Gáua katang baby" (We'll make a baby")

Mesaya ya i Ráffy (Raffy got delighted)
Kng áramdaman na (with what he heard)
"Muli na ka keni," ("Come home,")
Ngána kng Misis na (He told his wife)
"Ing geua mu káku ("What you did to me)
ákalinguan ku na (Doesn't matter anymore)
Ban nong miragdagan (Come now so that we'll have one more kid)
Ding aduang ának ta" (In addition to the two ones we have)

Malagua't salita (In a flash)
Dintang ne ing Misis na (His wife arrived)
Keta la páng dálan (Not having gone inside the house yet)
Mipangául na la (They already embraced each other tight)
Kng sobra nang tula (In great bliss)
Mipag-lips-to-lips la (They kissed each other passionately)
Aputut ne dila (His wife accidentally bit off the tongue)
I Ráffy Balboa (Of Raffy Balboa)

Dela re ospital (They brought him to the hospital)
Ing kalulung Ráffy (The poor Raffy)
E ne makápangan (He no longer could eat)
E ne makásábi (No longer could talk)
Pipiling ya ing doctor (The doctor shakes his head)
Ala nang maliári (In hopelessless)
Ikua na ring mete (Finally, death dawns upon)
Ning digpan-ning-alti (The lightning-stricken fool)

The melody of the song sounded familiar to me. Then I remembered, it had the same tune as the Kapampangan song Iniang Malati Ku which I heard in one of ArtiSta. Rita's CDs. Interestingly, the ArtiSta. Rita song starts with E ku pa kelinguan iniang malati ku... like how Istorya Nang Raffy Balboa starts with something the singer could never forget, too.

The other songs in the casette tape were equally entertaining and in humorous, casual Kapampangan. It is by such fact that I researched on the maker of the music.

Totoy Bato, I found out--through Internet research, in spite of the high frequency of that FPJ flick Dudurugin Ko Si Totoy Bato search results--was the drunk karaoke addict of my imagination.

His songs are often categorized under the Kapampangan musical art pulósa, which, according to a Pampanga News article, could have been derived from the word "prose." The art is said to have originated from Floridablanca, as popularized in the 1940s by none other than the original Totoy Bato. Through context, I think a pulósa is like a ballad, where the singer tells a story, like the song Better Days of Dianne Reeves.

Also a favorite of mine is this song called Babaero in spite of its slightly bastus lyrics, especially on the part of the women. But then, it's all for the fun. The polosador recounts the women (all of them popular like Joyce Jimenez, Alma Moreno, Sharon Cuneta, Ara Mina) he has been linked with or has "tasted," but in the end got married with Bella Flores. The melody resembles that of the song Sad Movies Always Make Me Me Cry.

I believe you can download a couple of his songs through Lime Wire. Check them out and have fun!


Christopher Sundita said...


Thanks for your comment in my blog. I checked your movie and I am very very impressed. More power to you! You are keeping your language alive. I can't wait to see it.

I wrote a little blog entry about your movie and about a Chavacano movie I saw on YouTube.

What kind of Kapampangan stuff would interest you?

Thanks for getting in contact with me! :-D

Salita Blog

siamanese said...

Our polosadors would give Lito Camo a run for his money, if they just go mainstream..but then again, who needs another Boom Tarat.
BTW, it was nice meeting you at CKS this weekend..

aramid ni alaya said...

I find Totoy Bato the epitome of a Kapampangan rock mainstream icon. Listening to him reminds me of pseudo-novelty artists hired by pseudo-politicians during campaign season. The sound is so nostalgic.
I am actually thinking of starting an "kapampangan audio-mentary", if there's such a term (cuz there's such a thing.. ~wink~).
Got any lead how to track him?

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