Poet friend


One of the most sexually charged poems I’ve read in the regional languages is a poem below written by a classmate of mine in UP who eventually became my best friend. Ms Victoria Solis who is now based in Laguna writes in Kiniray-a, a language in Panay island spoken in the province of Antique and some parts of Janiuay, Lambunao, and Calinog.

Binahit nga Lasaw

Pagtiraw mo kanakon, daw lasaw nga bag-ong bahit sa kawa.

Samtang naga-indakal pa, amo man nga duut-duut ka dila.

Pagbahin mo kanakon sa pasok nga surudlan ka tuba,

Ginhawa mo man kasalud hay basi maula.

Kar-on hay nahanginan takon kag naagahan,

Ay ahay, ang maragkut, nagsapra kag namarhan.

Kang nadura ang init, imo run ako pinabay-an,

Kundi nga nasubayan kag nalangawan.

Nagabalabag run gali ako sa imong tubug,

hay kon magpanaw ikaw, wara gid ba, bisan tandug.

Handum ko raad may kalayo ikaw dara kon mag-abot,

agud isin-ad ako, para liwan nga magrapuyot.

I was searching for this kind of poetry when I came across these poems, and what is more surprising is that these were works of somebody close to me. And it took me a time to realize that these pieces of poetry were the ones I assigned as required reading for my students in Philippine Literature class in UP.

Gumamela kag Gardenia

Kaanggid ako kang gumamela

manaya-naya sa idalum ka sirak kang adlaw.

Ugaring kon mag-abot ang sirum,

rugto timo sa gardenia hay indi run takon kit-anun.

Kon pinsarun, pareho lang man kami

nga may duga kon sasaun ka tarawis nga bato,

nagalaway pa tana gani akon duga…

Ay gali dya ang gardenia

may gapabilin gid nga kahamot

sa imong dughan.

Pagdalia Keanna!

Pagdalia Keanna, ikapti run ang mikropono

kag magkanta

para kar-on, mikropono ko ang ikaptan mo

rugto sa Room 12.

Pagdasiga Keanna, ipitik run ang balikawang

kag idungan sa imong kanta

hay kar-on maliki-liki man ikaw sa musika

nga kita lang makabati.

Tapusa run ria, para matapos man kita

hay basi may ginabibit run nga binangon

si Nancy sa balay!

It’s an odd feeling to have actually met and spent a portion of your life, four years in my case, with the poet because then you’ll have an idea of the kind of life she lived. Still I am amused to have read sensuality in her poems. Not that she lacks sensuality, in fact she might have been all those times. Aside from the fact that these poems are socially relevant that sought to give light on issues of the modern-day milieu that confronted and inspired the poet. Notwithstanding commentaries she expressed on the general state of the country through her poems, one can still sense the voice of the persona that is not at all detached from the personality of the poet. And that’s my friend.

Victoria Solis, or Vicky as I endearingly call her is one of the most fascinating women I have met. She is your traditional probinsyana with a little bang. I remember walking a kilometer every night to their apartment in the banwa of Miagao to have coffee with her in the local bakery or to have mundane conversations on the day that passed. I remember asking for her help in the paper I was writing on the Post Colonial critique. She was there to explain to me the words I did not understand or to suggest way of approaching the problem I posed using a novel perspective.

She is however one of the most shy persons I’ve ever met. In fact when I called her to ask permission if I can use her poems in my class, she even hesitated because she thought they were not good enough. That’s even after the great Leoncio Deriada declared that she has talent when he personally endorsed her for a slot in the Visayas Writing Workshop at UPV Tacloban.

So I’m posting them here. You may personally leave comments or email me for traslation.

Poetry 2


9 thoughts on “Poet friend”

  1. Hello, can I ask if you still have any contact information of Ms Vicky Solis? I would like to seek permission on using one of her works. Thank you

  2. hehe. ok. I get it. i would have understood the word had it been spoken. (the pronunciation would have made a difference)thanks!

  3. ‘tubog’ means throat.

    nagabalabag is ‘blocking’

    so you now have an image of ‘Nagabalabag run gali ako sa imong tubug’?

    john here. Can’t access my own blog.

  4. Nami ba. tiraw ta daad kang lasaw ngan. hehe.kidding. Is she from Antique? Karay-a ko pero indi ko ka intyende kang ‘tubug’ in ‘Nagabalabag run gali ako sa imong tubug’ … is it ‘tubang’ or ‘atubangan’ ? Thanks.

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