Revisiting the famous Ilocano song “Manang Biday”


Manang Biday is a popular Ilocano folk song which is all about courtship. The lyrics illustrate the courtship of a guy to a lady who happens to be older than the former. The lyrics mostly decribe the lady’s reaction to the courtship. Did the guy win the lady’s heart? Let us go over the lyrics quickly and attempt to find out the answer. While reading you may like to switch on your speaker and enjoy listening to the song played on virtual iPod. Make sure you run your latest browser version.





MANANG BIDAY

Manang Biday, ilukatmo man
‘Ta bintana ikalumbabam
Ta kitaem ‘toy kinayawan
Ay, matayakon no dinak kaasian

Siasinnoka nga aglabaslabas
Ditoy hardinko pagay-ayamak
Ammom ngarud a balasangak
Sabong ti lirio, di pay nagukrad

Denggem, ading, ta bilinenka
Ta inkanto ‘diay sadi daya
Agalakanto’t bunga’t mangga
Lulukisen ken adu a kita

No nangato, dika sukdalen
No nababa, dimo gaw-aten
No naregreg, dika piduten
Ngem labaslabasamto met laeng

Daytoy paniok no maregregko
Ti makapidut isublinanto
Ta nagmarka iti naganko
Nabordaan pay ti sinanpuso

Alaem dayta kutsilio
Ta abriem ‘toy barukongko
Tapno maipapasmo ti guram
Kaniak ken sentimiento


Manang Biday, ilukatmo man
‘Ta bintana ikalumbabam
Ta kitaem ‘toy kinayawan
Ay, matayakon no dinak kaasian


These are words expressing the love of a young guy for a young lady named Biday. The lady is older than the guy as indicated by the word “Manang”. In Ilocano dialect “Manang” is addressed to an older lady while “Manong” is addressed to an older guy. The guy who is requesting the lady to open her “bintana” or window loves the lady so much that he would rather die if his love is not reciprocated.

Siasinnoka nga aglabaslabas
Ditoy hardinko pagay-ayamak
Ammom ngarud a balasangak
Sabong ti lirio, di pay nagukrad


This set of rhyme is the lady’s initial response to the guy. She is questioning the guy’s encroachment into her garden. Manang Biday tells the guy that she is still a young lady like a flower that has yet to blossom.

“Denggem, ading, ta bilinenka
Ta inkanto ‘diay sadi daya
Agalakanto’t bunga’t mangga
Lulukesin ken adu a kita”


Here, the lady is telling the guy to go eastward and get mangoes and other varieties of fruits. The word “ading” is addressed to the guy which is an Ilocano term for a younger person. She is actually implying to the guy to do something impossible or not doable.

“No nangato, dika sukdalen
No nababa, dimo gaw-aten
No naregreg, dika piduten
Ngem labaslabasamto met laeng”


The above words further justify the impossible tasks. The lady says that if the guy can reach the fruits from the tree, he should not pick them with his bare hands. On the other hand, if the fruits are unreachable, he should use nothing for picking them. Moreover, he should not pick up fruits that have dropped from the tree.

Daytoy paniok no maregregko
Ti makapidut isublinanto
Ta nagmarka iti naganko
Nabordaan pay ti sinanpuso


This stanza says that if the lady happens to leave her handkerchief elsewhere, the one who finds it will return it to her because it has her scribbled name with a cross stiched heart shape.

Alaem dayta kutsilio
Ta abriem ‘toy barukongko
Tapno maipapasmo ti guram
Kaniak ken sentimiento


These words come from the lady daring the guy to get a knife or a dagger and vent his ire and sentiments on her.

The song depicts Manang Biday as a typical conservative Ilocana. Manang Biday showed the exit door to her suitor in a diplomatic way.

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