Balancing my egos may probably one of the most successful accomplishments I would want to have in my life. I was never successful in writing a Filipino language-based masterpiece because of the fear that I might lose my skills in the English language. That in the course of my career, I was near the pit. Luckily, I saved myself.
Each morning during our Creative Writing class last semester, when the sun was at its full blast, when some of the classmates in the right side of the classroom, where the professor seldom looks at, keep their eyes from drooping, I sat on the hard wooden armchair staring at my professor’s lips and listening to every word she said about our poetry topics. This was the time when I was really touched and inspired by the various poems we have discussed. I then realized that translating a composition may be easy with someone who just wanted to translate the whole thing but with the regards to the content, I deem it impossible.
I was browsing some sources in our Asian history subject when I spotted one poem from Pablo Neruda, a distinguished Spanish writer with his serene, light, and exotic compositions. They’re usually in Spanish but the meaning seemed well to stay when we start reading it in English. The poem from the website was written by him but translated in Filipino by UP Professor Zeus Salazar. Here’s the breakdown of the poetry in English, and Filipino: (I couldn’t find the original version which is in Spanish)
by Pablo Neruda
Huwag kang magpapakalayo, kahit isang araw, dahil–
dahil– di ko alam kung paano sasabihin: matagal ang isang araw
at maghihintay ako sa ‘yo — katulad ng isang walang taong istasyon ng tren
habang sa ibang lugar nakaparada ang mga tren — at matutulog
Huwag mo akong iiwan, kahit isang oras, dahil
kung gayon ay magkakasama-sama ang maliliit na patak ng dalamhati;
ang usok na paikut-ikot na naghahanap ng tahanan ay mapapadako
sa aking loobin at sasakal sa naliligaw kong puso.
Oo, silweta mo sana’y huwag malulusaw kailanman sa dalampasigan;
huwag sanang papagaypay kailanman ang mga
pilikmata mo sa kawalan ng kalayuan.
Huwag mo akong iiwan nang kahit isang saglit, pinakamamahal,
dahil sa sandaling iyon talaga kang mapapalayo
kaya natataranta akong maglalagalag sa buong daigdig at magtatanong,
Babalik ka pa ba? Naghihingalo mo ba akong iiwanan dito?
Love Sonnet XLV
by Pablo Neruda
Don’t go far off, not even for a day, because–
because–I don’t know how to say it: a day is long
and I will be waiting for you, as in an empty station
when the trains are parked off somewhere else, asleep.
Don’t leave me, even for an hour, because
then the little drops of anguish will all run
the smoke that roams looking for a home will drift
into me, choking my lost heart.
Oh, may your silhouette never dissolve on the beach;
may your eyelids never flutter into the empty
Don’t leave me for a second, my dearest,
because in that moment you’ll have gone so far
I’ll wander mazily over all the earth, asking,
Will you come back? Will you leave me here, dying?
The Filipino language, I must say, has its own heart, its own fate, and its own soul.