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Monday, August 6, 2012

A Poem in Three Versions

Introduction: Yesterday, from TV news broadcast, I learned about the Sikh Temple Shooting in Wisconsin  that took the lives of seven people, including the alleged suspect, Wade Michael Page, 40, and wounded a number of people. My sincere and heartfelt condolence to the families of all the departed. Dear and loving God, I pray for the souls of those who are gone before us. May they rest in peace. May the families of the deceased and departed, and those injured, find solace and comfort, courage and strength during the difficult times in their lives. Amen. And, for those in our midst who are sick, injured, ill, or wounded, I pray for their speedy recovery. God bless them and watch over them, always! 

By the way, if my memory serves me right, I believe, I have already written a poem about killings and violence and posted on my blog weeks ago, while in Christiansburg. That was in relation to that Aurora movie theatre shooting in Colorado. Two days ago, on Saturday to be exact, I have watched a German movie, with English subtitle, on YouTube, uploaded or published by Golden Lemming on August 1, 2012. The title of the film was Napola (Before the Fall).  In its description, the movie is about the friendship of two young boys or men (Friedrich and Albrecht) in the military academy during Hitler's regime. I don't go into details, in case you want to see it. My reaction? It's a must-see movie; one that questions your morality and humanity. 

Now, I don't know why I have scribbled another poem with the same issue, asking me and you Why? Why does killing and violence exist and unavoidable in our world? Why the senseless killings, if we claim to be civilized human beings? Here's the poem I just penned today. And thank you for having the time to read and ponder about it.)

Bakit? Why? Apay? 

"Bakit" is Filipino
"Why" is English
"Apay" is Ilokano.

Patuloy tayong nagtatanong Bakit?
We keep on asking Why?
Kanayon ti panagsaludsodtayo Apay?

Bakit maraming patayan?
Why are there killings?
 Apay nga adu ti pinnatay?

Bakit hindi natin maiwasan ito?
Why can we not avoid this?
Apay a saan a malisian daytoy?

Bakit ba nagpapatayan tayo?
Why is it we're killing each other?
Apay aya nga agpipinnataytayo?

Hindi ko maintindihan kung bakit.
I don't understand why.
Diak maawatan no apay.

Alam niyo ba kung bakit?
Do you know why?
Ammoyo kadi no apay?

Bakit? Why? Apay?

Bakit hindi tayo magmamahalan?
Why can't we all love one another?
Apay a saantayo agiinnayat wenno agpipinnateg?

Hindi ba tayo isang malaking pamilia sa mundo?
Aren't we a one big human family in the world?
Saantayo kadi a maymaysa a pamilia ditoy daga?

Mahirap bang gawin ang payo ng ating Maykapal?
Is it hard to do what God has commanded us to do?
Narigat kadi nga aramiden ti imbaga ni Apo kadatayo?

Na mahalin ang kapwa nating tao gaya ng pagmamahal niya sa atin?
To love one another just as He loves and cares for us?
Nga ayaten ti padatayo a tao kas ti panagayatna kadatayo amin?

Baki? Why? Apay?

(c) 2012 by chris a. quilpa

Post Script: If you combine all the first line in each stanza, you have a poem (tula) in Filipino. Do the same thing on each second  line in each stanza and you have a poem in English. And, lastly, combine all the third line in each stanza and you have a poem (daniw) in Ilokano language. So, actually, you have created three poems in one. Got it? Thank you for your time, for reading my poem/s. 


  1. Why did you write why bakit apay ?
    Who influenced you to write that poem ?

    If you can answer my question as soon as possible it will help me a lot for my school works because we are studying your poem in the philippines. Thankyou

  2. Mr. Quilpa �� Can you answer this questions thank you so much.

  3. Shauie, thanks for having read my blog post/poem. And for your questions. Pardon me if it's only now, Saturday, that I've read your comment. Why did I write the poem in three versions? As a budding poet/writer, first and foremost, I just want to share to our readers (whether s/he is an Ilokano or not) to simply understand my poem and the simple message it conveys or imparts. Secondly, I wrote it to basically ask our readers why we're always asking why (there are killings here and there, can't we be one, united; can't we love one another as what Jesus Christ, our Savior, has commanded us to do if we're considered Christians, His followers). I pose the question, Why, Bakit, Apay? in three versions, for our readers to understand, to reflect, and internalize, and to find a solution to the question. I know, in this life's journey, we have questions. But I am sure we have answers to questions that will make life worth-living. Likewise, I wrote the poem just to, sort of, get creative, you know.

    Who influenced me to write that poem? I guess, Jesus! My Christian faith. I don't know. But what I know is this: As a thinker and a keen observer of what's going on around my world, I have the obligation, I believe, to share my inner thoughts, musings and observations to my fellow earthlings, with hope to stir action and change so we all can live a life of love and unity and charity. A life of peace and harmony.

    I hope I did answer your questions to your satisfaction. Thank you. Have a wonderful weekend and God bless...