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Batawa: An Igorot Song (Unikely) for Valentine's Day

Since today is Valentine’s Day, I would like to get into the soul of a very sad love song dedicated to those who have found unfortunate fate this day of hearts.

“Batawa”, which means earth, is a song that portrays the love of a poor man who was abandoned by his lover. And the reason? The lover wants a richer guy. 

The story in the song is not a strange one. Many couples have ended the same way because the amount of money in the bank of the other half seems to matter much.

I do not want to take "Batawa" as a bitterness song. I just want to remind people that we have to be thankful if our lover does not mind our material wealth. I do hope the song gives us another reason to show our gratitude that despite being financially problematic, we were not abandoned by our honey. 

The song adopts the melody of foreign song “For Babe”. If you cannot the understand  the Kankanaey lyrics, check out the English interpretation I made.

(Stanza 1)
Nu masdem san batawa, kaman wada ka ay mail-ila
When evening falls on earth, it seems you are in my sight

Amed nu masdem asi kan dumateng, sikay eyak nenemnemen
Especially when you don’t come, I keep thinking of you.

Man puspusipus di nemnem ko; problemak en sik-a ay palalo
My mind keeps on turning; my problems with you are intense

Engka ed kanan ay maidak sin nemnem mo. Pulos, maid ubpay di seg-ang mo
‘Cause you said I’m not part of your plan. Awfully, you could not pity me


Nu kuma nu inbagbagam ay man-an-anap ka si baknang
If only you have told me that you were looking for a rich man

Ta adiak nailaw-an ay nang-ibagbaga san layad ko ken sik-a ay tit-iwa
So I would not have mistakenly confessed my love for you that is real

(Stanza 2)
Maseng-ang kuma si Kabunyan ya esa ak ay us-usdungam
I wish Kabunyan sympathizes with me and guides me from above

Ta nu wada kasin di armek ay balasang, yan adin kapogpugsat di tulagan
That when time comes that I court another woman, the vow shall never go unbroken



Nan na-ay lang di dawat ko ta sapay kuma ken Diyos Apo
This is the only thing I ask from God

Ta sungbatana san ay dawat ko ay anak di baknang di kagasat mo
To grant my request of you ending up with a rich man’s son

Christian is a Marketing Communications practitioner in Quezon City. He is an Igorot from Sagada, Mountain Province. To get in touch with him, please shoot an email to christianaligonow@gmail.com.


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