Thursday, March 31, 2005

Kung sapatos ako, ako ay isang pares ng...

I never think of the future - it comes soon enough. - Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Music Of Love

(for Chie)

I hear sweet sounds of golden bells,
"It's love," my friends say;
I may be a fool not to know and tell,
Yet, I'm sure it's not a joke to play.

The chime rings in my ears,
When you are near;
The sight of you makes me shiver,
I blush when you get nearer.

The music plays in my heart,
When your eyes meet mine;
It makes me sad when we're apart,
As I watch the passing of time.

In my slumber,
I'd dream of us holding close together;
The warmth of his arms enfolding me,
Is my guarantee it's not a fantasy.

Inside this poem are simple words to describe,
The happiness I feel inside;
If I have to sing it, I'd sing to the crowd,
"This music I hear is the music of love."

© Jheric A. Saracho
March 7, 2005

I never think of the future - it comes soon enough. - Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)

Monday, March 21, 2005

Sa Pasig

Sa Pasig may kalsada
Tahanan ng ligaya
Bulaklak ay nagkalat
Daisy, rosal at dahlia.

© Jheric A. Saracho
March 21, 2005

Thursday, March 17, 2005

What obsolete skill are you?

QBASIC screenshot
You are 'programming in QBASIC'. This programming language (of which the acronym stands for 'Quick Beginners' All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code'), which is so primitive that it cannot easily be used for any purpose involving the Internet nor even sound, was current more than a decade ago.

You are independent, in a good way. When something which you need cannot be found, you make it yourself. In writing and in talking with people, you value clarity and precision; your friends may not realize how important that is. When necessary, you are prepared to be a mediator in conflicts between your friends. You are very rational, and you think of things in terms of logic and common sense. Unfortunately, your emotionally unstable friends may be put off by your devotion to logic; they may even accuse you of pedantry and insensitivity. Your problem is that programming in QBASIC has been obsolete for a long time.

What obsolete skill are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Tuesday, March 15, 2005


(for Chie)

Rain falls

On my face
As I look up to the sky above
I wonder
Where did you come from?
You came into my life
Seemingly out of nowhere
I stare up at the grey
That is my life
I feel a presence beside me
Your light touch on my arm
I gaze down into your eyes
In them I see an escape
A way out of reality
A deep caress
I'm lost in your arms
Sweet serenity
I don't want this moment to end.

© Jheric A. Saracho
March 14, 2005

Friday, March 11, 2005


Silid ng mga silid
ang ating tutunguhin
problema'y lilimutin
langit ay mararating.

© Jheric A. Saracho
March 11, 2005

Thursday, March 10, 2005


The ABBA rhyme scheme for a modern tanaga can perform wonders when used effectively. For a short poem, such as the Tanaga, rhymes can be exploited to pair word associations where there will be most impact.

In this socially relevant depiction of Manila's streetkids, Jheric Saracho used 1 full near rhyme in the form AAAA, to associate 4 words: pulubi, labi, natuli, rugby (beggar, lips, circumcised, rugby - an addictive solvent street kids use to ward off hunger pangs). The same set of words rhymes strictly as ABBA to create words pairs pulubi-rugby, labi-tuli, which alternatively becomes an ironic word relation on pulubi-natuli, and labi-rugby; the rugby thus becoming the street kids' source of nourishment:


Mga batang pulubi
may gatas pa sa labi
hindi pa nga natuli
nalulong na sa rugby.

© Jheric A. Saracho
March 9, 2005

Like the Japanese Haiku, the Tanaga is a difficult poem to make due to its targetted brevity, and limiting measure. What makes this a harder art is how to settle the the problem of utilizing the rhymes to their best effect.

posted by Jardine Davies @ Buhayin ang Tanaga!

Wednesday, March 9, 2005

Who were you in your past life?

In your past life, you were a Knight
You were a brave knight, fighting for the king and dueling other knights in great battles. Perhaps you were a hero in your past life.

Who were you in your past life?
brought to you by Quizilla

Tuesday, March 8, 2005


Ano ba ang nakita?
Ako ay nagayuma
Sa kislap ng ‘yong mata
Puso ko’y nahalina.

Jheric A. Saracho
March 7, 2005

Note: Maari ding mabasa ang tanagang into sa Buhayin ang Tanaga!

Friday, March 4, 2005

My Love

(for Chie)

The happiness in my laugh,
the sadness in my tears,
It's amazing how one woman
can wipe away my fears.
The breath I breathe in
and everything I do,
I know this sounds crazy
but it's all because of you.
My heart was in pieces
it was torn to bits,
You've put it back together
and shown me how it fits.
So now I have a new heart.
I cannot let you go
for you are one of a kind.
You've shown me love like no other
and made me feel it too,
I can't hide or ignore my feelings
I am SO in love with you.
You make me feel so happy
you make my life complete,
You make me feel special.
You make my heart skip a beat.
You are the love of my life
and the heart of my soul,
Let's put our lives together
and make our future whole.

© Jheric A. Saracho

March 4, 2005

Thursday, March 3, 2005

Commercial mula sa Buhayin ang Tanaga!

Resurrecting a Dying art form

I am starting this website to answer the call of the Committee on Literary Arts of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, poet friends (Roh, Kiko, Mark, Kris, Jojo and the Pinoypoets!), and like-minded Filipinos who wish to resurrect a dying art from back into the limelight.

The Tanaga is a type of short Filipino poem, consisting of four lines with seven syllables each with the same rhyme at the end of each line --- that is to say a 7-7-7-7 syllable form, with an AAAA rhyme pattern as in this example:

In the Old Tagalog original:

"Catitibay ca tolos
sacaling datnang agos!
aco’I momonting lomot
sa iyo,I popolopot."

In the Modern Tagalog syllabication:

Katitibay ka Tulos
Sakaling datnang agos!
Ako'y mumunting lumot
sa iyo'y pupulupot.

Translation (mine):

Oh be resilient you Stake
Should the waters be coming!
I shall cower as the moss
To you I shall be clinging.

The above Tanaga is attributed to Friars Juan de Noceda and Pedro de Sanlucar by Vim Nadera, and quoted them as saying “Poesia muy alta en tagalo, compuesta de siete silabas, y cuatro versos, llena de metafora.”

Originally a rhyme pattern of AAAA or AABB is used, but the modern tanaga is free to deviate from the rhyme, as in this tanaga by Alejandro Abadilla which is a creed about his differences with another poet:

“Umawit si Villa *
At ako’y umawit,
Nguni magkakontra
Ang sa aming tinig.”


"Villa serenades
as I do sing,
But there is variance
in our voicings."

*Poet Jose Garcia-Villa

A poetic form similar to the tanaga is the ambahan. The Ambahan's length though is indefinite, and follows the following form:
  1. A rhythmic poetic expression with a meter of seven syllable lines and having rhythmic end-syllables.
  2. It is most often presented as a chant without a determined musical pitch or accompaniment by musical instruments.
  3. Its purpose is to express in an allegorical way, liberally using poetic language, certain situations or certain characteristics referred to by the one reciting the poem.

The tanaga however being more compact at seven-syllable quatrain makes it a more attractive and easy form to experiment with.

Poets test their skills at rhyme, meter and metaphor through the tanaga because not only is it rhymed and measured but also exacts skillful use of words to create a puzzle that demands some kind of an answer.


Tanaga contains lessons or teachings and practical philosophies used by theelders to give reminders for the youth. It has a structure composed of four verses and seven syllables in one stanza.



It was lyric poet Ildefonso Santos who was said to be the first to discover the virtue of tanaga as an epitome of the dictum “less is more” when he wrote the metamorphosis of rice in four lines:

Palay siyang matino,
Nang humangi’y yumuko,
Nguni’y muling tumayo:
Nagkabunga ng ginto!

In his Doktrinang Anakpawis (1979), poet/critic Virgilio Almario in a way tried the versatility of tanaga in his own brand of protest literature:

Isang pinggang sinangag,
Isang lantang tinapa,
Isang sarting salabat,
Isang buntunghininga.

- Vim Nadera

Since I write mostly in the English language, and quite sparingly in Filipino , I am advocating the use of the Tanaga in the English as well, and I am opening it to the world to use.

I encourage like-minded poets from all over the world, and not just Filipinos to use this form and spread it all over the world! Remember if it's 7-7-7-7, it's not haiku, it is Tanaga. ;-) If you use more than four lines at seven-syllables per line, it is called Ambahan.

If you are interested to know more about Filipino poetry or submit a Tanaga in English or in the vernacular for this site, please email me:

All rights revert to the author. Multiple submissions are welcome. I invite even non-Filipinos to participate in this venture. If you care about modernity but doesn't wish it to impinge on the the cultural treasures of the past then let us build on the traditions of the past and merge it with the Future!

Let us keep the Tanaga and Ambahan alive! If you want to help as a co-moderator of this blog, do let me know so I can add you and help resurrect this dying art form!

Wednesday, March 2, 2005

You Bring the Heavens Down to Me

Your lips,
smooth as velvet,
suffocate my senses,
torture me as they leave my lips,
and when they touch me again,
you bring the heavens down to me.

Your looks,

like an enigma,

won’t allow me to escape,

nor let me look outside your beauty,

when you are with me,

you bring the heavens down to me.

Your existence,

cruel as a raging fire,

grim as a cold night,


the only reason for my existence.

Your love,

may touch my heart,

and leave me without life,

as you bring the heavens down to me.

© Jheric A. Saracho
March 1, 2005