WEB AND WEAVE: The Metamorphosis of Ilokano Songs (Continuation)


Abalbalay means pet; toy. Inherent to children’s growing up years is the acquisition, hoarding and discovery of unique plaything. Once properly utilized, toys become unending sources of joy among children. But when toys are substituted with something that children themselves can’t understand, they get confused. Ilokano lexicon is replete with equivocal notes, because of its linguistic origin and constant adaptability. Birds may connote men’s penis, while flower is a a woman’s. Mention a part of the human body and things around him, and his erotic mind starts making a resemblance or parallelism. This will surely end up with the identification of sex stuff. And of course, the devilish smile is never out from his lips.

In this song,  the mind of younger ones are greatly swayed into believing that terms are just but natural to utter even though they elicit an equivocal meanings. Curiosity, as they claim kills the cat and so, with this prying, people unconsciously accept hedonism and utilitarianism as acceptable norms of social and linguistic conduct.



The popularity of this song among the Ilokanos gives an outlet to “smiles beyond our laughters.” “Burbortia’s” “green” or negative content, makes us think, and ponder what the riddle tries to unravel. Though the methodology is aptly unique, sadly, this leads to another erosion of Ilokano values. 

The composer of the song wittily conceals the terminology but he is unaware that the terms/ phrases used wreak greater havoc than  using the term itself. He did not only make them (old and young listeners alike) volatile to gag conversations, he also made them the core of that idiotic mental tussle.

Pardon the composer for making you react differently as you try answering the riddle:


Adda ay-ayamko ditoy uneg pantalonko

Ti bigat aglagto-lagto, no ti parbangon nakatudo

(What’s  your answer?)

Isu dayta ti kunkunada a padaw ti agmamayo

With even an uncalled justifications….

On the part of the woman, perhaps your ire gets redder now…

Adda met ay-ayamko ditoy uneg ti paldak

No ti bigat agungap-ungap, ti parbangon nakasuyaab

Aren’t you gotten frustrated? Or  that has become normal already?

The composer uses also a chicken inorder that the song will not be very negative or immoral to the ear of the people.

In the chorus of the song, the composer is adept in using symbols. Perhaps he is a noted fictionist or a poet where he readily uses these signs, per example, the eyebrow which would signify human pubic hair, the candle that denotes the male organ, and stench (?) smell imply that of a woman

Ania’t panawagam tay angot a magmagustuam

Di met mani, di met bibingka, di met tahong,

di met langka

(Ania koma?

Isu dayta tay kunkunada a pagtugkelan tungba a kandela.)



This song is by nature discriminatory. Women are rated as outcasts and scandalous.  The following lines show immoralities in all corners. 

Ngem ti nakaladladingit Corazon

Adda met nangikut iti pusom

Iti likud ti karinderiam nakitakayo

Naminsan nga agkakaiddan


Though the song may not that vulgar as the other songs, subconsciously, it tries to justify in the minds of the young that the concept of pre-marital sex (co-habiting together without the sacred matrimony) ha sthe approval of the society.

With the flurry release of hurt feelings of the man (the singer) through singing, he influences the young listerners that the only important thing in a relationship is anchored on sexual gratification. This is entirely an erroneous concept. Hence this song does internal incision to value formation. And it bleeds, for sure.


Naglaing a kumabbo

Kinabbona ni tatangko

Naminsan a rabii

Nakitak ni Nanangko a rimmabaw ken ni tatangko (2x)


These attributes would not necessarily mean equality and liberalism. They are offensive expressions to women themselves. The rude and absurd lyrics depict rudeness and absurdity of Ilokanos, too. While the act of love between couples should be in the sidelight, this songs made it as a highlight! Adding spice to that, “women power” is contextually put in a bad light.

The speaker here is entirely different form the earlier commented songs. The point of view here is that of a young child. Exposed that early to some “love expressions of the parent, he becomes observatory. His innocence is under question. What does it mean when he said he idolize his parents? Well your guess is as good as mine.

Idolko ni nanangko,  idolko pay ni tatangko

Makitkitak nga agkinkinnabbo

Kinabbo ni nanangko

Kinabbo met ni tatangko

Agkinnikinnida a kasla la pato


    Privacy is privacy, hence the word private. But how then that these things are known by the child himself? For sure, more children are expected to idolize their parents after listening to this song for several times.

       (To be continued)