Cebuano Music

The wide repertoire of Visayan songs includes ballads, lullabies, harana (serenade), children's songs, working songs, drinking songs, nonsense songs, and a lively song-and-dance debate called balitaw.

For a sampling of one or more of these genres, click on the links below.

Ako Anak ni Tatay (children's song)
Ilo nga Bata (children's song)
Pakitong-kitong (nonsense song)
Si Pelimon (work song)
Ako kini si Angi (work song)
Sa Lungsod sa Buenavista (ballad)
Matud Nila (love song)
Adiyos Nanay ug Tatay (wedding song)
Dandansoy (drinking song)
Balitaw (debate song)

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Ako Anak ni Tatay (I am my father's son)

Ako anak ni Tatay,
Ako ra'y puti ug diyutay;
Panahon sa kagabhion,
Ako ra'y makita dayon. 

I'm my father's son,
Fairer than anyone;
When it's nighttime,
I'm the easiest to see.

Ako anak ni Tatay,
Ako ra'y buotan ug diyutay;
Panahon sa tingpamuklay,
Ako ra'y makapahulay.

I'm my father's son,
Better behaved than anyone;
When it's time to till the field,
Only I may rest.

Ako anak ni Tatay,
Ako ra'y guapo ug diyutay;
Panahon sa tingpamiesta,
Ako ra'y duna'y korbata.

I'm my father's son,
Handsomer than anyone;
When it's fiesta time,
Only I have a tie to wear.



anak  child; son or daughter
puti  fair-complexioned; white
diyutay  a little bit
panahon  time; weather
kagabhion  night; evening
makita  to be seen
dayon  immediately; soon
buotan  well-behaved; well-bred
pamuklay  tilling the field; plowing
pahulay  rest
guapo  handsome; good-looking
piyesta  fiesta; merrymaking
duna, aduna  to have
korbata  necktie



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Ilo nga Bata (A little orphan)

Ako ang ilo nga bata,
Kang Nanay nga pinalangga;
Ugaling kay biniyaan,
Niining kalibutan.

I am a little orphan,
Mother had cared for me;
But now I'm all alone,
And the whole world has left me.



ilo  orphan
bata  child; young boy or girl
Nanay  an endearing term for mother
pinalangga  loved; doted on; cared for
ugaling  however; but
biniyaan  abandoned; cast off
niini  here; in this place or situation
kalibutan  the world; the earth

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Tong, tong, tong, tong, pakitong-kitong,
Alimango sa suba gibantog dili makuha;
Ako ra'y makakuha,
Ako ra'y makasuwa.

Tong, tong, tong, tong, pakitong-kitong
Crab of the river that none has caught yet;
Only I can get,
Only I can eat.



alimango  crab
suba  river; stream
gibantog  famous; known; reputed to be
dili  no; not; negative
kuha  to get
suwa  to eat (viand)

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Si Pelimon

Si Pelimon, si Pelimon
Namasol sa kadagatan;
Nakakuha, nakakuha
Ug isdang tambasakan;
Gibaligya, gibaligya
Sa merkadong guba;
Ang halin pulos kura, ang halin pulos kura
Igo lang gipanuba.

Pelimon went to sea to catch some fish;
What did he catch?
A small mudskipper;
He sold it at a rickety market;
For it he was paid kura,
Just enough to buy tuba.



pasol  to catch fish; to fish by hook-and-line
kadagatan  the open sea
kuha  to get; to catch
isda  fish
isdang tambasakan  mudskipper
baligya, ibaligya  to sell
merkado  market
guba  broken down; run-down; rickety
halin  revenue; income from sale
pulos  entirely; wholly
kura  fake money; money circulated during the                   Japanese occupation of the Philippines
igo  enough; sufficient
tuba  a popular drink fermented from the sap                of the coconut tree
ipanuba  to spend one's money on tuba

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Ako kini si Angi (My name is Angi)

Ako kini si Angi,
Ang opisyo ko'y panahi;
Adlaw ug gabii
Kanunay ako nagtahi.

My name is Angi
And I sew for a living;
Day and night I sew
And sew without rest.

Bisan nako'g unsaon,
Wala'y kuwartang matigum,
Kay ang akong pagpanahi
Igo ra's panginabuhi.

No matter how I try
I can't have any savings;
For what I get from sewing
Is just enough to survive.



kini  this
opisyo  occupation; job
tahi  to sew
panahi  the act of sewing
adlaw  day
gabii  night
kanunay  always; ever; all the time; ceaselessly
bisan  however; no matter how
nako  me; my; mine
unsaon  to try to do; to try to achieve
wala  nothing; none
kuwarta  money
tigum  to save; to accumulate
kay  because; on account of
igo  enough; sufficient
panginabuhi  means of livelihood; means of                                  survival

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Sa Lungsod sa Buenavista

Sa lungsod sa Buenavista
May tulo ka mga daga;
Naminyo ang kamanghuran,
Naghilak ang kamagwangan.

In the town of Buenavista
There lived three sisters;
When the youngest got married,
The eldest was in tears.

Mitubag ang tunga-tunga,
"Ay, Manang, ayaw pagsaba,
Kay dili abutan ug bulan
Maminyo kita nga tanan."

The middle sister said,
"Please, Manang, do not cry;
Before this month is over,
We shall, ourselves, all be wed."




lungsod  town
may  there is; there are; there exist
tulo  three
daga, dalaga  maiden; an unmarried woman
naminyo  got married; wed
kamanghuran  the youngest child
naghilak  cried; shed tears
kamagwangan, kamaguwangan  the eldest child
tubag  answer; reply
tunga-tunga  the middle child (cf. eldest,                                    youngest)
Manang  endearing word for an older sister
ayaw  no; not; negative
saba  to speak up; to make a fuss; to be noisy
kay  because; on account of
dili  no; not; negative
abutan  to come by; to come about
kita  we; us
tanan  all; everyone

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Matud Nila (They tell me)

Matud nila ako dili angay
Nga magmanggad sa imong gugma;
Matud nila ikaw dili malipay,
Kay wa ako'y bahandi nga kanimo igasa.

They tell me that I shouldn't
Wish for your love;
They tell me that you can't be happy with me,
As I have no treasure to give to you.

Gugmang putli mao da'y pasalig,
Mao'y bahanding labaw sa bulawan;
Matud nila kaanugon lamang
Sa imong gugma ug parayeg.

Pure love is all I pledge to you,
A treasure more precious than gold;
They tell me that your love and caresses
Would all be in vain.

Dili malubad kining pagbati
Bisan sa unsa nga katarungan;
Kay unsa pa'y bili ning kinabuhi
Kon sa gugma mo hinikawan.

My love for you will not fade
For whatever reason there might be;
Life would be worthless
If I am denied your love.

Ingna ko nga dili ka motuo
Sa mga pagtamay kong naangkon;
Ingna ko nga dili mo kawangon
Ang damgo ug pagsalig sa gugma mo.

Tell me you don't fall for
The scorn and derision heaped upon me;
Tell me you will not deny
My yearning for and faith in your love.



matud nila  they say; they tell me
dili  no; not; negative
angay  deserving; fit; worthy
magmanggad  to wish for; to desire; to covet
ikaw  you (singular)
malipay  to be happy
kay  because; on account of
wa, wala  nothing; none
bahandi  wealth; treasure
kanimo  to you; your
igasa  to offer as gift
gugma  love
putli  pure; unmitigated
pasalig  pledge; promise
labaw  surpassing; more than
bulawan  gold
kaanugon  gone to waste; "What a pity!"
lamang  only
parayeg  endearment; caress
malubad  to fade; to wane
pagbati  emotion; feeling
bisan  regardless; nevertheless
unsa  what; whatever
katarungan  reason; cause
bili  worth; value
kinabuhi  life
hikawan, kawangon  to deny; to refuse to grant
ingna, ingon  to tell someone something; to tell
motuo  to believe; to fall for
pagtamay  ridicule; scorn; derision
maangkon  to own; to have; to befall on
damgo  dream; ambition; a yearning for
pagsalig  faith; trust

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Adyos Nanay ug Tatay (Goodbye, Mother and Father)

Adyos Nanay, adyos Tatay,
Tapos na ang inyong pagbantay;
Manaug ako sa hinayhinay
Kay mangita ug laing Nanay.

Goodbye, Mother; goodbye, Father,
Your responsibilities are over;
I will leave you both here
To seek a new mother.

Makabana gani'g maayo,
Maayo usab akong pagbantay;
Makabana ug abobhoan,
Adlaw gabii hibokbokan.

If my husband turns out to be good,
I will be well taken care of;
But if he turns out to be a jealous one,
Then day and night I'll be clobbered.



adyos  goodbye; farewell
Nanay  endearing term for mother
Tatay  endearing term for father
tapos  ended; concluded; done
bantay  to look after; to care for; to tend to
manaug  to go away; to descend
hinayhinay  slowly; cautiously
mangita  to look for; to seek
lain  another
bana  husband
makabana  to beget a husband
maayo  good
usab  too; also
abobhoan  jealous
adlaw  day
gabii  night
hibokbokan  to be clobbered; to be beaten

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Dandansoy inom tuba, Laloy;
Dili ako inom tuba pait aslom.

Dandansoy, drink some tuba, Buddy;
No, I won't drink at all, tuba is bitter-sour.

Ang tuba sa baybay, patente moangay;
Talaksan nga dyutay, puno ang malaway.

Tuba sold on the shore ought to get a patent,
For a little glass of it will make you drool.



inom  to drink
Laloy  drinking buddy; an endearing term for a friend
dili  no; not; negative
pait  bitter
aslom  sour
baybay  seashore
patente  patent
angay, moangay  worthy; fit; deserving of
talaksan  glass; mug; stein
dyutay  small
puno  full; filled to capacity
laway  saliva

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Balitaw is a song-and-dance debate between a man and a woman.   More often sung than danced, it is a Visayan art form which existed in the region long before the Spaniards came.  The early natives called the song oyayi and the dance baya-i.   The Spaniards called the dance valse (waltz).  The natives adapted the word valse to bal and added tawo (the Visayan word for 'people').  Thus was coined the term balitaw, meaning "dance of the people".

Visayan debate songs, of which the balitaw is the best example, are usually sung at a festive gathering by a man-woman pair who must also be good dancers and actors.  The examples that follow are jovial jousts on love and marriage. (Source: Folk Culture of the Central Visayas [Kalinangan Series 2], 1986; Instructional Materials Corporation, Philippines; 194pp.)

Click on a link below to select it.      

Inday, Pamutos Na (balitaw)
Pahaloka ko, Inday (balitaw)
Balitaw sa Paghangyo sa Gugma (balitaw)
Balitaw sa Paghangyo nga Mangasawa (balitaw)











Inday, Pamutos Na

Inday, pamutos na
Sa imong mga bestida;
Kinsa'y imong padad-on?
Si Undo imong pamanhon.

Inday, go pack
All your clothes;
Who'll carry them for you?
Call Undo, your bridegroom.

Undo, ayaw'g awaya
Si Inday imong asawa;
Imo ganing awayon,
Ako man siyang bawion.

Undo, don't quarrel
With Inday, your wife;
If you'll quarrel with her,
I will come and take her back.

Unsaon ninyo pagbawi?
Kinasal kami sa pari;
Unsaon ninyo pagboyboy?
Inaslan kami ug baboy.

Oh, how can you take her back?
We were married by the priest;
How can you show regret?
We were feted with a roast pig.

Ay, ay, pagkakapoy
Niining mamalanghoy;
Puston sa pinong ginit,
Lugpitan sa dakong kahoy;
Dayon ayag-ayagon,
Dayon puto-putohon;
Puston sa dakung dahon,
Sa baybay kaon-kaonon.

Oh, oh, how hard it is
To make balanghoy;
We wrap it with fine ginit
And press it with wood.

We then sift the flour
And form it into small cakes;
We wrap it in big leaves
And we eat it by the seashore.



Inday  an endearing term for a young woman
putos  a package; a bundle
pamutos  to pack
na  already
imo  your (singular)
bestida  dress; piece of clothing
kinsa  who
padad-on, padalhon  allow or ask to carry
undo  an endearing term for a young man
bana  husband
pamanhon  bridegroom
ayaw  "Don't!"
away  to quarrel; to fight
asawa  wife
bawi  to take back (something previously given)
unsaon  how
ninyo  you (plural)
kasal  wedding; marriage
pari  priest
boyboy  to express disappointment; to regret
baboy  pig; pork
baboy inasal  roasted pig; a dish of roast pig
asal  to roast whole
kapoy  tired; exhausted
balanghoy  a popular native cake made from cassava
mamalanghoy  one who bakes balanghoy
puston  to wrap
pino  fine
ginit  the clothlike sheath of young coconut fronds
lugpitan  to press; to crush
dako  big
kahoy  wood
ayag  to sift
puto  cake; pie
dahon  leaf, especially the leaf of the banana tree
baybay  seashore
kaon  to eat



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Pahaloka ko, Inday (Let me kiss you, Inday)

Pahaloka ko 'Day.
Halok lang sa uban.
Ikaw ma'y gusto ko.
Nganong ako nga anaa ma'y uban?

Let me kiss you, 'Day.
Kiss somebody else.
It's you I want.
Why me when there are others?

Sige na lagi 'Day.
Dili ako kay wa ko'y gusto;
Irog, irog.

Unsa'y irog?
Irog, irog ngadto'g dyutay.
Irog, irog.
Unsa'y irog?
Irog, irog ngari'g dyutay.

Please, let me, 'Day.
No, I don't want to;
Move over.
Move where?
Move over there a little.
Move over.
Move where?
Move a little closer to me.

Kanindot unta sa gugma ta
Kon pahalok pa ikaw kanako.

Iasa ko man kanang imong halok
Nga dili man ako mahimuot? Ay!

How sweet our love will be
If you will but let me kiss you.
What good are your kisses
When they don't give me any pleasure? Ay!

Ay! Pahaloka ko 'Day.
Halok lang sa uban.
Ikaw, ikaw ma'y gusto ko.
Nganong ako nga anaa ma'y uban?

Ay! Let me kiss you, 'Day.
Kiss somebody else.
It's you I want.
Why me when there are others?

Sige na lagi 'Day.
Dili ako ka'y wa ko'y gusto;
Irog, irog.

Unsa'y irog?
Irog, irog ngadto'g dyutay.
Irog, irog.

Unsa'y irog?
Irog, irog ngari'g dyutay.

Please, let me, 'Day.
No, I don't want to;
Move over.
Move where?
Move a little over there.
Move over.
Move where?
Move a little closer to me.



halok  to kiss
pahaloka  to allow to kiss
'Day, Inday  an endearing term for a young woman
lang, lamang  only
uban  others
ikaw  you (singular)
gusto  to like; to fancy
ngano  why
anaa  there is; there are
sige na lagi  "Let's do it!"
dili  no; not; negative
kay  because
wa, wala  nothing; none; negative
irog  to move
unsa  what
ngadto  there; yonder
dyutay  little; small; few
ngari  here
kanindot  "How sweet!"; "How pretty!"
unta  "I wish!"
gugma  love
kon  if
kanako  me
asa  where
mahimuot  to be pleased; to enjoy





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Balitaw sa Paghangyo sa Gugma (Balitaw of Courtship)

'Day, ang pagsubang sa adlaw sa kabuntagon,
Ang kangitngit nga tanan mihayag,
Sa imong kaambong
Ang kasingkasing ko nabihag.

'Day, when the sun rises in the morn,
All the darkness around is lit up;
With your womanly beauty and grace,
My heart is captivated.

'Dong, kining akong kaanyag,
Ako ra kining kaugalingon;
Ug pananglit ikaw nabihag,
Unsay labut ko sa imong dangaton?

'Dong, this loveliness in me that you see
Is mine alone to cherish;
If you are captivated,
What have I to do with your fate?

'Day, tinuod wala kay kalabutan,
Tinuod nga wala mo ako sugo-a;
Kay ang kaibog ko kanimo gikan,
Kanimo ko gayud usab panilnga.

'Day, it's true you have nothing to do with my fate,
Nor did you ask to be part of it;
Yet you are the reason for my affliction,
So from you I seek my due.

'Dong, ngano nga ako'y imong panilngan,
Unsa may utang ko kanimo?
Ngano nga ako'y imong pasanginlan,
Nga imo ra man kanang gusto?

'Dong, why will you come to me?
What do I owe you?
Why will you  blame me,
When no one is to blame but yourself?

'Day, dili man utang ang giingon ko kanimo,
Ug dili sinugo lang ako sa akong kaibog;
Panimpalad lang kini ug kaluy-an mo
Kay usahay dili ako mahikatulog.

'Day, I speak not of any debt,
But my love makes me do what I do;
I am taking a chance you will yield to me,
For sometimes I cannot sleep.

'Dong, aron mo gayud hisayran,
Timan-i aron dili ka malimot:
Bisan unsay imong dangatan,
Para kanako wala kay mapa-abut.

'Dong, so that you may well know,
Mark this so you will not forget:
Happen what may with you,
From me you have nothing to expect.



'Day, Inday  endearing term for a young woman
pagsubang sa adlaw  sunrise
buntag  morning
kabuntagon  (poetic) the break of dawn
ngitngit  dark
kangitngit  (poetic) the darkness
tanan  all
hayag  bright
mihayag  lit up; became bright
kaambong, kaanyag  loveliness; beauty
kasingkasing  heart
nabihag  won over; attracted; captivated
'Dong, Dodong  endearing term for a young man
kaugalingon  one's own; one's self
pananglit  if; whenever
unsa  what
labut, kalabutan  concern; involvement
dangaton  outcome; fate
tinuod  true; real
wala  none; nothing; non-existent
sugo  command; order
sugo-a  to give an order to someone
kaibog  the state of being attracted
gikan  from
panilnga, paningil  to ask for one's due
ngano  why
utang  debt; obligation
pasanginlan  to blame; to accuse of wrongdoing
kana  that
imo ra'ng gusto  "Blame nobody but yourself!"
dili  not; no
ingon  to speak
panimpalad  taking a chance
kalooy  mercy; pity
kaluy-an  to show pity; to have mercy
usahay  sometimes
mahikatulog  to fall asleep
aron mo hisayran  so you may know
timaan  mark; sign; symbol
timan-i  remember;  "Mark my words!"
malimot  to forget
dangatan  outcome; fate
mapa-abut  that which is expected

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Balitaw sa Paghangyo nga Mangasawa (Balitaw of Marriage Proposal)

Kon ikaw, 'Dong, mangasawa,
Si Tatay ug si Nanay maoy sultihi;
Kay kinsa ba'y mosaka sa kahoy
Nga sa puno-an dili mo-agi?

'Dong, if you want to marry me,
Then tell my father and mother;
For who would ever climb a tree
If not through its trunk?

Matuod ikaw mao ang bulak
Sa usa ka maambong nga kahoy;
Dili ko maagi ang puno-an
Kon dili hagdanan sa imong kalo-oy.

It is true that you are the flower
On a tall and beautiful tree;
But the trunk will be impassable for me,
Unless you lend me your mercy for a ladder.



kon  if
ikaw  you (singular)
'Dong, Dodong  an endearing term for a young man
asawa  wife
mangasawa  to take as wife; to marry
Tatay  an endearing term for father
Nanay  an endearing term for mother
sultihi  to tell someone
kay  because; on account of
kinsa  who
mosaka  to climb
kahoy  tree
puno-an  the trunk of a tree
dili  not; negative
mo-agi  to pass
matuod  true; real
ikaw  you (singular)
bulak  flower
usa  one
maambong  beautiful; lovely
hagdanan  ladder; stairway
kalooy  mercy; pity

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