Friday, May 7, 2010

Filipino Poet Victor N. Sugbo

Filipino Poet Victor N. Sugbo

I met the Filipino poet Victor N. Sugbo in Tacloban, Philippines last September just as a typhoon was heading our way. We spent a wonderful afternoon in a Tacloban literary café talking poetry and sharing our work. Sugbo is one of the Philippines most accomplished poets. He writes poetry in English and Waray. The selection chosen for this blog is a Waray poem that he has kindly translated into English. His poems in English have been included in national anthologies and journals. He has edited four books published by the Philippine National Commission for the Culture and the Arts, and recently released his first collection of poetry in Waray through the UP Press. He is also a professor of Communication and Literature at the University of the Philippines Visayas Tacloban College, Tacloban City, Philippines. He holds a Ph.D in Communication and two master's degrees, one in TESL and the other in Industrial Relations, all from the U.P. Diliman. He obtained his undergraduate degree at the Divine Word University of Tacloban. He has a number of articles published in reputable journals. His research interests are: language and literature,language and media, communication research, and language policy.

First, you can read the poem in its original Waray and enjoy the music of the syllables. Then you can read Sugbo’s English translation.

by Victor N. Sugbo

Ano nga adi ka man?
Di ka na nananagat?

Diri na gad.
Waray ko na sakayan.
Linamon han dagat.
Hadton inmagi nga bagyo.

Diri ka ngay-an nahihidlaw han dagat?

Maiha na ako nga waray
Bumisita han dagat
Dinhi na la ako hinin
Daan nga sakayan,
Inin ak katurogan,
Kay kun nanngangawil na ako mas
Damo nga bitoon
Ngan mga isda
Iton nag-uurualirong
Ubos hinin akon binubugsaybugsayan.


Why are you home?
Do you still go fishing?

I don’t fish any more.
My boat is gone.
The sea took it away
In the last big storm.

Don’t you miss the sea?

It’s been ages.
I have not been there.
I spend more time,
Riding this old boat,
This bed,
For whenever I cast a line
So many stars
So much fish
Come close
Under the water where I row.

Translated by Victor N. Sugbo

1 comment:

  1. Dr. Sugbo is such a prolific writer, both in English and Waray languages. I am one of his students in college.