This

Last April 25, Words Anonymous celebrated its first anniversary. In one of our sets, we performed translated versions of one another’s poems. I translated Jihad Mambuay’s Kailan(gan), the first piece I’ve seen him perform during my first time at Sev’s, and one of my personal favorites.

It goes without saying that the original Tagalog version, which follows immediately after my translation, is much better.

[][][]

I can live without this
But I’d rather not;
I’d rather listen to your stories
And ask how you are
What you think of the world
And of other people’s words
That linger on your lips
I’d rather think that you are made of these bits
That I can bring with me, fill my pockets with
Until the next time we meet

I can live without this
But I’d rather not;
I’d rather spend time
Watching out for
And taking care of you
Make sure that you always
Have someone to sit next with
Even when you don’t ask for it
You see, time is nothing
And being tired is irrelevant
When put in the context
Of me and you

I can live without this
But I’d rather not;
I’d rather help you carry the weight
Of whatever is bothering you
When tears are on the verge
Of spilling your pain
My ears are ready, my shoulder steady
I’ll listen as you lean on me

Because I can live without this
But I’d rather not;
I’d rather make a fool of myself
Belting out a song and dance number
Embarrass myself by sharing silly stories
If it means seeing you laughing
(Even if it’s at me)
And being truly happy
(Even if it’s not because of me)

And I can live without thinking about all of this
But there are quiet moments
When I wish that you’d rather
Also want to take my stories with you
Walk with me when my boots are too heavy
Be my compass because I suck at navigating

I can live without this
But I really hope
That one day, you couldn’t
That you’d realize
How I was made for exactly this

How I can do more than stay

But for now, I can live with just this

[][][]

Kailan(gan)
Previously titled March 23
Jihad F. Mambuay

Hindi naman kailangan,
pero gusto ko
Pakinggan ang lahat ng iyong mga kwento
Kumusta yung araw mo,
mga opinyon mo sa mundo
Mga salitang nananatili sayo mula sa ibang tao
Gusto kong isiping mga maliliit silang parte mo
Na maaari kong baunin, sariwain
Hanggang sa susunod nating pagtatagpo

Hindi naman kailangan,
pero gusto ko
Na inaalalayan, inaalagaan ka
Sa araw-araw mong buhay
Batiin ka sa umaga, paghandaan
Tabihan ka tuwing ikaw ay nangangailangan
Wala sa akin ang pag-alay ng oras
At wala sa akin ang pag-alay ng pagod
Kung ikaw lang din ang aking babahagian

Hindi naman kailangan,
pero gusto ko
Na samahan ka tuwing ika’y nabibigatan
Hayaan mong makinig ako sa mga problema mo
Hahayaan kong sumandal ka kapag nangingilid na ang luha mo
Hayaan mong yakapin kita
Dahil hindi man ako ang nais mong hagkan
Baka sakaling sumapat muna ito
Para maibsan ang iyong nararamdaman

Hindi naman kailangan,
pero gusto ko
Na makita kang Masaya
Kung kailangan man kitang awitan,
sayawan,
kwentuhan
Gagawan ko,
gagawin ko
Dahil mahalaga sa akin ang kaligayahan mo

Hindi yata tama, pero minsan iniisip ko
Na sana balang araw maisip mo
Na gusto mo ring magbaon ng aking mga kwento
Alalayan ako kung kinakailangan
Tulungan ako pag nagbibigatan
Pag naliligaw, pagsabihan

Hindi naman kailangan,
pero sana maisip mo
na gusto mo ring suklian ang binibigay ko
Hindi naman sa pagbibilang,
sabik lang ako sa ideya na aalagaan mo rin ako
Pero sapat na muna sa ngayon
ang pagpayag mong manatili ako
Dito
Sasamahan kita
Hanggang sa masabi mo na
Na ako ang hinahanap mo

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