12,000-strong crowd to sing Pangasinan folk song

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Thursday, October 13, 2011

DAGUPAN CITY -- A historical event will take place in the city minutes after the St. John the Evangelist Metropolitan Cathedral bell is rung at 6 p.m., which signals the Angelus, on Friday.

Students from 15 private and public high schools will have their grand choral performance. With candles lit, they will simultaneously sing Malinac Lay Labi, Pangasinan's very own native folk song.

They will be joined by their fellow students, schools officials, and teachers, city officials, and Dagupenos in a crowd that is expected to reach 12,000. The mass singing will be held at along Burgos Street (from the West Central Elementary School I up to the corner of Rivera Street-Burgos Street).


This is the culmination of Project Sanengseng, a one-of-a-king choral competition conceptualized by Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas. It was carried-out in partnership with the Dagupan City Schools Division headed by City Schools Superintendent Alma Ruby Torio.

Father Villegas will also the announce the winners in the competition.

At 4:30 p.m., the students will converge/assemble at Jovellanos Street (beside the Cathedral) at part of Burgos Street for the final rehearsal.

At 5:30 p.m, the Project Sanengseng finale will formally start with an opening song and other songs (all Pangasinan songs) by the different participating schools.

Meawhile, a traffic re-routing scheme will be implemented starting at 1p.m. until the event is over said Public Order and Safety Office Chief Robert Erfe-Mejia.

"What we are asking our youth in Dagupan is to rediscover the power and the beauty of Pangasinan songs because we feel that is being being lost and we do not want to lose by default. We the adults wanted to teach our children that there is beauty and dignity in Pangasinan culture. And as starters, we are asking [students] to learn Malinac Lay Labi," Villegas said during the launching of the project several months ago.

Villegas said he discovered that a lot of Pangasinense youths today could not speak Pangasinan.

“Because we want them to learn, it will not be a choir competition, rather it will be a school competition so that everybody in that schools is obliged to study the song and hopefully become their pride as a Dagupeno, as Pangasinenses,” he stated.

He asked schools officials to include students in the choral group, even those who could not carry a tune. “Songs unify, let them be part of the group,” he explained.

During the judging where the all the judges and Villegas himself went from campus to campus to listen the students’ rendition of the Malinac Lay Labi (contest piece), and and their choice Pangasinan song (warm-up song).

"Wherever you go, when you are asked to sing, sing Malinac Lay Labi because this is our identiy song,” he remarked.

Here is the lyrics of Malinac Lay Labi, with the English translation by Santiago Villafania, a Pangasinense poet, and had been published at dalityapi upoemed. In a phone conversation on Thursday with Villafania, he said the English translation can also be sung to the tune of Malinac Lay Labi:

Malinac Lay Labi (A night piece)

Malinak lay labi, Oras lay mareen
The night is calm my love, And time is fleeting still

Mapalpalnay dagem, Katekep toy linaew
The wind is breathing low, Kissed by the evening dew

Samit day kugip ko, Binangonan kon tampol
How sweet it is to dream, That I have to wake for you

Lapu'd say linggas mo, Sikan-sikay amamayoen
Your fair attemper face, I shall always caress


Lalo la bilay no sika lay nanengneng
O when the night is come, And you my love I see

Napunas lan amin so ermin ya akbibiten
The sadness all is gone, Buried deeply in my soul

No nanonotan ko lay samit day ugalim
Whenever I recall, Loving ways you are wont to

Agtaka nalingwanan anggad kaoyos na bilay.
I shall not forget you, Till I am laid to rest

(Liway C. Manantan-Yparraguirre/Sunnex)

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