Kallautang-Perlita Sadorra, with Translation


Note: Excerpted from the book, Kallautang–Poetics of Diversity, Displacement, and Diaspora: Ilokanos in the Americas Writing, published by TMI Global Press (2009) in collaboration with the UHM Ilokano Language and Literature Program. The book is partially funded by a SEED Grant from the UH System. Edited, translated, and with a critical introduction by Aurelio Solver Agcaoili. 

Biag Ditoy Hawaii


Perlita Tapec Sadorra


Kadagiti nariwet

A parbangon

Kadagiti nawawasnay

Ken akaba a dalan

Makilumlumba dagiti lugan

Iti taray ti nasapa nga oras.


Iti sabali a bangir

Iti daytoy gagangay

A pakasaritaan

Ket dagiti nagannak

Itoy a daga a nagsangladan:

Awitda dagiti dagensen

Kas kadagiti ubbing

Nakabalkot iti asi

Kas kadagiti pagan-anay

A nabengbeng

Kontra daytoy iti lamiis

Kas iti kaawan iti agmalem.


Awitda uray dagiti nataengan

Ken dagiti nakabalkot a maladaga

Kas iti panagawit iti darepdep

Nga iti sumuno a bigat

Ket ti nalag-an nga awit:

Ti agsapa a mangted

Iti asi ken sarikedked.


Iti barukong dagiti inna

Ket ti rikna a panangay-ay

Kadagiti annak a babassit

Agkurang dagitoy iti turog

Iti panagsobra met ti lam-ek

Panangsaranget iti pigerger

Ti panawen kas iti kaawan

Ti ina ken ama iti mumalem.


Maiyulog dagitoy nga ubbing

Iti agdan iti agpatnag nga arapaap

Ti natalinaay a biag

Awit kadagiti takiag

Ti agmalem a taraon kas iti gatas

Ti agmalem met a kararag

A dagiti annak ket Dios mangsaluad.


Ditoy, iti adayo, iti ballasiw

Dagiti tagainep iti ili nga ammo

Ket ti rekisito ti trabaho

Panangtegged iti lak-amen

A kasukat sakrifisio.


Di kadi ta mabaybay-an

Panangasikaso iti kaamaan?

A ngem ta ania ngarud

Ket ti panggedan ket virtud!

Masapul ti panagsaldet

Iti panagtrabaho kas mangmangged

Masapul ti panagsala

Adu a kumikom iti panagubra

Kas iti kumikom kadagiti annak

Nga iti agsipnget ket iyawid

Kadagiti taeng nga iti aldaw

Ket mangliwat iti ayek-ek.


Gapu’t kinapateg trabaho

Annak saan unay a maasikaso

Para aywan dika pay unay am-ammo

Kabibiagda, kinatao di sigurado.


Naanus nga inna ken amma

Agmalmalem nga agtrabaho

Tapnon makaurnong iti pirak

Agserbi ken pagadal dagiti annak.


Ar-arigen dika pay nakamulagat

Umulogka’t pagtaengan iti bigat

Uray ta magatangmo amin a kayat

Biag ditoy Hawai’i, narigat a naragsak.



Life Here in Hawai’i


Perlita Tapec Sadorra


In the dark hours

Of mornings

In the long and wide

Stretches of roads 

Cars race with the speed

Of the early hours.


In this ordinary history

Of our lives

On the other hand

Are parents

In this other land

We have come to:

They bear the weight

Such as those of their children

Them wrapped in pity

Like their thick clothing

Against the cold

Like their whole day

Of absence.


They carry the burden

Even those of their elders

And the wrapped babies

Like the way they carry

Their dreams

For the following morning

The burden would be lighter:  

The dawn that gives

Mercy and strength to go on.


On the breast of mothers

Is the piteous feeling

For the small children

Whose sleep is not sufficient

In the excess of the chill

In going against the quiver

Of a season like the absence

Of a mother and a father

From dawn to dusk.


The children are brought

Out of the house

In the night-long dream

Of a peaceful life

They are on your arms

The day-long food like milk

The day-long prayer as well

That God be at their side.


Here, in this faraway place,

In these shores beyond

The dream of the homeland we know

And the demand of work

To earn our keeps

In exchange for the sacrifice.


We neglect to care for our family

This way, don’t we?

But what else can we do

When our work is virtue!


We need to be diligent

In our work as laborers

We need to dance

To while away the worries of work

Like our worries for our children

That in the young evening hours

To our home we bring

That during the day

Miss so much the children’s laughters.


Because work is so precious

The children are not well taken care of

Babysitters we do not know much

Their life, person we are not certain.

Mothers and fathers that are patient

For the whole day they work

To save up some money

For the children’s upkeep

And studies.


When you go out to work

Sleep has yet to go away

You get down your house

In the morning hours

Then again you can buy

Whatever that you want


Life in Hawai’i, it is hard and glad.


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