Kallautang-Amado Yoro


Nota Bene: Excerpted from the book, “Kallautang–Poetics of Diversity, Displacement, and Diaspora: Ilokanos in the Americas Writing”. (TMI Global Press 2009). Published through a grant from the University of Hawaii SEED, and in collaboration with the UHM Ilokano Language and Literature Program. Edited, translated, and with a critical introduction by Aurelio Solver Agcaoili.



Amado Ilar Yoro


Ket no parimrimannaka ti init

A nagmattider

Ngatuen dagiti alintatao

Ken anniniwan

Sidiran dagiti kape

Ken hibiscus:

Nagtignay ti barukong

Ti daga a nalabaga;

Ti kinabaknang

A bukiboken

A kalaga ti ling-et

A mangdalepdep

Ket lumangto manen

Ti nagbukar a kultura

Iti balor ti bernakular

A nariingam

Kada Lola ken Apo Lakay

Ta saanka a sangsangaili

Iti naipasdek a balay-taeng

Ta panuli-surayka met

A komunidad

Dagiti kadagam

Iti langit a nabatogam





Amado Ilar Yoro


And if the sun shines lightly on you 

You who stand tall

Above the pupil of the eye

And shadow

Beside the rows of coffee plants

And hibiscus:

The chest of the red earth

Heaved its life:

This wealth

That we make into a seed

And mix with sweat

That makes it to moisten

And then the greening comes again

Of a culture thriving

And this value of language

You are born into

You drew from grandmother and grandfather

Because you were never a stranger

To this house-home:

You are yourself a corner post

Of the community

Of your countrymen

In these skies you are under 





Amado Ilar Yoro


Kayaw daytoy a buya

ti nakaparsuaan nupay aramid ti ima

ti sinan-burayok, sinan-gukayab

ken dissuor iti hotel iti Garden Island


Diak manen nagawidan dagiti agayus

a balikas: inkur-itko sakbay nga agpukaw

a kasla asuk wenno mapuros a linnaaw:


agmartsa ti darikmat

agtignay ti pagorasan

kadagiti bitek

a sumalpa kadagiti sang-atan

ti arapaap wenno salogan

dagiti pannakaimbierna

ken inana dagiti sagpaminsan

a mapagsuyan a kinnamatan


adda dagiti iseserrek iti daramuangan

dagiti gandat ken panagem ti iliw


uray dagiti panagalmusar iti agligsay

matnag ti tinukel ti burayok

agdissuor iti barukong ti dan-aw


agkanta dagiti billit kadagiti sanga

aglayag met ti arapaap kadagiti dalluyon

iti buya ti panawen

iti panagdakiwas

ti nawaya a panunot

iti likudan

ti pannakabannog ti mangmangged:

ti burayok, agsaraisi latta

ti danum agparsiak nga agdisso

iti dakulap 





Amado Ilar Yoro



This scene, made by hands

an enchantment of nature

this fountain-like, cave-like thing

and waterfalls at Garden Island Hotel


I could not help but allow

the flow of words: I write about this

before it is lost

like smoke or dew falling from a leaf


a moment goes on a march

the clock moves

in the quickening

that gets into a slope

of dreams or the downward

incline of annoyance

and rest from the race

that comes once in a while


there are those getting in entrances

the pursuits and evil intentions of longing


even in the partaking of breakfast

when the hour is past mealtime

droplets of water fall from the fountain

fall flat on the bosom of the lake


on the branches the birds chant

and a dream journeys with the waves

in this spectacle of time

in the thought going wild

for the laborer who is tired:

the fountain, its waters

gush forth, spring forth

and than fall on the open palm




Ti Ramutko


Amado Ilar Yoro


itugkelko manen ti plumak

iti papel

kadagiti mainaw a balabala


ammok a saringitnak

ni bulsek a pedro

ket adda rebbengko

nga aramiden a mangsagipen

ti nagramutak a similia


kutkotek ti balor

ti daeg ken pintas

ti bin-i ti kultura

ken pakasaritaak

kadagiti aglemlemmeng

a sirib a bimmalay iti


ta adda gameng

a di pay natakuatan

kadagiti panagani

saan a pannakarpek

panangabaruanan koma

a mangragpat iti tan-ok

ti nadam-eg a daga

tapno tumibker

ti pagsadagan ramut.


My Roots


Amado Ilar Yoro


I thrust my pen again

on the paper

on outlines conceived


I know I came

from the blind Pedro

and that I have a duty

to preserve

the seed from which I grew roots


I unravel the value

glory and beauty

the core of my culture

and my history

the hidden wisdom

residing in the mind

there is a mine of riches 

we have not discovered

in the harvesting

not in the decaying

but in the  hope of renewing

in this pursuit of the peak

in this land ready for the sowing

so that in the end

the roots would find

their way in firmly



Sakada idi 1946: Maysa A Lagip


Amado Ilar Yoro


adda dagiti ipapanaw a dimo mabalin

a lipaten: lagip ‘di kalapaw idiay Tapao


maysa a panagsubli ken panagungar

kadagiti nepnep ken kalgaw iti Pikkan,


wenno dagiti panagtalon ken panagani

idiay Caillayan, a nakainawan dagiti kannag


subliam ti ilim: naamo a rupa

naingel latta ti basi ti pinagkakadua


ti panagbaniaga, ti panaglupos


inurontandaka man iti pigsa

idi idur-asda ti ekonomia:


pinespesmo ti ling-et

‘ta muging ket simlep pay lua iti iliw


ngem natibker dagiti sakam:

dida nagluloken iti baet ti rigat 


nasangalen ti masakbayam

ket saan nga eppes daytoy


no di ket namsek iti kaipapan

namsek iti karayo ti lagip


kadagiti addangmo, naamon ditoy

ti nalabaga a dragon


awanen pangta dagiti singkit

uray dagiti padam nga immay nakipagindeg


ngem ammuem a nakaparintumeng latta

ni Maria Lina a mangidawdawat iti kappia


atiddog pay laeng ti linia

dagiti agbirbirok iti siping


uray dagiti mangul-ulod

iti sarukod, paatibay dagitoy a bumangon


ngem nasken nga ammuem:

nasam-it pay laeng ti tubbog


dagiti pinia a maapit idiay Kunia,

Kaunakakai ken Lanai


nasamsam-it pay ti bennal

ken asukar a magiling


idiay Waipahu ken Ewa;

a kas met idiay Wailuku ken Puunene


a kalumlumba ti Kekaha,

Lihue ken Hamakua


sinukbolda met ti bunga

ti papaya idiay Kona


idinto nga adda dagiti agub-ubon

iti Sabong idiay Puulilio


saan ketdin nga agsangsangit

ni Salvacion Alegre


dagiti annakmo agtimekdan

iti laem ti kongreso


naimulamon ti bukel

ket dagiti ipapanaw


isuda ti isasangpetmo

a mamagkallaysa


iti kalman ti sakripisiom

ken ti agdama ti kaputotan ita




Sakada of 1946: A Remembrance


Amado Ilar Yoro


there are leavings you will never forget:

a memory of a thatched house in Tapao


a return and coming to life again

in the heavy rains and summer of Pikkan


or the working on the land and harvesting

in Caillayan, where there the full moon is conceived


to your town you return: the face is familiar

and the sugarcane wine of friendship has the right taste


the going away, this molting


they might have used up our strength

when the economy got moving:


your sweat you squeezed dry from your forehead

and the tear of missing your land was profuse


but on your legs is endurance:

they did not weaken despite the hardship 



the future has been outlined

and this one is not vacuous


but filled with meaning

filled with the desire of memory


in your steps is this sense of knowing

the taming of the red dragon


the threats of the slit-eyed are no longer there

and even those like you who have come to stay


but you must always know that Maria Luna

remains kneeling and pleading for peace 


the line remains long  

for those looking for a penny


even those who move with their walking sticks

they too need someone to get them to rise up 


but you must know always: 

the juice of pineapple picked 


in Kunia remains sweet,

in Kaunakakai and Lanai


and the juice of sugarcane stalks

and the sugar that is ground to refinement


in Waipahu and Ewa;

like that of Wailuku and Puunene


and competing with Kekaha,

Lihue and Hamakua


they have picked the fruit

of papaya in Kona


while in Puulilio there are those

who string the flowers into garlands


Salvacion Alegre does not cry

any longer


your offspring now speak

in the august halls of Congress


the seed you have sown

and the many departures


are your arrivals

that put together


the yesterday of your sacrifice

and the present of today’s generation





Init Iti Daga


Amado Ilar Yoro



nabengbeng nga ulep

ngem saan a tubeng

biagek pay laeng

ti narung-o

a pluma

ta adda dakdakkel

a pagrebbengan

a putaren

ti isip

daytoy ti siglo

a mangipasdek

ti templo

ken pakasaritaan

kas manipesto a siak

ni mannaniw

ti henerasion

a dumanonto ngata

iti di pay nadap-awan

a sibilisasion

ngem saanakton a ganggannaet

iti baro a daga

iti init

ken ti sabali a sibilisasion

saanak a matay


The Sun on Earth


Amado Ilar Yoro


it streaked through

the thick clouds

but this is not the hurdle


I keep alive

the pen

that has died

because there is this huge responsibility

the thought 


this is the century

for the erecting

of the temple

and history

as a manifest

that I,

a poet

of the generation

that hopefully reaches

the civilization

that has yet to come



but I will no longer be a stranger

in this new land

in this sun

and in this other civilization

I will not die



Lakay Fermin Baniaga


Amado Ilar Yoro


Nakitaka iti Hotel

Ken kanto Maunakea

Iti nailet a siled

Ken agkukurrot a lawag.


Pumusaykanto kadi

A di makakita iti Sta. Romana?


Rotasion ti biagmon:

Ti umulog-agpagnapagna

Kadagiti kanto-eskinita

A kakuyogmo dagiti agsuek a bulong

Ken panawen.


Lakay Fermin Baniaga: bay-am

Kadi latta idan a pumusay

Iti awan naganna a paggibusan?


Tan-awam ti ruar ti Chinatown.

Mangngegmo ti taraok

Aganaraaren ti bannawag

Yegna ti sabali a lawag

Saan koma a matda

Nga agpatpatang ken agpugpugto

Adda latta anem-em ti sang-aw

Ti balikbayan: baniaga

Dayta nagan, agkutikan!


Old Man Fermin Baniaga


Amado Ilar Yoro


I saw you at the corner

Of Hotel and Maunakea

In in the narrow room

And in the dying light.


Will you pass away

Without seeing Sta. Romana?


Your life has become a circle:

Your getting down

Your walking around

In the street corners

And with the falling leaves

As your company

And time.


Old man Fermin Baniaga:

Will you just let them die

In this ending

That has no name?


You take a look outside Chinatown.

You hear the crowing of the rooster

And the early morning light of dawn appears

And gives off another light

And then you are not to be left out

Guessing and surmising

As there is that warmth in the breath

Of the one going back home: stranger

Is your name, you go!



Linnaaw ti Barukong


Amado Ilar Yoro


Manipud iti barukong

Nagukrad ti nalamuyot a rikna

A nangtagibi pulso ti rabii:

Toy pusok immisem

A nakaimatang it paraiso;

Agpaypayapay ti nangisit a panggep

Gapu iti umapuy a lasag

Iti gumilgil-ayab a barukong.

Naitayab ti karrusing a a tagainep

Nasalpot dagiti kari

Iti aliaw ken sulisog.

Natnag dagiti lua

Ket rimmusing ti ayat

Ngem nakta ti balligi.

Maimatangak ti sinamar

Mangngegko kanta dagiti billit

Ammok, dumtengto ti kaibatogan

A linnaaw iti barukong

Tapno ugasanna naikulbo a rikna:

Mangted naslag a dalan

Mangawis pannakaisalakan

Ket magtengak sabali a lubong.



Dew on the Breast


Amado Ilar Yoro


From the chest

A soft feeling blossomed

That nourished the pulse of night:

My heart smiled

In witnessing paradise;

A motive in black waves

Because the flesh catches fire

In the breast that blazes on.

The dream that has just sprouted

Flew away

And the promises pierced through

By panic and tease.

Tears fell

And love was born

But victory got tired.

I witness the coming of the morning

I hear the chanting of the birds

I know, what is due me will come

A dew on the breast

That washes away the feeling that fell

Into temptation:

To give off a road awash with moonlight

And invites redemption

And I arrive at a new world.



Panagbirok iti Siping


Amado Ilar Yoro


diak manen nakaturog idi rabii

no sadino ti yan ti tuntuntonek

alimbasagenak pay ketdin

ta awan manen igatangko

uray sangatasa la koma a kape

(ngen adda ketdi igatangko

diario ken magasin Iluko

tapno diak malibtawan

a basaen ti literatura a biag

ti kultura ken kaputotan)

idi kakaisuna a nakaurnongak

diak linaksid nga imbingayan

ti simbaan ken dagiti balay-kaasi

uray dagiti ubbing nga agbutbuteg

agraman ti salip ti sinnuratan.


inimasko koma ti pangngaldaw

uray nanumo la nga inabraw

ngem diak met malipatan

ti ubing a rutayrutay

iti sidiran ti iskinita

ken karinderia a ngilngilawen

sitatanggaya dagiti dakulapna

kadagiti agintutuleng ken

agimbubulsek nga aglabas.


diak pabasolen ti gimong

kasta ketdi a kanayon

ta uray sadino a batog ti langit

ti pagtawatawan nga agirok iti siping

adda latta pannakaulila;

nasaksakit pay a kitaen ti langa

ti lakay iti nagkurosan

abusta ta di pay nagdigos

di pay nagibarbas ken nagpukis

mabisin unay iti langana

sinno ti mangngaasi?


adda latta panagbisin likudan

ti kinabarayuboy ken kinalabon

agbirokka iti siping: mangibingayka

met laeng iti siping

ta ti kinabaknang ken kinapobre

maymaysa ti gibusda.



Searching for a Cent


Amado Ilar Yoro


I could not sleep again last night

where is that which I am pursuing

I feel uneasy as well 

I have nothing to buy

even just for a cup of coffee

(but I have something to buy

for a newspaper

and the Ilokano magazine

so I won’t miss

reading the literature

of the life of a culture and race)

when I was finally able to save up

I did not exclude sharing

with the church and the houses of charity

even the children with their mucus

including the literary contests.


I could have enjoyed with my noontime meal

even if what I had was just a veggie dish

but I could not forget

the child with the tattered clothing

beside the narrow alley

and the poor man’s dining stall filled with flies

his hands were outstretched

before those who were trying not to mind him

and those passersby pretending

not to see him.


I do not blame society

this thing always happens

because whichever sky you are under

to wander and search for a cent

you always have that feeling of being an orphan;

it is even more painful to see the scene

of the old man at the crossroads

who aside from him not having taken a bath

has not also shaven and has not have his hair cut

he looks famished

who is going to give him mercy?


there is always hunger

in the face of excess and abundance

you look for a cent: you share

the cent with others

wealth and poverty

end up the same way. 




Ti Desdes Dagiti Sangsangaili


Amado Ilar Yoro


Ket rugianda met nga usatan

Ti awan patinggana a dalan

Iti barukong ti daga

Iti nailatang a direksion

Ta saanda nga agkarkarawa

Wenno lingka ti sirib

Ngem agbukarda a parupa

Iti pagtakderanda a pagannurotan

Kadagiti bukodda a pagsiriban

A tangsit ti puli

(Saan iti alindayag ti sabali)

Iti panagdaliasatda iti siglo

A pakaimarkaan ti nagan

A kanaig ti kultura

Nupay awan ti sarian ti init

Dagiti makatinong a pagel

Ngem kadakuada a saan a taga-ditoy

Atiddog latta ti pagnaan

A kargada ti namsek a gagar

Ti panagbaniaga

Kadagiti ngalay ti dalan.










The Trail of the Guests 


Amado Ilar Yoro


And they begin to blaze

The unending trail

On the surface of the earth

In the destined direction

Because they are not wanting of

Nor are they the storehouse of knowledge

But they bloom as the forefront

Of the order they are committed to

In their own sense of wisdom

The pride of the race

(Not in the pride of others)

In their journeying of the century

Where their name is etched

In that which relates to culture

Despite the sun unable to streak through

The obstacles we see standing in the way 

But to them they are not from here

The road remains long

On their load is the fire of desire

Of going away

On the stretches of the way. 




Waipio Peninsula: Agmatuon


Amado Ilar Yoro


Nakitak, wen, nakitak ti kinataok

Rayos ti init a pakatubayak:

Agsangsang-atak met nga init


Ti panaglayagko nupay adda pagel

Ti kinaganggannaetko: pannakigasanggasat

Ket ti anem-em a mariknak iti agmatuon

Iti Waipio Peninsula, pagluomenna

Sabali pay a tarigagay.

(Pimmanawak iti Sta. Romana

Awitko ti arapaap a nainaw

Ti kinakurapay ken kinarutayrutay)


Nariknak, wen, nariknak ti ling-et

A matnag iti tapok a panagbirok iti siping

Ken panagdur-as: ekonomia ken pamilia

Ket uray sadino ti yan: kumalatkat latta

Ti gasat; adda init a bimmeggang: balligi

Uray naitanemak idin iti manuskrito

Nariingak manen iti aglulua a pluma

Ket nakitak manen ti Sta. Romana

Iti panaglayag ti init: namnama ken panirigan.



Waipio Peninsula: Noontime


Amado Ilar Yoro


I saw, verily, I saw my person

In the rays of the sun molding me:

I am myself a rising sun


In my journey even if there are hurdles

My being a stranger:

This trying out my luck

And in the heat that I feel at noontime

At Waipio Peninsula, it ripens

Another of those desires

(I left Sta. Romana

Bearing with me the dream conceived

In poverty and misery)


I felt, truly, I felt the sweat

That fell on the dust in the search for a cent

And progress: the economy and family

And anywhere we are: luck

Gets to find us;

A sun with its ember shines: success

Even if in the past manuscripts buried me

I get awakened to the pen with the tears

And then again I saw Sta. Romana

In the sun rising:

Hope and vision.


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