The Life of Lam-ang (an Iloko epic) - Page 8 of 16

Complete Text (in English)

For so long has she pined for you
The woman Saridandan.
Her eyes have grown tired

Keeping watch from this front window
For your appearance.
The betel leaves have since dried

At the tray which held them
In anticipation of your coming.

This is what Saridandan said.

Ah, woman Saridandan,
Try not to detain me any longer.
It would be futile.

I must go to the town of Calanutian
And try to meet Doña Ines Cannoyan.

Saridandan said:

How could you do that older brother?
Why can’t you accede to my request?

He prepared to go, the man Lam-ang

And soon, he approached the town
Of Calanutian.
So many were the competition

That one can easily lose sight
Of one’s companion
One can easily walk on the heads

Of the suitors
Without missing a step
It would be easy to plant palay

In the holes made by the spears on the ground
One can even transplant rice there
Since the sputum of the suitors were so thick

Lam-ang said (aloud to himself)
What should I do to approach
The erected outhouse

Where Doña Ines Cannoyan is wont
To take a walk?

He opted to go between the legs

Of the massed suitors
And the man Lam-ang finally
Reached the middle of the yard.

He set down his chicken, the white rooster.
It flapped its wings once
And the outhouse fell into shambles,

Prodding Doña Ines Cannoyan to look
Out her window.
His hairy dog then howled

And the outhouse was restored:
Worn parts became new;
What was already torn was restored.

Her parents then said:
Our daughter Cannoyan, wear your best dress
For your older brother Lam-ang is here.

Dressed up, Doña Ines Cannoyan stepped down
And walked to the outhouse towards Lam-ang.
The Spaniards and the rich Ilocanos
Were shamefaced when they saw her thus
Cannoyan said:
Sir Lam-ang, walk faster, give me your hands.

And let us embrace.
For the woman Ines Cannoyan
Has long pined for you.

And sir, let us go to your house
With the bamboo roof,
Which, being of the thin and delicate variety,

Can break beneath the hot sun
And therefore need the shade
Of the biggest tree in the yard.

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