Binangkal Tears


WHILE READING Our Mindanao, a weekly news magazine of Mindanews, I’ve read an interesting poem cited by Andre Peña in her article “Looking Forward to Sharing My Soul Again.”

The poem, entitled “Binangkal, Penelope,” was written in Cebuano by Corazon Almerino. Binangkal, by the way, is a fried doughnut wrapped in sesame seeds and eaten as snack. Since the poem uplifted my spirit by making me laugh, I will post it here along with my translation in the English language.

Binangkal, Penelope
by Corazon Almerino
Penelope, kaon og binangkal.
Wala’y pulos kanang  magsige’g
Ginansilyo-kanang magsige’g
Paabot nianang tawo nga galisud
Og tultol sa iyang panimalay.
Wala to siya gilamat uy. Daghan tong
Gihapit-hapit. Daghan pud
Ang nangapyot ato niya.
Barug dinha ug sulunga
ang tindahan nilang Nang Kikay
Ug pakyawa ang iyang mga
Binangkal. Kon kahibalo ka
Moluto, hala, pagluto og daghan.
Haaay, Penelope. Kon tinuod man gani
Nga nasaag o gilamat gyud siya,
Dili gihapon niya mapanas
Ang mga gabii sa imong pagtukaw,
Ang imong mga daman,
Ang imong kahingawa.
Kit-kita ug ub-uba
Unya ang mga binangkal.
Kit-kita gyud. Ub-uba.
Ang sobra, tipigi.
Inig uli ato niya, inig tungtong
Niya tungod nianang pultahan,
Gubata dayon og binangkal.

English Translation:
Eat Binangkal, Penelope
It is futile to always
crochet, to always
wait for someone who
can’t find his way home.
He was not bewitched. He had strayed in
many places. Many also clung to him.
Get up and raid
the store of Nang Kikay
and buy all of her
Binangkal, If you can
cook, then make plenty of them.
Oh, Penelope, if it is true
that he got lost or bewitched
he can never erase
the sleepless nights,
your nightmares,
your anxieties.
Bite and munch
the Binangkals
And save what is left,
When he arrives and steps
in the doorway,
Attack him with Binangkal.

I know it’s a bit weird that I laughed over this poem when I should have shed Binangkal tears, but this is me. I had also laughed at some pages of One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez when friends who have read them cried. And when the sadness had quelled after Sirius‘s death in the Order of the Phoenix and Harry was calmly looking at a mirror which was given by Sirius, I was sobbing uncontrollably thinking how stupid Harry had been. If he had just remembered the mirror and used it to communicate to him, then Sirius wouldn’t have died. What’s more, he didn’t realize this mistake.

But I digressed.

I hope, though, that the day will not come when I would cry over this poem. I don’t want to suffer the fate of Penelope, waiting for a wandering invertebrate.

On the hindsight, it’s the general message of this poem that had uplifted me. It says one shouldn’t waste time and energy dwelling on things beyond their control.

So I am now eating my Binangkal tears and saving some just in case more adversities come my way. 🙂


“Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced.Life can only be understood backward, but it must be lived forward.” ~Soren Kierkegaard

This statement, mentioned in a teleserye last night, also encapsulates the message of the Binangkal poem. Ah, life could be compassionate sometimes.


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