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Folk, Philippines (Pilipinas), Tagalog/Filipino (Pilipino)

“Anak” (Freddie Aguilar)

Country: Philippines (Pilipinas)
Language: Tagalog/Filipino (Pilipino)
Genre: Folk

Guitar chords
Capo 5
Part 1:  
Em Em C  D
Part 2:  C  D Em

Freddie Aguilar 

Noong isilang ka sa mundong ito
Laking tuwa ng magulang mo
At ang kamay nila ang iyong ilaw

At ang nanay at tatay mo’y
Di malaman ang gagawin
Minamasdan pati pagtulog mo

At sa gabi’y napupuyat ang iyong nanay
Sa pagtimpla ng gatas mo

At sa umaga nama’y kalong ka
Ng iyong amang tuwang-tuwa sa iyo

Ngayon nga ay malaki ka na
Nais mo’y maging malaya
Di man sila payag, Walang magagawa

Ikaw nga ay biglang nagbago
Naging matigas ang iyong ulo
At ang payo nila’y sinuway mo

Di mo man lang inisip na
Ang kanilang ginagawa’y para sa iyo

Pagkat ang nais mo’y, Masunod ang layaw mo
Di mo sila pinapansin

Nagdaan pa ang mga araw
At ang landas mo’y naligaw
Ikaw ay nalulong sa masamang bisyo

At ang una mong nilapitan
Ang iyong inang lumuluha
At ang tanong,”anak, ba’t ka nagkaganyan”

At ang iyong mata’y biglang lumuha
ng di mo napapansin

Nagsisisi at sa isip mo’y
Nalaman mong ika’y nagkamali

“Child” (English translation by ORS, 2011)

When you born into this world
Your parent’s big joy
And their hands, your light

And your mother and father
Not knowing what they would do
Watching even your sleeping

And at night your mother, sleepless
For your milk preparation

And in the morning holding you on his lap
For your father, lots of joy from you

Now you are already big
Your wish to be free
Even though they don’t allow it, they will be lost

You suddenly change
Your head becomes hard
And their advice, you violate

You don’t even only think
What they’re doing for you

Because it is your wish, your freedom you obey
You don’t give them attention

Yet the days passed
And your path you lost
You were swallowed in evil vice

And the first to approach you
Your mother in tears
And the question, “Child, why are you like that?”

And your eyes, suddenly, tear up
Which you did not notice

Regrets, and in your thoughts
You know your mistakes


Noong – formerly, in the past, “when” (past)
Isilang – give birth, be born
Laki – size, bigness, grow up, bulk, extent
Tuwa – happiness, joy
Magulang – parent, adult, mature
Kamay – hand
Ilaw – light, lamp
Nanay – mother
Tatay – father
Alam – to know; fleshy, carneous
Gawa – to do; “Gagawin” = contemplated (future) object focus
Masid – to observe; “Minamasdan” = incompleted (imperfect, continuous) object focus
Pati – also, including
Tulog – to sleep
Gabi – night
Puyat – sleepless, vigilant
Timpla – seasoning, cooking preparation
Gatas – milk
Umaga – morning
Kumalong – to sit in/hold on lap
Ngayon – now, present
Malaki – big
Nais – like, want, desire, wish
Maging – to become, to be
Malaya – free
Man – even, even though
Payag – permission
Wala – to lose; to vanish
Bigla – sudden
Magbago – change
Matigas – hard, firm
Ulo – head
Payo – advice
Suway – to violate (an order); “sinuway” = completed object focus
Lang –only
Isip – to think about; “inisip” = completed object focus
Pagkat – because (sapagkat)
Sunod – to obey; “Masunod”
Layaw – freedom
Pansin – to give attention; “pinapansin” = incompleted (imperfect, continuous) object focus
Daan – to pass by; “nagdaan”
Araw – day; sun
Landas – foot path
Ligaw – astray, lost
Lulon – swallow; verb lulok (to swallow)
Masama – bad, evil
Bisyo – vice, habit (from Spanish “vicio”)
Una – the first* (related to Spanish un, una “one”)
Lapit – to approach; “nilapitan” = completed object focus
Ina – mother, mama
Luha – tear
Tanong – to ask (about)
Anak – child (old malay) *
Ba’t (bakit) – why
Ganyan – like that, such
Mata – eye* (from Malay “mata” also meaning “eye”)
Nagsisisi – regret
Magkamali – mistake


1.  Filipino vs. Tagalog

It is generally considered that Filipino is the formal name and standardized form of Tagalog, which is the national language of the Philippines as well as an official language of the country (along with English).

Tagalog is an Austronesian language, closely related to Malay, Indonesian, Javanese, and Hawaiian.  There are about 25 million native speakers in the Philippines, and about 60 million second language speakers.

Tagalog has been the basis for the Wikang Pambansa (National Language) since 1936, but has been relabeled on various occasions (in 1959, called “Pilipino” to distinguish it from the ethnic group Tagalog, and in 1973 “Filipino”).  According to this website, the national language was relabeled “Filipino” to recognize the “preference” for foreign loan words (mostly English and Spanish), making Filipino something like “Tagalog Plus…inclusive of the contributes of languages other than Tagalog”.  The example the writer gives is that it acceptable to say “diskyunaryo” (from Spanish diccionario”) in Filipino, but a Tagalog “purist” would use a native Tagalog word like “talatinigan”.

Filipino itself has been taught in schools since the 1970s, underwent a spelling reform in 1987, and was added to the ISO registry of languages in 2004.

2.  Foreign influence on Vocabulary

The majority of loan words in Filipino are provided by Spanish and Malay.  It is estimated that 40% of everyday conversation vocab comes from Spanish.

Examples from the song:

mundo “world” from Spanish mundo
para “for” from Spanish para
bisyo “vice” from Spanish vicio
anak “child” from Malay anak
mata “eye” from Malay mata
In most cases, the Filipino word maintains the same meaning as in Spanish, although the orthography (spelling) is different.  Check out this Filipino Loanwords – Spanish, Malay

Some of the more interesting morphs via Spanish include:

Kumusta ka?  (Como esta?)  How are you?
Siguro (seguro, sure) probably, maybe
Sige (sigue) alright, ok, go ahead, bye
Pwede (puede) may, can? as in phrase “pwede bang…” (could…?)
Gusto ko/kong (me gusta) I like
Kasi (casi, almost) The reason why is…
Syempre (siempre, always) of course
Libre (libre, free as in freedom) free as in free of charge
Sigurado (segurado, secured) Surely, that’s right
3.  Categories of Markers

Filipino has a lot of “little” words which are sprinkled between the main nouns and verbs.   Among the more important of these little words are markers of Focus, Relation, and Location/Direction.

Focus markers include ang, ng, and si/sina.  Like は or が in Japanese, they mark the main topic or focus of the sentence, but unlike Japanese, they are placed before the noun.

Ex: Ito ang paborito ko.  これが私の一番好きです。This is my favorite.
Ako si Maria.  私はマリアです。 I am Maria.

Ang is usually used for specific focus, while ng is used for indefinite focus.  Compare:

Gusto ko ang saging.  I like the banana.
Gusto ko ng saging.  I like bananas (in general).
Si and Sina are used to focus on singular and plural names of people.

Kaibigan ko si Jose.  Jose is my friend.
Nasa Maylina sina Jose at Maria.  Jose and Maria are in Manila.

Examples from the song:

“At ang nanay at tatay mo’y”
Lit. And (focus) mother and father (your…) –>  And (as for) your mother and father, (they…)

“Naging matigas ang iyong ulo”
Lit. Became hard (focus) your head –>  And your head, it became hard à You became hard-headed

Relational Markers include Ng and Ni/Nina.   They have the function of linking nouns much like the possessive の in Japanese or “de” in Spanish and other Romance languages, but they can also mark Direct Objects (like を) and so-called “unfocused” Actors (like に).

Ex: Sabaw ng buko.  ココヤシの若い実のジュース.  Young coconut juice.
Gumagawa siya ng reserts.   研究をしている。 I am doing research.
Kaibigan ni Jose.      Friend of Jose; Jose’s friend.

Like with si/sina, the difference between ni and nina is the reference to singular or plural personal names.

Examples from the song:

“Laking tuwa ng magulang mo”
Lit: big joy (of) parents (your) –>  The big joy of your parents à Your parents’ big joy

Location/Directional markers include sa and kay/kina.

As a preposition for both place and future time, “sa” can be translated as “at”, “on”, and “in”, but it also indicates direction, like “to”, “from”, and “for”.

Ex: Kailangang pumunta ako sa Maynila.  私はマニラに行く必要がある。 I have to go to Manila.
Mainit bas a Maynila?  マニラは暑い? Is it hot in Manila?
Hihintayin ko kayo sa Sabado.  土曜日に君たちを待っている。 I will be waiting for you all on Saturday.
Bumili si Jose ng regalo para sa nanay.  ホセはお母さんの為にプレゼントを買った。 Jose bought a gift for his mother.

As with si/sina and ni/nina, the difference between kay and kina is the singular or plural reference to personal names.
Examples from the song:

“Noong isilang ka sa mundong ito”

Lit. When born you (into) world this –> When you were born into this world
“At sa gab’y napupuyat ang iyong nanay”

Lit: And (at) night sleepless (focus) your mother –> à And at night, your mother, sleepless,…
“Ang kanilang ginagawa’y para sa iyo”

Lit: (What) they doing for you –> What they were doing for you


4 thoughts on ““Anak” (Freddie Aguilar)

  1. This information was very helpful. Many thanks

    Posted by jack speight | January 18, 2012, 9:14 pm
  2. Hi! I wanna know who translated the Filipino song into English. What’s ORS (2011)? Is that an organization or an individual. If so, I would like to know his/her name. Your reply will help me in my research. Thank you so much.

    Posted by ikeigran | November 27, 2016, 4:30 pm
  3. The translation of the song Anak to english is horrible. You better get a better translator if you can’t get it right before you post it.

    This is one example of the translation:
    Anak, bakit ka nag ka ganyan?
    Translated: Child, why are you like that?

    The person translated did word by word. If you will really translate this to get the essence of the song – Anak, bakit ka nag ka ganyan? Child, why you became like that? Or Child, what happened to you?

    So, check your translations first before posting it, I would suggest.

    Posted by Ven | February 4, 2017, 6:27 pm

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