Kanlungan - Noel Cabangon

This was a background music of McDonald's old TV commercial. It was sung by a Pilipino artist I admire, together with the rest of the artists who use their music in declaring love for the nation. I find Noel Cabangon as a nationalist artist. He was the composer of the song Tatsulok, popularized by another Pilipino artist Bamboo.

I tried to translate this song in English, in the nearest possible translation I can think of. It was a challenge to translate the word "panahon" because in tagalog (or Filipino dialect) the word either means "time" or "weather". I found the former to be most fitting translation for the song.

I was still living in Quezon city when I first saw this artist. I came to appraciate him more when our parish, Sacred Heart of Jesus, was able to invite Noel during a show or concert of all the church choirs. Two of my closests friends worked with the parish and that is where we go to during Sundays in Kamuning. My friend and I watched the concert, staged inside the church. The presentation was great!

Noel Cabangon sang this song live accompanied by his own guitar. It was really marvelous. There I learned that prior to being a popular singer, he used to be a parishoner of that church and he spent most of his childhood days in Kamuning area. Perhaps, he was even referring to Kamuning, as his "cradle" when he sang this song.
I am not really sure but one thing is guaranteed: he is a good artist and it's too hard not to admire him.
>>>>>> end <<<<<<

Pana-panahon ang pagkakataon (Time is chance)
Maibabalik ba ang kahapon? (Can we bring back yesterday?)

Natatandaan mo pa ba (Do you still remember?)
Nang tayong dal'wa ang unang nagkita? (When we last saw each other)
Panahon ng kamusmusan (Age of childhood and innocence)
Sa piling ng mga bulaklak at halaman (In the company of flowers and plants)
Doon tayong nagsimulang mangarap at tumula (There we started to dream and create poems)

Natatandaan mo pa ba (Do you still remember?)
Inukit kong puso sa punong mangga (The heart that I etched in mango tree)
At ang inalay kong gumamela (And the flower I gave)
Magkahawak-kamay sa dalampasigan (Holding hands at the sea shore)
Malayang tulad ng mga ibon (free as a bird)
Ang gunita ng ating kahapon (the memories of yesterday)

Ang mga puno't halaman ay kabiyak ng ating gunita (The trees and plants are the spouse of our memories)
Sa paglipas ng panahon (In the passing of time)
Bakit kailangan ding lumisan? (Why do we also have to leave?)

Pana-panahon ang pagkakataon (Time is like chance)
Maibabalik ba ang kahapon? (Can we bring back yesterday?)

Ngayon ikaw ay nagbalik (Now you've returned)
At tulad ko rin ang iyong pananabik (And my eagerness is like yours)
Makita ang dating kanlungan (To see the old cradle/place)
Tahanan ng ating tula at pangarap (The home of our poems and aspirations)
Ngayon ay naglaho na (Now it disappeared)
Saan hahanapin pa? (Where shall we find it?)

Lumilipas ang panahon
Kabiyak ng ating gunita
Ang mga puno't halaman
Bakit kailangang lumisan?

Pana-panahon ang pagkakataon
Maibabalik ba ang kahapon?

Kanlungan - Noel Cabangon

9 Responses

    Love this song so much. It makes me so love the world despite the sham and drudgery it offers me. Listening to Kanlungan makes me wanna lay down in a hammock under a mango tree. Most of your entries are about songs. Nice.

  2. natsu uri Says:

    This is one of the few tagalog songs that i like, aside from eraserhead's and rivermaya's old songs. Noel Cabangon, eraserhead and the old rivermaya, defines the true OPM, the one with distinctive tone and convesational feel to it. These songs talks not only to the mind but to the soul. I feel like i could understand the meaning of their songs even if I don't understand tagalog. Noel Cabangon is a true and legitimate artist and musician. Not just some wannabee who only knows how to sound good, but can't connect. When he sings, he is not fooling anyone, he just sings his heart out. No artificial and obvious embellishments that hopes to fool you he's feeling it, just natural.

    On another matter, i think the more suitable translation for "panapanahon ang pagkakataon" is "chance is timely/rare/once in a lifetime" not "time is chance". Other than that, i think your translation is well done.

  3. Anonymous Says:

    just to add my own translation sir..anyways nice work..im inspired to Noel Cabangon's music..
    Lumilipas ang panahon (Time passes by)
    Kabiyak ng ating gunita ( Along with our memories)
    Ang mga puno't halaman (the plants and trees)
    Bakit kailangang lumisan? (why did it need to perish?)

  4. Thank you for posting this. Really helpful. I'm editing a trailer for an environmental film. I needed to translate the song.

  5. Anonymous Says:

    "Pana-panahon ang pagkakataon" does not translate to "time is like chance". You should've first tried to understand the essence of the line in Filipino.

    Ang pinakapunto ng linyang 'yun ay minsan lang dumaan ang pagkakataon. Pana-panahon kumbaga. Ngayon, meron kang pagkakataon para gawin ang isang bagay. Pero pwedeng bukas o matapos ang isang minuto o isang segundo, mawala na ito. Lumipas na 'yung tsansa. So ang dine-describe ay ang "pagkakataon". Hindi ang "panahon". So "time is like chance" is just wrong. Essentially, if you were going to translate it as literally as you did, it should've been "chance is like time". But if you think about it, it does not make sense at all. Therefore it should've been "Chance is fleeting". Or better yet "OPPORTUNITY is fleeting". Or "Opportunity only comes once in a while". Take your pick

  6. delaveganz Says:

    Nang tayong dal'wa ang unang nagkita? (When we FIRST saw each other)
    Doon tayong nagsimulang mangarap at tumula (There we started to dream and DO POETRY)
    Ang mga puno't halaman ay kabiyak ng ating gunita (The trees and plants are PARTNERS of our memories)
    Bakit kailangan ding lumisan? (Why do THEY also have to GO?)
    Ngayon ay naglaho na (Now THEY'VE disappeared)
    Saan hahanapin pa? (Where shall we find THEM?)
    Lumilipas ang panahon (Time passes by)

  7. This is more accurate. Nice.

  8. Ebok Says:

    Wait.. im still researching about this song unfortnately hanggang ngayon hindi ko pa din alam ang totoong released date neto.. sumikat to nung late 2000's ata, pero first time ko to narinig sa LA 105 mga late 90's na.. then dahil sa sobrang nging popular to nung sa mcdo commercial neriliese ulit to ng abscbn nung 2009 pra pag ka perahan ulit.. my pustahan ksi kmi ng tropa ko.. and i have a week to find an evidence na tama ako..

  9. Unknown Says:

    kanlungan was writen/composed by sir rom dongeto

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