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Ambahan: Old age | Mangyan Heritage Center

Ambahan: Old age

Sharing their love, the happy couple grows old together.

Old age in Mangyan society is not given special status and special privileges. As long as anyone is able to keep up, he is expected to take part in daily work. It is, therefore, not surprising to see the old and feeble people working side by side with the younger generations in the rice fields. However, the irrevocable advance of time is felt by the elder generation. It is something that can't be changed.

Ambahan 235
Hanunuo-Mangyan English Filipino
Handwritten version of ambahan 235

It's a fact we all know,
a truth wherever we go:
the sun in the afternoon
will be setting very soon.

Di ba't totoo naman
Katunayan saan man
Araw sa kataasan
Ay lulubog rin naman.

Among themselves, the older generation talk about the time when they will no longer be together. Will there still come another day after this night?

Ambahan 237
Hanunuo-Mangyan English Filipino
Handwritten version of ambahan 237

At this hour of the dark night
we are still together now
on the woven sleeping-mat.
But when the sun rises soon,
and the stars become detached,
our bond might break up too.
When we'll ever meet again,
it is not with mortal eyes,
but the eye-sight of the soul.

Sa sandaling karimlan
Kahit kita magtipan
Sa banig na higaan
Pagsikat nitong araw
Talang maghihiwalay;
Buklod nati'y bibigay;
Pagkikita'y daratal
Paningi'y mapawi man
May bagong kaanyuan.

The thought of death is quietly accepted by a Mangyan. It is not the frightful and horrible event that is feared so much by the lowland Christians. For a Mangyan, death is part of the life cycle of every human being; it is looked upon as something that will bring a definite change in life, mostly for the better, not for the worst. Especially when the Mangyan gets old, he likes to think of death as the moment that will bring him back again to his beloved who went ahead of him.

Ambahan 242
Hanunuo-Mangyan English Filipino
Handwritten version of ambahan 242

Says the man, already old,
thinking of life after death:
When I leave, it will be nice.
I will whistle, I will yell
on the highest mountain peaks.
Yes, one day I will be glad;
I will see my wife again!
Many things we'll have to say!
Then I won't want to come back.

Wika ng isang Mangyan
Isip ang kamatayan
Kung yayao't papanaw
Sipol akong hihiyaw
Sa landas sa 'bundukan
Kung dumatal ang asam
Pagtagpo natin hirang
Sa usal ay puspusan
Papanaw nang tuluyan