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The Home of the Siwawer: This Is Where My Heart Lives
                    
                            
by Dodong N Reyes,  04/17/2012

It was a moonless night, when they heard a baby cry
In the cool breeze of December, a new born infant shivered high
Inside a bamboo house nestled among the zapote trees and bees.
I love this land, the home of the Siwawer: This is where my heart lives.

Tatang toiled in the mist of dawn, you called upon him
To plough the earth once more into vivid rows till the sun dim
Turning strips and mounds of soil bringing nutrients to rice paddies.
I love this land, the home of the Siwawer: This is where my heart lives.

Nanang washed clothes on the river bank, you called upon her
To spread the garments once more into neatly rows till the day deter
Of dua-naigs, kamisetas and pantaloons, drying till the sun heaves.
I love this land, the home of the Siwawer: This is where my heart lives.

I grew up walking the banks of rivers and trekking rugged hills
Soaking with monsoon rain, and enduring the Bislak River chills
Sweating under tropical heat, and shivering on cold December winds.
I love this land, the home of the Siwawer: This is where my heart lives.

First time I heard the wind caress and kiss the bamboo leaves
First time I saw a rainbow sparkle on Baguinsuso's dense trees 
First time I tasted a warm raindrop like honey dew that drips.
I love this land, the home of the Siwawer: This is where my heart lives.

Touch the waterfalls of Pekkan and chase a game in Canaam.
Trek the pastoral trails of Cabangaran, Manarang and Tamdagan.
Ascend the hills of Margaay and Diaton and, sniff orchids of Pallas ridge.
I love this land, the home of the Siwawer: This is where my heart lives.

Gubang's sparkling waters create a crescendo of lights as it screams
Along a green shoreline, carrying with it, the hopes and dreams
Of the Imalawa tribe, as it sprays thick jets of soothing breeze.
I love this land, the home of the Siwawer: This is where my heart lives.

Isic-Isic's rolling hills echo the sound of music that drums the rhythm
And pulse of the breeze surging smoothly across the surface of a stream
Invigorating and yet intoxicating, whistling through the farmers' sieves.
I love this land, the home of the Siwawer: This is where my heart lives.
 
Pallas valley unravels a dream of life where trees never had to fight
For a glare of the sun, a window in the sky, or a sweet dew of the night
They stand out there in magnificent array in the open plain of debris.
I love this land, the home of the Siwawer: This is where my heart lives.

Reading, 'Riting and 'Rithmetic came tough at the Central Grade School
Eased out as I progressed and continued at the Gabaldon School
Best years of my life in high school, as I sorted out my troubled teens.
I love this land, the home of the Siwawer: This is where my heart lives.

Silhouette of a teenage crush, shadow of a first love at the Town Plaza
During a dark night when people congregate to watch a public cinema
A kiss at the Dam, a dance at the Presidencia, a first embrace to give.
I love this land, the home of the Siwawer: This is where my heart lives.

Guitar playing, moonlight peeking, a Pamulinawen sings into the night
Maria Clara with lively steps, a Pandanggo dances the firefly flight
Easing the thirst of daily grind, a Basi in a wooden mug, imbibe o' lips.
I love this land, the home of the Siwawer: This is where my heart lives.        

A cuisine of delight: adobo, la-oya, kilawen, dinardaraan and igado 
Inabraw of saluyot, marunggay, paria, patani with pal-lileng and bukto
But the pinakbet tops them all, with a dash of bugguong, oh what a dish.
I love this land, the home of the Siwawer: This is where my heart lives.

You called upon us to seek fame and fortune into the world's vial
Sail the distance seas, soar to the skies and, walk the extra mile
Search the source of knowledge to gain wisdom, truth and justice.
I love this land, the home of the Siwawer: This is where my heart lives.

When the gods of creation forged verdant mountains, valleys and hills
With it is a woven canvas of Siwawer culture that wraps the land of bliss
Like a spider web that clings flimsily but strongly on the zapote twigs.      
I love this land, the home of the Siwawer: This is where my heart lives.

As I age, I confront echoes of the past, and wonder of future's behests
Nature and culture condemned and burdened, or justified and blessed?
Woven canvas and spider web splits and chips, or stitches and persists?
I love this land, the home of the Siwawer: This is where my heart lives.

Now, the agent of doom knocks at your door, ripping the earth apart
It's your life that's at stake; the destruction by man refuses to depart
Twinkle firefly, why the color of despair, sparkle fading into the abyss.
I love this land, the home of the Siwawer: This is where my heart lives.

Oh great Siwawer, be the beast of lightning speed and thunder throw
With razor claws, swoop down, snatch and squash the tempest below
Preserve your home, save your throne, protect the mountains and hills.
Soar forever more in the skies of Vintar, the land where my heart lives!





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