Sinulid Gikan sa Langit is a song written by Noy Narciso, an artist from the Philippine southern city of Davao, where he also teaches Narciso teaches film, theatre and arts.
The song’s title is a mixture of Tagalog (sinulid = thread) and Cebuano words (gikan sa langit = from the sky). As to the reason why Narciso chose to name the song in such fashion is something I do not know. However, I feel that the writer intended to code-switch as, having lived in Davao myself, we are known to code-switch in conversations. Karlo David wrote an enlightening post on the same topic in this post.
I came across Sinulid Gikan sa Langit sometime in 2012 when I was organising Davao’s first TEDx conference. Narciso became part of the line of speakers as we thought his thesis on soul making was an idea worth spreading. The day he first played Sinulid in one of the conference’s rehearsals, the song immediately got me. Its unusual chord progression (Broken C – Fmaj 7 / Bm7 – C#M7 / Am – D – C – Fmaj 7) is a respite from formulaic pop (I should be crucified for even pointing this out). And the lyrics represents Narciso’s meditative, beyond the bustle thoughts, something we at the Humanities and Letters Department would always love to hear and read, may it be during conversations at the faculty office, or in his performances (remember Shift Happens?).
The song’s lyrics is written in Filipino, which took me time to understand (I am not fluent in the said language). But since I’m a ‘trying hard’ arts and literature appreciator, I eventually got the song’s message, thanks to the convenience this era provides: this and this.
The Philippines is celebrating its National Literature Month. As a contribution, I’ll do my best to translate some of my favourite works created by Filipino artists (I previously translated Macario Tiu’s Bago Aplaya) to Bahasa Indonesia, the national language of my second home.
Sinulid Gikan Sa Langit
By Noy Narciso
Mga sinulid mula sa kalangitan
Nagbuburda ng kumot sa kalupaan
Masisid ang lupang tigang
Iba’y sinaklong ng dahon
Iba’y sa hangin tinangay
Kumapit sa mga tangkay
Iba’y kumaripas sa damohan
Iba’y gumuhit ng ala-ala sa dalampasigan
Iba’y naging luha sa bangin ng iyong pisngi
Benang Dari Langit
Oleh Noy Narciso
Benang-benang ciptaan langit
Menganyam selimut demi bumi
Menukik ke tanah tandus
Ada yang tergenggam daun
Ada yang terbawa angin
Menggantung pada cabang
Ada yang melesat ke rumput
Ada yang melukis kenangan di pantai
Yang lain menjadi tetesan di pipimu
Photo courtesy of Donald Tong