Would you rather sing a song to your loved one than to write him or her a love poem? Filipinos love to sing. In the old days, the gentlemen would court the ladies by singing love songs. This is called "harana" or serenade. Once allowed inside the house, these serenaders will then ask for the lady love's turn to sing. Gone were those days, but now everybody sings just about anywhere and anytime.
Any Filipino, with or without a microphone, (but specially when there's a microphone) will most likely sing his heart out, where ever and whenever he or she is allowed to sing (at least in the Philippines). The regions are filled with song-ers. Singing in church is always robust and lovely. Pop singing contests are guaranteed hit shows in both the malls and on TV. There are always inter-school/university sponsored choral festivals. And in every celebration both of families and communities, there is always a "karaoke-ing".
Both young and old love to listen and dance to the music of local artists who write their songs in Tagalog. Local bands are popular both for their novel renditions and because the young can identify with the emotions their songs express, not to mention the novelty of expressing them.
On the other hand, only a handful will be interested in a poetry reading affair. Those who write Tagalog poems have only a handful of readers. And these are mostly their peers. In fact, most publishers would not even consider poetry among their priorities. Print runs would not exceed a thousand copies. The poets are singing, but they are mostly unheard.
However, many prestigious award giving bodies consider the poet's struggle as crucial in documenting memory and representative national sentiments. Awarded mostly for their passion for the role of language in forming and stimulating critical thought, Philippine poets continue to write their lyrics.
It is a crusade to engage the general reading public in appreciating Tagalog poetry. The heart language has been recognized and widely used in the mass media, but for the poets out there, there are simply too few venues for expressions.
This page invites all the Tagalog poets to post their poetry. We will post your poetry because we love poetry. So if you are a lover of poetry yourself, this page is also yours.(We will post Cebuano poetry after we have compiled them) Watch out for more updates in our free newsletter -- Tagalog at Wordhouse.
For a start: try writing some verses in the heart language. Tap the poet/song writer in you. Pen your lyrics, give it a melody. Sing a song.