Lulay

Lulay is a national dance with regional variations.

A few among those Philippine dances which can be classified as a "national" folk dance. This dance is also available in versions from Ilo-ilo, Mindoro, Laguna and Leyte.

The version from Leyte appeared in the book "MGA AMBAHAN" (1906) by the famous Waray writer Vicente de Veyra.

All versions of the Lulay use the same "basic" melody. The melody first appeared in the book "Bajo los Cocoteros" (Under the Coconut Trees?). It ranks among the popular love songs in the country at the close of the 19th century. It was also published in Madrid by Graciano Lopez-Jaena (from Ilo-ilo, ring any bell?) in Aires Felipinas (Philippine Airs).

The most popular version of the Lulay song is probably the one from the Tagalog region which runs:

Anong laking hirap kung pakaiisipin
Ang gawang umibig sa babaeng mahinhin
Lumuluhod ka na'y 'di ka pa mandin pansin
Sa hirap ikaw'y kanyang susubukin.

Another Tagalog version from Laguna have this for the first stanza:

Sa silong ng langit nitong bayang sinta
Ang mga dalaga ay mahinhi't maganda
Kung susuyuin mo ay magtapat kang talaga
At iibigan ka magpawalang-hanggan.

The Waray version is used as a melody for the Balitaw where dancers sing and dance respective parts in a joust of "siday" done to the tradition of the Amoracion oe Ismaylingay, the following line sung by a male "mag-ismaylingon" was recorded in Samar:

Kamakakukuri hinin akon kabutang
Sugad hin natungtung hinin anud nga batang
Waray sasabuta inin akon kapalaran
Kun hain mga bungto ako sasampigan

The Lulay is also sung in Bicolano as part of their 'pastores' traditional music. National Artist for Dance Ramon Obusan recorded one version using the Lulay music in the Christmas shepher dance called "Pastores Maliliput" from Maliliput town in Albay.

Two Lulay dance versions are found in the island of Panay alone. One version is the Lulay dance from Bingawan, Ilo-ilo. Another version (or excerpt) of the Lulay is found in the "Salidsid" dance also from Ilo-ilo. The seventh figure of the "Salidsid" is the Lulay.

During the American occupation some folksongs were translated to English, the Lulay was published but was entitled "Boanerges Serenade". The first stanza goes:

I was poorly born on the top of the mountains
Caressed by the motherly love of the lighting
Playing with the wonderful fire of the lightning
Thrilling, thrilling kiss of love is always mine

Its Filipino language text was entitled "Harana ni Boanerges":

Ako'y ipnanganak sa tuktok ng bundok
Kalaro-laro ko'y kulog na matutunog
Dinuyan ko'y ulap sa papawiring bughaw
Halik ng kidlat ang siyang kaulayaw.

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