Tuesday, July 3, 2012


One of my favorites; because Mike Laguaña sings it, and because it is based on the livelier version of the traditional Chamorrita melody.  This rendition focuses on several verses about the coconut tree, but Mike ventures off into some traditional lines about romance and childhood.


Trongko trongko trongko ginen papapa' gi edda'
sige hulo' nai man råmas pa' u fan flores ya u fanokcha.

(The tree, tree, tree from down there in the soil
keeps going up as a branch to flower and sprout.)

Ai ya mungnga yo' ni flores, sa' u na' måncha magagu-ho
ayo ya-ho i tinekcha para u påtte mañe'lu-ho.

(But I don't want flowers, because they will stain my clothes
what I want is the fruit to share with my brothers and sisters.)

Ginen na man gunut ya despues de man espiga,
tinattitiye ni daddek, ai i applok yan i binga.

(From the fiber of the trunk and afterwards the ear,
followed by the young coconut and the shoot.)

Annai dikkike' u' na finañågo tåya' yo' kumonsidera,
på'go sa' esta yo' tagu'on manmanånågo' ha' kuatkiera.

(When I was young no one paid attention to me,
now that I can do errands anyone at all orders me around.)

Bai hu hatsåye hao gimå'-mo guihe huyong gi mattingan,
i te'lang-mo para tehas i gigåt-mo barakilan.

(I will build you a house out there n the reef,
your bones for shingles, your veins for rafters.)

Likido hao na finañågo kumastiga i korason-ho,
bai hu måtai gi hilo' tåno' ya ti un li'e ine'sson-ho.

(You, the unique child, punish my heart,
I will die and you won't see my weariness.)

Bai hu rekohe i lago'-mo bai hu sahguan para tinta,
i sanhalom korason-mo i na'ån-ho bai hu fitma.

(I will collect your tears and store them as ink,
inside your heart I will sign my name.)

  • Pa' u is a contraction of para u
  • Daddek and applok are both young, meatless coconuts
  • The line about making a house on the reef using body parts for roofing is beyond my modern frame of mind.  This is truly something only those raised in that older ethos can fathom.
  • Likido na finañago has been explained to me as meaning "my only one, my unique one"
  • kumastiga i korason-ho has another version which goes kumaotiba i korason-ho or "captured my heart."
  • "you won't see my weariness" means "I will die on this earth and never get tired of you."
  • the last line about collecting her tears to use as ink to write his name on her heart has got to be some of the most touching poetry I have ever come across.


He had a style all his own.  Big advocate of the Boy Scouts.  He would pop up with his guitar at wakes or man åmko' functions and sing.  Rest in peace.

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