Writing Exercise #2: Translation

Translation, they say, is a good way to improve one’s language skills. Translating poetry, specifically, forces the writer to focus on the words — on diction, essentially — because all other elements like poetic structure and literary content are already taken care of.

For this exercise I chose three poems from three different writers. I picked a César Vallejo poem because I initially wanted to see if I could translate directly from Spanish to Filipino (I couldn’t). I was also curious about how nuances get lost in multi-level translations (i.e. Spanish to English to Filipino), but obviously I would never find out.

Next I went with Charles Bukowski, an author known for his polarizing stream-of-consciousness verses. I have read criticisms against his prosaic style — the same disapproving remark flung against so-called Instagram poets — so I wanted to explore how I could render this cadence in Filipino. I last went with Lang Leav, partly for the same reason, but mostly because I wanted to know if her poems, which I admittedly am not a fan of, would look better or worse in another language.

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June

Today marks Day 4 of my attempt to solve an Excel VBA problem at work. My sheets look the same as they did last Friday, and the fact that I haven’t moved forward on this task makes me feel like my brain is nothing but a slightly cognitive swirl of cow manure graced with a dead langaw on top. Hayayay.

But anyway, let’s talk about June.

June was the month when I just wasn’t in the mood to do anything. Normally I would force myself to write a post every Sunday but I didn’t feel like doing that last month. I also got sick, I barely ate, and I struggled with both waking up in the morning and sleeping at night.

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Mundane Monday

I didn’t do anything productive at work today. No urgent tasks, no nothing. I just spent the first half of the day teaching myself SQL queries but I never got my code to work. Whatever.

For lunch our team went to an Asian restaurant, the kind where the chefs cook the food right in front you. I had salmon and veggies. I also wanted to try their unagi but maybe some other time, hopefully this weekend when my parents come over to visit.

After lunch I started working on a mini research project. I asked a colleague for ideas on how to narrow down the topic, and she recommended that I focus on the math, M&V and stuff. “I have resources I could send you,” she said. She never sent shit.

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Sunday Night Sadness

It is one of those nights again.

Two words come to mind: lethargic, as DJ would say, and languorous, which according to Google means “oppressive stillness.” Now isn’t that accurate?

It must be the loneliness, I don’t know, but I don’t even have the energy to write anything tonight. I’ve been collecting sadness though, and I’ve been disposing them onto my sketchpad. Go and have a look. And if you don’t mind, dear stranger, please send hugs if you could. 😦


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May

May was meh.

The new job is, well, a new job. I have nothing to say about this for now. Everything is going fine for the most part, and the few things that bother me can be addressed some other time.

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Searching 2.0

There’s so many important things to talk about tonight yet here I am doing this thing, this Searching thing, the thing in which I talk about the search terms that tricked random strangers into visiting my blog.

There’s no social relevance here whatsoever. I’m just going to answer questions, share some stories, and pretty much say whatever comes to mind. You’ve been warned, okay?

Now let’s begin.

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Ilang Paboritong Akda

Sa dalas ko ba namang magsayang ng oras sa WordPress, imposibleng hindi ako magkaroon ng mga paboritong blog post. Gusto ko nga sanang magsimula ng buwanang listahan e — ‘yung tipong monthly favorites ba — pero lagi naman akong gahol sa oras.

Kaya paspasan lang din itong post na ito. Nais ko lang ilista at ibahagi ang ilan sa mga akdang madalas kong binabalik-balikan, bago ko pa man sila makalimutan.


Deboto ako ng mga senyales.

Sa tuwing iiyak ang pinto, alam kong nariyan ka na. Musika ang tunog ng mga yapak mo papunta sa ’kin. Kapag may uwi kang sariwang lumpia, ibig sabihi’y hindi ako nawaglit sa maghapon mo. Walang bantas ang mga mensahe mo kung sabik kang makita ako.

Mula sa “Para Sa ‘Yong Naghihintay ng Senyales” ni Ron Camino
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