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Roilinguel P. Calilung: A Biography

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Roilinguel P. Calilung: A Biography

One of the active Kapampangan poets that we have is Mr. Roilinguel P. Calilung. Mr. Calilung, or Roi, as he prefers to be called, was born on the 31st of January 1987 at Lubao, Pampanga by his proud parents Mr. Rogelio Calilung and Mrs. Melinda Calilung. He gladly shares to us that his parents’ fruitful marriage had been a result of love-at-first-sight story, wherein they had met at a nearby river while his mother was taking a bath. The said marriage has blessed the couple with three children, namely Roimel, Roilinguel, and Micah. Roilinguel’s first name was derived from both his father and mother’s first name and the same goes for his elder brother Roimel.

Roi’s hometown had been at Bacolor, Pampanga before the disastrous volcanic eruption of Mt. Pinatubo had forced them to relocate at Bulaon Resettlement. Some of his years had also been spent at Pulungbulu, San Jose since this had been nearer to the places where he had studied. Roi finished his primary schooling at Angeles Elementary school, while both his secondary and thirtiary years had been spent at the Holy Angel University at Angeles City, Pampanga. He had recently finished his degree in Bachelor of Library Information Science and has recently started his career as a librarian at St. Scholastica’s Academy at San Fernando, Pampanga.

On The Way to Success

As aforementioned, Roi spent some of his years with his grandfather since this had been nearer to the places where he went to school. Having lived with his grandfather, Mr. Virgilio Calilung, who is also one of our Kapampangan poets, Roi tells us that his grandfather is his main inspiration and mentor for writing and reciting poems. Apparently, his grandfather also inherited his great grandfather’s skills in reading and writing poetry. To give a brief background, it has been a part of the Kapampangan tradition to write poems and read them aloud on occasions like weddings. His great grandfather used to write poems for his grandfather to read and it was through these practices that his grandfather learned to write his own poems.

On the other hand, Roi had been fond of reading poems written by his grandfather and as well as other people’s works. Through reading them, he was inspired to write his own since he finds that the works of other people to be unconvincing while his grandfather’s poems had always been his view of the standard. He used to consult his grandfather regarding his own poems but apparently, his grandfather had always seen them as unsatisfactory. His grandfather’s criticisms had inspired him to do better and to make his grandfather to be proud of him someday. Sadly, the criticisms had also been a cause for him to stop consulting his grandfather about his works.

He primarily started out with reading poems and declamations and had only just begun writing his own poems when he was in high school. His first encounter with declamations was during high school when he owed his classmate some money. Coincidentally, his Alma Mater (Holy Angel University) was conducting a declamation contest entitled “Ligligan Deklamasyon Karing Deklamador king Amanung Sisuan.” Inspired by the prize money, he asked his grandfather to write a poem for him to use in the contest. Although he did not win, he regarded this experience as his stepping stone to being a Kapampangan artist since this paved way for him to be known in this kind of art.

The Poet

Presently, Roi has over 50 poems written in Filipino and 15 poems in Kapampangan. Though he had already lost count on how many poems he has written overall, he states that declamation has always been his first love since this was where he had started. Apparently, there are two types of declamation вЂ" basulto and polosa. He explains that both types have the same tone although the former is one wherein the literary piece is memorized while the latter is spontaneous in nature.

He recalls that his first Kapampangan poem was written during his class in logic that he had found to be boring on that day. It was raining during that time and he saw a bird which was soaking wet and that inspired him to write a poem about the bird. The bird was wandering around and looking for a dry tree for shelter and a big leaf where he could dry himself but could not find any. The poem was only a few lines since the class was dismissed and he was then unable to finish the poem. Later on, the poet had been able to finish his first poem in the Kapampangan language.

His first poem is as follows:

Itang Ayop

King metung mangga

Ing ayop ikit ke

Apilit yang Titikdo

King maipis a tangke.

At ne king kabasa

Alang makimale

Makabalot kaya

Ing lungkot at lumbe.

Ditak kapinandit

Ing angin kinablas

Ing maimpis a tangke

King gabun mebalag.

The Bird

On a mango tree

The bird that I saw

Forced himself to stand

On a thin branch.

Soaking wet

And nobody knowing

He was filled

With sadness and sorrow.

A little later on

The wind came

And the thin branch

Fell onto the sand.

King tangke meko ya

Sinulapong kikikyak

Menintong aliwa

Tangke no ya dapat.

Malagwa neng ikit

Mayabong tanaman

Bigla nang a isip

Ing karin n tuknang.

Anya itang ayop

King bulong migpampan




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