Mutya Ng Pasig

Pasig is known for its Mutya ng Pasig (Muse of Pasig) folklore.

“On a night when the moon peeks from the heavens, when the gentle breeze tries to awaken her from her slumber. A vision of purity, her hair flows like a wave. She is the muse of Pasig, whose every gesture is song and poetry.

“I was once a princess in the kingdom of Love. When love died so did my kingdom. My strength has gone and now lives in your hearts. If you want me to live again, give me back my love!”

The Mutya ng Pasig folklore inspired kundiman composer Nicanor Abelardo to create the classical music poetry Mutya ng Pasig which tells about the sad fate of a woman who appears in the Pasig River during the full moon.

The song was written in 1926 and was inspired by the Kumintang, a traditional song from Batangas, a province in the Philippines, with Malayan rhythmic pat.

This song will forever live on the subconscious of Pasig elders on account of its haunting lyrics and melody and the effervescent romance that goes on between the city folk and the famous river.

Mutya Ng Pasig
Music by Nicanor Abelardo
Lyrics by Deogracias del Rosario

Kung gabing ang buwan
sa langit ay nakadungaw;
Tila ginigising ng habagat
sa kanyang pagtulog sa tubig;
Ang isang larawang puti at busilak,
Na lugay ang buhok na animo’y agos;
Ito ang Mutya ng Pasig,
Ito ang Mutya ng Pasig.

Sa kanyang pagsiklot
sa maputing bula,
Kasabay ang awit,
kasabay ang tula;

Dati akong Paraluman,
Sa Kaharian ng pag-ibig,
Ang pag-ibig ng mamatay,
Naglaho rin ang kaharian.

Ang lakas ko ay nalipat,
Sa puso’t dibdib ng lahat;
Kung nais ninyong akoy mabuhay,
Pag-ibig ko’y inyong ibigay.

English Translation:

As the moon peers out
of his window in the sky;
As the west wind
caresses to wake up the water;

An image that is white and silky appears,
Hair flowing like the stream;
She’s the Maiden of Pasig,
She’s the Maiden of Pasig.

As she springs out of the foam,
There is a song,
There is a poem:

I was the Beloved,
In the kingdom of love,
When love died,
So did the kingdom end;

My spirit,
is in the hearts and bosoms of all;
To make me live forever,
Give my love away.

Here’s another attempt to translate the tagalong song. There is no guarantee of total accuracy as Nicanor Abelardo’s lifeforce has flowed on to the other side where he perhaps is singing to his immortal muse.

The Muse Of Pasig

At night when the moon
gazes down from the heavens;
As if roused by the warm monsoon winds
from her sleep in the deep.

A picture of paleness and passion,
with her hair flowing down like waves;
this is the Lady of Pasig,
this is the Lady of Pasig.

She moves, tossed up and down,
upon the white watery foam,
to the beat of the song,
to the rhythm of the poem.

I used to be a goddess,
in the kingdom of love.
But the love of mortals,
its reign has long gone.

My power has passed on,
in the heart of hearts of all;
If you want me to live,
then give my love to everyone.

The song was made a title of a movie and the music became its soundtrack.  It was directed by Richard Abelardo, brother of Nicanor Abelardo. Mutya ng Pasig the movie was a supernatural melodrama of a woman’s misfortune and suffering interwoven with the legend of the Pasig.

Part of the charm of watching the movie today is witnessing the habitable state of the Pasig River a few decades ago. The film opens during the town’s fiesta where the citizenry were in hordes and some of them floating in the river’s sparkling waters. It is unthinkable today since the waters have lost its sparkle with the accumulation of grease, trash, and other stuff throughout the years.

The movie may not be as sleek as the clever dramas of our contemporary film age. However, its timeless feel is undeniable. There’ll always be a lingering sense of wonderment whenever the story unfolds. It is, quite simply, magical.

More articles about Pasig at Amused of Pasig:

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