My Small, Sad Filipino Funeral

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Two weeks ago Elizabeth Duro, my mother’s full-time caregiver, asked to go home early, thinking that she had gotten food poisoning over the weekend. One week later while in hospital her kidney burst, and she was dead.

Yesterday my mother and I went to her funeral, held in the chapel of a funeral home in Toronto’s east end. The emotional high-point of the service occurred when one of Elizabeth’s nieces sang a traditional Filipino song that had pretty much everyone in the chapel sobbing by the end of the first verse. My mother leaned over and asked someone what the lyrics were about, and was told that they raise the question: “How can a mother forget her child?”, at which point she started weeping as well.

I’ve spent the better part of the morning trying to find the name and lyrics for this particular tune, with no success. If anyone has any info please leave a comment below. Thanks.

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8 Responses to “My Small, Sad Filipino Funeral”

  1. EW says:

    Hi Andrew,

    According to one of my Filipino colleagues, the title of the song is “Hindi kita Malilimutan” – english translation something like “I will not forget you”
    It was sung by Basil Valdez.

    See you at lunch.

    EW

  2. Thanks Ed; with that title I was able to find some lyrics… Unfortunately they’re in Filipino:

    Hindi kita malilimutan
    Hindi kita pababayaan
    Nakaukit magpakailanman
    Sa ‘king palad ang ‘yong pangalan

    Malilimutan ba ng ina
    Ang anak na galing sa kanya
    Sanggol sa kanyang sinapupunan
    Paano niyang matatalikdan
    Ngunit kahit na malimutan
    Ng ina ang anak niyang tangan

    Chorus:
    Hindi kita malilimutan
    Kailanma’y di pababayaan
    Hindi kita malilimutan
    Kailanma’y di pababayaan
    Hindi kita malilimutan
    Kailanma’y di pababayaan

    Malilimutan ba ng ina
    Ang anak na galing sa kanya
    Sanggol sa kanyang sinapupunan
    Paano niyang matatalikdan
    Ngunit kahit na malimutan
    Ng ina ang anak niyang tangan

    Chorus:
    Hindi kita malilimutan
    Kailanma’y di pababayaan
    Hindi kita malilimutan
    Kailanma’y di pababayaan
    Hindi kita malilimutan
    Kailanma’y di pababayaan

    Hindi kita malilimutan
    Kailanma’y di pababayaan
    Hindi kita malilimutan
    Kailanma’y di pababayaan
    Hindi kita malilimutan
    Kailanma’y di…
    Kailanma’y di…
    Pababayaan

    Anyone care to translate?

  3. Tim says:

    From http://kotapress.com/loss/Loss_V4_Issue02(Feb03)/3_loss.htm

    Hindi Kita Malilimutan
    by Manuel V. Francisco

    Hindi kita malilumutan
    (I will never forget you)

    Hindi kita pababayaan
    (I will never abandon you)

    Nakaukit magpakailanman
    Sa ‘king palad ang ‘yong pangalan
    (Your name is forever written in the palm of my hand)

    Malilimutan ba ng ina
    Ang anak na galing sa kanya?
    (Can a mother forget a child made from her own flesh?)

    Sanggol sa kanyang sinapupunan
    Paano n’yang matatalikdan?
    (How can she turn her back on a child nurtured in her womb?)

    Ngunit kahit na malimutan ng ina
    Ang anak n’yang tangan
    Hindi kita malilimutan
    Kailan ma’y hindi pababayaan
    (No mother can forget her child;
    more so I, who have made you
    can never forget or abandon you)

    Hindi kita malilimutan
    Kailan ma’y hindi pababayaan
    (I will never forget you
    I will never abandon you)

  4. Dunno how you found this, but thank-you, masked stranger!

  5. Tim says:

    Google, man, google.

  6. Lord Wat says:

    Apparently it’s also a movie:

    http://www.pilipinosuperstore.com/hikimalfo.html

  7. Lefty says:

    many thanks for the lyrics. we intended to sing this song for someone who is leaving the country (Bangladesh) for another assignment elsewhere(Sri Lanka. This song was the highlight for the friend’s farewell party, from Filipino friends.

  8. Eve says:

    This song was taken from the Bible in the book of Isaiah 49:15-16 It speaks of the Lord who will never forget, leave nor forsake us. It is sang traditionally in filipino gathering especially in funerals. My mother went home to be with the Lord 3 weeks ago and my older son sang this as a vocal solo during her visitation night and I accompanied him on the piano.