Bato sa Buhangin, by Cinderella

I apologize for the inconsistent format of translations. I find that for some songs, it’s easier to convey the full meaning line by line, and for some easier to translate the lines as a complete sentence.

Trivia: This next Karaoke favorite was composed by National Artist for Music Ernani Cuenco–the same genius behind the timeless kundiman “Gaano kita Kamahal, and other gems like “Inang bayan,” and “Kalesa.” AMAAAAAZING! Anyway I love this song. It’s sooo painfully beautifully sad. Enjoy!

Kapag ang puso’y natutong magmahal //When a heart has learned to love
Bawat tibok ay may kulay at buhay //Every pulse has color and life
Ngunit kung ang pagsuyo’y lilipas din // But if affection will eventually fade
Bagay kaya ang bato sa buhangin?//Does a rock fit amongst sand?

Kay hirap unawain // How hard it is to understand
Bawat damdamin // Every emotion
Pangakong magmahal hanggang libing* // A promise to love until death
Sa langit, may tagpuan din // In heaven, there is a meeting place
At doon hihintayin // And there I** (You) will wait
Itong bato sa buhangin //This rock among sand

Ngunit kung ang pagsuyo’y lilipas din //But if affection will eventually fade
Bagay kaya ang bato sa … Buhangin //Does a rock fit among sand?



  • * libing literally means funeral but I felt that “death” was appropriate and more poetic, so to speak
  • ** I/You – To be honest, I struggle with the meaning of the song and I’m a native speaker. Further, the song refuses to name the speaker so the promise to wait could refer to either the speaker or the one being spoken to. As for the rock among sand, maybe it’s an allegory on life, love and belonging. In my mind, the song always conveyed images of rocks sitting among sand in the beach, enduring the elements. However, in my research, I found this poem written by Jose Watanabe–a Japanese Peruvian poet–about the symbolism of rocks placed among sand. Here’s a portion for your consideration. Have a nice day!

Japanese Garden

The stone,
among the raked white sand,
was not brought by violent nature.
It was chosen by the spirit
of a quiet man
and placed,
not in the center of the garden,
but rather skewed to the East,
also by his spirit.
Not much taller than your knee,
the stone asks you for silence. There is so much noise
made by empty and arrogant words
that struggle dishonorably
to represent
the errors of the world.
Look at the stone and learn: it,
in the floating light of the afternoon,
with tact and humility,
it represents
a mountain.


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