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Alamat ng Dilis: Ang malungkot na buhay ng Maliit na Isda sa Dagat
(Legend of the Anchovy: The sad life of the Small fish of the sea)

When Bathala bestowed
miracles and graces
it was probably only this fish, Dilis
that learned of it late.

Poor fish, it is always thin
Red eyes always open
he doesn't look lazy
even full won't gain an inch.

But in those early days
when the sea was shallow
the sun, stars and moon, some say
touched the ground, every day.

Then it was this little Dilis,
Beautiful little child that it is,
night and day would look at
these guards of the sky.

He found happiness in the light
wrapped in silver, even,
and that's why he shines so bright
in the dark or under bright light

Because the ocean was so shallow
He was free to romp and play
while the stars, moon and sun
would guard him from who would make him prey.

Great fish-animals
feared these greats,
for when the sun gets angry,
the ocean goes away.

however, jealousy was meant to be
when it enters into the heart of man or beast
to go against even heaven above
to sooth the craving in the least.

The whale was jealous,
so was the pugeta...
that was why they met in secret
at the lair of the barracuda.

They knew that in number lay strength
and intelligence, brilliance,
the barracuda held court
while they all made their plans.

said he, "this heaven
should go away
so that we of the ocean
will be free and at peace!"

and as all plans go,
they dirtied the sea and so
the water became black
and stank so rank it stank.

at the stench of it all
no more fresh air was left
the animals fled away
and to the mountains they went.

Then the shark came
and pretended he was dying
"Deepen the sea," he implored,
"so that the air would not be so."

The sun felt pity
when he heard the shark's call
and so melted the ice
and made water flow.

The deepest sea grew deeper
and the waves darker
and now the secrets of the sea
has to be dived for to be seen.

Because of this, they were forced
to leave for the sky
in a second they were there
and left the land and sea.

That was where they went wrong,
for in their haste
They did not even realize
the plans of the big-fish.

In the sea that became the home
of the little and the big
the shrimp and the sardines
had to fight for their lives.

And the little beloved dilis,
became picked on and deserted
the beautiful little one, once blessed
was now abandoned by blessedness.

Now, the poor little Dilis
like the other litte ones
swim fast to avoid
big hungry mouths.

But when the sea is sleeping
and the moon is round,
the dilis come all
to greet their old friend.

all of them swim
from all parts of the world
like a celebration
of this small freedom.

Scoop them, they won't fight,
catch them with a full heart
and they will even play
while you touch their shiny scales.

With their tiny bodies
head and bones removed
or even if the tail is gone
there'll be nothing to eat

but even if it's just skin and bones
for me, the sweet taste of a single bite
holds the salt of the whole sea
and the tears of the poor.



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