The Song “An Tuba Ni Tiya Behing”

By Atty. Ferdinand E. Laguna

(A Cultural Treasure of  Sulucan, Sorsogon  City)

I refer to Bgy. Sulucan, East District, Sorsogon City.  And I refer to a real folk song of the people of Sulucan. Some of the lyrics go:

An tuba ni Tia Behing

Onu baynte an gallon

Masiramon, masiramon

An tuba ni Tia Behing

Onu baynte an galon

Kun kamo may okasyon…

Think of singing the first lines of   “I’m All Out Of Love” by Air Supply then segue to the  lines  above  then  you’ll  have an  idea  on how  this  was  sung  by the true  blue  boys and men of  Sulucan, not only by the legendary LaBoys, but all boys and  men, machos, therein, pre-Save More, and  perhaps pre-Shopping  Center  era.

You will also wonder  if  Air  Supply  borrowed  some notes  from  “An  Tuba  Ni Tia  Behing”  because  this  pre  dated  their  fame.

It is my  co SNHS  Batch  78  Joseph  Demonteverde  who  sparked  my interest in this song.  He  was born  in  the early  60’s  and  grew  up in Sulucan, and  grew  up  with the  song.  Tia  Behing  he says, was a  store owner  in Sulucan   who sold  “tuba.”  At the wake of her Mother Gloria last week, he tried again singing some of the lines of this song.

In the pre-7-11 Store days, stores of this  kind served  as  “cooler  corners”, where men would gather  to quench their  “thirst”, either to wind down or “wind up”. You see, for some, alcoholic drinks could serve as energy boosters.

Some would buy one gallon, some full glass, some “medya”. Long before “tingi” packs invaded the supermarkets, “tuba” by “tingi” shots were already being sold by Sulucan’s Tia Behing.

Of course, everybody knows “tuba”.

I don’t know if there are still “paratuba” around in the nooks and crannies of the city.  As for me, the last time I saw a “paratuba” was decades ago, when I was not yet a lawyer.”  He was carrying a “frasco”, that big bottle commonly identified with “tuba”. He must have been the last of his kind, I don’t know. Especially now that Sorsogon City is already in the “Peter Paul Coco Juice” era.

To victims of western culture   imperialism like majority of Filipinos, “An Tuba Ni Tia Behing” would not merit any attention.  Trying hard James Taylor   copy cats, if requested to hear “An Tuba Ni Tia Behing”, would snootily cringe.          

But not Joseph.  He who is angry at western cultural imperialism.  A  talented  musician himself  who could  play keyboards,  broken chords  guitar, a haunting  violin  and  make and play local bamboo flutes, he has joined forces with me that “An Tuba Ni Tia  Behing” will not be forgotten as a song by the people, of the people and for the people of his beloved Sulucan.

This is not to say that he does not do western music.  He does, and his  version of  Superman by the  Five  For  Fighting  could  be  better  than the original.

Indeed, such a song must not be forgotten.  It is  an original  creation of  a musical  genius  from Sulucan, of a   genius of  a  poet  from Sulucan, an immortal portrait  of  the  true lives  of  its people ,  on how  they strove  in their  daily lives, not in the pursuit of material  wealth perhaps  but  in their  pursuit of happiness.

Or may be the  “happiness of  pursuit”, as  a  skirt  chasing law  professor of  mine  would  say.

Joseph does not know exactly who wrote “An Tuba Ni Tia  Behing”. But he knows it is a Sulucan song. He loves his own place.  And he  does  not want to  forget the  memories of the place  that made  him  a passionate  human being that he is  now.

When the Sorsogon National High School Grand  Reunion comes  this  Black Saturday, we will beg and even pay the host batch (Class 1992)  to let our batch  (Batch 78) perform a  song number  –  this  “An Tuba Ni Tia Behing”. Of course we will say in jest that we will perform “I’m All Out Of Love” by the Air Supply”  which was a hit song in the  early 80’s.

That way, we  shall  be singing  for  love  of place,  and for Joseph  we  will  be  joining him  as  he  sings  a song of  not forgetting.

Posted by on March 7, 2017. Filed under Opinion. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *