During my childhood, my playmates and I used to sing this when one of us tried to catch a dragonfly:
Huwag kang papahuli
Sa mahaba ang kamay.
Huhulihin ka ng patay
Sa ilalim ng tulay.
In English it means:
Beautiful and agile dragonfly,
Don’t you dare be caught
By such long arms.
Or a corpse will catch you
Right under the bridge.
I just tried to rephrase the song in English, but it’s not the correct translation – I actually don’t know what ‘bungayngay’ means and I’m not even sure if it’s a Filipino/Tagalog word. I wonder why I didn’t bother to ask our elders (who taught us the song) what it means. Thinking about it now, I realized that the song is basically a warning for the dragonflies; because once they’ve been caught, they will surely suffer and die. Because what we did during that time if we caught a one was play with it. We used to tie a string on it’s tail and turn it into a small kite or we would tear its’ wings in halves so it wouldn’t fly high. Yes, we were bad… but we were kids, and those days it doesn’t seem to matter because there were thousands of dragonflies flying around.
Usually, during this time of the year, hundreds of dragonflies flocked the rice fields – whether it’s planted or empty. But a lot of rice fields now are turned into a residential villages or a factory. Now, only a few can be seen and it seems children rarely notice them at all. My nephew sometimes bring home one and whenever he did I always told him to let it be and set it free.
- Destinee thesis (slideshare.net)
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- Anticipating Summer: Dragonfly (Paintography) (annefreemanimages.wordpress.com)
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