Romantic Paeans of Impish Militancy

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While life in the revolutionary Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) was often marked by an expected commitment to the culture of the party, it was perhaps inevitable that such discipline would be met with the localized rebellion of satire from members who, while committed to the cause, did not care too much for some of the stricter party rules.

In their research paper, Can Communists Laugh: Recalling Vanishing Leftist Ditties of the Marcos Era, Patricio N. Abinales delves into the hidden back catalogue of tongue in cheek revolutionary songs from the 1970s and 80s that were certainly not approved by the party higher ups. Among the popular songsmiths was scholar and civil society activist Francisco “Pancho” Lara, who in protest at the highly conservative regulations on pre-marital sex among the Cadres, adapted the lyrics of the popular pop group APO Hiking Society’s song “Mahirap Talaga Magmahal ng Syota ng Iba” (It’s Really Difficult to Love Someone Else’s Girlfriend) to write this cheeky ditty:

How difficult it is to love a comrade
You can’t visit her because she has all these
meetings

Oh how difficult, so difficult indeed!
Perhaps I should just look for a sympathizer
But every time I looked into her eyes
My political commitment goes out the window
So I shall just plunge into this
and face the consequences Even if it ends up in many a criticism session

Refrain: You dial her number in your telephone
You do not give her your real name
When you talk to her she’ll tell you
“Call me later, my political officer is here!”
Oh how difficult, so difficult indeed
What a headache, I tell you
But whatever they say about me
I can never change (for love)

Original Tagalog:

Mahirap talagang magmahal
ng isang kasama
Hindi mo mabisita
‘pagkat may pulong siya
Mahirap, oh, mahirap talaga

Maghanap na lang
kaya ng sympa
Ngunit kapag nakita ko
ang kanyang mga mata
Nawawala ang
aking pulitika
Sige lang, sugod lang
oh, bahala na
Bahala na kung

magka-punahan pa
Refrain: I-dial mo ang
number sa telefono
Huwag mong ibigay
ang tunay na pangalan mo
Pag nakausap mo siya,
sasabihin sa iyo
Tumawag ka mamaya
nanditong P.O. ko
Mahirap, oh, mahirap talaga
Oh sakit ng ulo
maniwala ka,
Ngunit kahit anong
sasabihin nila
Hindi pa rin ako magbabago