Pen pen de sarapen is a popular children’s song in the Philippines. It’s been a long time that I did not hear this music until Emil Sanglay and Penpen performed this song during the 7th Sunrise Festival in Ilocos Norte. It has a new twist because they added lyrics with a very meaningful message in a new arrangements. The following is the lyrics of the original song:
Pen pen de sarapen,
de kutsilyo de almasen
Haw, haw de carabao batutin
Sipit namimilipit ginto't pilak
Namumulaklak sa tabi ng dagat.
Sayang pula tatlong pera
Sayang puti tatlong salapi
Kutsilyo means knife, batutin is stinky, almasen means warehouse and ginto't pilak is gold and silver. The verses don't make much sense but the words rhyme and are fun to recite. Filipino children sing this to select the person who's going to be the "it" in a game. This song is the counterpart of the English counting rhyme "Eeny, meeny, miny, moe."