Pen Pen de Sarapen

Lyrics - Tagalog

(Folk song from the Philippines)

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 salati
Sawsaw sa suka mahuli taya

Translation – Pen pen from Sarapen

Pen, pen from Sarapen,
Knife from department store
How, how the carabao*

Pinching tongs, gold and silver
Blooming near the sea.
Dip in vinegar to catch a bet


Filipino children use this to determine who is “It.”

This can also be a game played between two people. One person holds out their palm and sings the rhyme while the other person taps their finger on the first person’s palm on each syllable. At the end of the song, the first person tries to close their hand to catch the other person’s finger. The person whose finger is caught is “It” and takes a turn putting out their palm for the next time. (source)

See also

  • Song with chords (PDF)
  • MIDI file
  • Listen to the song

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1 thought on “Pen Pen de Sarapen”

  1. I live in Batangas and I remembered sing a part of song like this, ‘saya kong pula tatlong pera, saya kong puti tatlong salapi’.

    I think this makes more sense in terms of rhyming.

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