The Tanaga is a traditional Tagalog verse the locals call the “The Filipino Haiku.”  There are several varying versions of the formerly rigid form.

Traditionally, a Tanaga is 4 lines, each with seven syllables and written in an AAAA rhyme scheme. No title is presented.

The modern Tanaga may have a title (or not), quatrains with seven syllables per line. All Tanaga should feature the use of metaphors. The schemes for the Tanaga can use AABB CCDD… or ABBA CDDC… etc (or any combination rhyme) including no rhyme scheme.

Thanks to the syllable count and line limits,  Tanaga will try a poet’s resolve and skill.  And as they say in Buffalo … Trust the process!


  • To recap, the Tanaga is:
  • Generally untitled (But you may use one if is suits you and your poem)
  •  written in any number of quatrains.
  • a 7-7-7-7 scheme (7 syllables per line).
  • rhymed,  aaaa bbbb cccc etc. (the original configuration),  aabb ccdd etc or abba cddc etc., or any combination rhyme can be used in the modern presentation.
  • calls for the liberal use of metaphor (but we’ll forego that fact for now – there’s enough restrictions going on).



I sit listening to the wind,
that’s the way each day begins.
Some may think it is a crime
all because they know that I’m

here with my feet on the ground.
No thoughts become so profound,
that they mire my thinking,
and if my eyes are blinking,

it’s because I can see things
in all that poetry brings.
My words present like a song
and there is nothing that’s wrong

with these expressions of heart.
That’s the way these poems start,
devotion to emotion
without all the commotion.

In the quiet of the night,
everything I write feels right.
There is nothing I’ll rescind,
I sit listening to the wind.

© Walter J Wojtanik – 2018