The Philippine flag, symbol of valor, purity and peace, has earned its own place under the sun, because it has been upheld by the Filipino people since the Philippine Revolution of 1898. Stout-hearted brown men carried it fighting side by side with the Americans in the battlefields of Bataan and Corregidor, in the underground movement during the occupation, and for the Liberation of the Philippines.
The tasks ahead for an independent Philippines are tremendous and will require the wisdom, unity, courage, faith and self-respect of free men. With God’s help, we Filipinos will not falter or fail. As President Manuel A. Roxas said… “let us build in this our land a monument to freedom and justice, a beacon to all mankind.”
Source: Filipino Heritage: The Making of a Nation – Vol. 10
‘Bayan Ko’ was composed in 1928 when Filipinos were campaigning for independence from America under the leadership of President Manuel Quezon. The lyrics are based on a poem by Jose Corazon de Jesus. Enmeshed in the song are the yearnings of a people colonized for over 400 years, first as a colony of Spain and then as a colony of the United States.
De Guzman likened that Motherland to a bird set free, the land returned to the rightful people, the true heirs of the islands. “Foreigners are intoxicated with your beauty, my country, my nest of tears of poverty. My steadfast wish is to set you free.”
This song has accompanied almost every struggle since the turn of the century to recapture the visions and ideals of the First Republic — from the anti-American protest movement and millenarian revolts of the 1920’s and 30’s, to the resistance against the Japanese occupation in the 40’s, the student revolt of the 70’s and more recently, the 1986 EDSA “People Power” revolt that toppled the Marcos dictatorship.
Source: Philippine Graphic Centennial Yearbook.
Music by Constancio de Guzman
Lyrics by Jose Corazon de Jesus
Ang bayan kong hirang,
Pilipinas ang pangalan
Perlas ng silangan,
Sa taglay niyang kariktan
Sa minimithing paglaya
Ang bayan kong Pilipinas
Lupain ng ginto’t bulaklak
Pagibig ang sa kanyang palad
Nag-alay ng ganda at dilag.
At sa kanyang yumi at ganda
Dayuhan ay nahalina
Bayan ko binihag ka
Nasadlak sa dusa.
Ibong mang may layang lumipad
Kulungin mo at umiiyak
Bayan pa kayang sakdal dilag
Ang di magnasang maka-alpas
Pilipinas kong minumutya
Pugad ng luha ko at dalita
Makita kang sakdal laya!
My Dear Country
By the Philippine Study Group of Minnesota
My dear country,
Given the name of the Philippines,
Pearl of the Orient sparkling in its beauty,
Yet unfortunate in its yearning for freedom,
Always swelling with tears of suffering.
My country, the Philippines:
Land of gold, garden of flowers
Endowed with love,
Gifted with beauty and radiance,
Intoxicated because of her beauty,
Foreign lands were drawn to her.
My dear country,
They came and conquered you
And you suffered in misery.
A bird that is free to fly
Put it in a cage and it cries.
What other country, so full of radiance
Would not want to be free?
Philippines, my beloved,
Nest of tears and suffering,
My wish for you
Is to set you totally free!
The song “Bayan Ko” was also popularized by the version of Freddie Aguilar, which is widely used in big rallies or events.
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