April 23, 2018, 12:30 am
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‘Love of Country’

FILIPINOS celebrated “Bonifacio Day” by reading Andres Bonifacio’s poem “Love of Country” last November 30, 2017.

Actually, November 30 marked the 154th birthday of Andres Bonifacio, who was the leader of the “Katipunan” and was held at the Monumento Circle, where according to historical accounts, the “Cry of Pugad Lawin” or “Cry of Balintawak” that took place and triggered the Filipino revolution against the Spanish colonizers.

Bonifacio’s poem was originally written in Tagalog titled “Pagibig sa Timbuang Bayan” and later translated in English by Efifanio de los Santos and published by The Philippine Review in January/February 1918. 

Here are excerpts from the full text of Bonifacio’s poem “Love of Country”:

“Is there any love that is nobler, purer and more sublime than the love of country?...

“Sacred love, when thou reigns in a loyal heart, be it even a plebian’s, a rustic untutored thou makest it grand and revered.

“To give the Fatherland boundless honour is the purpose of all who are worthy and who sing or compose or makes verses to spread their country’s glory.

“There is nothing worth having a patriot will not give his native land: blood and wealth, knowledge and effort, ven life, to be crushed and taken...

“With the love of country are coupled all dreams and all ideals, from joyful, restless childhood ‘till the grave receives he body...

“Unhappy is the exile from his country. His mind. full of sad recollections / is haunted by anxious longing for the lin periland where stood his cradle...

“And if our land, Filipinas, were offended, and outraged her honour and her dignity into the mire is dragged ...and will not the most peaceful even rise to avenge her honour”...

“Where is the Filipino honour? Where the blood that must be set flowing? ...

“Unto her holocaust loving the last drop of blood you must offer, if to free her with your life you have gotten, yours is glory then and redemption!”

 (National Hero Andres Bonifacio’s patriotic poem reminds me of a similarly patriotic poem written by Francis Scott during the American Revolution against British colonizers which eventually became the American Hymn “The Star Spangled Banner.”)
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