Bayan Ko

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For the 1984 film, see Bayan Ko: My Own Country.

"Bayan Ko" (Spanish: Nuestra Patria, English: My Country) is one of the most recognizable patriotic songs of the Philippines. It was originally penned in Spanish by the Revolutionary general José Alejandrino, and translated into Tagalog some three decades later by the poet José Corazón de Jesús.

The song, which is a kundiman, is often considered the unofficial second national anthem of the Philippines, and is sometimes sung by Overseas Filipino groups after the Lupang Hinirang or by itself. It is sometimes assumed to be a folk song because of its popularity, and due to the nature of its lyrics it has been used as a protest song by different political groups at various points in Philippine history.



The Spanish lyrics of Bayan Ko were originally written for the Severino Reyes zarzuela, Walang Sugat ("no wound"). Attributed to the propagandista, General José Alejandrino, the song expressed opposition to the ongoing American Occupation.[1] The current and more popular Tagalog version is attributed to José Corazón de Jesús, and the music to Constancio de Guzmán.


Bayan Ko regained cult popularity during the Marcos dictatorship, with the Left singing their own version in protests. After President Marcos imposed Martial Law in 1972, the song was deemed seditious. Public performances of the song were banned, with violators facing potential arrest and detention. People were emboldened to sing it at the 1983 funeral of Senator Benigno Aquino, Jr. and the ensuing 1986 People Power Revolution, where Freddie Aguilar led crowds in singing.[2]


Since the 1986 Revolution that toppled the Marcos government and ushered in the Fifth Republic, the song has been associated with the Aquino family and their allies. In July 1987, a cover by pop singer JoAnne Lorenzana was launched as part of a nationalistic campaign by the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company, and was aired on radio and television for the first anniversary of the Revolution.[3]

On 1 August 2009, Bayan Ko was sung as the recessional of the noon Mass at EDSA Shrine, ending the quarant'ore for Corazón Aquino. The service, originally intended to pray for the former leader's recovery, was instead done to mourn her sudden death early that morning. Crowds sang it again during the transfer of her remains from La Salle Green Hills to Manila Cathedral on 3 August for the lying-in-state.[4] At the Requiem Mass on 5 August, Lea Salonga sang it as the recessional while Aquino's casket was borne out to the Cathedral steps.[5] A military band repeated it as the flatbed hearse carrying the casket and honour guard began the hours-long funeral procession. Mourners sang Bayan Ko for the last time with several hymns as Aquino's casket was entombed beside her husband at the couple's mausoleum in Parañaque City.

A month later, Libera sang Bayan Ko as an encore to their first Philippine tour in Cebu and Manila. Moved by the performance, the audience sporadically applauded throughout the group's performance.[6] As part of their Summer Philippine tour the following year, Libera gave an encore performance on the hit noontime variety programme, Showtime on 14 April 2010.[7]

The Philippine Madrigal Singers sang Bayan Ko during the inauguration of President Benigno Aquino III and Vice-President Jejomar Binay on 30 June 2010 at the Quirino Grandstand.


Tagalog lyrics:
Bayan Ko
English translation:
My Country
Spanish lyrics:
Nuestra Patria

Ang bayan kong Pilipinas,
Lupain ng ginto't bulaklak,
Pag-ibig nasa kanyáng palad,
Nag-alay ng ganda't dilág.
At sa kanyáng yumi at ganda,
Dayuhan ay nahalina;
Bayan ko, binihag ka,
Nasadlak sa dusa.

Ibon mang may layang lumipad,
Kulungin mo at umiiyak,
Bayan pa kayáng sakdál dilág,
Ang 'dì magnasang makaalpás?
Pilipinas kong minumutyâ,
Pugad ng luhà ko't dalita;
Aking adhika,
Makita kang sakdál laya!

Philippines beloved Land of mine,
Where the Gold and gorgeous flowers shine,
Blessing on her Fate did Love bestow,
Sweet Beauty's grace and Splendor's glow.
How her Charm so kind and tender,
Drove the Strangers to enslave her;
Nativeland, they forced their Will,
And made you suffer Still.

Even Birds that freely roam the Sky,
Loudly weep when not allowed to fly,
How more deeply will a Land most fair,
Yearn to break the chains of sad Despair?
Philippines, a Land I love so true,
All my tears and pains are weaved in you;
All that I desire,
To see you rise forever free!

Nuestra Patria Filipina,
Cuya tierra es de oro y púrpura,
Tantos tesoros guarda en su lar,
Que tientan al hurtador.
Y es por eso que el anglosajón,
Con vil traición la subyuga;
Patria mía en prisión,
Sacúdete del traidor.

Aún el ave libre en su volar,
Llora cuando en la jaula está,
Cuanto más nuestra Patria de amor,
Al verse sin paz ni dignidad?
Filipinas de mi corazón,
Tus hijos jamás permitirán;
Que así te robe,
Tu bienestar y libertad!


While largely unchanged from the De Guzmán arrangement, the song has renditions by different composers and singers, notably by Lucio San Pedro (National Artist for music), Asin, and Freddie Aguilar. Aguilar's cover is one of the most famous renditions of the song; an often overlooked detail is that the instrumental section of this version is Pilipinas Kong Mahal, another Filipino patriotic song. Asin's rendition included another de Jesús work, Kay Sarap Mabuhay Sa Sariling Bayan, as a preluding stanza to the main lyrics. Sung mostly by Leftist groups, the stanza is included as the bridge replacing Pilipinas Kong Mahal with the prelude of Ang Bayan kong Hirang.

On 7 November 1988, an a capella version by Josephine Roberto, featuring the cast of That's Entertainment, was used for Towering Power: A Musical Dedication, which was for the launching of GMA Network's 777-foot tower.

Allison Opaon sang a Japanese version in Yokohama on 18 November 2006, during a concert-rally against political killings in the Philippines.

This song has also been arranged by Robert Prizeman and sung by the vocal group Libera when touring the Philippines.

Domino de Pio Teodosio (with guitar) sang a special arrangement of Bayan Ko by Reginald Vince M. Espíritu (oboe) and Anjo Inacay (cello) at the Harvard Kennedy School on 7 March 2011. The performance, which was for visiting world leaders during the school's International Week, was organised by the Philippine Caucus of the Kennedy School.[8]

In popular culture[edit]

  • In 1984, the song title was used for the movie Bayan Ko, and in 2013 for a series of the same title.


External links[edit]