A children's book about a country, a song, its writer and a musician.
Hoy, did you know that there once was a land that was clean, green and pollution-free?
Its beauty so captivating, its riches so bountiful and its people so warm that it lured men from different parts of the world.
This is where we find our writer - by all accounts, an unexceptional man who led an unexceptional life but who was rather exceptional with words (Parents: Re-do that sentence with a British accent. We were, after all, under them for two years). His name? Huseng Batute. Funny name, right? That, of course, is his stage name (Parents: Explain "stage name") but in the interest of keeping you from getting bored we'll leave it at that.
Nananalig akong nagsisimula ang pamahalaan sa ibaba at kumikilos paitaas dahil.....") - who longed for his beloved country to be free. To express this, he wrote a poem and asked a friend to write music for it.
This is the song:
My beloved country
Filipinas is your name
Pearl of the Orient
Blest with unblemished beauty
But alas! robbed of your longed-for freedom
Always weeping in poverty and pain.
My country, Filipinas
Land of gold and flowers
Love has given her grace and tranquility
And her radiance and loveliness
drew rapacious foreigners
My country, they have imprisoned you
Thrown you into sorrow and despair.
Even birds who freely fly
When caged will struggle to escape
What more of a country endowed with
Would she not strive to break free?
Filipinas, my cherished land
My home of sorrow and tears
Always I dream to see you truly free.
How lovely it is to live in one's native land
If there is no slavery and freedom
A people who are now oppressed
In the morrow shall stand up
The east will turn a fiery crimson
And mark the dawn of freedom.
For my father who gave me a brain, my mother who gave me a heart, my two wonderful kids, my wife who is raising them well, my cousin, Jeannine, who showed me love of country and to not fear Filipino music and finally to those who gave their lives so that we may all live free - J.B.
For my mother, my brother, Marcus, and Grandma and Grandpa - K.B.
JAY BUENAFLOR was born in the United States, grew up in the Philippines, worked abroad for 14 years and is back - for now - in the Philippines. Wheww. He lives in Paranaque together with his wife, Kelly, and two kids, Kara and Marcus.
KARA BUENAFLOR was born in the United States and is currently in the process of learning to love the Philippines. The interests of this seven year old include arts and crafts, history, reading and gymnastics.