June 29, 2010
BAYAN KO IS OF THE PEOPLE, NOT FOR THE AQUINOS
By Arturo P. Garcia
I was disturbed when I first heard the news article in TV Patrol World that featured the people’s song “ Bayan Ko” and how the report was so wrong and inaccurate. It wake me up to my full senses!
The news feature said, “Bayan Ko” was a poem by Jose Corazon De Jesus and the lyrics was written during the Japanese occupation.”
And then I got the shock of my life again, when in the newscast of the World Tonight, they repeated the same line in a different tune by saying that “the song was composed during the Japanese occupation.”
I really wondered, how does the ABS-CBN does its research or their fact checked when they boast of good reporting? This is an outright error I cannot let pass.
The True Story
First, they were right to say that the song was a poem written by Jose Corazon De Jesus and was widely popular and recited everywhere during the American occupation from the 1920’s to the 1940’s.
But they were wrong to say that the melody was written by Constancio De Guzman during the Japanese occupation of 1941-45. The poem was so popular that during the 1930’s De Guzman wrote the melody for the song.
It followed the path taken by the Philippine National Anthem whose melody was given by lyrics from a Spanish Poem-Filipinas by Joe Palma during the Filipino-American War from 1899-1902. The Tagalog version was written during the end of the Commonwealth Era ( around 1938) but was popularized during 4 years of the dreaded Japanese Occupation of the Philippines.
The melody of “ Bayan Ko” was written during the American Occupation in the 1930’s not during the Japanese occupation.
I can forgive the news writer if they Filipino-Americans but to think that they are Filipinos in the Philippines, that is unforgivable!
And then to say that the song is for the Aquinos and became only popular during the anti-Marcos dictatorship that is a complete falsehood,
Bayan Ko was a fighting hymn of the First Quarter Storm against the US-Marcos Regime before even it became a dictatorship when it declared martial law in September 23, 1972.
Long before the yellow crowd of the Aquinos’s ( From Ninoy to Noynoy) appropriated it for themselves and made it as their personal anthem.
That is a brazen act of cultural revisionism and outright credit grabbing. Bayan Ko is a people’ song and it belongs to the people.
The ABS-CBN is spitting at the countless martyrs including Senator Benigno Aquino Jr who died fighting for freedom and democracy. And all of those who fought against the US-Marcos dictatorship and all who fought for independence against foreign oppressors, if they appropriate the song for only one ruling dynasty.