Memories from EL GALEON DE MANILA (Part 2)
--Filipinos in late 19th Century Breaking with the European History and Language
By Kevin Stoda
About 15 years ago a group of scholars from Mexico and the Philippines met in a series of round-tables to share presentations on the topic of THE SPANISH FLOTILLA TO MANILA (& BACK). The series was part of the hundredth anniversary of the independence of the Philippines from Spanish rule. They presented then in 1997 a publication dedicated to the EL GALEON DE MANILA. One of the articles in the publication, "Ang Bayan Ko; Algunas Reflexiones sobre la Identidad Nacional Filipina"  or "My Beloved Fatherland: Some Reflections on the National Identity of the Filipino ", is by Jaime B. Veneracion and is concerned with the language reforms at around the time of independence for the Philippines.
I should add that the title of Veneracion's article refers to the song, "[Ang] Bayan Ko". "Bayan Ko . . . is one of the most recognizable patriotic songs in the Philippines that, because of its popularity, is sometimes assumed to be a folk song and the unofficial national anthem of the Philippines. It was originally written as a poem by Jose' Corazón de Jesús in 1929, and set to music by Constancio de Guzman."
It also should be noted, "Written as a protest song during the American occupation of the Philippines, it [Bayan Ko] is often sung in protest rallies and demonstrations throughout Philippine history, notably during the funeral of Sen. Benigno Aquino, Jr. and the ensuing People Power Revolution of 1986 where Freddie Aguilar led the crowd to sing the song's chorus."
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