Panatang Makabayan and other flag ceremony stuff  

Posted by Laya in

For nine years of my life, from elementary to high school, flag ceremony was a permanent fixture. Every school day started with the mad scramble to be able to make it to school before flag ceremony started. Everybody knew that the dividing line between barely-made-it and undisputably late was the Lupang Hinirang, or, as we all invariably called it, the Bayang Magiliw. My own high school memories are full of the days when I reached the school gates at a dead run and skidded to a stop beside the guardhouse just as the teacher conducting the flag ceremony for the day said "Bayang magiliw... handa, awit! (Ready, sing!)"

I remember that sense, half-excitement, half-dread, that always came over me each time it was our class' turn to take charge of the flag ceremonies for the week. Who would raise and lower the flag? Who would be chosen to lead the songs? Who would lead the Panatang Makabayan? The former was relatively easier than the latter because all you had to do was beat time, 4/4 for the National Anthem and 3/4 for the other two songs. To lead the Panatang Makabayan you had to be letter perfect. There was nothing more embarrassing than to flub a line of the pledge and have everybody else chorus the correct words.

Now that I'm many years removed from those student days, I can still recall the words I used to recite, five out of seven days a week every morning for almost nine years, and it is only now that I realize the import of those simple words that we were required to learn by rote.

Panatang Makabayan

Iniibig ko ang Pilipinas.
Ito ang aking lupang sinilangan.
Ito ang tahanan ng aking lahi.
Ako ay kanyang kinukupkop at tinutulungan
upang maging malakas, maligaya at kapaki-pakinabang.
Bilang ganti, diringgin ko ang payo ng aking mga magulang.
Susundin ko ang mga tuntunin ng akong paaralan.
Tutuparin ko ang mga tungkulin ng isang mamamayang makabayan at masunurin sa batas.
Paglilingkuran ko ang aking bayan
ng walang pag-iimbot at nang buong katapatan.
Sisikapin ko na maging isang tunay na Pilipino
sa isip, sa salita at sa gawa.


Pledge of Patriotism
(rough translation by Laya)

I love the Philippines.
It is the land of my birth.
It is the home of my race.
I am nurtured by it and helped
to become strong, happy and useful.
In return, I shall listen to the counsel of my parents.
I shall follow the rules of my school.
I shall fulfill the duties of a citizen who is patriotic and law-abiding.
I shall serve my country
without greed and with full integrity.
I shall strive to become a true Filipino
in thought, in word and in deed.

I am told that these beautiful words are no more; they now exist only in the memories of those who have recited them. The pledge has been rewritten to sound more colloquial. Too bad, because for me, nothing still beats the dignity, pride and meaning in those few simple lines.

The flag ceremony usually began with the Panalangin ng Bayan as a doxology, then the National Anthem during which the flag would be raised, then the Panatang Makabayan. Afterwards, the school principal or head teacher would make any announcements needed before the last song, usually Ako ay Pilipino, was sung. I also recall that sometimes there were calesthenics before we all filed off to our respective classrooms.

I love the two songs that we sang during those times, although I am not clear on whether these songs hailed from the Marcos era. I was in Grade One during EDSA, though, and remember singing these songs until I graduated from high school. I wonder who wrote these two songs? I still remember being quite taken with the words "Ako ay Pilipino, ang dugo'y maharlika," because some history books say that "maharlika" meant "noble", while others said that it meant "freeman". Either way, both meanings of the word appealed very much.

Panalangin ng Bayan

Huwag mo pong pababayaan
itong mutyang bayan namin
Ipag-adya sa kalaban at mga mang-aalipin
Kasihan mo po ng lakas
ang bawat isa sa amin
Ituro mo po ang landas
na siyang dapat taluntunin
Inyong pagpalain ang pangulo ng aming bayan,
yaring panalangin nawa'y inyong mapagbigyan.
Inyong pagpalain ang pangulo ng aming bayan,
yaring panalangin nawa'y inyong mapagbigyan.

Ako ay Pilipino

Ako ay Pilipino, ang dugo'y maharlika
Likas sa aking puso adhikaing kay ganda
Sa Pilipinas na aking bayan
Lantay na perlas ng silanganan
Wari'y natipon ang kayamanan ng maykapal...
Bigay sa aking talino sa mabuti lang laan
Sa aki'y katutubo ang maging mapagmahal...
Ako ay Pilipino, ako ay Pilipino,
isang bansa't sandiwa ang minimithi ko
Sa bayan ko't bandila laan buhay ko't diwa
Ako ay Pilipino, Pilipinong totoo...
Ako ay Pilipino, ako ay Pilipino,
taas noo kahit kanino, ang Pilipino ay ako.

Rough translations by me:

The Nation's Prayer

Please don't neglect
this treasured country of ours
protect it from enemies and oppressors
Please infuse strength
to each one of us
and please show the path
that we should take.
Please bless the President of our country,
this prayer we hope you hear.
Please bless the President of our country,
this prayer we hope you hear.

I Am A Filipino

I am a Filipino, my blood is noble and free
My heart by nature holds beautiful ideals
For the Philippines my country,
Pure pearl of the east,
where all of the creator's bounty seems to have been gathered.
The intelligence that has been given me is intended to do only good,
To me it is natural to be loving and caring
I am a Filipino, I am a Filipino
One country, one spirit is what I desire
To my nation and flag, I offer my life and my soul
I am a Filipino, a Filipino true...
I am a Filipino, I am a Filipino
Head held high to anyone, the Filipino is me.

This entry was posted at Wednesday, August 12, 2009 and is filed under . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

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