Yellow oligarchy sings ‘Bayan Ko’ in key of ‘F’
I find it absurd that the swan song of Mar Roxas and his supporters, as they conceded defeat in the recent presidential election, was “Bayan Ko.” I am not quite sure if they have internalized the anti-imperialist content of this soulful kundiman originally written in Spanish titled “Nuestra Patria” by Pampango General José Alejandrino and popularized in the 1950s by the Visayan Rubén Tagalog who interpreted it with his velvet voice. Let me cite the second stanza:
Y es por eso el anglo-sajón
Con vil traición la subyuga
Patria mía en prisión
Sacudete del traidor
Direct to the point, it accused the emerging American empire of treachery and robbing us of that precious word “independencia.” At that time when this was composed in the 1900s for the patriotic zarzuela “Walang Sugat,” America’s soldier blue, fresh from the genocidal war against the Cree, Cherokee and Seminole, was slaughtering noncombatant Filipinos. In many town plazas and villages—from San Jose, Batangas to Igbaras, Iloilo—nipa huts and bahay-na-bato were torched. Hordes of white invaders, hungry for booty, did not spare the arrabales of Manila, namely, Ermita, Malate, Paco, Pandacan, Santa Ana, Sampaloc, Binondo and Tondo. This tragic chapter of our history remains a buried memory.
Under the administration of President Aquino, the quintessential cacique and a bootlicker of the Colossus of the North, American troops have widened their arena of combat in strategic points of the archipelago. Imagine Nora Aunor multiplied by the thousands as she grieves for a brother who was mistaken for a wild boar. Under Mr. Aquino, the claws of the hydraulic shovel of the mining corporations, covetous of our precious metals, have dug deep in the bosom of Mindanao’s ancestral lands.
The yellow oligarchy sang “Bayan Ko” in the key of F. F as in Falsetto? F as in Farce? All of the above!
—ALEX UMALI, firstname.lastname@example.org
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.