Freeman Cebu Lifestyle

Sing the Last Line

BIG LITTLE PEOPLE - Grace D. Chong - The Freeman

During your flag ceremony in school every Monday morning – and then again on a Friday afternoon – you sing the Philippine National Anthem, right?  All schoolchildren know this anthem by heart.

Now, how does the last line go? 

When I was your age, we would sing the anthem in English. But originally, the song was written in Spanish and the English version was only a translation.

The line in Englishthen was:   

“But it is glory ever when thou art

is wronged

For us thy sons to suffer and die.”


So why do we now sing our anthem in Pilipino?

Just a bit of history:  In August 1899, Jose Palma (a poet-soldier) wrote a Spanish poem entitled “Filipinas” about the patriotism and fighting spirit of Filipinos. This poem became the words of our national anthem. It was later translated in Pilipino.

From the Spanish version and the Pilipino version came a variety of English translations – one of which we sang in school.

During the time of President Ramon Magsaysay in the 50s, our country’s anthem was officially sung in Pilipino. On May 26, 1956, the Pilipino translation by Ildefonso Santos and Julian Cruz Balmaceda was officially proclaimed as the Philippine National Anthem. However, some revisions were still made in 1962. 

This resulted in the final version that we sing today.


Now, all Filipinos sing only one version anywhere in the Philippines. And the last line goes:

“Aming ligaya na pag may mang-aapi

Ang mamatay ng dahil sa iyo.”

This line is all about defending one’s country against those who try to abuse or treat it badly.  It means, we defend our country even if we die by doing so.


Do you know anyone who died for our country?

You have been taught in school that our national heroes did. To name a few, they are: Jose Rizal, Andres Bonifacio, General Gregorio del Pilar, General Emilio Aguinaldo, Apolinario Mabini, and the Trece Martirez (the 13 martyrs from Cavite).

They loved our country so much they sacrificed their lives for it.


In the 80s, we had one hero who made this line famous: “The Filipino is worth dying for.”

He was a senator who was very vocal against Martial Law (or dictatorship) under then President Ferdinand Marcos. And indeed, this hero died for our freedom on August 21, 1983. Because of his death, people began to fight against Martial Law so we could be free under a democratic government again.

Three years after his death, our country was free!

As you may already know, Ninoy was killed at the Manila International Airport while going down the plane from America. Thirty one years later, last Thursday (Ninoy Aquino Day), we remembered his heroism. 

The airport where he died was renamed NAIA or Ninoy Aquino International Airport.  Since there are four airports in Manila, they are now known as NAIA 1, 2, 3, and 4.

If you fly to Manila from Cebu, you will first set foot on NAIA soil before any other place. 


Every Monday, when you sing the Philippine National Anthem in school, sing the last line out loud. And thank God for our heroes who died for our country. The Filipino is indeed worth dying for! 

You may share your ideas about heroes on the comment box of my blogsite –www.leavesofgrace.blogspot.com, or email me at [email protected]









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