Bayan Ko (My Country) 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 José Corazón de Jesús in 1929, and set to music by Constancio de Guzman.
Written as a protest song during the American occupation of the Philippines, it 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.
Due to the song being used against the Marcos dictatorship, the Martial Law era saw the banning of most public performances of the piece; anyone who dared to sing or play it in public was deemed a dissident and could potentially have been incarcerated.
The song has also been re-arranged and recorded by different composers and singers, notably by Lucio San Pedro (National Artist for music) and Freddie Aguilar. Aguilar’s cover is one of the most famous renditions of the song; an often overlooked detail is that the instrumental section of this version is actually another Filipino patriotic hymn: Pilipinas Kong Mahal. (From: Wikipedia)
Long live Philippine music!
Link to Freddie Aguilar’s version at YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OtLWCY8O0us&feature=related