Andres Bonifacio (attrib.), “Pagibig sa tinubuang Bayan,” c. March 1896
Sources: José P. Santos, Si Andres Bonifacio at ang Himagsikan (Manila: n.pub, 1935), 8–10; and A.B., “Pagibig sa tinubuang Bayan,” manuscript in Archivo General Militar de Madrid, Caja 5677, leg. 1.94.
Probably the best known of all Katipunan texts, this paean to patriotism calls upon the people to rise up and rescue the unhappy motherland from her torment. The poem was published in Kalayaan in March 1896 above the initials “A. I. B.”# It is generally accepted that these initials stand for “Agapito Bagumbayan,” which was the pseudonym placed beneath another contribution to the paper – “Ang dapat mabatid ng mga tagalog” – and that both pieces were written by Bonifacio.# The pseudonym connotes something like “the new nation is here, and ready.”#
Unfortunately, no printed copy of Kalayaan has yet been located, and perhaps none has survived. The familiar Tagalog text of “Pagibig,” which was first published by José P. Santos in 1935, was probably transcribed not from an actual printed copy of the paper, but from a handwritten draft.# There is no way of knowing for sure whether this was the final draft prior to the poem being set in type, or whether there were later amendments. No facsimile or photograph of the document that Santos copied has ever been placed in the public domain, and possibly it has been lost.
A manuscript copy of “Pagibig sa tinubuang Bayan” has survived, however, in the military archives in Madrid. This too is a draft, and it is almost certainly an earlier draft than the text published by Santos. The poem at that stage was evidently still a “work in progress”, and the manuscript is marked with several amendments, some of which are reflected in the Santos text and some of which are not.
The two texts of “Pagibig” – the later, Santos version and the earlier, Madrid version – are transcribed below in parallel, and the discrepancies between them, large and small, are highlighted in the Madrid version. As can be seen, the significant discrepancies are confined to just a handful of the poem’s 28 stanzas.
A note on the front page of the Madrid manuscript indicates that the handwriting is that of Emilio Jacinto. Signed by sometime KKK Supreme Council member Valentin Diaz, the note reads “Letra de Emilio Jacinto según manifiesta Aguedo del Rosario” – Aguedo del Rosario being another KKK Supreme Council member. There is little doubt that this identification is correct. But the identity of the penman, of course, does not necessarily correspond with the identity of the author, and at the foot of the poem are inscribed the initials “A.B.,” obviously suggesting that Bonifacio was the author. It is possible that Jacinto copied out the text whilst Kalayaan was being prepared for publication, presumably for editing purposes.
There is perhaps a further sliver of evidence indicative of Bonifacio’s authorship in the orthography of the text published by José P. Santos. There are several words in the text in which the letter “g” is followed by the double vowel “ui” – guinhawa, for example, guiliw, ibiguin and palaguing. These spellings are not “wrong,” or even that rare, but more commonly (at least from the late 19th century onwards) writers have omitted the “u” and employed the forms ginawa, giliw and so on. Emilio Jacinto almost invariably omitted the “u”, and the manuscript of “Pagibig” in his handwriting, as can be seen, renders none of these words with the “ui” combination.# Bonifacio, on the other hand, switched back and forth, sometimes using the “ui” forms and sometimes not. By this particular measure, at least, the document from which Santos transcribed the published text of “Pagibig” thus seem more likely to have been penned by Bonifacio than by Jacinto. Tagalog scholars might be able to discern other variations in orthography (and perhaps in style) that would corroborate or confute this line of speculation.
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The text published by José P. Santos is transcribed in the left-hand column below, and the Madrid manuscript – the earlier draft – is transcribed in the right-hand column.
The verse numbers do not appear in the originals, and have been inserted simply to facilitate comparison between the Tagalog versions and the two translations into English that have been transcribed underneath.
Transcribed in the left-hand column below is the translation made from Santos’s Tagalog text by Teodoro A. Agoncillo, as printed in The Writings and Trial of Andres Bonifacio, translated by Teodoro A. Agoncillo with the collaboration of S. V. Epistola (Manila: Antonio J. Villegas; Manila Bonifacio Centennial Commission; University of the Philippines, 1963), 5-8.
Transcribed in the right-hand column below is the translation made from Epifanio de los Santos’s Spanish version [[“Amor a la patria” in his “Andrés Bonifacio”, Revista Filipina, 2 (November 1917), 64-6.]] and published in Philippine Review, III:1-2 (January-February 1918), 40-1. De los Santos did not describe the document on which he based his Spanish translation, but it is reasonable to assume it was the same document that his son, Jose P. Santos, reproduced in Si Andres Bonifacio at ang Himagsikan two decades later. The translation into English is generally credited to Gregorio Nieva, the publisher of Philippine Review, but this cannot be confirmed.#
Both translations, it may be noted, render “ang mga tagalog” as “the Filipinos” and “Katagalugan” as “Filipinas”.
Kalayaan, the Katipunan newspaper > Andres Bonifacio, "Pagibig sa tinubuang Bayan," c. March 1896 >