(Translation of “La Bandera” by Fernando Ma. Guerrero)

By Luis G. Dato

Time passes turbulent and blind,
Vain dream now seems our Liberty!
Yet faith lives still, and where I find
Myself, my flag shall stand with me.

It is a flag most holy, hand
Of heroes gave it, men now dead;
They loved it much, a valiant band,
When Insult reigned, and Menace dread.

I now defend it! its bright sway
Is wall too strong for any river,
This flag forever and always
Shall wave o’er us in glory ever.

E’er it shall live! by chance should some
Dark fate see it fall from my hand,
My brothers, countrymen, shall come
Anew to raise it o’er the land.

Firm to the breach it held; it holds,
There to be found by other ages ,
And there shall come to kiss its folds
The light of glory, the tempest’s rages.

It shall be seen unfurled, defiant ever,
My country’s hopes in pride to wave,
Old, torn, perhaps, but trodden never,
Betrayed not by Elias brave!

Elias was my brother, now dust,
He warms and thrills us at all hours,
Our brows to kindle with his trust,
Whether our crown be thorns or flowers!

What better that a brother’s hand
To keep the flag in power to wave,
Retrieve it fallen on the sand,
And from defeat lift up and save?

O, raise we then unto the skies
This banner in the breeze to leap,
Our tears its lustre to disguise,
Our Home and Country’s hope to keep.

And though our Right become a dream,
And time roll turbulent and blind,
Ah, none while yet faith reigns supreme,
May say we left our flag behind.

Luis Dato
Luis Dato

Luis G. Dato (July 4, 1906 - January 29, 1985) was a poet, writer and educator from Sta. Cruz, Baao, Camarines Sur. He published books in English including Manila A Collection of verse (1926), My Book of Verses (1936) and the Land of Mai in 1975. He also wrote several books and text in Bikol such as, Vocabulario Bikol-Ingles-Kastila (1963), Cantahon na Bikol (1969), Morfologia kan Tataramon na Bikol (serialized in Naga Times), Patotodon sa Bikol (Bikol Mail) and Sarabihon sa Bikol.

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