By Luis G. Dato

Austere commander of the iron hand,
Who marshalled men to trample fields of war,
Who wielded well both pen and scimitar,
Each word a call, each sword flash a command.
Who stood as guard to Aguinaldo’s land,

With Bugallon, Ricarte and Malvar,
Who faced the armies of Columbia far
And at Zapote trod on blood and stand.
When cannon thundered past each trench and line,
Your sabre summoned men to do and dare,

From shattered ranks to columns to combine
Till moved no more the last embattled pair,
Like lions, sprung from forests Philippine,
Assailed and wounded in their native lair.

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.


  1. I still vividly remember Tiong Luis Dato ! He was my mom’s contemporary in Baao. He wrote an oratorical piece for my eldest sister for which she won 1st place. My sister’s alma mater, Mabini Memorial Colleges (now University of Northeastern Philippines). Very nostalgic reading your post! Btw, what’s your mom’s name? 🙏

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