by Luis G. Dato

Our independence! over all the land
Our people proud and jubilant all stand,
To see upon the masts with tear-dimmed eyes,
The sun and stars reach proudly to the skies.

Blessed independence! may it ever be
The radiant symbol of our unity!
May it until the end mean to us all
“United we shall stand, divided fall.”

In ancient times we all were nations free,
Endowed, like other lands, with liberty,
The Orient sun that wakened us with light
Brought to our homes the rays of Freedom bright.

And then we lost it — centuries that seemed
As yesterday, through which we dauntless dreamed
Of liberty’s return, that we again
Be free. The dream we dreamed proved not in vain.
For we not merely dreamed — we went to war.

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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