“No mas amor que el tuyo”: a Filipino song for the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Here is a song in the Philippines for the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which I found in my Holy Hour booklet. I think it dated back from the Spanish era, when the Philippines was still a colony of Spain. Our National Hero, Dr. Jose Rizal, was also a devotee of the Sacred Heart, for he carved a statue of it when he was still a student at the Ateneo de Manila.

I have a copy of song’s chords and melody (sheet music in pdf). I played the song in my guitar to hear how it sounds like.  Beautiful. Simply beautiful.  No wonder Jaime Cardinal Sin cried when it was sung during the funeral mass of Ninoy Aquino at the Manila Cathedral (Ileto 1998, p. 2).  Had the Philippine Revolution did not take place, and the  Spanish language classes removed from the Philippine school curriculum decades ago, “No mas amor que el tuyo” would have inspired more devotion in the hearts of Filipinos.  This is the song of our fathers.  This is the song of Catholic Philippines.

I speak no Spanish, but I think we can understand the lyrics from the Latin roots of English:

No Mas Amor Que El Tuyo

Letra de Manuel Bernabe (see biography below)
Musica del Simeon Resurreccion

No mas amor que el Tuyo
O corazon divino,
El pueblo Filipino,
Te da su corazon.
En templos y en hogares,
Te invoque nuestra lengua,
Tu reinaras sin mengua
De Aparri hasta Jolo.

Coro:

Ha tiempo que esperamos
Tu imperio en el Oriente,
La fe de Filipinas
Es como el sol ardiente,
como la roca firme,
Inmensa como el mar.
La iniquidad no puede
Ser de estas islas duena
Que izada en nuestros montes,
Tu celestial ensena,
Las puertas de infierno
No prevaleceran.

****

Here is a Tagalog translation by a team of Jesuits:

Walang higit na pag-ibig

Walang higit na pag-ibig, O Mahal na Puso
Ang bayang Pilipino alay sa puso mo
Sa templo sa tahanan, sambit naming ang ‘Yong ngalan.
Maghari kang tunay sa Aparri hanggang Jolo.
Malaon na naming pangarap paghahari mo sa Silangan
Pananampalataya nami’y ‘singwagas ng araw
Sintatag ng kabundukan sinlawak ng karagatan
Kailanma’y di pabibihag, bayan mo sa kasalanan
Tanghal sa tanang dako ang banal mong sagisag
Ang sumpa ng karimlam di magtatagumpay.

Here is my proposed translation based on the Tagalog translation and my intuitive guess (You may send me a better translation):

There is no greater love than yours

There is no greater love than yours, O Most Sacred Heart,
so we, the Filipino people, offer you our hearts.
In our temples and in our homes, we cry out to you.
May Your kingdom stand firm from Aparri to Jolo.

Chorus:

Long we have hoped for Your empire in the East.
Like the sun burning bright is the faith of the Philippines,
It stands strong like a rock and fills all void like the sea.
Never shall these islands be possessed by sin,
For on our mountains is raised your heavenly sign
And the gates of Hell shall not prevail.

Notes:

Reynaldo Clemeña Ileto, Filipinos and their revolution: event, discourse, and historiography, 2nd ed. (Ateneo de Manila University Press, 1998), p. 174. ISBN 9715502946, 9789715502948 (300 pages)

Biography of Manuel Bernabe

Manuel Hernandez Bernabe is a journalist, politician, poet, and speaker Spanish and Latin. He was born on February 17, 1890. He is the son of Timoteo Bernabe at Emilia Hernandez.

In Ateneo de Manila he started to study and finished in the University of Santo Tomas. He was only nine years old when he started to write in verses in Spanish and at fourteen he was already speaking in Latin.

Bernabe is a lyrical poet and his usual subjects are feasts and celebrations, even though he can make a poem out of anything. Rare is his love for poetry.

When Bernabe and Balmori dueled in a poetry contest on the subject El Recuerdo y el Olvido, there was no declared winner since they were both excellent, but from the sound of the claps, Bernabe got more admiration from the audience.

Bernabe wrote a poetry collection entitled “Songs from the Tropics”. He also compiled his other writings in book entitled “Prefil de la Cresta.” Here can be found the translations of “Rubaiyat” by Omar Khayyam at “prologo” by Claro M. Recto.

Bernabe is also a teacher. he taught Spanish in the University of the Philippines, Far Eastern University, Philippine Law School at Colegio de San Juan de Letran. He is also a jornalist in La Democracia at La Vanguardia.

The most prominent poems of Berabe are No Mas Amor Que El Tuyo, El Imposible, Canta Poeta, Castidad, Mi Adios a Ilo-ilo at Espana en Filipinas.

Bernabe is considered as the modern King of Poetry in the Spanish Tongue (in the Philippines)

Translated from Wikipedia.

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About Quirino M. Sugon Jr
Theoretical Physicist in Manila Observatory

26 Responses to “No mas amor que el tuyo”: a Filipino song for the Sacred Heart of Jesus

  1. Roxanne says:

    Hi,
    I found a Tagalog translation by a team of Jesuits:

    Walang higit na pag-ibig, O Mahal na Puso
    Ang baying Pilipino alay sa puso mo
    Sa templo sa tahanan, sambit naming ang ‘Yong ngalan.
    Maghari kang tunay sa Aparri hanggang Jolo.
    Malaon na naming pangarap paghahari mo sa Silangan
    Pananampalataya nami’y ‘singwagas ng araw
    Sintatag ng kabundukan sinlawak ng karagatan
    Kailanma’y di pabibihag, bayan mo sa kasalanan
    Tanghal sa tanang dako ang banal mong sagisag
    Ang sumpa ng karimlam di magtatagumpay.

  2. Quirino M. Sugon Jr says:

    Hi Roxanne,
    Thanks for the Tagalog translation. Can you send me the source link or bibliographic entry?

  3. Roxanne says:

    Hi, I’ve emailed you the link :)

  4. Joseph Fromm says:

    Dear Quirino,
    One of the toughest yet spiritually fulfilling prayer activities I have participated in, is the nine First Fridays devotion. The devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is an unmined spiritual powerhouse. Jesus out pure love gives us this gift. So simple, yet a tool to understand the complexity and depth of His love for us. The devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is like mortar to our bricks of participation in the Sacraments.
    What Rizal has done, any one can do, just replace the location in the song with locations in any country in the world and the song become an easy adaptation to each our own personal circumstances. I would love to hear the song.

    I have adapted it for the United States

    There is no greater love than yours

    There is no greater love than yours, O Most Sacred Heart,
    so we, the American people, offer you our hearts.
    In our temples and in our homes, we cry out to you.
    May Your kingdom stand firm from Los Angeles to New York.

    Chorus:

    Long we have hoped for Your empire in the west.
    Like the sun burning bright is the faith of the United States,
    It stands strong like a rock and fills all void like the sea.
    This continent shall never be possessed by sin,
    For on our mountains is raised your heavenly sign
    And the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it.

    JMJ

    Joe

  5. Quirino M. Sugon Jr says:

    Hi Joseph,

    You tube does not have the song. But here is a sheet music in pdf courtesy of Roxanne. I hope this helps.

  6. nina kodaka says:

    wow ang galing naman !!!! maalam ba talaga kayo ng espa

  7. Quirino M. Sugon Jr says:

    Nina Kodaka,

    I know no Spanish. I used only Google translator and the result I translated into English. But I think my translation is not good: I labored to achieve poetic rhythm at the expense of literal translation.

  8. Kim says:

    Hi, Sino po sa inyo may Minus One or even Midi File ng kantang to?
    Usually kinaknta kasi po to sa last part ng Consecration of the Family to the Divine Heart of Jesus :)
    Thank You po :)

  9. josh says:

    umm, hellow if finding for the peom of manuel bernabe “The Pilgrimage of Death” thanks for the response!

  10. Rachelle says:

    I have the 1930+ booklet for the First Eucharistic Congress. It is one of the songs printed there together with its sheet notation. Unfortunately, I just do not bring it out as it has grown brittle and fragile with age, the pages had turned brown. Was wondering how to preserve this.

  11. Rachelle says:

    And we sing it during the days of the Novena to the Sacred Heart

  12. Cons Johnson says:

    The composer of the song is my great grand father Simeon Ressureccion. I was wondering if you have links to his biography? Thank you.

  13. Quirino M. Sugon Jr says:

    Sorry, Cons. I have none.

  14. alfonso velázquez says:

    No más amor que el tuyo

  15. Corazon Resurreccion Tiongson says:

    Prof. Simeon Resurreccion, laureate musician of the Philippines, was born in Bocaue, Bulacan, on September 3, 1872. His father, Jose Resurreccion, was from the North and was a well-known Director of Artillery during the Spanish regime. His mother, Isidra Calalang, was a merchant. My father, Marciano A.J. Resurreccion was the only son out of twelve children.

    Simeon was introduced to music when he was still a child. He learned to play the organ from his father and his uncle, and since there was no college of music in Manila during those days, Simeon continued his studies at the Cathedral under an Professor Capucci, an Italian who was the only well-known music teacher during that time.

    Simeon was an organist of the Cathedral and later became the first organist of the Parish Church of Tondo in Manila. He also taught music at the Ateneo de Manila. The following prominent Filipinos in the field of art were among his contemporaries and friends: Jose Corazon de Jesus (Huseng Batute); Lope K. Santos, Severino Reyes, Leon Ignacio, Hermogenes Ilagan, Patricio del Rosario, and Eusebio Gabriel.

    Maestro Simeon had many music compositions and “Himno Corazon de Jesus” was his most famous single composition and the winning entry in a nationwide contest sponsored by the Eucharistic Congress. He also produced several “zarzuelas”, which in the absence of movies, were popular during the time.

    Resurreccion married Nicolasa Arienda-Jose of Bigaa with whom he had twelve children. He died at the age of 62 on September 23, 1934, with the Jesuit Fathers of San Agustin officiating during the internment. The original copy of “No Mas Amor Que El tuyo” is with Cardinal Sin to whom it was donated by a daughter, Felisa Resurreccion Hernandez.

    My father, Marciano Resurreccion, was the only son of the Maestro, and, unfortunately, the black sheep who flitted from one course to another and from school to school, until my grandfather got fed up, kept him a virtual prisoner in the house and gave him music lessons. That was because my father said that he wanted to be a pianist. And he did. He became a proficient and versatile pianist in two years, playing classical and jazz.

    I was almost seven years old when I saw my father for the first time. He lived most of his bohemian life in mainland China, working as a pianist in various posh nightclubs of Shanghai, and finally dying of TB in his mid-thirties. It was World War II. I was ten years old, living with my mother and stepfather in Shanghai.

    I’m an “only child” and the last Resurreccion in the Maestro’s family. Yes, I inherited my grandfather’s passion for music, but why I didn’t become a concert pianist is another story. It may be of interest that I have, on my father’s side, a cousin (recently deceased) who was a well-known pianist and professor of music. His name is Emilio del Rosario Jr. You might want to look up his bio and see him in You Tube.

    I hope that this scanty information has helped… a little. Ciao!

  16. eRALmau says:

    thanks for the info.. We will song it in our church..

  17. Victorio Paiton III says:

    I think that will be the National Anthem of the Philippines to the Sacred Heart, next to Lupang Hinirang…

  18. Lucrecia Chua Panlilio says:

    Learned the song while I was in high school at the Sacred Heart of Mary’s Institution, Aparri, Cagayan, Philippines, run by the nuns of St. Paul’s College. The school has since been renamed St. Paul’s College of Aparri. Would like to include the song among the hymns to be sung during our first Friday mass at the Church of the Ascension, Elmhurst, Queens, New York, U.S.A. Need the music piece (for guitar and piano) that I can give to the music director at Ascension for possible inclusion among the hymns to be sung.

  19. Roberto says:

    To Rachelle:
    The best way is to scan the booklet. Finally the pages can be restored digitally, and its content will be safer than today.
    So even though the pages are now brown, please get the book scanned.

    Thank you for this entry the song is extremly beautiful, I can read spanish, and it is SUPERB.

  20. MCP says:

    We learned to sing this at Maryknoll College; but we had to change the line, “De Aparri hasta Jolo” to “De Batanes hasta Jolo.”

    the Philippine Archipelago’s northernmost point is the Batanes island group, not Appari, Cagayan in mainland Luzon.

    Please change your Aparri to Batanes.

  21. Manuel García-Castellón says:

    Este himno fue compuesto mucho después de la marcha de España, quizá en los años 40, por Manuel Bernabé. No es, pues, un himnbo de la época colonial, pero sí de la llamada “Edad de oro del castellano en Filipinas.”

  22. Noel Perdigon says:

    Thank you for your very informative blog. May I share a new translation into English of this wonderful hymn to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which I first learned to sing in Spanish on the occasion of the visit of Pope John Paul II to Legazpi City in 1981. This new translation, which can be sung with the same melody following the original cadence, is my Valentine gift to The Sacred Heart, Christ Jesus, the King of Hearts

    New Translation to English
    No Greater Love Than Yours
    (Translated from the original Spanish
    “No Mas Amor Que El Tuyo”
    by Noel Perdigon, on Valentine’s Day
    February 14, 2012)

    No greater love than Yours,
    O Most Sacred Heart,
    The Filipino nation,
    Lovingly gives you her heart.
    In temples and in households,
    We rev’rently invoke your Name
    Ever supreme is your reign
    From Batanes* down to Jolo

    Chorus:
    A long while that we have hoped for
    Your empire in the Orient.
    The faith of the Philippines
    is like the sun ablaze
    Like a rock standing firmly,
    Vastly wide as the sea
    These islands shall never be
    Forever gripped by inequity,
    For on our distant mountains
    Your holy emblem hovers
    The gates of perdition
    Shall never prevail.
    (This English translation can be sung with the original melody)

    *updated to Batanes (originally Aparri) as suggested in one of comments above by MCP:

    We learned to sing this at Maryknoll College; but we had to change the line, “De Aparri hasta Jolo” to “De Batanes hasta Jolo.” the Philippine Archipelago’s northernmost point is the Batanes island group, not Appari, Cagayan in mainland Luzon. Please change your Aparri to Batanes. MCP June 29, 2011 at 9:41 pm

  23. Quirino M. Sugon Jr says:

    Thank you, Noel. I shall post your translation.

  24. manu bb says:

    An gugma mo di hitupngan
    Diosnon nga kasingkasing
    Takus ka paghalaran
    han amon mga kalag
    Ha singbahan ug puruy-anan
    nadangop kami ha imo
    Mag-hadi ka Ginoo
    Ha Appari ngat ha Jolo.

    Matuman an am ungara
    maghadi ka ha sinirangan
    Dinhi ha Pilipinas
    magdig-on an am pagtoo
    Diri gud mapupuo
    kay amon ginmamahal
    Diri nam itutubyan
    kan Satan an amon bungto
    Kay ha amon kabukiran
    nalabaw an im ladawan
    An gahum han kasisidman
    Diri gud madaog.

    As children in Palo, Leyte, we used to sing both the Spanish and Waray versions of this favorite song.

  25. Quirino M. Sugon Jr says:

    Thanks, Manu!

  26. RAM says:

    I heard this song sang during the Mass of the Last Supper yesterday as the Blessed Sacrament was being transferred to the Altar of Repose by Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle. It reminded me of my days as a sacristan when we used to sing the song during Confirmation rites. Thank you sharing the history of the song, the translations even in Visayan (Waray), and the biographical notes on the composers. Now the songs is also in YouTube — http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7p_aMcAAX_U. Have a meaningful Holy Week observance and advance Happy Easter.

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