“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.

Advertisements