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"Dahil Sa Iyo"
Single by Cora and Santos Beloy, with Tom Spinosa and his Orchestra
B-side Dedicated to You
Format 7" single
Recorded 1964
Genre Popular music, Kundiman
Length 2:55
Label Tri-World Records #301
Writer(s) Tom Spinosa and Mike Velarde, Jr.

"Dahil Sa Iyo" is a song by Miguel "Mike" Velarde, Jr.,[1] It was written in 1938 for the movie Bituing Marikit[2] and sung by the "King of the Philippine Movies" Rogelio de la Rosa.[1] A version with English-Tagalog lyrics, recorded in 1964, was a hit in the United States and continues to be popular in Filipino communities on American soil.

One of the most popular examples of the genre of the Kundiman, this "classic Filipino love song"[3] with original Tagalog lyrics has been translated into different languages.[4]

Representing an earlier era remembered in nostalgia, it is one of the most popular songs in Tagalog, and a favorite in the Philippines[5] as well as among Filipino communities in Honolulu,[6][7] on the American West Coast,[8][9] and in places like Virginia Beach, Virginia.[10] Its popularity in the Philippines is such that some think it ought to replace the current national anthem,[5] and that it should be played as such at a possible future state visit by American president Barack Obama to the Philippines.[11] It has been covered many times, and is a standard on the repertoire of many artists performing Filipino romantic and popular music.[12][13] Dahil Sa Iyo's canonical status as a classic Filipino love song was again confirmed by its inclusion on the 2004 hit compilation album Great Filipino Love Songs.[14][15]

The song is a personal favorite of Imelda Marcos, the wife of former Filipino dictator Ferdinand Marcos, who sang it frequently during her abortive campaign for the 1998 presidency,[16] and performed it as late as July 2000 to wounded soldiers in the Armed Forces of the Philippines Medical Center in Quezon City.[17] In 2008 the song was still associated with her in Manila: "Suddenly, the heads of Peninsula Hotel lobby guests swiveled. Imelda Marcos had walked in. Without missing a beat, hotel musicians struck up 'Dahil sa Iyo.'"[18]

The song is known in the United States because of the English-Filipino with lyrics by Tom Spinosa and Mike Velarde Jr. It was recorded by Cora and Santos Beloy, and released in 1964 on Tri-World Records.[19] The original composer, Miguel Velarde, Jr., said: "Sometime in 1960 a famous US singer who made a personal appearance in Manila presented me a contract seeking authority to record 'Dahil Sa Iyo' in the States. The five figure offer was fabulous but I turned it down - simply because she wanted to change the title to an American title. I couldn't, and wouldn't sell the identity we are trying hard to establish. The merits of the song is its identity.'"[1]


  1. ^ a b c Samson, Helen F. (2004). Contemporary Filipino Composers. Manila: Manlapaz Publishing. ISBN 97154-6010-0.  
  2. ^ CCP Encyclopedia of Philippine Art Volume VI, Philippine Music. Manila: Cultural Center of the Philippines. 1994. ISBN 971-8546-29-4.  
  3. ^ "They gladly obliged and belted out, a capella 'to the delight of everybody around' the classic Filipino love song, 'Dahil Sa Iyo!'" "The Lettermen fever sweeps local concert scene". Manila Bulletin. 2006-01-26. Retrieved 2009-06-06.  
  4. ^ Bautista, Mary Ann A. (1999-12-18). "Most outstanding Filipino composers of popular music". The Inquirer. Retrieved 2009-06-06.  
  5. ^ a b "National indignation index (editorial)". The Manila Times. 2007-10-14. Retrieved 2009-06-06.  
  6. ^ Shirkey, Wade Kilohana (2005-04-08). "Don't wait till you regret not thanking an old friend for everything". Honolulu Advertiser. Retrieved 2009-06-06.  
  7. ^ Pang, Gordon Y.K. (2007-09-01). "Ewa's sugar plantation legacy to grow quieter". Honolulu Advertiser. Retrieved 2009-06-06.  
  8. ^ Vanzi, Sol Jose (1997-11-23). "Ming in 'Frisco Concert with Martin and Monique". Daily News Asia. Retrieved 2009-06-06.  
  9. ^ "Filipino seniors took center stage to sing 'Dahil sa iyo,' the old Tagalog love song that captured another time in Manilatown." Chung, L.A. (2002-08-06). "Former Site of Historic San Francisco Hotel Rises Again". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved 2009-06-06.  
  10. ^ "The seniors swoon when he [that is, Senator Mark Earley] launches into a rendition of the romantic 'Dahil Sa Iyo.'" Dolan, Matthew (1997-08-11). "He Speaks Their Language". The Virginian-Pilot: p. A1. Retrieved 2009-06-06.  
  11. ^ "Songs for Obama (editorial)". The Manila Times. 2009-02-15. Retrieved 2009-06-06.  
  12. ^ Vanzi, Sol Jose (2008-01-28). "Kuh w/ the Platters in Valentine Concert Tour". Philippine Headline News Online. Retrieved 2009-06-06.  
  13. ^ "Swinging for joy". The Standard. 2008-03-19. Retrieved 2009-06-06.  
  14. ^ Escano, Cesar Miguel G. (2004-04-02). "Weekender Lifestyle: Staying In". Businessworld (Philippines).  
  15. ^ "Great Filipino Love Songs tops the charts". Manila Bulletin. 2004-07-16. Retrieved 2009-06-06.  
  16. ^ Vines, Stephen (1998-03-13). "Rogues and ruffians bid to lead Filipinos". The Independent. Retrieved 2009-06-06.  
  17. ^ "Imelda spends birthday with wounded soldiers". Filipino Reporter. 2000-07-13. Retrieved 2009-06-06.  
  18. ^ Mercado, Juan (2008-03-04). "Impunity‚Äôs toll". Cebu Daily News. Retrieved 2009-06-06.  
  19. ^ Video available at ""Dahil Sa Iyo" (English-Filipino Version)". Retrieved 2009-06-06.  

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