La Flor de Manila

April 14, 2014 at 8:34 pm 9 comments

Watch Ax Daliva play La Flor de Manila on his violin
I must be getting homesick, but if there’s something I can’t get out of my head at the moment it’s the Filipino song, La Flor de Manila or what’s currently referred to as the Sampaguita. it’s a song extolling a flower of the jasmine variety that became the national flower of the Philippines.

According to Wikipedia, La Flor de Manila was composed by Dolores A. Paterno who was born in Manila on March 10, 1854 and died on July 3, 1881 at the age of 27. She was the sister of Pedro A. Paterno, a Filipino nationalist and author of the Pact of Biak-Na-Bato where the Spanish government and the Filipino revolutionaries reached an agreement in 1897 to end hostilities.

It was said that Dolores was inspired to write it one moonlit evening when the Sampaguita filled the air with its sweet fragrance emanating from the family garden. She immediately sat down at the piano and the melody just came out of her fingers. Her brother Pedro wrote the lyrics based on their mother’s poem. The song eventually became one of the most popular Filipino classics of all time.

Whenever I hear the Sampaguita, my thoughts go back to college days. It’s not only because the marching band used to play it on special events, but also because college reminds me of that time when we become entitled to all the perks of adulthood with our parents footing the bill.

dolores a. paterno
dolores a. paterno/wikipedia


For a long time, I was wondering how Dolores Paterno looked like. Thanks to the internet, I finally found the above portrait painted by Justiniano Asuncion in 1870. Hopefully, more pictures and details about her life will be discovered and become available to the public in the future.


Entry filed under: Blogroll, daily prompt. Tags: , , , , .

Weekly Photo Challenge: Monument wordless wednesday: open for business

9 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Amy  |  April 15, 2014 at 6:39 am

    Beautiful, beautiful music. Thank you, Plaridel! I appreciate you providing the background information.

    • 2. plaridel  |  April 15, 2014 at 10:36 am


      i’m glad you liked it.

  • 3. Be aware, for Dragons live among Us | Wired With Words  |  April 15, 2014 at 11:42 am

    […] Musings of a Random Mindla flor de manila […]

  • 4. judy  |  October 31, 2014 at 12:07 am

    thank you so much for posting this.. ive been searching for the lyrics of la flor de manila and tumbled in your website. saludos fuertes, judy asuncion, zuerich

    • 5. plaridel  |  November 12, 2014 at 4:47 pm


      you’re welcome. 🙂

  • 6. charels  |  July 8, 2015 at 7:10 am

    Sir do you have a lyrics of La flor de Manila Sampaguita, if you have can you pls.. post it thank you very much sir. 🙂

    • 7. plaridel  |  July 24, 2015 at 1:54 pm


      Here’ are the lyrics:

      Sampaguita gentil que halagas
      con tu aroma mi filipina,
      sampaguita flor peregrina
      ¡ay!, que en tus trenzas bordando estás.

      Tú que en breve collar prendida
      dulce besas su ardiente seno,
      quien pudiera de amor lleno,
      flor venturosa tú, y cual tú y gozar.

      Dichosa tú que al perfumar el viento
      tu aroma y su aliento confúndense al par.
      Dichosa tú que en lánguido embeleso
      darle ha acostumbrado un beso,
      su boca inquieta llena de afán.

      Flor de las flores,
      tesoro hermoso de hondos amores.
      ¡Ay quien pudiera, flor pura, por verte así,
      así cual tú y gozar!

      [ De Manila flor hechicera,
      de ella encanto y envidia mía,
      sampaguita feliz que un día
      ay!, prenda fuiste de mi pasión.

      Si de dicha y pasión tus hojas
      marchitarse en su seno visten,
      juzga cuanto mi pecho triste
      de celos viéndote, ay!, sufrió.]

      Ay ve a calmar a este pecho que se agita,
      feliz sampaguita, más feliz que yo.
      Ve a acariciar con tu halago su cabello,
      corre a ceñir su cuello mientras de gloria
      muero de amor.

      Flor peregrina que adora tanto la filipina,
      ay quien pudiera,
      flor pura, por verte así,
      así cual tú y morir.

  • 8. Fragrance, Fetor . . . Same Difference. – TyroCharm  |  July 24, 2017 at 9:17 am

    […] on… Short Fiction: First Case | Charmed Chaos Summer Rain Passing, Fragnance – Journey Musings of a Random Mind La Flor de Manila THE ICONOPHILE The Scent of Something Different What’s That Fragrance? – This, That, and The […]

    • 9. plaridel  |  July 24, 2017 at 7:28 pm

      thanks for the pingback! much appreciated.


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