"Anak" (Filipino for child or more gender specific my son or my daughter) is a Tagalog song written by Filipino folk-singer Freddie Aguilar. It made the finals for the inaugural 1978 Metropop Song Festival held in Manila. It became an international hit, and was translated into 27 languages.[2] The lyrics speak of Filipino family values.[3] The current copyright owner of the song is Star Music, a recording company owned by the media conglomerate ABS-CBN Corporation.[4] It was produced by Celso Llarina of VST & Co. Tito Sotto was the executive producer for this song as well as its album of the same name.[5]

Anak single cover.jpg
Single by Freddie Aguilar
from the album Anak
Released1978 (1978)
StudioCinema Audio
GenrePinoy pop, folk
Length3:53 (original version)
LabelSunshine Records
RCA Records (internationally released)
Star Music (copyright owner)
Songwriter(s)Freddie Aguilar
Producer(s)Celso Llarina[1]

Inspiration and compositionEdit

Freddie Aguilar left home at the age of 18 without graduating from school. His father, who had wanted him to be a lawyer, was disappointed. Freddie traveled to faraway places carrying with him only his guitar. With no one to guide and discipline him, he got into gambling. Realizing and regretting his mistakes five years later, Freddie composed "Anak", a song of remorse and apology to his parents. He went back home and asked for forgiveness from his parents, who welcomed him with open arms. After his father read the lyrics of "Anak", the two became closer. The homecoming proved timely as his father died not long after.[2] According to Felipe de Leon, Jr., an authority on Philippine music, the song was composed in a Western style but has aspects of pasyon, a form that many Filipinos can identify with.[3]


"Anak" became a finalist in the first MetroPop Song Festival. It went on to become very popular in the Philippines and eventually abroad. The song generated a hundred cover versions, was released in 56 countries and in 27 different foreign languages, and is claimed to have sold 30 million copies.[6][7][better source needed] This was unlikely, however, and only two songs have been confirmed to have sold at least 30 million copies.

An eponymous film was released in 2000, with a plot inspired by the lyrics of the song.[3]

Other recordings or versionsEdit

  • ASIN (from the 1978 album “Asin”)
  • Larry Matias (from the 1978 self-titled album)
  • Tito, Vic, and Joey (parody entitled, Anak ng Kuwan, from their album, Iskul Bukol)
  • Blonker, (band of German guitar player Dieter Geike, from their 1982 album "Fantasia")
  • Regine Velasquez (from the 1991 album Tagala Talaga)
  • Gary Valenciano (from the 2000 movie soundtrack Anak) (only appears on the movie soundtrack)
  • Sharon Cuneta (from the 2000 movie Anak) (used in movie credits)
  • Kuh Ledesma (from the 2000 album Duet With Me)
  • Side A (from the 2001 album The Platinum Collection)
  • The Kelly Family (from the 1980 single Alle Kinder brauchen Freunde)
  • Michael Holm ("Kind" which means Child in German)
  • Noel Cabangon (from the 2012 album, Tuloy Ang Biyahe)
  • Cusco (entitled "Philippines", from their 1983 album Virgin Islands)
  • Mitoy Yonting (from the 2013 various artists album The Voice of the Philippines: The Final 4)
  • Ramon Jacinto (from the 1992 instrumental album The Guitarman II) (used in the instrumental medley includes "Walk Don't Run" and "Diamond Head")
  • Victor Wood (from the 1979 Indonesian Album)
  • 孩兒 by Alan Tam (譚詠麟) from album 反斗星 (Cantonese language)
  • 你的影子 by Kenny Bee (鍾鎮濤) from album 我的夥伴 (Chinese language)
  • 愛著啊 by Jody Chiang (江蕙) from album 愛著啊 (Taiwanese language)
  • Sarah Geronimo (from the 2012 album Pure OPM Classics)
  • Tha Chin Myar Nae Lu by playboy Than Naing (1980)
  • သီခ်င္းမ်ားနဲ႔လူ by Htoo Ein Thin ( ေတးျမံဳငွက္ ႏွစ္ (၅၀) ၂ (၂၀၀၃) ေတးစု )
  • Carefree (from the 1979 album Kebebasan) (Malay language)
  • Vader Abraham (Dutch language, singing about his childhood home town Elst)
  • KZ Tandingan sang parts of the song in both Tagalog and Mandarin languages on the breakout round of the sixth season of Singer 2018
  • 아들 by Lee Yong-Bok (Korean language, 1979)
  • 아들 by Jung Yoon-Sun (Korean language, 1981)
  • 息子 by Jiro Sugita (1978)
  • 息子 by Tokiko Kato (1978)

In popular cultureEdit


"Anak", in both Filipino and Korean versions, was featured in the 2015 South Korean action film Gangnam Blues.[8]



  1. ^ "Freddie Aguilar – Anak (1979, Vinyl)" – via www.discogs.com.
  2. ^ a b Dot Ramos Balasbas-Gancayco (December 12, 2006). "Still up on his toes (an interview with Freddie Aguilar)". The Philippine Star. Archived from the original on March 10, 2012. Retrieved June 6, 2010.
  3. ^ a b c Rodell, Paul A. (2002). Culture and customs of the Philippines. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 186. ISBN 978-0-313-30415-6. Retrieved July 3, 2009.
  4. ^ "Star Music - About Us". abs-cbn.com.
  5. ^ "Freddie Aguilar – Anak (1978, Vinyl)" – via www.discogs.com.
  6. ^ Gil, Baby A. (March 4, 2015). "The continuing odyssey of Anak". The Philippine Star. Retrieved November 19, 2018.
  7. ^ Magano, Louie (April 20, 2018). "FAST FACTS: Freddie Aguilar's "Anak" @40". ABS-CBNnews.com. Retrieved November 19, 2018.
  8. ^ "Gangnam Blues - Tagalized Trailer". YouTube. June 11, 2015. Archived from the original on 2021-12-19.
  9. ^ "Freddie Aguilar – Anak" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved September 23, 2021.
  10. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 41, 1980" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40. Retrieved September 23, 2021.
  11. ^ "Freddie Aguilar – Anak" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved September 23, 2021.
  12. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Freddie Aguilar – Anak". GfK Entertainment charts. Retrieved September 23, 2021.
  13. ^ "Jaaroverzichten 1980". Ultratop. Retrieved September 23, 2021.
  14. ^ "Top 100-Jaaroverzicht van 1980". Dutch Top 40. Retrieved September 23, 2021.
  15. ^ "Jaaroverzichten – Single 1980". dutchcharts.nl. Retrieved September 23, 2021.

External linksEdit