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Philippine National Anthem: 'Lupang Hinirang'

Lupang Hinirang is the national anthem of the Philippines. Its music was composed in 1898 by Julian Felipe, with lyrics in Spanish adapted from the poem Filipinas, written by José Palma in 1899.

Originally written as incidental music, it did not have words when it was adopted as the National Anthem of the Philippines and subsequently played during the proclamation of Philippine independence on June 12, 1898. During the American occupation of the Philippines, the colonial government banned the song from being played with the passage of the Flag Law. The law was repealed in 1919 and the song was translated into English and would be legalized as the "Philippine Hymn". The anthem was translated into Tagalog beginning in the 1940s. A 1956 Pilipino (standardised Tagalog) version, revised in the 1960s, serves as the present anthem.

Lupang Hinirang means "Chosen Land" in Tagalog. Some English sources erroneously translate Lupang Hinirang as "Beloved Land" or "Beloved Country"; however, "Beloved Land" is a translation of the first line of Filipinas, which would be Tiérra adorada, and "Beloved Country" is likewise a translation of the first line of the current version of the anthem, which would be Bayang Magiliw. The anthem is also colloquially known as Bayang Magiliw.


The Lupang Hinirang began as an instrumental march which Emilio Aguinaldo commissioned for use in the proclamation of Philippine independence from Spain. This task was given to Julián Felipe and was to replace a march which Aguinaldo did not find to be satisfactory. The title of the new march was Marcha Filipina Magdalo ("Magdalo Philippine March") and was later changed to Marcha Nacional Filipina ("Philippine National March") upon its adoption as the national anthem of the First Philippine Republic on June 11, 1898, a day before the date when Philippine independence was to be proclaimed. It was played by the San Francisco de Malabon marching band during the proclamation on June 12, 1898.

In August 1899, José Palma wrote the poem Filipinas in Spanish. The poem was published for the first time in the newspaper La Independencia on September 3, 1899. It was subsequently adpoted as the lyrics to the anthem. In the 1920s, the time signature was changed to 4/4 to facilitate its singing and the key was changed from the original C major to G.

During the 1920s, with the repeal of the Flag Law, which banned the use of all Filipino national symbols, the American colonial government decided to translate the national hymn from Spanish to English. The first translation was written around that time by Paz Marquez Benitez of the University of the Philippines, who was also a famous poet during that time. The most popular translation, called the "Philippine Hymn", was written by senator Camilo Osías and an American, Mary A. Lane. The "Philippine Hymn" was legalized by an act of the Philippine Congress in 1938.

Tagalog translations started appearing during the 1940s, with the first translation known as Diwa ng Bayan ("Spirit of the Country"), which was sung during the Japanese occupation of the Philippines, followed by the next most popular O Sintang Lupa ("O Beloved Land") by Julian Cruz Balmaceda, Ildefonso Santos, and Francisco Caballo. O Sintang Lupa was approved as the national anthem in 1948. Upon the adoption of Diwa ng Bayan, the song Awit sa Paglikha ng Bagong Pilipinas and the Japanese national anthem Kimigayo was replaced.

During the term of President Ramon Magsaysay, Education Secretary Gregorio Hernández formed a commission to revise the Tagalog lyrics. On May 26, 1956, the National Anthem, Lupang Hinirang, was finally sung in Pilipino. Minor revisions were made in the 1960s, and it is this version, made by Felipe Padilla de Leon, which is in use today. The Filipino[8] lyrics have been confirmed by a new national symbols law (Republic Act No. 8491 or the Flag and Heraldic Code of the Philippines) in 1998, but not the English and Spanish.

As historian Ambeth Ocampo has noted, some of the original meaning of the poem Filipinas has been lost in translation; for example, the original Hija del sol de oriente literally means "Daughter of the Orient (Eastern) Sun." It becomes "Child of the sun returning" in the Philippine Hymn and "Pearl of the Orient" in the present official version.

The translation of Lupang Hinirang was used by Felipe Padilla de Leon as his inspiration for Awit sa Paglikha ng Bagong Pilipinas, commissioned by the government of the Japanese Occupation of the Philippines during World War II, and adapted during the Martial Law period under Ferdinand Marcos.

In the late 1990s, then Chief Executive Officer of the GMA Network, Menardo Jimenez, proposed that various recording artists record their respective versions of the National Anthem; this is, however, prohibited by law.

Lupang Hinirang was not the first Filipino national anthem to be conceived. The composer and revolutionist Julio Nakpil composed Marangal na Dalit ng Katagalugan (Honorable Hymn of Katagalugan), which was intended as the official anthem of the Katipunan, the secret society that spearheaded the Revolution. It is considered a national anthem because Andrés Bonifacio, the chief founder of the Katipunan, converted the organization into a revolutionary government - with himself as president - known as the Republika ng Katagalugan (Tagalog Republic) just before hostilities erupted. The Katipunan or Republika ng Katagalugan was superseded by Aguinaldo's Republica Filipina. The anthem, later renamed Himno Nacional, was never adopted by Aguinaldo for unspecified reasons. It should be noted that Katagalugan, in its usage in the anthem, meant the Philippines and not just the Tagalog-speaking Filipinos.

Several versions of the anthem in various Philippine languages exist, but these are unofficial. A Ilocano language version was once used in Ilocos. This was stopped because of the status of the Filipino version as the only legal way of singing the national anthem. A Chavacano language version was made for Zamboanga City in Mindanao but was never enforced due to the same legal reasons as above.


Spanish (Original 'Filipinas' 1899)

Tierra adorada,
hija del sol de Oriente,
su fuego ardiente
en ti latiendo está.

Tierra de amores,
del heroísmo cuna,
los invasores
no te hollarán jamás.

En tu azul cielo, en tus auras,
en tus montes y en tu mar
esplende y late el poema
de tu amada libertad.

Tu pabellón que en las lides
la victoria iluminó,
no verá nunca apagados
sus estrellas ni su sol.

Tierra de dichas, de sol y amores
en tu regazo dulce es vivir;
es una gloria para tus hijos,
cuando te ofenden, por ti morir.

Official Filipino ('Lupang Hinirang' 1958, rev. 1960s)

Bayang magiliw,

Perlas ng Silanganan
Alab ng puso,
Sa Dibdib mo'y buhay.

Lupang Hinirang,
Duyan ka ng magiting,
Sa manlulupig,
Di ka pasisiil.

Sa dagat at bundok,
Sa simoy at sa langit mong bughaw,

May dilag ang tula,
At awit sa paglayang minamahal.

Ang kislap ng watawat mo'y
Tagumpay na nagniningning,

Ang bituin at araw niya,
Kailan pa ma'y di magdidilim,

Lupa ng araw ng luwalhati't pagsinta,
Buhay ay langit sa piling mo,

Aming ligaya na pag may mang-aapi,
Ang mamatay ng dahil sa iyo.

For more of the different era version (lyrics) of the 'Philippine National Anthem' Click Here!
Usage and Legal Regulations
Article XVI, Section 2 of the present Philippine Constitution specifies that "The Congress may, by law, adopt a new name for the country, a national anthem, or a national seal, which shall be truly reflective and symbolic of the ideals, history, and traditions of the people. Such law shall take effect only upon its ratification by the people in a national referendum." At present, the 1998 Republic Act (R.A.) 8491. (the Flag and Heraldic Code of the Philippines) regulates the usage of the Philippine national anthem. It also contains the complete lyrics of Lupang Hinirang.
R.A. 8491 specifies that Lupang Hinirang "shall be in accordance with the musical arrangement and composition of Julian Felipe." However, when literally followed, this means that the national anthem should only be performed by a pianist or by a brass band, as these were the only versions that were produced by Julian Felipe. Moreover, because the original version was composed in duple time (i.e. in a time signature of 2/4) as compared to the present quadruple time (4/4), it is uncertain if this will either slow down or even double the music's speed, making it difficult for singers to keep up with the music. Regardless of this, the national anthem is still sung with the lyrics. R.A. 8491 also states that Lupang Hinirang "shall always be sung in the national language" regardless if performed inside or outside the Philippines, and specifies that the singing must be done with fervor.
The National Anthem is usually played during public gatherings in the Philippines or in foreign countries where the Filipino audience is sizable. R.A. 8491 also provides that it be played at other occasions as may be allowed by the National Historical Institute. R.A. 8491 prohibits its playing or singing for mere recreation, amusement, or entertainment except during the following occasions:
1.International competitions where the Philippines is the host or has a representative;
2.Local competitions;
3.During the "signing off" and "signing on" of radio broadcasting and television stations; and
4.Before the initial and last screening of films and before the opening of theater performances.
R.A. 8491 specifies fine or imprisonment penalties for any person or juridical entity which violates its provisions. Public or government official or employee who fail to observe the regulations of R.A. 8491 may face administrative sanctions, besides the penalties imposed by the same law. This warning also applies to persons connected with government-held corporations, public schools, and state colleges and universities.

Source: Wikipedia
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