Lupang Hinirang

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"Lupang Hinirang", (literal translation: Chosen Land) originally titled in Spanish as the Marcha Nacional Filipina ("Philippine National March"), is the national anthem of the Philippines. Its music was composed in 1898 by Julián Felipe, and the lyrics were adapted from the Spanish poem Filipinas, written by José Palma in 1899.[1]

The composition now known as Lupang Hinirang commissioned on June 5, 1898 by Emilio Aguinaldo, head of the Dictatorial Government of the Philippines,[1] as a ceremonial and instrumental national march without lyrics, similar to the status of the Marcha Real in Spain. Replacing the revolutionary hymn Marangal na Dalit ng Katagalugan, which Aguinaldo found inadequate for an anthem, the Marcha Nacional was adopted as the national march of the Philippine Republic (Template:Lang-es). It was first performed in public during the proclamation of Philippine independence at Aguinaldo's residence in Kawit, Cavite on June 12, 1898.

Following the defeat of the First Republic in the Philippine–American War and the subsequent colonial rule of the United States, the Flag Act of 1907 prohibited the public display of flags, banners, emblems, or devices used by the Philippine Republican Army during the war.[2] Under the Flag Act, public performance of the national march was prohibited.[3] Upon repeal of the Flag Act in 1919, the national march regained its popular status as the national anthem of the Philippines. Following the establishment of self-rule under the Commonwealth of the Philippines, Commonwealth Act № 382, approved on September 5, 1938, officially adopted the musical arrangement and composition by Julián Felipe as the national anthem.

In the years after the revolution, the poem Filipinas, written in 1899 by nationalist José Palma, gained widespread popularity as unofficial Spanish lyrics of the anthem. The Spanish lyrics were translated into English and, beginning in the 1940s, in the national language. The current Tagalog lyrics, written in 1956, were adopted and made official subject to a slight revision in the 1960s. On February 12, 1998, Republic Act № 8491 was passed, codifying the current Tagalog lyrics into law.[2]


Some English language sources erroneously translate Lupang Hinirang as "Beloved Land" or "Beloved Country";[4][5] the first term is actually a translation of the incipit of the original poem Filipinas (Tierra adorada), while "Beloved Country" is a translation of Bayang Magiliw, the current version's incipit and colloquial name. Some sources assert that an English version of anthem lyrics titled "The Philippine Hymn" was legalised by Commonwealth Act № 382.[6] That Act, however, only concerns itself with the instrumental composition by Julián Felipe.


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"Lupang Hinirang" began as incidental music which President 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 had deemed unsatisfactory. The original title of this new march was "Marcha Filipina-Magdalo" ("Philippine-Magdalo 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 independence was to be proclaimed.

Felipe said that he had based his composition on three other musical pieces: the "Marcha Real", which is the current Spanish national anthem; the "Grand March" from Giuseppe Verdi's Aida; and the French national anthem, "La Marseillaise".[7] It was played by the Banda San Francisco de Malabon (now called the Banda Matanda, from present-day General Trias) during the proclamation rites on June 12.

In August 1899, the soldier and writer José Palma penned the Spanish poem Filipinas during his stay in Casa Hacienda in Bautista, Pangasinan. The poem was published for the first time for the first anniversary of the newspaper La Independencia on September 3, 1899, and was subsequently set to the tune of the "Marcha Nacional Filipina".[8][9]

The Flag Act of 1907 prohibited the use of the anthem and other Philippine revolutionary and Katipunan symbols for a short period of time. When it was repealed back in 1919, the Insular Government decided to translate the hymn from its original Spanish version to the English version. The first translation was written around that time by the renowned poet Paz Marquez Benitez of the University of the Philippines. The most popular translation, called the "Philippine Hymn", was written by Senator Camilo Osías and an American, Mary A. Lane. In the 1920s, the time signature in performance was changed from 2/4 to 4/4 to facilitate its singing and the key was changed from the original C major to G.[10] However, this change was not codified into law. The anthem was played alongside the United States anthem, "The Star-Spangled Banner", which was adopted in 1931. It was played alongside each other until the country's eventual independence in 1946.

Tagalog translations began appearing in the 1940s, with the first known one titled Diwa ng Bayan ("Spirit of the Country"), which was sung during the Japanese occupation of the Philippines. The second most popular one was O Sintang Lupa ("O Beloved Land") by Julián Cruz Balmaceda, Ildefonso Santos, and Francisco Caballo; this was adopted as the official version in 1948. Upon the adoption of Diwa ng Bayan, the song Awit sa Paglikha ng Bagong Pilipinas and the Japanese national anthem Kimigayo were replaced.[11]

During the term of President Ramon Magsaysay, Education Secretary Gregorio Hernández formed a commission to revise the lyrics. On May 26, 1956, the current Tagalog translation "Lupang Hinirang" was sung for the first time. Minor revisions were made in the 1960s, and it is this version by Felipe Padilla de León which is presently used.

The Martial Law years from 1972–1981 during the second term of Ferdinand Marcos up to the 1986 EDSA Revolution saw the use of the National Anthem as the opening protest song of some political and union groups, accompanied by the use of the "raised clenched fist" salute instead of the traditional hand-to-heart salute.

The 1958 Tagalog lyrics were confirmed by Republic Act No. 8491 (the "Flag and Heraldic Code of the Philippines") in 1998, abandoning use of both the Spanish and English versions.[2] Philippine law requires that the anthem always be rendered in accordance with Felipe's original musical arrangement and composition, but the original holograph cannot be located.[2][10]

Historian Ambeth Ocampo observed in 2006 that the Spanish lyrics, which were not intended to be sung when composed, do not flow with the music very well compared to later English and Tagalog versions which are smoother. Also, some of the original meanings in Filipinas have been lost in translation; for example, Hija del sol de oriente (literally, "Daughter of the Orient (Eastern) Sun") in the original Spanish version became "Child of the sun returning" in the Philippine Hymn and Perlas ng Silanganan ("Pearl of the Orient") in the present (official) Tagalog version.[12] In 2011, Senator Bong Revilla introduced a bill which, among other things, would have removed the requirement that the anthem be sung "in its original Tagalog lyrics and march tempo", but this was not promulgated into law.[13]

Other anthems

"Lupang Hinirang" was not the first Filipino national anthem to be conceived. The composer and revolutionist Julio Nakpil penned Marangal na Dalit ng Katagalugan (Honourable Hymn of the Katagalugan), which was later called Salve Patria ("Hail, Fatherland"). It was originally intended to be 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 and Supremo 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.[14] The arrangement was by Julio Nakpil, who reconstructed it from memory after the original score was destroyed in 1945 during the battle for Manila. It would later be reworked and incorporated in the orchestral piece, Salve, Filipinas.

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. The term "Katagalugan" in the anthem referred the Philippine Islands as a whole and not just Tagalophone Filipinos.

The translation of "Lupang Hinirang" was used by Felipe Padilla de Leon as his inspiration for Awit sa Paglikha ng Bagong Pilipinas, commissioned as a replacement anthem by the Japanese-controlled Second Philippine Republic during World War II, and later adapted during the martial law era under President Ferdinand Marcos under the patriotic anthem entitled as Bagong Pagsilang.


The following Tagalog, English and Spanish versions of the national anthem have been given official status throughout Philippine history. However, only the most recent and current Tagalog version is officially recognized by law. The Flag and Heraldic Code, approved on February 12, 1998 specifies, "The National Anthem shall always be sung in Tagalog within or outside the country; violation of the law is punishable by a fine and imprisonment.[2] Several bills have been introduced to amend the Flag and Heraldic Code to highlight the importance of complying, abiding and conforming to the standard expression as prescribed by law.[15][16]


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 nang dahil sa iyo.


Land of the morning,
Child of the sun returning,
With fervor burning
Thee do our souls adore.

Land dear and holy,
Cradle of noble heroes,
Ne’er shall invaders
Trample thy sacred shores.

Ever within thy skies and through thy clouds,
And o’er thy hills and seas,
Do we behold the radiance, feel the throb
Of glorious liberty.

Thy banner dear to all our hearts,
Its sun and stars alight,
Oh, never shall its shining fields
Be dimmed by tyrant’s might!

Beautiful land of love, o land of light,
In thine embrace ‘tis rapture to lie,
But it is glory ever, when thou art wronged,
For us, thy sons to suffer and die.


Tierra adorada,
Hija del sol de Oriente,
Su fuego ardiente
En ti latiendo está.

Tierra de amores,
Del heroísmo cuna,
Los invasores
No te hallarán 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 y 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.

Other historical lyrics

Lupang mapalad,
Na mutya ng silangan;
Bayang kasuyo,
Ng sangkalikasan.

Buhay at yaman,
Ng Kapilipinuhan;
Kuha't bawi,
Sa banyagang kamay.

Sa iyong langit, bundok,
batis, dagat na pinalupig;
Nailibing na ang karimlan,
Ng kahapong pagtitiis.

Sakit at luha, hirap,
Sisa at sumpa sa pag-aamis;
ay wala nang lahat at naligtas,
Sa ibig manlupit.

Hayo't magdiwang lahi kong minamahal,
Iyong watawat ang siyang tanglaw;
At kung sakaling ikaw ay muling pagbantaan,
Aming bangkay ang siyang hahadlang.


O sintang lupa,
Perlas ng Silanganan,
Diwang apoy kang
Sa araw nagmula.

Lupang magiliw,
Pugad ng kagitingan,
Sa manlulupig
Di ka papaslang.

Sa iyong langit, simoy, parang.
Dagat at kabundukan,
Laganap ang tibok ng puso
Sa paglayang walang hanggan.

Sagisag ng watawat mong mahal
Ningning at tagumpay;
Araw't bituin niyang maalab
Ang s'yang lagi naming tanglaw.

Sa iyo, Lupa ng ligaya't pagsinta,
Tamis mabuhay na yakap mo,
Datapwa't langit ding kung ikaw ay apihin
Ay mamatay ng dahil sa 'yo.

Proposed lyrical revision

The final line of the national anthem, Ang mamatay nang dahil sa 'yo (To die because of you [the country]), is subject to certain proposed revisions for being defeatist. in 2013, Filipino musician Joey Ayala, tampered with the national anthem in a forum by changing the last line to ang magmahal ng dahil sa 'yo (to love for the country) and arranged the time signature from 4/4 to 6/8.[17] Senate President Vicente Sotto III suggested that last line should be revised to Ang ipaglaban ang kalayaan mo (To defend thy freedom) as it reflects the commitment of the Filipinos to defend the country's independence.[18]

Music and tempo

R.A. 8491 specifies that "Lupang Hinirang" when performed "shall be in accordance with the musical arrangement and composition of Julián Felipe."[2] 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 Julián Felipe.[10] Moreover, 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 cannot be sung according to the original score, because the music would be so fast that singers would be unable keep pace.[10]

During televised boxing matches featuring Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao, singers have been both praised and criticized by the National Historical Institute (NHI) for singing too slow or too fast.[19] The NHI says that the proper tempo is a 2/4 and 100 metronomes and that the anthem should last 53 seconds.[19]

Usage and regulation

Article XVI, Section 2 of the 1987 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."[20]

Flag and Heraldic Code of the Philippines

Republic Act № 8491 ("The Flag and Heraldic Code of the Philippines") regulates usage of the National Anthem, and contains the complete lyrics of "Lupang Hinirang".[2] Enacted in 1998, it states that "Lupang Hinirang" when performed "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".[2]

The Anthem is usually played during public gatherings in the Philippines or in foreign countries where the Filipino audience is sizable. The Code also provides that it be played at other occasions as may be allowed by the National Historical Institute (now known as the National Historical Commission of the Philippines). It prohibits its playing or singing for mere recreation, amusement, or entertainment except during International competitions where the Philippines is the host or has a representative; local competitions; during the "sign-on" and "sign-off" of radio broadcasting and television stations in the country; and before the initial and last screening of films and before the opening of theatre performances.

The national anthem is played each morning early breakfast on radio and television by GMA Network and at the sign-on and sign-off (replay rerun recorded sign-on) of its transmission for the day.

The Code specifies penalties for violation of its provisions. Section 48 provides for public censure and cancellation of licenses and permits, Section 49 requires the Department of Education and the Commission on Higher Education to ensure that all students commit the national anthem to memory, section 50 specifies penalties of fine or imprisonment for violations.[2]

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 About The Philippine National Anthem.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named ra8491
  3. Pomeroy, William J. (1992). The Philippines: Colonialism, Collaboration, and Resistance. International Publishers Co.. ISBN 0-7178-0692-8. “Philippines flag law.” ; excerpted quote: "In 1909 an entire band was sent to prison for playing the Philippine National Anthem at a festival in Quiapo, Manila.", citing Agoncillo, Teodoro A. (2005). "The Revolt of the Masses: The Story of Bonifacio and the Katipunan". Quezon City: University of the Philippines Press. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  4. Colleen A. Sexton (2006). Philippines in Pictures. Twenty-First Century Books. ISBN 978-0-8225-2677-3. 
  5. Marshall Cavendish Corporation (September 2007). World and Its Peoples: Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and Brunei. Marshall Cavendish. ISBN 978-0-7614-7642-9. 
  6. Philippines.
  7. The National Anthem's predecessor and influences. Malacañang Palace.
  8. The original text, as published in Barcelona, Spain in 1912: Palma, José (1912). Melancólicas: Coleccion de Poesías. Manila, Philippines: Liberería Manila Filatélica.  (Digital copy found online at HathiTrust Digital Library on March 31, 2010)
  9. Contemporary restatements of and comments about the original text:
    ^ "The Making of Filipinas", The Philippines Centennial. 
    ^ "The Philippine National Anthem", Filipinas Heritage Library. 
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 Ocampo, Ambeth R. (May 24, 2005). "The right way to sing the National Anthem". Philippines Daily Inquirer. Archived from the original on May 26, 2005. (archived from the original on May 26, 2005)
  11. Cribb, Robert (July 22, 2003). Imperial Japan and National Identities in Asia, 1895–1945. Routledge. ISBN 0-7007-1482-0. 
  12. Ocampo, Ambeth R. (1995). Mabini's Ghost. Pasig City, Philippines: Anvil Publishing. 
  13. SB2691 s.2011
  14. Guerrero, Milagros C.. Andres Bonifacio and the 1896 Revolution. National Commission for culture and the Arts (NCCA).
  15. Kate McGeown. "Philippines national anthem abuse subject to new law", BBC News, October 5, 2010. 
  16. Introduced bills:
  17. Joey Ayala's version of 'Lupang Hinirang'
  18. Sotto wants Philippine national anthem revised
  19. 19.0 19.1 ABELLA and SOPHIA DEDACE, Jerri. "Arnel Pineda's version of RP anthem criticized", March 14, 2010. 
  20. 1987 Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines. RP Government.

External links



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