‘Lupang Hinirang’ changes just a suggestion, insists Sotto; celebs air mixed reactions
Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III recently made the suggestion that the last two lines of “Lupang Hinirang” be changed. Sotto referred last Sept. 18 to the lines “Aming ligaya na ‘pag may mang-aapi, ang mamatay nang dahil sa’yo” as having a defeatist attitude.
Sotto then offered an alternative to the last lines: “‘Aming ligaya na ‘pag may nang-aapi, ang ipaglaban kalayaan mo.'”
Sotto might be channeling his musician’s past. Before embarking on his political career, he rose to fame as a member of the ’70s Manila Sound disco group “VST & Co.” He also composed the song “Magkaisa” with Homer Flores and Ernie de la Peña back in the ’80s in honor of the People Power Revolution that toppled the Marcos regime.
Reaction to Sotto’s suggestion may be mixed, but for comedian-talent manager Ogie Diaz, he didn’t seem to see the point of such. Diaz took to his Facebook last Sept. 19 to give his own take on the matter.
“Pag pinalitan na po ba ang linyang yon sa ‘Lupang Hinirang’, bababa na po ang inflation?” Diaz wrote. “Mababawasan na ba ang lumalagong bilang ng corrupt officials? Magkakaisa na ba ang DDS, Dilawan at yung mga worried at concerned lang naman?”
For Diaz, it seems that there are just other things to worry about. He, however, suggested that “Ama Namin” and “Hail Mary” be changed as well if the things he mentioned above would happen.
“Kung mangyayari po ito, nako, kahit po ‘Ama Namin’ at ‘Hail Mary’ palitan nyo na rin po ang mga linya.”
But while Diaz wasn’t so keen on Sotto’s suggestion, composer-conductor Chino Toledo suggested something else entirely.
Toledo took to Facebook on Sept. 20 to share the sheet music he worked on. The sheet music changed the last line of “Lupang Hinirang” with the last line of “Eat Bulaga’s” theme song.
“Ang mama-tay ng da-hil sa Eat Bu-la-ga! Pwede nga!” wrote Toledo in jest.
Sotto, on his end, has since addressed the suggestion he made days before. He took to Twitter on Sept. 20 saying that if people don’t want the last line changed, then it shouldn’t be.
Sotto, however, supported Joey Ayala’s version of “Lupang Hinirang” with the last line changed to “Ang magmahal nang dahil sa’yo.”
“Maraming mahina intindimiento,” wrote Sotto on Twitter. “Ayaw nyo? Hwag! But I will support Joey Ayala’s version of singing d Natnl Anthem. Tama pronunciation n intonation. D orig translation frm spanish to eng to Fil is d cause of d wrong cadence of words [sic].”
Maraming mahina intindimiento. Ayaw nyo? Hwag! But i will support Joey Ayala’s version of singing d Natnl Anthem. Tama pronunciation n intonation. D orig translation frm spanish to eng to Fil is d cause of d wrong cadence of words.
— Tito Sotto (@sotto_tito) September 20, 2018
Sotto then shared a video of Ayala singing his version of “Lupang Hinirang,” which he performed during his TEDxDiliman appearance in November 2013.
At one point in the video, Ayala referred to the last line of the “Lupang Hinirang” and said in jest the anthem probably had caused psychological damage to the Filipinos.
“‘Ang mamatay nang dahil sa’yo.’ Palagay ko may grave psychological damage ginagawa yang kantang yan sa atin. Kaya kapag guma-graduate ang tao gusto niyo mag abroad, kasi ang implicit belief is kung dito ka tepok ka, killed ka.”
Ayala also remarked then that there were many positive things to do than die.
“Yung ending, ‘Ang mamatay.’ Andami naman pwedeng positibong gawin…. andami namang pwede, yung general purpose na positive, yung mag-mahal. Ang mag-mahal ng dahil sa yo…”
Ayala added, “Sabayan niyo ko, subukan niyo, you’ll never sing the national anthem the same way again because you don’t really want to die.”
“Lupang Hinirang” was composed by Julian Felipe in 1898 as a march. Historical records have shown that first Philippine President General Emilio Aguinaldo was the one who commissioned Felipe. In 1899, Jose Palma wrote a Spanish poem entitled “Filipinas,” which became the lyrics of the anthem.
The video of Ayala singing his version of “Lupang Hinirang” may be watched below:
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