Lyrics of the Philippine national anthem, Lupang Hinirang
QUEZON CITY, Philippines – A historian explained how the proposed changes in the lyrics of the Philippine national anthem and symbols in the national flag would affect the grandeur of the country’s history.
Senate President Vicente Sotto III has suggested that the lines: “Ang mamatay nang dahil sa ‘yo,” should be changed to: “Ang ipaglaban kalayaan mo,” because he finds the former as depicting a “defeatist attitude.”
But an expert in Philippine history, Xiao Chua, countered Sotto’s interpretation of the said line.
“Hindi ako naniniwalang defeatist siya. In fact, naniniwala ako na isa siyang katapangan, pinakadakilang sinseridad na pwedeng ibigay ng isang tao sa kaniyang pagmamahal,” he said.
Chua explained that there is nothing more noble than sacrificing oneself for the good of others and he believes it is the very essence of the contested line in the national anthem.
“Ibig sabihin kapag ikaw ay nilupig, nilusob, handa mong ipaglaban ang iyong kalayaan, ang iyong lupa hanggang kamatayan. Iyon ang kahulugan ng: “Ang mamatay ng dahil sa’yo,'” Chua said. “Wala ng pinakamaganda pang pangako diyan. Sabi nga sa Biblia ang pag-aalay ng buhay ang pinakadakilang pag-ibig na pwedeng ibigay ng isang tao sa isang kaibigan at sa palagay ko, mawawala ang sense kapag pinalitan mo ang National Anthem natin.”
He added that changing the lyrics of a song, especially that which symbolizes a national identity, requires the skills of experts such as linguists, lyricists, musicians, and historians who could credibly speak if the revisions are correct.
He also noted that tweaking the lines in the national anthem is not historically allowed. It dilutes the very intention of early Filipinos who fought and sacrificed their lives for the independence and liberty of the country.
It would also weaken the sense of patriotism among the younger generation.
“Ang new generation, pagdating ng panahon na kailangan na nating lumaban, parang hindi masyadong buo yung loob nila na lumaban para sa bayan kasi ipaglaban lang,” he said.
Chua also opposed the proposal of Senator Richard Gordon to add another ray of the sun into the country’s flag.
He said, adding one ray would “remove the historical context” of the eight original rays and their symbolism.
He explained that the eight rays in the Philippine flag symbolizes the eight provinces that fought during the 1896 Philippine Revolution which are Manila, Bulacan, Pampanga, Nueva Ecija, Laguna, Batangas, Cavite, and Morong or the present-day Rizal.
Chua contradicted critics’ claim that the Moros and the Muslims were not represented in the flag that’s why they wanted to add another ray.
“Kung idadagdag mo yung mga Moro dyan, hindi naman sila kasama doon sa 1896 revolution,” he explained adding that the Muslims are very well represented because Mindanao is among the three stars in the flag.
He said changing the symbols would distort their true meaning and it would just devalue the Philippine history as a whole.
He warned that by allowing the proposal, it might solicit carelessness in changing other historical symbols in the future. It is best, Chua said, to preserve history as it is the identity of every Filipino.
Some Filipinos think the proposal is unnecessary.
“Mas mabuti iyong dati pa rin…Parang kinalimutan na natin ang pinagdaanan ng ating mga ninuno, tsaka mga bayani natin,” said office employee, Flordelin Damaso.
Market vendor, Rosemarie Cabrera, opined, “Iyon ang kinagisnan natin talaga, dapat iyon pa rin. Walang dapat baguhin.”
Student Joseph Kyle Estrella echoed the same sentiment: “Para sa akin just leave it be kasi iyon ang walong probinsiyang nag-aklas para lumaban sa ating kalayaan so bakit pa babaguhin?”
According to the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA): “The symbols of our heraldry including our flag and national anthem are under the mandate of the National Historical Commission of the Philippines.”
UNTV has sought the comment of the NHCP on the issue but they have no response yet as of this writing. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Cathy Maglalang)
Sen. Trillanes to remain under Senate custody
Senator Antonio Trillanes IV at a press briefing
PASAY CITY, Philippines – The Senate minority claims that the arrest order against Senator Antonio Trillanes IV is baseless.
“He is a senator and under the Constitution, he cannot be arrested while Congress is in session, except for crimes which penalty is beyond 6 years. In this particular case, there is even no case,” said Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon on an ambush interview on Tuesday (September 4).
Trillanes claims he passed the requirements for amnesty and that the order was a clear case of “political persecution.”
Trillanes met with Senate President Vicente Sotto III who decided to take the senator into the Senate custody.
“Ang assurance ni Senate President is, for as long as nandito ako sa Senate premises ay he will not allow any arrest. So we need to fight this warrantless arrest na ito. Ito pong proclamation ng amnesty, kahit saan sa buong mundo, walang amnesty na binabawi,” the senator stressed.
The senator’s legal team is now discussing their next move specifically to elevate the matter to the Supreme Court (SC). – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Mai Bermudez)