Lupang Hinirang

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Lupang Hinirang
English: Chosen Land
Sheet Lupang hinirang.jpg
Music sheet of Lupang Hinirang

National anthem of the  Philippines
Also known asMarcha Nacional Filipina (Original title of the song composed by Julian Felipe)
Filipinas (Original title of the poem written by Jose Palma)
LyricsJosé Palma (original Spanish lyrics), 1899
MusicJulián Felipe, 1898
  • June 12, 1898 (original music as Marcha Nacional Filipina)
  • May 26, 1958 (official Filipino lyrics)
Audio sample
"Lupang Hinirang" (instrumental)

"Lupang Hinirang" (Tagalog pronunciation: [ˈlupaŋ hiˈniɾaŋ]; lit. '"Chosen Land"'; originally in Spanish: Marcha Nacional Filipina (the "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. Initially, it did not have lyrics when it was adopted as the anthem of the Philippine Republic (Spanish: Republica Filipina)and subsequently played during the proclamation of Philippine independence on June 12, 1898.

Under American rule, the Flag Act of 1907 prohibited the public display of flags, banners, emblems, or devices used by the Philippine Rebublican Armyin the Philippine–American War.[1] Under this law, the colonial government banned the song from being played.[2] The Flag Law was repealed in 1919. Under the Commonwealth, Commonwealth Act № 382, approved on September 5, 1938, officially adopted the musical arrangement and composition by Julián Felipe as the national anthem.

The Spanish lyrics were translated into Tagalog beginning in the 1940s, with the current Filipino version from 1956 undergoing a slight revision in the 1960s. Over the years, several English versions came into use. On February 12, 1998, Republic Act № 8491 codified the current Filipino lyrics into law.[1]


Some English language sources erroneously translate Lupang Hinirang as "Beloved Land" or "Beloved Country";[3][4] 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.[5] That Act, however, only concerns itself with the instrumental composition by Julián Felipe.


"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".[6] 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".[7][8]

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.[1][9] In the 1920s, the time signature was changed from 2/4 to 4/4 to facilitate its singing and the key was changed from the original C major to G.[9]

After the repeal of the Flag Act of 1907 (which banned the use of revolutionary and Katipunan symbols) in 1919, the Insular Government decided to translate the hymn from its original Spanish to English. 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.

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.[10]

During the term of President Ramon Magsaysay, Education Secretary Gregorio Hernández formed a commission to revise the lyrics. On May 26, 1956, the Pilipino 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 Filipino[a] lyrics have been 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.[1]

Historian Ambeth Ocampo observed 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 Filipino versions which are smoother. Also, some of the original meanings in Filipinas have been lost in translation; for example, the original Hija del sol de oriente (literally, "Daughter of the Orient (Eastern) Sun") became "Child of the sun returning" in the Philippine Hymn and Perlas ng Silanganan ("Pearl of the Orient") in the present official Tagalog version.[11]

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.[12] 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 Spanish, English and Filipino versions of the national anthem have been given official status throughout Philippine history. However, only the most recent and current Filipino version is officially recognised by law. The Flag and Heraldic Code, approved on February 12, 1998 specifies, "The National Anthem shall always be sung in the national language within or outside the country; violation of the law is punishable by a fine and imprisonment.[1] 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. As of 2015, none have been enacted into law.[13][14]

Original Spanish Version
Marcha Nacional Filipina (1899)
penned by José Palma
Official Commonwealth-Era
English Version
The Philippine Hymn (1938)
translated by Camilo Osías and A. L. Lane
Official Filipino Version
Lupang Hinirang
(1958, rev. 1963)
translated by Felipe Padilla de León[clarification needed]

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

Patria 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, del sol y amores,
En tu regazo dulce es vivir.
Es una gloria para tus hijos,
Cuando te ofenden, por ti morir.

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 sea
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.

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 ‘yo.

Other historical lyrics

Pre-Commonwealth English version:
O Land Beloved (1919)[11][17]

translated by Paz Márquez-Benítez

O land beloved,
Child of the sunny Orient,
Whose ardent spirit
Ever burns in thy breast!

O land of beauty,
Cradle of valiant warriors,
Tyrant oppressors
Never will daunt thy sons!

On the blue seas and verdant hills
And in the winds and azure skies,
Thy immortal voice of Liberty
We hear in ringing song arise.

On thy dear banner that has led
Thy sons to victory in the fight,
Forever shall its sun and stars
Unclouded shine with golden light.

Philippines, O land beloved of the sun,
On thy dear bosom life is sweet!
But in the hour when men must die for thee,
Gladly our lives we’ll lay at thy feet!

Official Japanese-era Tagalog version:
Diwa ng Bayan (1943)[18]
Unofficial English translation:
Spirit of the Country[b]

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.

Land that is blessed,
that is Pearl of the East;
Nation in union
with [the whole of] nature.

The life and riches
Of the Filipino people
Taken and reclaimed
From foreign hands.

In Thy skies, mountains,
Springs, seas that were conquered
Buried already is the darkness
Of yesterday's suffering.

Pain and tears, hardship,
Difficulty and curse of oppression
Are all gone and [we] are saved
From those who wish to be cruel [to us].

Come, let us celebrate, my beloved race,
Thy flag shall be our guiding light;
And should Thou be once more threatened,
Our corpses shall block the way.

Post-World War II Tagalog version:
O Sintang Lupa (early version c. 1945–1948)[17]

translated by Ildefonso Santos

Unofficial English translation:
O Beloved Land[b]

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

Lupang maguiliw,
Pugad ng kagitingan,
Sa manglulupig
May pamuksang handa.

Sa dagat mo't manga bundok
Sa bughaw mong papawirin;
Kumikislap, pumipitlag
Ang Layang di magmamaliw!

Watawat mong kung may digma
Sa tagumpay pamanglaw din;
Kailanma'y di lalamlam
Ang araw niya't bituin!

Sa iyo, Lupa ng ligaya't pagsinta
Ay kay tamis ng mabuhay.
Datapwa't langit naming ang dahil sa iyo
Kung apihi'y magpakamatay.

O beloved land,
Pearl of the Orient,
A fiery spirit Thou art
From the sun come forth.

Land dearest,
Nest of valour,
Against conquerors
Ready to fight and destroy.

In Thy seas and mountains,
In Thy blue skies,
Shining and leaping to and fro
Is Freedom without end.

Thy flag, when there is war,
Of victory is desirous;
They shall never dim forevermore,
Its sun and stars!

In Thee, Land of joy and loving,
Is so sweet to live.
Therefore it is heaven for us, for Thy sake
When Thou art oppressed, to lay down our lives.

Official post-World War II Tagalog version:
O Sintang Lupa (1948 revision)[19]

translated by Ildefonso Santos

Unofficial English translation:
O Beloved Land[b]

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.

O beloved land,
Pearl of the Orient,
A fiery spirit Thou art
From the sun come forth.

Land dearest,
Nest of valour,
By conquerors
Thou shalt never be slain.

In Thy skies, air, meadows,
Seas and mountains,
Widespread is the heartbeat
of freedom without end.

Thy precious flag symbolizes
Brilliance and victory;
Its sun and stars ablaze
Shall ever be our guiding light.

In Thee, Land of joy and loving,
'Tis sweet to live embraced by Thee.
Therefore heaven, too, if Thou would be oppressed,
Is to die because of Thee.

Misheard lyrics

"Lupang Hinirang" is often taught in schools only during the first year of each educational division (e.g., Grade 1 (in elementary) and Grade 7 (in high school). As time passes, however, students may forget the original lyrics, and replace some words with similar-sounding ones. The most common is the replacement of the word niya (third person possessive; "her/his/its") in "Ang bituin at araw niya" ("its stars and sun") with either nang ("so", "in this manner", "that is") or niya't (contracted "and" with "hers/his").

Other common errors include substitution of na ("when") in "Aming ligaya na 'pag may mang-aapi" ("'Tis our joy when there be oppressor") with "ng" ("of"); "alab" ("flame", "passion") in "Alab ng puso" ("Burning of the heart") with "alam" ("know", "knowledge"); and "mong" (contraction of mo and ng, meaning "yours that is") in "Sa langit mong bughaw" ("in the heavens of yours which is blue") with "mo'y" ("yours is").

Proposed lyrical revision

The final line of the national anthem, Ang mamatay nang dahil sa 'yo (For us thy sons to suffer and die), 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.[20] 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.[21]

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."[9] 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.[9] 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.[9]

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.[22] The NHI says that the proper tempo is a 2/4 and 100 metronomes and that the anthem should last 53 seconds.[22]

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."[23]

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".[1] 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".[1]

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 Code also specifies the penalties for any entity which violates its provisions. A government official or employee who fails to observe the Flag Code may face administrative sanctions in addition to the penalties imposed by law.

See also


  1. ^ Spelled with an F since 1973, affirmed in 1987 – see respective Constitutions
  2. ^ a b c This translation is intended for illustrating the evolution of the Philippine national anthem.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Republic Act No. 8491 (February 12, 1998), An Act prescribing the Code of the National Flag,Anthem, Motto, Coat-of-Arms and other heraldic items and devices of the Philippines, retrieved July 23, 2016
  2. ^ Pomeroy, William J. (1992). The Philippines: Colonialism, Collaboration, and Resistance. International Publishers Co. p. 10. ISBN 0-7178-0692-8. Retrieved January 26, 2008. 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)
  3. ^ Colleen A. Sexton (2006). Philippines in Pictures. Twenty-First Century Books. p. 69. ISBN 978-0-8225-2677-3.
  4. ^ Marshall Cavendish Corporation (September 2007). World and Its Peoples: Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and Brunei. Marshall Cavendish. p. 1242. ISBN 978-0-7614-7642-9.
  5. ^ "Philippines". Retrieved December 26, 2015.
  6. ^ "The National Anthem's predecessor and influences". Malacañang Palace. Retrieved December 26, 2015.
  7. ^ a b 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)
  8. ^ Contemporary restatements of and comments about the original text:
    ^ "The Making of Filipinas". The Philippines Centennial. Retrieved November 12, 2008.
    ^ "The Philippine National Anthem". Filipinas Heritage Library. Archived from the original on August 19, 2018. Retrieved March 30, 2010.
  9. ^ a b c d e 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)
  10. ^ Cribb, Robert; Narangoa Li (July 22, 2003). Imperial Japan and National Identities in Asia, 1895–1945. Routledge. p. 28. ISBN 0-7007-1482-0.
  11. ^ a b Ocampo, Ambeth R. (1995). Mabini's Ghost. Pasig City, Philippines: Anvil Publishing.
  12. ^ Guerrero, Milagros C. "Andres Bonifacio and the 1896 Revolution". National Commission for culture and the Arts (NCCA). Archived from the original on January 18, 2008. Retrieved September 26, 2007.
  13. ^ Kate McGeown (October 5, 2010). "Philippines national anthem abuse subject to new law". BBC News. Retrieved February 12, 2013.
  14. ^ Introduced bills:
  15. ^ Pérez-Grueso, María Dolores Elizalde; Elizalde, María Dolores; Fradera, Josep Maria; Álvarez, L. Alonso; Pacífico, Asociación Española de Estudios del; (Spain), Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (2001). Imperios y naciones en el Pacífico: Colonialismo e identidad nacional en Filipinas y Micronesia (in English and Spanish). Editorial CSIC – CSIC Press. pp. 35–36. ISBN 9788400079383.
  16. ^ Ambeth R. Ocampo (March 14, 2014). "'Lupang Hinirang' or 'Bayang Magiliw'?". The Philippine Daily Inquirer.
  17. ^ a b "Philippine National Anthem". National Library of the Philippines: Digital Collection. Retrieved May 8, 2019.
  18. ^ Dalmacio Martin (1968). "The Evolution of the National Anthem". Silliman Journal: 4.[better source needed]
  19. ^ "O Sintang Lupa". Sintunado. Archived from the original on May 12, 2012.
  20. ^ Joey Ayala's version of 'Lupang Hinirang'
  21. ^ Sotto wants Philippine national anthem revised
  22. ^ a b ABELLA and SOPHIA DEDACE, Jerri (March 14, 2010). "Arnel Pineda's version of RP anthem criticized". GMA News. Retrieved August 23, 2013.
  23. ^ "1987 Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines". RP Government. Archived from the original on September 30, 2007. Retrieved September 26, 2007.

External links

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