The national anthem’s “rape” by the Tagalogs commissioned by President Magsaysay (Part 1)
CEBUPEDIA - Clarence Paul Oaminal (The Freeman) - October 5, 2018 - 12:00am

Our national anthem was originally written in Spanish. When the anthem was played on June 12, 1898 at Kawit, Cavite, it was without its lyrics, it was composed as an instrumental march. It was, in fact, entitled “Marcha Filipina Magdalo” by Julian Felipe.


The flag-raising and declaration of independence by General Emilio Aguinaldo in Kawit, Cavite, was two months belated by Cebu’s “Jura de Bandera.” Cebuano patriots at the height of Battle of Tres de Abril (April 3, 1898), two days after the execution of General Leon Kilat, converged and made a solemn pledge to get rid of the Spaniards. It was on April 10, 1898 at the hills of Bitlang, Sudlon, Cebu City, that Cebuanos made the flag-raising, pre-dating the widely and nationally known “Philippine Declaration of Independence” on June 12, 1898. The march (anthem) was purely instrumental, unlike Cebu’s flag-raising which was accompanied by lyrics, sung with fervor by the patriots of Cebu, the descendants of Lapu-Lapu and King Tupas, the Cebuano forebears who killed Magellan and evicted General Miguel Lopez de Legaspi. These are the same Bisayans who were never subjugated by Legaspi who fled Cebu and established the Spanish seat of government in Manila.

It was a year after the flag-raising in Kawit, Cavite, that the lyrics of our national anthem came into being. Jose Palma wrote the poem “Filipinas” in 1899 to serve as the lyrics of the march. It is therefore erroneous that the national anthem is entitled “Lupang Hinirang” when the instrumental march composed by Julian Felipe in 1898 never had that title, so the lyrics written by Jose Palma never used such words as the title.

For brevity of discussion, CEBUpedia prints the original text of our national anthem. These are only the first four and last four lines of the poem of Jose Palma:

Tierra adorada

Hijas del sol de Oriente

Su fuego ardiente en ti latiendo esta.

Patria de amores!

Tierra de dichas, del sol y amores,

En tu regazo dulce es vivir.

Es una gloria para tus hijos,

Cuando de ofenden, por ti morir.

The first line of the poem which became our national’s anthem lyrics could not be correctly translated as “Bayang Magiliw” so as the last two lines as “Aming ligaya na pag may mang-aapi, Ang mamatay ng dahil sa iyo.” The spirit of the words of the composer, Jose Palma, was raped when his poem was translated into Tagalog. (To be continued)

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