Lupang Hinirang

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Lupang Hinirang[1]
English: Chosen Land
Spanish: Patria Adorada
Sheet Lupang hinirang.jpg
Music Sheet of Lupang Hinirang

National anthem of  Philippines
Lyrics José Palma, 1899
Original Spanish lyrics
Music Julián Felipe, 1898

1899 (Original Lyrics)

1963 (Official)
Music sample

Lupang Hinirang (English: Chosen Land) is the national anthem of the Philippines. Its music was composed in 1898 by Julian Felipe, and the lyrics were adapted from the Spanish poem Filipinas, written by José Palma in 1899. Originally written as incidental music, it did not have lyrics when it was adopted as the anthem of the revolutionary First Philippine Republic and subsequently played during the proclamation of Philippine independence on June 12, 1898.

Under the American Period, the Flag Act of 1907 prohibited the public display of flags, banners, emblems, or devices used by revolutionaries in the Philippine-American War.[2] Under color of this law, the colonial government banned the song from being played.[3] The Flag Law was repealed in 1919.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, and a final, Filipino version from 1956 was revised in the 1960s to the present lyrics. Over the years, several English versions came into use. On February 12, 1998, Republic Act № 8491 set out the Filipino lyrics, abandoning use of the Spanish and English versions.[1]


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 "Philippine Hymn" was legalised by Commonwealth Act № 382.[6] That Act, however, only concerns itself with the instrumental composition by Julián Felipe.


Lupang Hinirang began as an instrumental march 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 found unsatisfactory. The original title of this new march was Marcha Filipina Mágdalo ("Mágdalo Philippine 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 11 June 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 Aïda; and the French national anthem, La Marseillaise.[7] It was played by the Banda San Francisco de Malabón (now called the Banda Matanda, from present-day General Trias) during the proclamation rites on 12 June.

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

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][10] In the 1920s, the time signature was changed to 4/4 to facilitate its singing and the key was changed from the original C major to G.[10]

After the repeal of the Flag Law (which banned the use of all Filipino national 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 poetess 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.[11]

During the term of President Ramon Magsaysay, Education Secretary Gregorio Hernández formed a commission to revise the lyrics. On 26 May 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 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.[12]

Other anthems[edit]

Lupang Hinirang was not the first Filipino national anthem to be conceived. The composer and revolutionist Julio Nakpil penned Marangál 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 organisation into a revolutionary government—with himself as President—known as the Repúblika ng Katagalugan (Tagalog Republic) just before hostilities erupted.[13] 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 República Filipina. The anthem, later renamed Himno Nacional, was never adopted by Aguinaldo for unspecified reasons. It should be noted that 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 León 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.


The following Spanish, Filipino and English 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 12 February 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.[14][15]

Original Spanish Version
Filipinas (1899)
Official Commonwealth-Era
English Version
The Philippine Hymn (1938)
Official Tagalog Version
Lupang Hinirang
(1958 rev. 1960's)

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

¡Tierra de amores!
Del heroísmo cuna,
Los invasores
No te hollarán 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 ni 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 tyrants 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 ng dahil sa iyo.

Historical Lyrics translation with Corresponding Unofficial English Translations of each[edit]

Official Japanese-era Tagalog version:
Diwa ng Bayan (1943)[citation needed]
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 pagaamis;
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 invaded
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.

Official post-World War II Tagalog version:
O Sintang Lupa (1948)[17]
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 cometh.

Land dearest,
Nest of valour,
To the conquerors
Thou shalt never fall.

In Thy skies, air, meadows,
Seas and mountains,
Widespread is the heartbeat
of freedom never-ending.

Thy dear 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,
Would be to die because of Thee.

Misheard lyrics[edit]

The Lupang Hinirang is often taught in schools only during the first year of each educational division (e.g. Grade 1, Grade 4, 1st Year of 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 ("her/his/its") in "Ang bituin at araw niya" ("its stars and sun") with either nang ("so", "in this manner") or niya't ("and 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").

Music and tempo[edit]

R.A. 8491 specifies that Lupang Hinirang "shall be in accordance with the musical arrangement and composition of Julián Felipe."[10] 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 must be slowed down to fit the lyrics, or the music will be so fast that singers would be unable keep pace with the music.[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.[18] The NHI says that the proper tempo is a 2/4 and 100 metronomes and that it should last 53 seconds.[18]

Usage and regulation[edit]

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."[19]

Flag and Heraldic Code of the Philippines[edit]

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 "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. 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 "signing on" and "signing off" of radio broadcasting and television stations; 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[edit]


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


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "Flag and Heraldic Code of the Philippines". The LawPhil Project. Retrieved March 30, 2010. 
  2. ^ "Act No. 1696, Flag Law". Philippine Laws, Statutes and Codes. August 23, 1907.  External link in |work= (help)
  3. ^ Pomeroy, William J. (Published 1992). The Philippines: Colonialism, Collaboration, and Resistance. International Publishers Co. p. 10. ISBN 0-7178-0692-8. Retrieved 26 January 2008.  Check date values in: |date= (help); 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. 
  4. ^ Colleen A. Sexton (2006). Philippines in Pictures. Twenty-First Century Books. p. 69. ISBN 978-0-8225-2677-3. 
  5. ^ Marshall Cavendish Corporation (September 2007). "World and Its Peoples: Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and Brunei". Marshall Cavendish. p. 1242. ISBN 978-0-7614-7642-9. 
  6. ^ "Philippines". 
  7. ^ "The National Anthem’s predecessor and influences". 
  8. ^ 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 2010-03-31)
  9. ^ a b Contemporary restatements of and comments about the original text:
    ^ "The Making of Filipinas". The Philippines Centennial. Retrieved 2008-11-12. 
    ^ "The Philippine National Anthem". Filipinas Heritage Library. Retrieved 2010-03-30. 
  10. ^ 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 26 May 2005)
  11. ^ Cribb, Robert; Narangoa Li (2003-07-22). mperial Japan and National Identities in Asia, 1895-1945. Routledge. p. 28. ISBN 0-7007-1482-0. 
  12. ^ Ocampo, Ambeth R. (1995). Mabini's Ghost. Pasig City, Philippines: Anvil Publishing. 
  13. ^ Guerrero, Milagros C. "Andres Bonifacio and the 1896 Revolution". National Commission for culture and the Arts (NCCA). Archived from the original on 18 January 2008. Retrieved 26 September 2007.  (archived from the original) on 2008-01-18.
  14. ^ Kate McGeown (5 October 2010). "Philippines national anthem abuse subject to new law". BBC News. Retrieved 12 February 2013. 
  15. ^ Introduced bills:
  16. ^ "The Philippines Flag and the National Anthem". eSerbisyo. Government of the Republic of the Philippines. 2008. Archived from the original on 2012-03-23. Retrieved 2010-05-04. 
  17. ^ [1], (archived from the original on 2012-05-12).
  18. ^ a b ABELLA and SOPHIA DEDACE,, Jerri (March 14, 2010). "Arnel Pineda’s version of RP anthem criticized". GMA News. Retrieved 23 August 2013. 
  19. ^ "1987 Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines". RP Government. Archived from the original on 30 September 2007. Retrieved 26 September 2007. 

External links[edit]