Philippines tells anthem crooners not to do it their way


Posted at Oct 05 2010 04:47 PM | Updated as of Oct 06 2010 12:48 AM

MANILA, Philippines - In the Philippines, a land of passionate singers, taking on the national anthem is about to get a little more daunting -- get it wrong and you could land in jail for a couple of years and be fined more than $2,000.


Martin Nievera earlier drew flak from the National Historical Institute (NHI) for his alleged wrong rendition of Lupang Hinirang, the Philippine National anthem.


A ban on the improper singing of Lupang Hinirang (Beloved Land) and unpatriotic displays of the Philippine flag is a Senate vote away from becoming law after the lower house voted 196-0 in favour of it on Monday.

"Our Congress has given more teeth to government's campaign to invigorate patriotism, respect and love of country by singing our anthem properly," Representative Salvador Escudero, the bill's principal author, told reporters.

He lamented that Filipino artists and singers had been changing the anthem's military march melody and beat, and that the flag had been made into shirts and short pants.

If the Senate passes the law, the first approved by the lower house since the change of administrations in June, violators face up to 2 years in jail and a fine of P100,000 ($2,280).