Tweak the national anthem? Palace says there are more pressing issues

Dharel Placido, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 20 2018 04:56 PM | Updated as of Sep 20 2018 05:33 PM

MANILA - Malacañang on Thursday said it was leaving it up to Congress whether or not to push for the revision of the national anthem even as it noted that there were more pressing issues that need lawmakers’ attention.

“Iniiwan na po namin iyan sa Kongreso, mas maraming mas matitinding problema na dapat harapin. Bahala na po ang Kongreso diyan,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a Palace press briefing.

(We are leaving that up to Congress, but there are more pressing issues that need to be addressed. The Congress will take care of it.)

Senate President Vicente Sotto III earlier proposed to change the closing lines of the song to give it a more positive meaning.

Instead of this line, which talks of the Filipinos' willingness to sacrifice their life for the nation in the face of oppression: 

"Aming ligaya na 'pag may mang-aapi,
Ang mamatay nang dahil sa'yo" 

Sotto prefers this line, which changes the final message with Filipinos' commitment to defending the country's independence: 

"Aming ligaya na 'pag may mang-aapi, 
Ang ipaglaban kalayaan mo"

The lawmaker explained that he thinks the current lyrics of the national anthem have a defeatist message.

“My suggestion is perhaps the proper Senate Committee should study and we can consult the NCCA (National Commission for Culture and the Arts) to look at that possibility," he said.

Sotto also called upon Filipinos to sing the national anthem properly and to practice proper pronunciation.

"Lupang Hinirang" was composed in 1898 by Julian Felipe. Its lyrics were written by Jose Palma a year later.