Alternative national anthems

/ 05:12 AM October 11, 2018

A slight revision of the national anthem isn’t that bad an idea—had it not come from Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III, a loyal ally of the proimperialist Duterte administration and a staunch supporter of the government’s bloody drug war.

Sotto’s reputation as a politician is so unprogressive that even the popular noontime show host Vice Ganda couldn’t help but ridicule his suggestion.


In any case, we don’t have to go as far as revising “Lupang Hinirang” if the objective is really to instill nationalism in the hearts of Filipinos.

All we need to do is identify the song that could serve as our alternative national anthem for its relevance and assertion of national independence and freedom. Here are  a few suggestions.


“Bayan Ko”: Jose Corazon de Jesus wrote the lyrics of this anti-imperialist song composed by Constancio de Guzman in the 1930s, which would later become a protest anthem against the fascist Marcos regime.

It was also featured in Lino Brocka’s “Bayan Ko: Kapit sa Patalim,” and remains a staple in antimartial law demonstrations today.

“Lupang Sinira”: a patriotic song by protest music icon Paul Galang that was inspired by “Lupang Hinirang.” It offers a more assertive ending: “Aming ligaya na makitang bayan ay hindi api/ang pumatay nang dahil sa iyo.”

“Bayan, Bayan, Bayan Ko”: written by professor Joel Costa Malabanan in 1998. The lyrics of this song, which encourage the people to continue the fight of Andres Bonifacio, is often changed to suit the occasion, while its chorus is a favorite chant among activists in protest rallies.

Other possible choices include: “Huwag ka nang Lumuha, Aking Inang Bayan” by Ramon Ayco, “Ako’y Isang Pinoy” by Florante de Leon, “Tayo’y mga Pinoy” by Heber Bartolome, and “Lupa” by The Jerks.

DANIEL ALOC, [email protected]

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