Yeah, I’m one of the many who’s somehow disappointed in Arnel Pineda’s rendition of ‘Lupang Hinirang” in yesterday’s Pacquiao versus Clottey bout. Since there had been so many criticisms about the singing of the Philippine National Anthem before, I expected Arnel would do it correctly.
According to Wikipedia:
R.A. 8491 specifies that Lupang Hinirang “shall be in accordance with the musical arrangement and composition of Julian Felipe.” 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 Julian Felipe. Moreover, because 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 is uncertain if this will either slow down or even double the music’s speed, making it difficult for singers to keep up with the music. Regardless of this, the national anthem is still sung with the lyrics. R.A. 8491 also 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.
The National Anthem is usually played during public gatherings in the Philippines or in foreign countries where the Filipino audience is sizable. R.A. 8491 also provides that it be played at other occasions as may be allowed by the National Historical Institute. R.A. 8491 prohibits its playing or singing for mere recreation, amusement, or entertainment except during the following occasions:
- International competitions where the Philippines is the host or has a representative;
- Local competitions;
- During the “signing off” and “signing on” of radio broadcasting and television stations; and
- Before the initial and last screening of films and before the opening of theater performances.
R.A. 8491 specifies fine or imprisonment penalties for any person or juridical entity which violates its provisions. Public or government official or employee who fail to observe the regulations of R.A. 8491 may face administrative sanctions, besides the penalties imposed by the same law. This warning also applies to persons connected with government-held corporations, public schools, and state colleges and universities.
Regardless of what the law says, STILL – that is not the way we were taught in school to sing our National Anthem. Even elementary students can sing it properly – even if they’re out of tune, at least they are in accordance of how it should be sang. Arnel’s tempo in the beginning of the song is slower but still fine as it progresses. In fairness to him, he uttered each word clearly and meaningfully – giving emphasis to the lyrics. But when the last part came in, he suddenly shifted it to a higher note which made it unpleasant because at that moment you’ll notice that something’s wrong – very very wrong. Because of that, I expect a lot of criticisms will surface the headlines again including mine.
Below is the video clip of Arnel Pineda’s rendition and see it for yourself: