Sotto cops out on proposal to change anthem’s lyrics

/ 07:27 AM September 22, 2018

Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III. file photo / CATHY MIRANDA

Senate President Vicente Sotto III has given up on his proposal to change the last line of the national anthem after drawing flak on social media.

In a post on his Twitter account on Thursday night, Sotto addressed criticisms over his suggestion to revise the lyrics of “Lupang Hinirang,” the original Spanish version of which was penned by Jose Palma.


“Maraming mahina intindi-miento. Ayaw niyo? Huwag! (Many people have poor understanding. You don’t want it? Then don’t!),” the senator said on his Twitter account, @sotto_tito.

But Sotto said he preferred folk icon Joey Ayala’s rendition of the national anthem, as its lyrics were properly pronounced.


“I will support Joey Ayala’s version of singing the national anthem. The pronunciation and intonation are correct,” he said.

‘Wrong cadence of words’

The senator blamed the “wrong cadence of words” in the “original translation from the Spanish to Filipino lyrics.”

He was referring to Ayala’s rendition of “Lupang Hinirang” in 2013 that was slower and featured properly pronounced Filipino words.

Ayala’s version replaced the last line with “ang magmahal nang dahil sa iyo (to love because of you),” instead of the original “ang mamatay nang dahil sa iyo (to die because of you).”

It is the last line in the original lyrics that Sotto wants to replace with what he says is a less defeatist line, “ang ipaglaban kalayaan mo (to fight for your freedom).”

While respecting Congress’ prerogative on the proposal, Malacañang views the change in lyrics as unnecessary, given the more pressing problems the country is facing.—JULIE M. AURELIO


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