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Sotto gives up proposed PH anthem revisions


By Vanne Elaine Terrazola

Senate President Vicente Sotto III conceded on his suggestion of changing the last line of the Philippine national anthem after drawing flak from those who oppose it.

Senator Vicente “Tito” Sotto III gestures after elected as a newly Senate President at Senate Building in Pasay city, May 21,2018.(Czar Dancel)

Senate President Vicente Sotto III

Sotto, in a Twitter post Thursday night, addressed criticisms over his appeal to revise the “Lupang Hinirang.”

“Maraming mahina intindimiento (sic). Ayaw n’yo? Huwag!” Sotto said. (A lot of people have poor understanding. You don’t want it? Then don’t!)

Sotto maintained that the national anthem should be sung with the proper pronunciation of Filipino words. He cited singer-composer Joey Ayala, who, during a talk in 2013, sang his rendition of the Lupang Hinirang.

“I will support Joey Ayala’s version of singing the national anthem. Tama pronunciation and intonation (His pronunciation and intonation were correct),” Sotto said, later posting a link to Ayala’s talk.

“The original translation from Spanish to English to Filipino is the cause of the wrong cadence of words,” he explained.

Sotto, during his interpellation last Tuesday on the bill seeking to modify the Philippine flag, suggested the amendment of the last line of the national anthem.

He described as “defeatist” the line, “Aming ligaya na ’pag may mang-aapi, ang mamatay nang dahil sa ‘yo (But it is glory ever, when thou art wronged, for us thy sons to suffer and die).”

He proposed to replace the last line with “ang ipaglaban kalayaan mo (to fight for your freedom).”

The Palace, although respecting Congress’ prerogative on the matter, also viewed Sotto’s suggestion as unnecessary, saying there are more serious problems in the country to address.

Ayala, during his talk, shared Sotto’s sentiment that there could be a more positive ending to the national anthem.

In his version of the national anthem, which is slower, he replaced the last line with, “ang magmahal nang dahil sayo (to love because of you).”

Ayala also addressed the commonly-mispronounced phrases in the Lupang Hinirang, particularly as the “Sa dagat at bundok, sa simoy, at sa langit mong bughaw.”

Ayala’s version, viewed 1.7 million times on YouTube, was lauded by netizens for making the National Anthem more nationalistic and understandable.

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