We know the lyrics to heart and we automatically stand up and put our hands on our chest whenever we hear its first notes, but we never think about who composed the Lupang Hinirang. Our national anthem is 117 years old but do we really know the composer, Julian Felipe?
The Malacañan Palace Facebook page paid tribute to the composer on his birthday, with the caption:
#todayinhistory — On January 28, 1861, Julian Felipe was born in Cavite City. By virtue of Republic Act No. 7805 of 1994, this day is celebrated as Julian Felipe Day.
Felipe composed the Marcha Nacional Filipina, which was played during the Proclamation of Philippine Independence on June 12, 1898, and remains our national anthem to this day.
Even at a young age, Felipe wrote compositions that moved many music enthusiasts. Some even considered his works at par with experienced musicians. When the revolution broke out, he fought the Spaniards with his fellow Cavitenos, eventually getting jailed in Fort San Felipe in Cavite. When he was freed, he joined Emilio Aguinaldo’s troop and wrote compositions that inspired Filipinos.
Curiously, the national anthem we know today is our second. Our first was actually “Marangal na Dalit ng Katagalugan, which was commissioned by Andres Bonifacio in 1897. The composer was Julio Nakpil.
In 1898, President Aguinaldo met with Felipe to compose a national hymn. Julian Felipe said that he used three other musical pieces as basis for our National Anthem: The Marcha Real, the Grand March from Giuseppe Verdi’s Aida, and La Marseillaise. Now, we have the national anthem we know today.
Happy birthday, Julian Felipe!
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