Chic A La Mode Health and Fitness Travel Home Improvements   Inspirational Stories  Flower Hunt Craft Bug Poetic Murmurings Varied Themes

Sunday, June 7, 2009

lupang hinirang

i was moved by this entry when i first read it, it still move me to this day. thank's mj for letting our site, The Salitype Society, post this inspirational story in time for our grand unveiling...Lupang Hinirang was first published in MJ's It's A beautiful Life blog.

It was the 37th annual Filipino Christmas Party in Raleigh County, West Virginia, and we were thrilled to be there!
About 200 well-dressed, noisy Pinoys excitedly milled around the convention center, doing what Pinoys in other countries normally do when they run into each other at gatherings … hugging, chit-chatting away, eyeing each others’ outfits (and dates) and heaping loads of compliments on each other. And then, of course, posing beside the Christmas tree, beside the "Maligayang Pasko" sign, beside each other, beside the tables of food and snapping picture after picture while the American guests looked on, probably wondering, "What’s up with these Filipinos? Why do they like to take pictures so much?"
Oh, and then there was the food! Good ol’ Pinoy food that is often hard to find here … pansit, lumpia, adobo and much more, plus a whole table devoted to desserts such as palitaw, leche flan, suman and other malagkit treats.
Rog and I stuffed ourselves full of these goodies. We ate like there was no tomorrow, so to speak … and then we milled around, made some new friends, took lots of pictures, ate some more, made more new friends … and then, all at once, the emcee’s voice on the loudspeaker brought everyone to attention.
"Before we begin the entertainment part of the program," the man said, "we will sing the Philippine National Anthem."
A hush fell over the Fil-Am crowd. All eyes turned toward the giant projection screen, where the lyrics appeared. And then, with the push of a button, the all-familiar "Lupang Hinirang" began to play.
Now, as a child and, later on, as a young adult growing up in the Philippines, I heard this song almost everyday, every week. I heard and sang it so often that, in time, whatever it meant and represented, whatever beauty the lyrics were supposed to portray sort of died, or disappeared somewhere. The fast-paced anthem (which Rog said sounded much better, much livelier than "The Star Spangled Banner") began to sound rather old and boring to me after a while. I guess it’s sort of like eating your favorite food constantly. Say you’re crazy about extra crispy KFC chicken (like me!). You would probably enjoy eating that for 2 days straight, but eventually, you find yourself saying, "KFC chicken na naman!!" And after a few more days of the same dish, chances are you would begin to dislike it. I suppose that’s human nature.
But, anyway, I had NEVER heard "Lupang Hinirang" played or sung in public for the seven years that I have been living in these United States … until the Pinoy Christmas Party.
Rog and I were sitting around a table, talking with some new friends when all this started, and I was in such awe that finally I was hearing the national anthem again, after all these time, that I forgot to stand until Rog pulled me to my feet.
So there I was, standing at attention with Rog by my side as the familiar strains filled the room.

Bayang magiliw, perlas ng silanganan

For some weird reason, I felt a lump in my throat. I tried to sing, but I couldn’t get over that achy feeling. And then I realized, with a start, that I was getting all emotional because I hadn’t heard the Philippine National Anthem in so many years. Hard to believe, but I actually missed it.
Alab ng puso, sa dibdib mo’y buhay
I finally was able to croak out some lyrics. But as I began singing softly and as the anthem gained momentum (and how beautiful it sounded!), my eyes filled with tears.
Lupang hinirang, duyan ka ng magiting
I thought about the everyday flag ceremony I so dreaded when I was in grade school and high school … how everyone was required to be in formation in front of the school by 7 a.m. and sing the anthem out loud as the flag was hoisted rapidly to the top of the pole. Heck, we even had flag retreat sometimes, at the end of the school day. We sang the song so often that it meant nothing to me after a while. So why was I having such a hard time fighting back tears, I wondered.
Sa manlulupig, di ka pasisiil
And then I thought about my life now, far from the country I used to call home … away from mom, dad and my one and only brother, Moe. I thought about how I am the only Filipino employee at my company, and how, when I started working there almost 7 years ago, I struggled hard to fit in … to understand the slang English people speak around here … to make myself understood (and I thought I spoke such good English to begin with) … to learn to drive … to learn to pump gas by myself … to stand up against a couple of guys at work who made harrassing comments. A lot of struggles for a little Filipina who, through some weird twist of fate, landed in this mountainous region of the United States in the Fall of 2000.

Sa dagat at bundok, sa simoy at sa langit mong bughaw

I realized, halfway through the song, that the reason I was so tore up was that no matter how long I’ve been away from the Philippines, I will always, ALWAYS be a Filipino at heart. I will always somehow miss the feeling of being in OUR VERY OWN country, no matter how poor it may be … the feeling of being a first-class citizen, not second-class, like here … the feeling that you belong, that you don’t have to try hard to adjust to a different culture, to fit in … you can be YOU! That’s the way it was back there.
May dilag ang tula at awit sa paglayang minamahal
As the song went on, I had flashbacks of childhood days spent playing "Luksong Tinik" or "Taguan" or "Tumbang preso" … or "Patintero" by the light of the full moon … games that kids of this generation probably have never heard about. I recalled taking bumpy rides with mom, dad and Moe in those popular Jeepneys or tricycles just to get to Manila to do some shopping. This was before we got our first car. I remembered how we would stop and buy some yummy balut or isaw from sidewalk vendors when we felt like having a little snack and how, when we asked for softdrinks, the vendors would pour the pop from the bottle into these small clear plastic bags, throw a straw in and hand it to us. I thought about how much fun I had growing up in that warm, tropical archipelago across the seas.
Ang kislap ng watawat mo’y tagumpay na nagniningning
I thought again about my work, and how much I’ve grown to love it … how much I’ve adjusted to working in an American newspaper in the past couple of years … and how far I’ve come. I thought, too, about all my other friends who are here in the States, working in American hospitals or other companies … struggling through their own periods of adjustment just so they can stay and work here for good, so their families, their kids may have better lives and futures.
Ang bituin at araw niya kailan pa ma’y di magdidilim
I thought to myself (and I’m sharing these thoughts with all my kababayans out there, both here in the States and in other countries): We are Filipinos. We may sign some papers and raise our hand and pledge to be a citizen of another country eventually, but in our hearts we will ALWAYS remain Pinoys.
Lupa ng araw, ng luwalhati’t pagsinta …
As we gear up to welcome a brand new year, let us make a silent vow to represent the Philippines to the best of our abilities in our community and in our workplace - wherever that may be … a hospital, a newspaper, a fastfood place, a hotel chain or elsewhere.

Buhay ay langit sa piling mo

Let us work hard, really hard at whatever we do for a living because that, I believe, is what the true Pinoy spirit is all about: Hard work, integrity, discipline … and the drive to go that extra mile, when a job needs to be done thoroughly.
Aming ligaya, na pag may mang-aapi …
God bless the Philippines … such a beautiful tropical country with warm smiles, beautiful beaches and friendly people. A country that sadly has been floundering, both economically and politically, for a long, long time now.

Ang mamatay nang dahil sa yo
Let’s hope the new year brings about some positive changes back there. Let’s pray that God and Lady Luck or whatever Spirit of Good you believe in smiles down on this Pearl of the Orient, and leads her to brighter days.
I’m proud to be a Filipino.


article lifted from mj's blog, it's a beautiful life, with written permission of the owner.


  1. MJ.. I am proud to be a Filipino too! Being away for a long time makes me appreciate more what we have in our country, our culture and traditions, our family ! When ever I feel lonely, tired and weary .. I think about our country and it gives me a lot of reasons to smile and look forward to coming home someday.

  2. oh!i was touched by this post,truly inspiring.we are pinoy no matter where we are.the philippines is our home,i embrace it with all its flaws and shortcomings. it is the only place where i can be myself and feel i belonged.


  3. MJ, this post brings tear to my eyes. I miss hearing and singing our National Anthem too, and since my stay here in US, I never got the change to hear it sang yet. though frankly speaking, I do not feel really like a stranger here in US nor a 2nd class citizen ( I did not even apply for a citizenship here yet since I stick to my Filipino citizenship ). Maybe because I live in a more diverse state with just so many nationalities and we kind of embrace these diversity, learning from a lot of other cultures, and I have learned, like them to embrace each other and be a part of this diversity. However, there is just no place like home, where we grew up with and where we can identify our childhood with. Needless to say, the heart continues to long for home, that is our country. The love for our home country always stay wherever we are.

  4. I remember getting teary eyed just seeing Philippine flag waving along the main street in San Francisco - can't imagine how much more hearing our national anthem.

  5. there's no place like HOME... i miss Philippines!!!

  6. I share your sentiments guys. When the Lupang Hinirang was sung during Pacquiao's game, Doods and I and our Filipino friends stood up and placed our hands in our chest -it was so automatic. We were assailed by nostalgia! I am proud to be Pinoy!

  7. MJ this is really wonderful... i remember when we watch the "Feuerwerkswettweberb" (in english: firecrackers contest) in Hanoover, they play our National Anthem Lupang Hinirang... and i can't explain how i felt that time upon hearing it, and i almost cry... yes, i am proud to be Filipino! ;) remember guys? we won in that contest, 3rd place teehee ;) not bad eh? ;)

  8. *fireworks* i mean, sorry guys ;)




#navbar-iframe { display: none !important; }