The last line of the Lupang Hinirang about giving one's life for the country isn't defeatist.
According to a historian, it's the ultimate sign of patriotism.
“Any changes can be proposed, but the question is, tama ba 'yung ginagawa? It is not right. Kailangan makita ang buong konteksto ng kanta. Bakit 'yan nilagay diyan?" Jose Victor Torres told GMA News Online.
Torres is a professor of history at the De La Salle University. He also has a doctorate in history from the University of Santo Tomas.
"Kelan ba sinulat ang Lupang Hinirang? It was written at a time when we were at war, the independence is under attack, and the highest form of sacrifice is fighting for independence and dying for our country," Torres said.
"Hindi 'yan defeatist. It is patriotism,” he added.
Senate President Vicente Sotto III earlier this week proposed that the last line of Lupang Hinirang be changed from “Aming ligaya na 'pag may mag-aapi; Ang mamatay nang dahil sa'yo” to "Aming ligaya na 'pag may mag-aapi; Ang ipaglaban ang kalayaan mo.”
"Kasi naman dalawang linya o verse lang ang kinuha niya," Torres said.
"Kung ganun, eh kung kukunin natin ang unang dalawang linya, 'Bayang magiliw; Perlas ng Silanganan.' Puede rin 'yang tourism ad. Kaya kailangan tignan ang buong konteksto ng kanta," he added.
Torres said that while the Philippines was not at war, the highest form of sacrifice remained giving life for the country.
“Malaki ang value niyan lalo na sa ating mga sundalo na ini-aalay ang kanilang buhay para sa bayan,” Torres said.
“It is downright wrong and insulting, especially for those in the military who sing that national anthem every day, and are really dying to preserve the dignity of our nation. Ang linaw linaw, hindi siya defeatist,” he added.
Torres also balked at Sotto's position that it was just a slight revision.
“Slight revision? Any revision, no matter how slight, is a revision. If you change something, you change everything,” Torres said.
Lupang Hinirang's musical arrangement was composed by Julian Felipe in 1898, but its accompanying lyrics in Spanish were only done by Jose Palma in 1899.
It was only translated in Filipino in the 1940s and the final version of it in Filipino was written by Felipe Padilla de Leon. —NB, GMA News