Did you know that the Philippine National Anthem “Lupang Hinirang” was originally written in Spanish?
Historically, the melody was a year earlier than the words for our national anthem.
On June 5, 1989, the Philippines first president, Emilio Aguinaldo, commissioned Julian Felipe to prepare a composition to be played during the independence ceremonies on June 12, otherwise known as the day Philippine independence was declared. Felipe wrote the Marcha Nacional Filipina (Philippine National March) which the band of San Francisco de Malabon played for the first time on June 12 during the unfurling of the Filipino flag at Kawit.
A year later, in August 1899 to be exact, a poet-soldier named Jose Palma wrote the Spanish poem Filipinas. It was published on September 3, 1899 in the newspaper La Independencia and was later set to the tune of Marcha Nacional Filipina.
It was later translated to English (“The Philippine Hymn”), and by the 1940s, Filipino translations began appearing. It was on May 26, 1956 that the Filipino translation was first sung. It is Felipe Padilla de León’s translation that is currently being used today.