Sunday, June 12, 2005

Happy Independence Day!

Imagine my shock today when I found myself singing the Philippine national anthem, "Bayang Magiliw" in church!

In lieu of the recessional hymn, our congregation found itself joining in on a solemn rendition of the national anthem. During the homily, the priest had already tied in the Independence Day theme with the Gospel. He asked us to envision a world where we are truly independent - free of corruption, free of jueteng, free of contested electoral results.

But the ending song was still a shocker... although somehere during the paragraph "Sa dagat at bundok", I realized how the lyrics were acknowledging the beauty of God's creation. And as we got to the end "ang mamatay ng dahil sa iyo", the pledge before God to defend one's country to the death took on a different, transcendent dimension.

My feeling about June 12 though, is that we are celebrating a negative declaration, i.e. "we are no longer enslaved!" Do you know that even in those days of yore, some felt that the declaration was unnecessary, i.e. that we were already independent to begin with?

As a Strong Republic, perhaps we should instead celebrate Republic Day - the day on which the First Philippine Republic was born: January 23, 1899. The day the Philippines became Asia's first republic!

What about you, do you feel as I do that Republic Day is what we should really be celebrating? And how do you feel about singing the national anthem in church? Share your thoughts with me below!


At Wed Jun 15, 06:33:00 PM, Blogger bizdriven said...

singing the national anthem in church. why not?

We are all citizens...

At Thu Jun 16, 11:45:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good point! I myself had to ask a friend to remind me who it was we were celebrating independence from, and I remarked it didn't feel like such a huge accomplishment to celebrate (unlike freedom from Spain). You should make that suggestion about "Republic Day"!

At Sat Jun 18, 12:57:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I fervently believe that our real 'Independence Day' happened on July 4. But it'll look like we're trying to be too American.

My history prof failed to tell me the reason about July 4. But I still remember the 10 year quota and the Commonwealth.

At Mon Jul 04, 01:43:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, our national anthem is called "Lupang Hinirang."

At Mon Jul 04, 02:56:00 PM, Blogger dondimapa said...

Thank you, I stand corrected!

At Sat Aug 06, 03:32:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just FYI: In many (if not all) churches here in the US, it is customary to sing the "Star Spangled Banner" and "America the Beautiful" during Independece Day (July 4) celebration/ceremony.

So why not do it in RP as well?

~monching (washington, dc)


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