Everyone knows Julian Felipe was the composer of Lupang Hinirang. But before he wrote the Philippine National Anthem, he was first born on January 28, 1961 in Cavite City. He studied at public school in Cavite and Binondo, Manila for his primary education. His musical talent began when he was ten years old, under the instruction of Leandro Cosca. Pedro Catalan, a recollect priest, taught him to play piano after the death of Cosca. He was employed as an organist at the San Pedro Parish Church in Cavite. Felipe also taught music at girls’ school the La Sagrada Familia. Felipe produced such pieces as Aurorita, Danza (Early Dawn Danza), Cintas y Flores (Ribbon and Flowers), and Motete al Santisimo (Motet to the Most Holy). He became a member of the prestigious Santa Cecilia Musical Society. And in 1896, he joined the Philippine revolution and because of this, he was imprisoned at Fort Santiago. He was found innocent and released on June 2, 1897. In 1898, Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo asked him to compose a march befitting the occasion. Felipe’s composition titled, Marcha Nacional Filipina, also known as Himno Nacional Filipino, was approved by Aguinaldo and other revolutionary leaders. On June 12, 1898, after the reading of the proclamation, the band of San Francisco de Malabon played the march for the very first time as Philippine Flag was hoisted. Felipe died on October 2, 1944 in Sampaloc, Manila. Jose Palma was the one who wrote a poem entitled Filipinas to accompany the national anthem. The score of Felipe’s march was published with the poem, Filipinas, as lyrics. And so, the Philippines National Anthem was finally complete with words and music. During President Ramon Magsaysay’s term, the national anthem was officially sung in Filipino. It was translated by Eldefonso Santos and Julian Cruz Balmaceda and was officially proclaimed on May 26, 1956.
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