The Philippines is commemorating the 119th anniversary of its independence on Monday, with Filipinos proudly raising the Philippine flag from Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao and even in tumultuous Marawi City in Lanao del Sur.
When there’s a declaration of independence, there’s music.
By hoisting the Philippine flag to the music of the Marcha Filipina Magdalo, now known as the “Lupang Hinirang,” the country proclaimed its sovereignty and independence from Spain on June 12, 1898.
Music soared the Filipino spirit and 119 years later, the same music stirs the nation to unite and protect the freedom that our heroes and ancestors died for.
Since the country is the home of some of the best choirs in the world, here’s a selection of choral pieces that tell the story of Filipino people’s long search for freedom, unity and lasting peace.
“Lupang Hinirang,” the country’s national anthem, was composed by Julian Felipe. Jose Palma’s Spanish poem Filipinas became the basis for the lyrics.
The Philippine Meistersingers, formerly known as the Adventist University of the Philippines Ambassadors, sing the choral arrangement of “Lupang Hinirang” by the late National Artist for Music Lucio San Pedro in Los Angeles, California.
The Philippine Meistersingers is one of the country’s most active choirs, proclaimed as the 2011 Choir of the World and the 2006 World Choir Games Champion.
Isang Lahi, Isang Dugo, Isang Musika
The Philippine Madrigal Singers, two-time winner of the European Grand Prix for Choral Singing, perform the “Isang Lahi, Isang Dugo, Isang Musika” by Richard Reynoso, arranged for choir by Robert Delgado.
The song calls for unity among Filipino Christians and Muslims.
Bayan Ko by Jose Corazon de Jesus, arranged for choir by Ramon “Bojo” Lijauco, Jr., musical director of The Philippine Meistersingers
Saranggola ni Pepe
Saranggola ni Pepe by Celeste Legaspi, arranged for choir by Ramon “Bojo” Lijauco, Jr.