Martin Nievera messes up the National Anthem

Can we just have a choir sing the anthem during these fights in the way it is supposed to be sung?

According to historian Ambeth Ocampo, chair of the National Historical Institute (NHI), guidelines on how the anthem should be sung are enshrined in the law.

Section 37 of Republic Act No. 8491 (An Act Prescribing the Code of the National Flag, Anthem, Motto, Coat of Arms, and other Heraldic Items and Devices of the Philippines) — passed in 1998, the year of the Philippine centennia — says the “rendition of the National Anthem, whether played or sung, shall be in accordance with the musical arrangement and composition of Julian Felipe.”

Ocampo said that the anthem, when played, “must carry a brisk martial tone and tempo.”

Teodoro Atienza, heraldry section head of the NHI’s Research, Publications and Heraldry Division, said that when sung “at the proper pace,” the national anthem should last from only “53 seconds to less than a minute.”

Here’s a perfect example:

Apparently, Nievera isn’t the first one to mess it up in Las Vegas. Lani Misalucha, Bituin Escalante, Jennifer Bautista and Kyla all took liberties as global audiences looked on.

Singers who do not follow the rules can be fined P50,000 or imprisoned, or both. But then you know how admirably the law works here.

Some say these performers can’t be persecuted because they were abroad when they sang. That’s idiotic. Because it’s when we have these international events that we become even prouder of who we are and thus have a greater responsibility to represent us well.

That these singers are celebrities make it even more important that they do it right since they represent the best talents and most realized aspirations we as a people have to offer. They have to be responsible too.

More at The Inquirer.


28 thoughts on “Martin Nievera messes up the National Anthem

  1. Hello! On the matter that we cannot sue the artists performing abroad, I think this is because of the doctrine of “lex loci delicti commissi” of the “law of the place where the crime was made/done.” Technically, we cannot sue someone when he commits a “crime” which is not a “crime” in the place where it was done. Unless the the Heraldic Law will be amended accordingly, we can only criticize. 😀

    I like reading your entries. 😀

  2. Greetings!

    I randomly ran into your blog – without really meaning to. I saw the headline and thought “what an interesting post.” Then I just kept on reading on….very interesting (thus the subscription).

    Anyway, I agree. Nievera totally slaughtered the Philippine National Anthem – but that’s almost always true for the last 4 or 5 Pacquiao fights (those are the only times I hear the National Anthem – though I grew up in the Philippines, for the most part — and know the National Anthem).

    That’s interesting to know about the Philippine Constitution though – coz here, different people have different renditions of The Star Spangled Banner. It all depends on what’s going on, who the singer is, and their audience.

    I like what the JRRG said – that’s interesting too.

    Maybe one of these days you’ll catch these Filipino stars singing the Anthem in whatever they feel like in the Philippines – then you can formally sue them! Let me know when that happen!


  3. The handlers of Martin Nievera tried to legitimize his bastardization of the National Anthem by flashing a message that saying that the song/performance was approved by the NHI along with its logo for less than half a second.


  4. Okay. So mali nga ang pagkanta ni Martin Nievera ng Lupang Hinirang. Pero para sa akin opninyon, sa pag-awit ni Martin ay naramdaman ko na ako’y Pilipino… na nagkakaisa sa isang pagtitipon. Taas noo, ipinagmamalaki lalo na sa pag-awit ng Pambansang awit at para sa akin yun ang MAS IMPORTANTE. Hindi sa mga batas… hindi sa mga rules… maari ngang “nabastos” si Julian Felipe pero para sa akin yun maiintindihan ng lahat kung bakit natin inaawit ang pambansang awit, yun ang importante. Hindi ako fan ni Martin Nievera pero nagustuhan ko ang pag-awit nya.

  5. The problem with the slow National Anthem renditions is that people forget the martial nature of nationalism too easily. We must turn Southeast Asia into the next Middle East before the situation turns hopeless.

  6. Martin Nievera’s rendetion of the Lupang Hinirang must have had Julian Felipe turning in his grave!

  7. Diba pagkatapos iair ung pagkanta nya merong nakasulat na approved by he National Historic Commission?! Sa tingin ko, maayos at maganda ang bersyon ni Martin Nievera ng pagkanta ng Lupang Hinirang. Madadama mo ang pagiging taas noo ng bawat Pilipino. Hindi ako tagahangang mga kanat ni Martin Nievera pero nagustuhan ko ang pagkakanta nya ngayon ng Lupang Hinirang.

  8. Diba pagkatapos iair ung pagkanta nya merong nakasulat na approved by he National Historic Commission?! Sa tingin ko, maayos at maganda ang bersyon ni Martin Nievera ng pagkanta ng Lupang Hinirang. Madadama mo ang pagiging taas noo ng bawat Pilipino. Hindi ako tagahangang mga kanta ni Martin Nievera pero nagustuhan ko ang pagkakanta nya ngayon ng Lupang Hinirang.

  9. For me, wat martin done..parang binaliwala niya ang bansa natin..!!! the ang pagkanta ng lupang hinirang sa tamang versyon ang ginawa niya.. pinamukha lang niya na all pinoy kang break the rules…nsa constitution natin yan kung panu kantahin o etc.!!! if we are like that meaning the philippines will not rily change coz we alwz break the rules? anu pa ba halaga ng CONSTITUTION natin?

  10. hi, sir! found your blog in I’m also pisay graduate but not Diliman..

    Eniwez, regarding Martin’s singing the Nat’l Anthem, you’re right! Martin messed up… But I agree with Leo Domingo… Mas nafeel ko ang aking pagkaPILIPINO when I heard Martin’s Version of National Anthem… I’m not also Martin’s fan but I love his version of Lupang Hinirang….

  11. anu pa ba halaga ng CONSTITUTION natin?

    answer that for me? if we will not follow it? anu halaga nya?

    Kaya nga we are part of the most corrupt country bcoz we alwyz break the rules? we alwz think we are above the LAW……!

  12. The only good thing Martin Nievera achieved in his version of lupang hinirang is that it may have been a shot in the arm on his sagging career in Vegas. More than raising patriotism and rallying the filipinos behind our flag, Martin clearly waved his personal flag. It got all….”common, watch my concerts here in vegas, please”! written all over.

  13. I am richard Lamis founder of RLS Foundation who aims to eradicate poverty in our nation, end coruption through Moral Recovery Program, Catalyst of Peace and steward all over Gods creation. I support “Ako Mismo” because I want na ako Mismo ang gagawa ng pagbabago sa ating bayan. I am 21 years old rigth now and I am Happy because I organized 600 Youth in Davao City and hopefully I want them to be the hope of our nation. In my remaining years to live in this world I want to spend my time on most important thing like reviving the Youth moral and help eradicate poverty and end war in our country. Rigth now I am open to those organization who will ask my service to give Leadership and Teambuilding Seminars and other training. I am ready also to organized Moral Recovery Seminar to help them for free. I wish more Filipino will stand-up and say “Ako Mismo” ang gagawa ng pagbabago sa ating Bansa.

    Richard A. Lamis Jr.
    President of RLS Foundation
    Contact: 09096503745

  14. Is the law dictating how the national anthem should be sung even constitutional? Doesn’t it have the effect of abdriging freedom of speech & expression?

  15. its terrible that he messed up the anthem. he should have just curbed his ego and went w/ the original way. he needs to eat a slice of humble pie and learn how to respect our traditions! S#$%@ you martin!

  16. Did any of you take a step back and think that it’s a stupid rule anyway? The comments here are absolutely absurd, Martin slaughtered the national anthem? Give me a break! He sang his heart out while wearing a Francis M. t-shirt with a Philippine flag on his ear-piece for goodness sake, can he be any more patriotic? Seriously, the song was heart-felt and nowhere near slaughtered. Damn it, some people just can’t run out of things to whine about…

  17. I read somewhere that Martin would apologize if needed. He should have stopped there. However he somehow proclaimed that he had some “artistic freedom” in changing the arrangement since it wasn’t a flag ceremony.

    Hello. Eh hindi rin naman singing contest iyon against Tom Jones and that Fil-Am Jasmine. You weren’t supposed to give a performance of a life time. You were given this task simply because filipinos recognized that you have a good voice to interpret the National Anthem in its purest form.

    I can still accept Martin for taking liberties in changing the arrangement. Every belter couldn’t resist putting a glory note in the end of the Anthem so that the crowd would go wild with patriotism. Ang hindi ko lang maintindihan ay bakit pinag pilitan pa nila noon na approved daw ito ng NHI.

  18. Gimme a break. Martin has his own reasons for singing the NA that way. In the first place, he was warned/adviced by Mr. C not to alter the tune of LH in any way. Did Martin follow? Nah, bec he wants to express his heightened level of patriotism. What a crap.

    Kung si Karylle nga at Ciara nakanta yun ng maayos, siya pa kaya e lalaki sya. Does that mean less patriotic yung mga hindi gumawa ng sarili nilang rendition? Hirap kasi sa ibang pinoy walang disiplina at masyadong maepal. Not to mention other personal motives.

    BTW, it’s not a stupid law (concerning the proper way of singing LH). At kung talagang nagpapahalaga tayo sa bansa natin, dapat sinisimulan natin sa paggalang sa konstitusyon.

    Nawala ang respeto ko kay Martin, kung meron man.

  19. “Some say these performers can’t be persecuted because they were abroad when they sang. That’s idiotic. Because it’s when we have these international events that we become even prouder of who we are and thus have a greater responsibility to represent us well.”

    This is not idiotic, before you label something as so, do a little research…
    No they cannot be fined, because the law says so, not only Philippine law, but also the basic principles of law called The Territoriality Principle…

  20. Magandang araw po sa inyong lahat…

    Ako po ay malugod na nasisiyahan sa pagdalaw sa site na ito sapagkat po nabasa ko ang bawat kuro-kuro ng mga kapwa nating mga Filipino.

    Para po sa akin, ang pagkaka-awit ni Ginoong Nievera ay maayos. Sa kadahilanang, ang pagkaka-awit nya ng Lupang Hinirang ay nanggagaling sa kaibuturan ng kanyang puso na may damdamin, pagka-makabayan at may pagmamalaki sa ating bansa. Ibinigay lang niya ang kanyang abot na makakaya para lang maipakita at maipagmalaki sa buong mundo na ang Lupang Hinirang ay ang ating Pambansang Awit.

    Sumasangayon po ako kay Ginoong Nievera sa kanyang pagkaka-awit ng Lupang Hinirang sapagkat po noong akoy nanonood ng telebisyon sa aming tahanan, damang-dama ko kung paano inawit ni Ginoong Nievera ang ating Pambansang Awit.

    Anong tanong ko naman, Bakit kailangan nating husgahan ang taong kagaya ni Ginoong Nievera, dahil lang ba sa kanyang pag-kaka-awit ng Lupang Hinirang na ayon sa isinisigaw ng kanyang taos pusong rendisyon.

    Mahalaga sa atin ang awit na ito dahil ito ay sumisimbolo sa ating bansa. Ngunit papaano kung ang isang Filipino/Filipina ay sintonado/sintonada at inawit nya ang ating pambansang awit. Sila rin ba ay mabibigyan din ng kaparusahan?

    Oo, dapat nating sundin ang tamang rendisyon ng pag-awit ng Lupang Hinirang. Sa tingin nyo ba, ito ba ay ina-awit ng taos pusong pagka-kaawit ng mga kapwa nating mga Filipino?

    Para sa akin, mas mahalaga ang pag-awit ng Lupang Hinirang kung ito ay aawitin na may damdamin at pagmamahal sa ating bansa.

    Noong nakaraang ikalawa ng Mayo dalawang libo’t siyam. Nasaksihan natin ang laban ng atin pambansang kamao na si Ginoong Pacquiao, nararapat lang na ang pagkaka-awit ng pambansang-awit ay palaban din para maipakita sa buong mundo kung gaano katibay, katatag, katapang, kabangis at hindi natataob sa laban ang isang Filipino.

    Ito pong isunulat ko ay isang lamang sa mga pagpapa-hayag ng isang kuro-kuro ng isang taong may pag-mamahal sa ating bansa.

    Maraming salamat po….

  21. Knowing that the NA will be sung in front of global audiences, the NHI should have made it its responsibility to orient these artists on the correct way of singing our NA, and the consequences if they deviate. Martin is admirable as an artist, but I believe that the singing of the NA is not an opportunity to showcase his talent/skills. It is not supposed to be a performance so I don’t agree that artists should be allowed to interpret it and give it their own style. Singing the NA is a proclamation of pride and respect for our country. I know we can express pride and respect in different ways, but clearly, what Martin did was over and beyond that. Some of us may actually like the tempo and the tune, but that’s not the point. The point is, it is not just any other song so we cannot just do with it what we please. Good for him if he truly sang it with the purest of intentions and with the nationalistic fervor that it deserves. But to some of us, it sounded no less than a blatant disregard for our history and heritage. Of course, many Filipinos do that everyday without having to sing the NA that way. That, I think, is the more depressing reality.

  22. pathetic talaga ang excuses ni martin. paano ko ba i-explain sa mga grade school pamangkin na ok lang gumawa ng sariling version ng national anthem natin?

  23. Bravo martin! you did it well! there are more significant rules and policies in our government that are NOT followed. these things should be consider first before they make a big fuzz about your singing. besides, its 2009 now. time to change and hopefully philippines will change too for the better.

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