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Saturday, April 05, 2008


By Elmer A. Ordoñez
Anthem for dedicated youth

Our generation in U.P. Padre Faura and Diliman sang “U.P. Beloved” with music by one of the greatest Filipino composers, Nicanor Abelardo, and English lyrics by Teogenes Veles who won in a contest. I first sang it as an enter­ing U.P. High senior in 1947 and I was moved. Earlier I was impressed by the F.E.U. hymn (lyrics by Nick Joaquin) which I still remember.

With the nationalist surge in later decades, students were introduced to the Tagalog version, “U.P. Naming Mahal,” with lyrics by Hilarion Rubio of the Music Conservatory and Tomas Aguirre of Liberal Arts—who derived their translation from several entries.

The original English lyrics (still sung by older alumni while everybody else sings the Tagalog version) read thus:

U.P. Beloved, thou Alma Mater dear
For thee united, our joyful voices hear
Far tho we wander, o’er island yonder
Loyal thy sons we’ll ever be
Loyal thy sons we’ll ever be.
Echo the watchword, the Red and Green forever
Give out the password, to the Hall of brave sons rare
Sing forth the message, ring out with courage
All hail, thou hope of our dear land
All hail, thou hope of our dear land.

Now the “iskolar ng bayan” sings the new “unofficial” version of “U.P. Naming Mahal.” From the “Rising Sun,” the personal blog of Danilo Arao of Mass Commu-nication, we gather that the “unofficial” hymn has lyrics written by Noel Cabangon and is part of Gary Granada’s album, “Lean,” presented in 1997.

Since September last year the new “U.P. Naming Mahal” has been played in alternative broadcast stations and sung in rallies organized by the youth. It may well be the anthem for dedicated youth, now protesting many things around them. I heard it sung by students with clenched fists held high at the close of an alternative centennial lecture forum in Vinzons Hall last month.

For those who have not heard the new lyrics of “U.P Naming Mahal” here they are:

U.P. naming mahal
Pamantasang ng bayan |
Tinig ng masa
Ang siyang lagi nang pakikinggan
Malayong lupain
Di kailangang marating
Dito maglilingkod sa bayan natin
Dito maglilingkod sa bayan natin.
Silangan mapula
Sagisag magpakailanman
Ating ipaglaban
Laya ng diwa’t kaisipan
Humayo’t itanghal
Giting, tapang at dangal
Mabuhay ang lingkod ng taongbayan
Mabuhay ang lingkod ng taongbayan.
Silangang mapula
Sagisag magpakailanman
Ating ipaglaban
Laya ng diwa’t kaisipan
Malayong lupain
Di kailangang marating
Dito maglilingkod sa bayan natin
Dito maglilingkod sa bayan natin

Rousing songs are an integral part of the protest movement. “Bayan Ko” composed by Constancio de Guzman and with lyrics by Jose Corazon de Jesus was the anthem of the multi-sectoral protesters during the martial law period, and during and after EDSA. The militant students and workers also sing the “Internationale”(composed by Eugene Pottier during the 1871 Paris Commune) and has at least two Tagalog versions. I first heard it sung by Kabataang Makabayan members during a Lantern Parade in the 60s.

The “Internationale” was heard in the U.P. Carillon during the “Diliman Commune” of 1971 and was once played by the ROTC band in the same year after a demons­tration at the parade ground in Diliman where student artists displayed a huge protest mural covering the east wall of the U.P. Library building.

Frantz Fanon, a Marxist intellectual and medical doctor from Martinique, derived the title of his book The Wretched of the Earth from the opening lines of “Internationale,” sung at May 1 workers rallies all over the world.

Cultural workers of the protest movement deploy art, literature and music to advance their cause. Hence, the new “U.P. Naming Mahal” designed to help raise the counter-consciousness needed in these times.

The dissenters on campus have also turned the official centenary slogan from “U.P. ang galing mo” to “U.P. ang galing mo ialay sa bayan.”




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