Rep. Antonio Golez proposed a bill that requires all public places and government agencies (schools, malls, hospitals, etc.) to play and sing the Philippine National Anthem, Lupang Hinirang, three times a day.
Agree or disagree?
Well, what is there to disagree with as regards this bill’s passing? I heard quite a few but, ultimately, these outweigh the aim of the bill: to foster nationalism by the mere respect for the country’s national anthem sung more times. If other countries sing theirs many times and some even cry while doing so, why can’t we? If Filipinos know less and less of the anthem’s lyrics, then this is a good way to solve the problem. If a school principal is to get fired for not implementing it, then, we foster discipline and respect altogether.
Obviously, this takes a chunk of the bill’s purpose. Will singing it three times make us cry while doing so? I honestly don’t think so (though I feel proud and get that heartwarming feeling when it’s played with a video showing heroes’ patriotism in cinemas or when it’s sung right before a Pacquiao fight).
If I may quote from The Filipino Mind, to foster nationalism means:
“Shake the foundations.” Seek knowledge/understand/think critically about (the) roots of socioeco-political predicaments in our homeland; educate ourselves, expose lies/hidden truths/fight IGNORANCE of our true history. Learn from: our nationalist heroes/intellectuals/Asian neighbors/other nations; therefrom to plan/decide/act for the “common good” of the native Filipino[Malay/indio] majority.
Will this bill’s passing result to the above description? Would it shake the foundations? It most probably will give us a heightened sense of respect for the song since we must stand up while singing it three times a day (of course, when you’re in the mentioned places) but it won’t stop overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) from working abroad, it won’t stop Filipinos from buying less products from the West and instead buy from local establishments, and it won’t stop Filipinos from preferring a lighter skin tone over our beautiful brown skin.
But it’s a start.
If we sang it three times, the lyrics would be more difficult to forget. If we render punishment to violators, the citizens would know that the government is serious about promoting nationalism in as little gesture as this. If we sang it more times, we would be reminded of our heroes’ patriotic acts and loving our country more, too. If we were reminded of those, we would start looking at ourselves and analyze how much love we have really shown this country.
We probably wouldn’t be the next heroes because we sang the national anthem more. But who says little things don’t sow seeds in the next hero’s mind?
I found this touching video of Lupang Hinirang (by Giselle Montero) that pretty much sums up what this is all about: