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yes, my a-t-t-y finally has a period attached to it…

1101. RAVANERA, Ilya Kristine R.

just so you know i’m not pulling your leg, see it for yourself here.

i’ve been telling my friends for a few years now that this is one of the best-made lyrics ever. it talks about love of country (and perhaps of another person) but not just any ordinary love…

it is the kind of love that sees beauty in every way. the kind that endures. the kind that makes one free. the kind of love that conquers all but is ultimately conquered back.

lupang hinirang

bayang magiliw
perlas ng silanganan,
alab ng puso
sa dibdib mo’y buhay.

lupang hinirang,
duyan ka ng magiting,
sa manlulupig,
‘di ka pasisiil.

sa dagat at bundok,
sa simoy at sa langit mong bughaw,
may dilag ang tula at awit
sa paglayang minamahal.

ang kislap ng watawat mo’y
tagumpay na nagniningning,
ang bituin at araw niya
kailan pa ma’y ‘di magdidilim.

lupa ng araw, ng luwalhati’t pagsinta,
buhay ay langit sa piling mo;
aming ligaya, na ‘pag may mang-aapi
ang mamatay nang dahil sa ‘yo.

FYI¹. the philippine national anthem is from the poem “filipinas” written in spanish by josé palma in august of 1899. the music was done by julian felipe. the official translation which is in use today and made familiar to all of us was by felipe padilla de leon.

FYI². usage and legal regulation… yes, there is a ‘legal’ way of singing our national anthem. (this bit is taken mostly from wikipedia)

article XVI, section 2 of the present philippine constitution specifies that “the congress may, by law, adopt a new name for the country, a national anthem, or a national seal, which shall be truly reflective and symbolic of the ideals, history, and traditions of the people. such law shall take effect only upon its ratification by the people in a national referendum.”

at present, the 1998 republic act 8491 (the flag and heraldic code of the philippines) regulates the usage of the philippine national anthem. it also contains the complete lyrics of lupang hinirang.

RA 8491 specifies that lupang hinirang “shall be in accordance with the musical arrangement and composition of julian felipe.” however, when literally followed, this means that the national anthem should only be performed by a pianist or by a brass band, as these were the only versions that were produced by julian felipe. moreover, because the original version was composed in duple time (i.e. in a time signature of 2/4) as compared to the present quadruple time (4/4), it is uncertain if this will either slow down or even double the music’s speed, making it difficult for singers to keep up with the music. regardless of this, the national anthem is still sung with the lyrics. RA 8491 also states that lupang hinirang “shall always be sung in the national language” regardless if performed inside or outside the Philippines, and specifies that the singing must be done with fervor.

the national anthem is usually played during public gatherings in the philippines or in foreign countries where the filipino audience is sizable. RA 8491 also provides that it be played at other occasions as may be allowed by the national historical institute. RA 8491 prohibits its playing or singing for mere recreation, amusement, or entertainment except during the following occasions:

  1. international competitions where the philippines is the host or has a representative;
  2. local competitions;
  3. during the “signing off” and “signing on” of radio broadcasting and television stations; and
  4. before the initial and last screening of films and before the opening of theater performances.

RA 8491 specifies fine or imprisonment penalties for any person or juridical entity which violates its provisions. public or government official or employee who fail to observe the regulations of RA 8491 may face administrative sanctions, besides the penalties imposed by the same law. this warning also applies to persons connected with government-held corporations, public schools, and state colleges and universities.

so the next time you sing it, be careful. or better yet, sing with fervor. sing from the heart. you can never go wrong.

I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness for it shows me the stars. — Og Mandino

on march 29th, for exactly one hour, the world celebrated earth hour.

earth hour, a project spearheaded by the world wildlife fund (wwf), started with a question — how can we inspire people to take action on climate change?

the answer was an overwhelming response from over 2.2 million sydney residents and over 2,100 business in sydney, australia who turned off their lights on March 31, 2007 for one hour. just one hour. earth hour.

with sydney icons like the harbour bridge and the opera house turning their lights off, and unique events such as weddings by candlelight, the world took notice. this was a powerful statement against the greatest contributor to global warming — coal-fired electricity. It led to a 10.2% energy reduction across the city.

inspired by the collective effort of millions of sydney residents, the rest of the world joined earth hour in 2008, turning a symbolic event into a global movement.

hence, on march 29, 2008, over 24 global cities participated in earth hour from 8 to 9pm. Manila and more than 30 cities nationwide joined the world for earth hour. it is rather unfortunate that cagayan de oro is not among those on the list, but across the archipelago, filipinos switched off their lights for earth hour. malls, museums, offices, monuments, households and streets were plunged into darkness. even the presidential palace of malacañang switched off. dozens of big corporations, such as the sm group, the ayala group, fastfood chains like jollibee and mcdonald’s, smart, globe, and many more, also pitched in.

the switch-off was even supported by local governments including those in pasay, manila, makati and parañaque. earth hour was highly publicized and covered by the local and international media. thousands of articles on earth hour are strewn all over the world wide web.

i, too, joined earth hour. i was 20 minutes late though. i was only able to start at 8:20 because a few hours before, the supreme court released the names of the new lawyers who hurdled the bar exams. i got lost in the list and forgot all about the time. when i realized that it was already earth hour time, i was frantic! i hurriedly shut down the computer and turned off all the lights. i was in such a rush that our househelp Grace, who was the only one in the house with me, thought i had gone crazy.

Then she realized it was the earth hour that was reported in the news. she said, “aw, apil diay ka ana? abi ko sa tv ra na.” because i started 20 minutes late, i felt that i had to make up for it and end 20 minutes later than 9pm. i didn’t want to cheat on the number of minutes because that would have been a cop-out. besides, the idea of earth-40-minutes didn’t appeal much to me.

in the darkness, with only three candles burning, i not only lessened my carbon footprints, i also learned some valuable insights.

first — while turning the lights off for earth hour is a great and noble first step, if we really want to see a difference then we should make earth hour part of our everyday life.

simple things like turning off our lights and appliances while not in use will help us reach our goal of reducing our annual emissions by 5%. There are other suggestions for households too, like switching to compact fluorescent light bulbs, using less hot water, and contacting your electricity provider, in our case cepalco, and asking them to switch to green power — a cleaner, more renewable form of energy that does not contribute to global warming.

with the lights turned off, and i was sitting in our sala while grace was seated across me, i could hear different sounds like crickets chirping,dogs barking and cars passing through the highway. amidst the chorus of chirps, barks and honks, grace popped the question which i was avoiding -the “why” question. she asked in her sprightly voice, “para unsa man diay ni? kita man ko ani sa tv pero wala man ko kabalo para unsa ni uy.” I didn’t want to answer the question because i knew it would take up a lot of time but i felt obliged to do so. after all, i thought to myself, it wouldn’t be earth hour if i evaded talking about the earth and its problems.

and so i explained. i had to go as far back as how electricity is made, particularly electricity from coal-fired power plants. she was nodding so i gather she understood. i told her i’d lend her reading materials so she would understand better. But she replied at once without batting an eyelash, “kanang bisaya ha. ayaw nang english uy kay di gyapon ko kasabot.

Hence, the second thing i realized from this experience — that not everyone knows the problems of climate change and global warming. further, not everyone cares about these things. i don’t know which is worse — not caring or not knowing. either way, they both seemed equally alarming to me. i felt that if we really want projects like earth hour to work, it would have to be understood and felt by grace and every other person who outrightly dismisses ideas they hear of or see on tv because they do not think this has any relevance to their daily grind. i thought, perhaps it might be a good idea to translate al gore’s an inconvenient truth to bisaya. and maybe a komiks can be made out of it.

in the darkness, with only three candles burning, i made a mental note to make these my future projects.

after grace told me she couldn’t read and understand english that well, i was prompted to ask her what year she was able to finish in high school. “second year,” she replied. grace has been with us for almost a couple of months now. yet, i’ve never really found time to get to know her better. that night, i discovered that she’s only 23 but she already has a 6 year-old. her child is in siquijor where she is originally from because the parents of the father refuse to give her custody. she once worked at angel chaves complex selling dvd players for a taiwanese businessman. i tell you, she can pick the good dvd players from the lemons and even tell you their wholesale prices.

this leads me to my last point — taking an active role in something, no matter how big or small, may not only teach us about the relevant stuff, it will also give us little pleasant surprises — like being able to hear the crickets chirp, getting the chance to play with melted wax from the burning candles and having an opportunity to get to know another person better.

on march 29, 2008, for exactly one hour, i joined the world in celebration of earth hour.

and in the darkness with only three candles burning, i became more enlightened, i became more purposeful, i became more human.


See your world
in a whole new light…
MARCH 28, 2008
@8:00 – 9:00 p.m.



On 29 March 2008 the Philippines will join countries around the world as we literally “turn the lights out” for Earth Hour – an event that will fuel awareness on climate change and prove that when the people of the world work together, they can make a difference in the fight against global warming.

Earth Hour will take place throughout the Philippines from 8 to 9 in the evening on Saturday night, 29 March 2008. WWF invites you to participate by shutting off lights for 60 minutes, organizing your own “lights-out” event or by forwarding this mail to your friends, workmates and family.

Launched in Australia on the 31st of March 2007, Earth Hour moved 2.2 million people and 2100 businesses in Sydney to turn off their lights for one hour. This massive collective effort reduced the city’s energy consumption by 10.2% for one hour. With Sydney icons like the Harbour Bridge and Opera House turning their lights off and unique events such as weddings by candlelight, the world took notice. Inspired by the collective effort of millions of Sydneysiders, many major global cities are joining Earth Hour in 2008, turning a symbolic event into a global movement.

Your participation will go a long way in spreading the message that we, as individual droplets working collectively – can create an impetus far more powerful than the mightiest of rivers. For more information, log on to the WWF Earth Hour page at:

If you want to learn more about how else you can help make Earth Hour in the Philippines a success, go to and drop us a line or call us at (632) 920-7931, (632) 920-7923, or (632)920-7926.

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August 2020

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