Joey Ayala’s Lupang Hinirang version – the way it should be sung

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This is Joey Ayala’s Lupang Hinirang version that he says, the way it should be sung.

We have been singing our national anthem for decades but no one really bothered to edit or fix it as a song writer would 

Joey Ayala

You’ll never want to sing the National Anthem any other way after you hear this inspired and inspiring talk/performance from singer Joey Ayala.


As a folk singer and composer, Joey Ayala did a very interesting tweak at the Philippine National anthem. I myself, when I was young, already noticed these flaws, but I never really bothered. As the elderly would not bother to change things, since this was a time honored tradition since the Philippines become independent. And who would lead a revolution to change the National Anthem? Maybe only Joey Ayala.

  • Some of his improvement on the national anthem were the following:
  • The time signature which was a marching time (2/4), is not the Philippine mood for music. But it is more appropriate to use 6/8. As the Filipinos are smooth flowing, very accommodational, and non-confrontational
  • The syllabication that ruins the words pronunciation. Like, “Sa dagat-at”, “Sa simoy-at”. Which I often hear from children. Which, obviously, they don’t understand.
  • And finally the final line which says.. “ang mamatay ng dahil sa’yo” or “to die for you”. That was a very good observation that, there are many positive thing to do other than dying. And his proposal as a general good thing to do is to LOVE. And he even joked that after the song, there will be a group hug to show love to each other.
It is a very pro-active way of nationalism for songwriters to come up with these ideas. A simple gesture, that love of country is not confined in doing charity and public service. A song of influence can unite a country, and on the other hand may leave a message that will affect our nationalism as a whole.
If you have forgotten the lyrics of our national anthem, here is it, with the Official English translation from 1938

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 ng dahil sa iyo.

Chosen Land
Official English translation

Land of the morning,
Child of the sun returning,
With fervor burning,
Thee do our souls adore.
Land dear and holy,
Cradle of noble heroes,
Ne’er shall invaders
Trample thy sacred shore.
Ever within thy skies and through thy clouds
And o’er thy hills and sea,
Do we behold the radiance, feel the throb,
Of glorious liberty.
Thy banner, dear to all our hearts,
Its sun and stars alight,
O never shall its shining field
Be dimmed by tyrant’s might!
Beautiful land of love, o land of light,
In thine embrace ’tis rapture to lie,
But it is glory ever, when thou art wronged,
For us, thy sons to suffer and die.

10 thoughts on “Joey Ayala’s Lupang Hinirang version – the way it should be sung

  1. I had never heard the Philippine national anthem before! I agree that Joey Ayala does a very beautiful version of it. I also agree that a national anthem can bring people together. I am always touched to hear my country's song if we win gold in the Olympics!

  2. Joey Ayala really nailed it! I have heard a lot of singers singing Lupang Hinirang as if they're in concerts or what have you. Our national anthem has a deep and simple meaning that needs not to be exaggerated. Thumbs up for this!

  3. This is very informative! I remember there was a whole flak about the way the national anthem should be sung, I'm not sure who sung it or where, but it's good information for all filipinos to know 😀

  4. The government should allow creative artists to create renditions of the national anthem. As per the law, what Joey did was not allowed. BUT this is way way way better than the current and only version allowed by the law. OBSOLETE LAW! GO JOEY!!!!!! #AmazingLifeDaily

  5. I'd agree with Joey Ayala that his arrangement of the song Lupang Hinirang is good too. I have reservations though, because as is, the song and the current arrangement of our national anthem can boost your pride as a Filipino. I don't agree though that we have to change the word "ang mamatay" to "ang magmahal" because when I read the english translation of Lupang Hinirang, it didn't make sense. It also takes out the context on how and why our National Anthem was made.

  6. This is the first I've heard your anthem. Indeed it sounds really soothing and soul touching. Joeydoes seem to have done complete justice. Wonderfully described post:)

  7. I agree with Dominic. His arrangement is good however why did he change those words. I actually thought I misheard those words but he really did sing a different one. For me, it made it a different one even if he changed some words.

  8. Every country's anthem is steeped in tradition. I love that Joey made it his own. In Australia at the moment there is a lot of debate about changing our anthem as many feel the current one is out dated. I don't think it will happen but the debate is interesting.

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