The untold story of our National Anthem is that the music and the lyrics came into being because of the inspiration and prompting of Freemasons.
Marcha Nacional Filipina
"During the leisure hours allowed by the daily and especially at night after the day's work, the members of the staff of La Independencia, seeking to amuse themselves and to be relieved from their physical weariness, used to assemble together and sing or play on musical instruments. Their souls afflicted by the military situation, which was growing worse every day, needed spiritual elation, and they found it in singing war tunes and martial songs which made them forget the bitterness of a sad reality..."
"It was in one of those occasions that Jose Palma saw the necessity of writing a poem for the words of the Marcha Nacional Filipina. Although this march was known since the beginning of the revolution and was hummed by everybody, it had not yet then any words accompanying it. To suit its music, he wrote a poem Filipinas, which was published for the first time in the issue of the first anniversary of La Independencia on Sept. 3, 1899. the spirit of his verses glowed with an optimistic faith in the future because (then) it was the general belief that it would be impossible for the American forces to dominate the entire archipelago."
Filipinas was written when Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo was leading a battle against the Americans. It took a nationalist paper, La Independencia, to publish the poem. La Independencia was declared by the Americans illegal. The printing of the paper was done in several places. There was a time that La Independencia was printed inside the train used by the Filipino revolutionaries. So Filipinas was written in blood.
Jose Palma's Filipinas lyrics may be outdated, antiquated and forgotten, but its Spanish patriotic outpouring cannot be gainsaid. Here is Palma's Filipinas:
In 1916, the Department of Public Instruction declared English to be the official language of instruction. American teacher Martha Lane, in collaboration with Dr. Camilo Osias (Grand Master of Masons in 1955), and another brother Mason, the Rev. Dr. Frank Laubach (missionary), made the translation in English in 1920. The translated National Anthem was officially adopted in 1934 and was sung in schools during flag ceremonies during the presidency of Manuel L. Quezon (Grand Master of Masons in 1918).
MW Camilo Osias was initiated, passed, and raised in Bagumbayan No. 4 in August 1918. He became Worshipful Master of his Lodge in 1948 and Grand Master of Masons in 1955. He entreated his brethren to have MORE MASONRY AMONG MASONS, MORE MEN IN MASONRY.
The Rev./Dr. Frank C. Lauback was a member of Benton Lodge No. 667 and was a 32 degree Scottish Rite Mason. On October 27, 1934, Laubach and 17 other Masons petitioned the Grand Lodge to organize a Lodge in Dansalan. Eventually, Maranaw Lodge No. 111, with Laubach as a charter member, came into existence.
Grand Master Manuel L. Quezon was initiated on March 17, 1908, passed to Fellowcraft on May 18, 1908 and raised to the sublime degree of MM on May 23, 1908 in Logia Sinukuan No. 272 under the Grand Logia Regional de Filipinas (Now Sinukuan Lodge No. 16). PGM Quezon was largely responsible for the unification of Spanish and American Lodges in 1917.
Following is the English version of our National Anthem.
source: The Cabletow - May - July 2005 / Vol. 82, No. 1
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"History had demonstrated that the most botable winners usually encountered heart-breaking obstacles before they triumphed. they won because they refused to become discouraged by their defeats." - B.C. Forbes