Monday, June 12, 2006

Philippine Independence Day

I am probably a day late, but here in the Seattle area we still have about 6 hours left of June 12th. So Happy Philippine independence day!

Jed Pensar of SOLFED (Save Our Languages through FEDeralism) sent the Philippine national anthem translated into Hiligaynon, Cebuano, Kinaray-a, Manobo, and Butuanon. I have included the latter three versions on my webpage at

So while here in America there's controversy concerning the singing of the Star Spangled Banner in Spanish (which is ironic, since I learned the English lyrics, composed during American rule in the 1930's, of the Philippine national anthem FIRST, and didn't know the original was in Spanish until 10 years ago!) there's some controversy in the Philippines as well.

According to Chapter II, Section 36 of Republic Act 8491, the national anthem must "be sung in the national language." Chapter VII, Section 48 further outlines consequences in not complying with the provisions with this act; this includes.

This has prompted the passing of a resolution back in November of 2002 by the city council in Iligan, Lanao del Norte. It banned the mandatory singing of the anthem in Cebuano. My opinion at the time, as well as a copy of the article are archived here.

My opinion still stands that this RA 8491 needs to amended. It's stupid, really. This is considering the fact that the original anthem was written in Spanish and also the fact that the Philippines is ethnolinguistically diverse. Manuel Quezon III gave a passing mention about this in his blog.

I also found an article titled 3 versions of the unsung national anthem in Bicol. In response, a reader, Francisco San Miguel of Morong, Rizal, warned about violating the law.

In other news, I graduate in four days. So I'm rather pressed for time (amazing how I squeezed this in!). I did get accepted to the University of Washington's linguistics program, however I am going to put that on hold to work for one more year. It's a risky move, since it entails me reapplying (which could potentially mean being rejected), but I think I'll get in again.

I'll have a lot of freetime during the summer. I plan on writing about that Reid festschrift I mentioned earlier as well as Dr. Carl Rubino's new book on learning Tausug (which UPS should be delivering to me this Friday!).