HISTORY OF UP NAMING MAHAL



I learned singing UP Naming Mahal during my first year in college. No one taught me personally how to sing the song. I just listened to folks as they sung it. When I was elected to the Student Council of UP Tacloban during my third year in college, I was one of the councilors who proposed to launch a campaign on how the students would appreciate more about our hymn. We invaded every classroom, and someone would sing the hymn in front of the students (definitely not me!). It makes me feel proud every time I sing it. The following historical account of UP Naming Mahal was taken from UP centennial website.

A Bit History of UP Naming Mahal: How It Came To Be

Sometime in the early 1920s, a contest was held to give expression to that elusive thing—the “UP Spirit.” A contest was held to select the lyrics to be put to music, and both words and notes were to move both students and alumni to recall what it meant to belong to the [University of the Philippines]. The winning entry was written by Teogenes Velez, a Liberal Arts student.

The song, “UP Beloved,” was first sung before a UP audience in 1917. And from then on it has been a party of all UP activities.Then another contest was held to set the winning poem to music. Legend has it that a student at the Conservatory of Music, Nicanor Abelardo, had just returned home from a town fiesta in Pampanga and his wife reminded him of the contest’s deadline, which was noon of that same day. Whereupon the young man sat down and in just one hour had the piece ready, and was able to submit it on time.
The Filipino version, “UP Naming Mahal,” is a composite from seven translations received by a screening committee, which found none of them fully satisfactory, and contributed some lines themselves. Today, the song is as much an emblem of the UP spirit as the famous Oblation.

(The original key of the composition is B Flat major, which is too high for the average vocal range. Professor Hilarion Rubio of the Conservatory of Music suggested that it be in the key of G major and should be sung in the original tempo of eighty quarter notes in one minute.)



U.P. Naming Mahal

U.P. naming mahal
Pamantasang hirang
Ang tinig namin
Sana’y inyong dinggin

Malayong lupain
Amin mang marating
Di rin magbabago ang damdamin
Di rin magbabago ang damdamin

Luntian at pula
Sagisag magpakailanman
Ating ipagdiwang bulwagan ng dangal
Humayo’t itanghal, giting at tapang
Mabuhay ang pag-asa ng bayan
Mabuhay ang pag-asa ng bayan


Here's the original English version of UP Naming Mahal.


UP Beloved

U.P. beloved, thou Alma Mater dear
For thee united, our joyful voices hear
Far tho we wander, o'er island yonder
Loyal thy sons we'll ever be
Loyal thy sons we'll ever be.

Echo the watchword, the Red and Green forever.
Give out the password, to the Hall of Brave sons rare.
Sing forth the message, ring out with courage
All hail, thou hope of our dear land,
All hail, thou hope of our dear land.

Modified Lyrics (from Wikipedia.org)

In 1997, A musical play entitled "Lean" was held to commemorate the 10th year since the assassination of a prominent UP student leader during the martial law, Leandro Alejandro. In this play, Gary Granada, the one who made the libretto of this play, remixed the tune of UP Naming Mahal in a contemporary rock version and gave it a new and more "nationalistic sounding" lyrics, reasserting the purpose of the Iskolar ng Bayan as a Iskolar ng Sambayanan, Tagapaglingkod ng Taongbayan.
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