At three years old, Instagram personality Scarlet Snow Belo made an attempt to learn how to sing the national anthem ahead of the Independence Day, a video of which was shared online.
In the May 29 video, Snow stammered as she sang along with a recorded version of Lupang Hinirang with the proper gesture of her right hand across her chest at first, but merely clasped her shirt for the rest of the song in an apparent struggle to pronounce the difficult lyrics.
There’s no update yet if she has finally successfully sang Lupang Hinirang. If her previous videos are any indication, the little social media superstar will soon eventually get around to memorizing the lines.
While there’s no legal age to start singing the national anthem, all Filipinos are required by law to know how to sing it properly.
According to Republic Act No. 8491 or the Flag and Heraldic Code of the Philippines, all government offices and educational institutions are required to sing the national anthem as part of the observance of the flag-raising ceremony every Monday morning and flag-lowering every Friday afternoon.
Within the legislation, it is also stated that Lupang Hinirang “shall always be sung in the national language within or without the country” and any form of rendition should only be based on the “the musical arrangement and composition of Julian Felipe.”
The Department of Education has also issued guidelines, requiring schools the singing of the Lupang Hinirang before other morning invocations.
This DepEd order applies to “all officials and employees from the central, regional, schools division offices and public schools nationwide, including all public school learners who have morning classes.”
The legislation gives leeway to “faith-based” private institutions wherein the prescribed sequence in the flag-raising ceremony may or may not be followed. However, the national anthem should still be sung by the students.
The right occasion
Among the sea of welcoming feedback for Scarlet Snow, one suggested that the national anthem is not just any musical form.
In the comment section of the Instagram post, the user cited Section 38 of the Flag and Heraldic Code of the Philippines wherein “the anthem shall not be played and sung for mere recreation, amusement or entertainment purposes.”
This excludes the following situations:
- International competitions where the Philippines is the host or has a representative
- Local competitions, during the “signing off” and “signing on” of radio broadcasting and television stations
- Before the initial and last screening of films and before the opening of theater performances; and
- Other occasions as may be allowed by [government agencies dealing with history].