January 28, 1861
MANILA, Jan. 28 — On January 28, 1861, Julián Felipe, music teacher, band leader and composer of the Philippine national anthem, "Lupang Hinirang," was born in Cavite City, Cavite.
Inheriting his talent in music from his father, Felipe, who played the piano and organ at an early age, became organist in St. Peter's Parish Church where he was given the chance to hone his gift as musician, and subsequently composer of songs.
Among his early popular compositions were Moteti el Santesisimo, Sintos y Floras Rogodones, and Amorita Danza. He impressed many music enthusiasts with these pieces, and though still young, his works were already at par with the seasoned musicians.
Felipe received numerous awards in recognition of his remarkable contributions in the field of music.
When the 1896 Revolution broke out, he joined his fellow Cavitenos in the fight against the Spaniards. He was arrested and jailed at Fort San Felipe in Cavite.
When freed, he rejoined General Emilio Aguinaldo's troops. He was asked by Aguinaldo to compose a nationalistic song to inspire his compatriots to continue fighting against the Spaniards.
His composition titled Marcha Nacional Filipinas was played by the San Francisco de Malabon as the Philippine flag was hoisted during the declaration of Philippine Independence on June 12, 1898 in General Aguinaldo's house in Kawit, Cavite.
His composition was adopted as the Philippine national anthem on September 5, 1938.
Felipe died on October 2, 1944.
A bust of Felipe can be found in Cavite City, near San Sebastian College-Recoletos de Cavite. (PNA)