[Dedicated to Jenine Shiongshu and the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP)]
ANOTHER SCHOOL YEAR has just begun.
Schools around the country usually begin their first day with the flag ceremony. When a teacher moves the hands and/or the accompaniment is played, everyone will stand tall, will face the flagpole and will place their hand over their heart — save those in Scouting and/or CAT uniform as they will salute — and will sing “Lupang Hinirang.”
In television and radio operations, they are required by law (Republic Act 8491) to play it during sign-on and sign-off on their broadcast day. As long as the lyrics, the tempo and the melody are compliantly concerned, when it comes to the visual concept — for television, obviously — it is a different story.
In the spirit of Araw ng Kalayaan as well for next week, Timow’s Turf will tackle over that aspect in detail for each network. Bear in mind that this does count MVs that is aired for seasonal purposes such as Women’s Month provided by the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) last March.
According to networks
In mid-2000s, the network decided to create their in-house concept with the circle of their talents and ordinary people sang the anthem. However, some recognized faces were no longer connected with Mother Ignacia such as Willie Revillame (due to his tarnished reputation) and Dolphy (when he signed the deal with TV5).
Thus, they updated in 2011 with better photographic quality and premiered on Araw ng Kalayaan that year with Charo Santos-Concio convincing. During its premiere on that Independence Day, an error was spotted after they sang the anthem: Negros Island was missing from the map. They corrected it at once.
However, stars come and go – few but significantly big, especially Ai-Ai de las Alas and Kris Aquino. When both of them ended their contracts, Vice Ganda took Ai-Ai’s place but Kris’ scene remained intact.
Now, with KathNiel, LizQuen, love teams formed from Pinoy Big Brother (e.g. BaiLona, MayWard), The Voice finalists, FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano child stars like Xymon Ezekiel “Onyok” Pineda and McNeal “Makmak / Awra” Briguela joined in their ever-expanding roster of exclusive talents, they really need a massive update.
Despite this, such visual version of the national anthem is very popular and is played in major cinemas nationwide — except SM, perhaps — before the initial and final full film screenings of the day.
This network reportedly proposed a freestyle rendition of the anthem by their exclusive stars in the 1990s but due to the prevailing law, it was shelved and instead played the 1994 PNA video from BPI.
They don’t have their own concept until August 22, 2010 when they showcase the pantheon of historical heroes portrayed by their veteran stars.
In 2013, they ditched it in favor of how heroes can inspire ordinary Filipinos towards nation building.
The current edition (since 2015) emphasizes on posterity as the hope for the country’s future.
After the anthem, all editions end their concept with their network’s audio jingle — the first being in full and the second and third edition being abridged. The present edition tracked the centerpiece globe of SM Mall of Asia, hinting that such mall and other SM malls around the country used this version on their silver screens before showing the GMA Network Center.
Since their reform last August 2008 from ABC 5, they still aired the Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo-era PNA MV where they emphasize the “Strong Republic” agenda until now due to their laziness.
Only aired on free TV, the vocal-less MV’s visual concept is focused on each of the eight provinces — reflected in the rays of the sun in the flag — with their untold, distinct, significant and contributory part of the Philippine Revolution that’s not commonly found on general history books.
Note the ending scene has the vertical orientation of the flag under war mode (i.e. red field on observer’s left and blue on right). It can be interpreted either as intentional (due to historical gist) or unintentional (an error from the creators).
Since the end of the Gloria years in 2010, their PNA version with the “Strong Republic” concept was deemed unfit unlike the earlier-mentioned TV5. They modestly added then-President Noynoy Aquino’s picture and quote after her, covering the predecessor’s agenda.
Because of their laziness and deterrence to produce a new concept, they regressed to the BPI version and is still playing today under the succeeding and present Duterte administration.
The current PNA music video that aired over the barely recognizable network was made under former President Noynoy Aquino’s communication team; simply put, their concept is a hodgepodge seam of old and new clips.
Going into details, it’s an assortment of videos and pictures from CRT monitors, nearly outdated military assets, Sarah Geronimo’s Bayanihan para sa Kapayapaan to monuments.
Since the guards have been changed for 11 months now, no motive will still replace the PNA concept – a reflection of how sloth and broke Old Balara is.
Using the Koro Filipino’s rendition, their version is simply a mix of Jose Rizal, Andres Bonifaco and natural beauty.
The first digital-only TV channel uses the government-approved Centennial version in 1998 — apparently placed for nostalgic purposes during their pioneer years as ZOE Broadcasting Network on then Channel 11.
UNTV and SMNI do not play the national anthem because their channels operate 24 hours a day.
AksyonTV, which operated 24/7 during their early days, played it by a philharmonic orchestra once a day to signify the end of a broadcast day as well as the start of another.
Despite the common symbolism and their individual and distinctive expression they displayed, perhaps the most important question we want to ask for ourselves is, “Why do we play this anthem on the first and last place?” The best answer would go like this, “It’s because we want to dedicate our works and aspirations for our beloved country.”
Photo courtesy of Inquirer.net