On June 5,1898, Aguinaldo issued a decree setting aside June 12 as the day for the proclamation of Philippine independence. At the same time, he commissioned Julian Felipe, a composer from Cavite, to prepare a composition which would be played during
the independence ceremonies. On June 11, Felipe showed Aguinaldo the draft of his musical composition, which was entitled Marcha Filipina Magdalo. Aguinaldo and the other revolutionary leaders, upon hearing the composition played on the piano, adopted it as the official march of the Philippines. Aguinaldo then requested Felipe to teach the music to the members of the band of San Francisco de Malabon, so it could be played the next day. Felipe changed the title of the march to Marcha Nacional Filipina (Philippine National March).
On June 12, 1898, the music band of San Francisco de Malabon played it for the first time during the unfurling of the Filipino flag at Kawit. The beautiful melody of the anthem stirred the people’s patriotic fervor. For more than a year, the anthem remained without words. Towards the end of August 1899, a young poet-soldier named Jose Palma (younger brother of Dr. Rafael Palma) wrote the poem entitled “Filipinas”. This poem expressed in elegant Spanish verses the ardent patriotism and fighting spirit of the Filipino people. It became the words of the anthem. At last, the national anthem was complete — with music and words.
Official version used since 1956
Bayang magiliw Perlas ng Silanganan,
Alab ng puso, Sa dibdib mo’y buhay.
Lupang Hinirang, Duyan ka ng magiting,
Sa manlulupig, Di ka pasisiil.
Sa dagat at bundok,
Sa simoy at sa langit mong bughaw,
May dilag ang tula
At awit sa paglayang minamahal.
Ang kislap ng watawat mo’y
Tagumpay na nagniningning,
Ang bituin at araw niya
Kailan pa ma’y di magdidilim.
Lupa ng araw, ng luwalhati’t pagsinta,
Buhay ay langit sa piling mo;
Aming ligaya, na pag may mang-aapi
Ang mamatay nang dahil sa iyo.