UP Naming Mahal
U.P. Naming Mahal is the university hymn of the University of the Philippines. The melody for the song was written by Nicanor Abelardo, an alumnus and former faculty member of the U.P. College of Music. Abelardo is considered to be one of the Philippines' greatest musicians. Because of the original scale of the hymn in B flat major, which is too high for the usual voice, UP Conservatory of Music (now UP College of Music) professors Hilarion Rubio and Tomas Aguirre reset the music in G major.
The original English lyrics (entitled as "U.P. Beloved") was taken from a poem by Teogenes Velez, a Liberal Arts student. The translation to Filipino was a composite from seven entries in a contest held by the University. The judges did not find any of the seven translations as fully satisfactory.
|UP Naming Mahal|
Words by: Teogenes Velez, 1917
Music by: Nicanor Abelardo, 1917
|Filipino lyrics||Original English lyrics|
|U.P. naming mahal, pamantasang hirang||U.P. beloved, thou Alma Mater dear|
|Ang tinig namin, sana'y inyong dinggin||For thee united, our joyful voices hear|
|Malayong lupain, amin mang marating||Far tho we wander, o'er island yonder|
|Di rin magbabago ang damdamin||Loyal thy sons we'll ever be|
|Di rin magbabago ang damdamin.||Loyal thy sons we'll ever be.|
|Luntian at pula, Sagisag magpakailanman||Echo the watchword, the Red and Green forever.|
|Ating pagdiwang, bulwagan ng dangal||Give out the password, to the Hall of Brave sons rare.|
|Humayo't itanghal, giting at tapang||Sing forth the message, ring out with courage|
|Mabuhay ang pag-asa ng bayan||All hail, thou hope of our dear land,|
|Mabuhay ang pag-asa ng bayan.||All hail, thou hope of our dear land.|
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.
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 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.
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.
In 1998, 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.