Palace defends Martin Nievera against critics

The Malacañang Palace via Cabinet Secretary Silvestre Bello III has expressed its support on the 'Lupang Hinirang' version of Martin Nievera which was sang during the opening of Pacquiao-Hatton fight last Sunday in Las Vegas.

According to Bello, Martin should be allowed "freedom of expression".

"There’s a saying that if you ask 50 artists or singers to sing a song, you will see 50 different versions of the song,” he said to Philippine Daily Inquirer.

Yes, I think Bello is right. Why do they always invite a new singer to sing the Philippine National Anthem in every Pacquiao fight if only to hear the same version over and over again?

Previous artists who sang Lupang Hinirang for a Pacquiao fight were Lani Misalucha, Jennifer Bautista, Sarah Geronimo, Ciara Sotto, Kyla, Geneva Cruz, Karylle and most recently Martin Nievera (the only male).

According to some, only Lea Salonga could sing Lupang Hinirang the right way. And why not just play a Lea Salonga tape of Lupang Hinirang every time there is a boxing fight? Or simply make Lea as the official singer of Lupang Hinirang?

In connection with this issue, two lawmakers are also in defense of Martin Nievera and will make a bold move by proposing for an amendment of the Flag and Heraldic Code (Republic Act No. 8491). If ever passed, artists who will interpret the national anthem in a different way will no longer be penalized or punished.

We actually have different sides regarding this matter. Everyone is entitled to an opinion just like someone who has made a significant comment on my previous post stating his disappointment regarding Martin Nievera's own version of Lupang Hinirang:

From a Disappointed Citizen:

It is quite sad how we have very little left of our culture and heritage and yet, Filipinos still refuse to stand up for what is right and just in order to preserve our pride of citizenry.

No, it is not right that Mr. Nievera decided to take it upon himself to improve our National Anthem.

No, it is not right that just because other artists want to butcher their own national anthems, that we follow suit like ignorants with no virtue and respect.

No, it is not right that Mr. Nievera stands so arrogant, not even acknowledging the fact that his judgment was flawed in interpreting the National Anthem to suit only his singing style and not to be a symbol for pride of country.

No, it is not right that he be now put in a pedestal by equally ignorant Filipino citizen who cannot even tell what is right from wrong, regardless of their well-meaning adulation of the balladeer. There cannot be any sense in believing that your loyalty for Mr. Nievera surpasses that of your loyalty for country.

No, it is not right to once again point the finger back at detractors of self-serving artists, claiming negativity as the only reason for criticism.

When will it end. When will Filipinos finally realize that long after the Martin Nieveras of this world have passed, the only thing really important to is to keep our culture intact.

And the Filipino culture does NOT stem from Vegas balladeers.


About M.I.

Mykiru is an entertainment blogger, having been named as one of the Top 10 Pinoy Showbiz Resources in the Philippines. For a decade now, has been delivering the latest, the hottest and most trending issues in the country.

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