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We celebrate three anniversaries on June 12: The anniversary of the proclamation of Philippine independence from Spain; the anniversary of the Philippine flag, which was formally presented to the people from the balcony of President Emilio Aguinaldo’s house in Cavite during the proclamation of independence; and the anniversary of our National Anthem, which was played for the first time on the same date.
However, few people know that the National Anthem, as we know it today, is our second national anthem. Our very first national anthem was known as the “Marangal na Dalit ng Katagalugan,” which was commissioned by Andres Bonifacio in 1897. An interesting fact: The musician who was commissioned to compose the anthem would later become the second husband of Gregoria de Jesus, the widow of Bonifacio. The musician was none other than Julio Nakpil.
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