I've posted about Lupang Hinirang sung at various boxing bouts. I even have a dramatic video version of our National Anthem, meant more for reflection. As a wannabe artist and Filipino, I recognize the respect due one's original work. One does not mess with Shakespeare, Vivaldi or the choreography of Giselle for example. So why should we consider the Lupang Hinirang fair game? Or does Martin have the artistic freedom to change it up? Is it true what he says that "we're afraid of change?"
I was a big fan of Martin when he first came on the Philippine music scene. I think it was on Pilita's show, and he sang with his father, Bert Nievera. Although you would have thought that they were patronizing this kid, he obviously had talent. It confused me a bit when he dissed Jackielou Blanco on national TV. I knew of her and found her to be a gracious and intelligent heiress who rather liked to work. Martin would show again later on that he generally disrespected women.
I cheered for the Pops-Martin tandem on Penthouse live. I think the end of the marriage started my dislike for him. (Fans CAN take it personally, you know). My ears began to ring with his American twang. For those unaware, he was educated here. I cringe when he mispronounces Filipino words though I think he's recorded Filipino songs. It embarrasses me no end that Michelle van Eimeren and the Brazilian on Eat Bulaga! speak in the vernacular while Martin prattles like a Fil-Am who's never set foot in in the Philippines.
Why the rant? I was worried about how he would sing Lupang Hinirang during the Pacquiao-Hatton bout last weekend. If you had to sing phonetically, the chances are you would commit a mistake or not give it the proper emotion.
Boy, was I mistaken! He pronounced the words right but that was all he did. He messed with the tempo and the original melody. And was that true emotion we see in his scrunched-up face? He's been doing that forever. Martin is pseudo-American rather than Filipino and I think he's rather proud of it. How did we expect someone without national pride to sing our National Anthem correctly? The song identifies our people but Martin is one of "them" people.