In His Own Words: Carlo Tanseco on 'Lupang Hinirang' at J Studio at Art Fair Philippines 2023
So many people I know are leaving the country, going to Spain, to Portugal for a golden visa. It put me in a quandary. Who am I? What is it to be Filipino? Is there an instruction manual? Is there something like an Apostles’ Creed like the one we recite if we’re Catholic, a Masonic Creed if we’re Masons?
I realized that the “Lupang Hinirang” is a guide on how to be a Filipino, how to appreciate our country, how to think and feel and be Filipino. Di ka pasisiil. Never allow oppression.
It talks about the beauty of our country, its resources. It talks about how passionate we should be even toward the end how we should be ready to fight and defend and die for our country.
It's all there, and many times when we sing it, we’re half-hearted. Why do we do that? It’s so beautiful. We just need time to appreciate it.
It felt like I had a six-month dissertation on our national anthem because I had to research and study it. It took me two months to conceptualize, four months to execute.
I can also imagine how the Philippines was when this was written, full of hope, full of pride. That’s what we lack now, pride. We always say, oh how nice it is in Japan, how nice it is everywhere else except here. We forget how beautiful our own country is. It’s a vicious cycle. You say it’s ugly then it will be ugly. You say it’s beautiful and you’ll want to discover different places and the beauty of the Philippines. Enough of the ugly. Let’s try to uplift, be positive about our country.
J Studio is on Level 5 of The Link at Ayala Center Makati. Art Fair Philippines runs through February 19.