The Philippine National Anthem, “Lupang Hinirang”, symbolizes patriotism and nationalism among Filipinos as it embodies our aspirations and sentiments in the unending search for independence through Philippine traditions, ideals, history and culture.
As a Filipino, everyone is expected to pay high respect in singing the anthem regardless of age, religion, stature in life and gender. In fact, the song is protected by law that it cannot be reworded, rephrased or even rearranged and should be sung standing at attention and facing the flag while the right palm is being placed on the left chest.
Recently, a video of a transsexual sparked outrage as she was seen dancing indecently in her red bathing suit with her right hand over her crotch while playing “Lupang Hinirang” as her background music.
She was identified with an alias Maria Sofia Love who is currently residing in Los Angeles, Californina and had became famous for her videos which had gone viral such as “Para Sa Ekonomiya!”, “Pak!” and “Tuloy ang Modeling”.
Many netizens got disturbed with the film and said that Sofia clearly violated the Revised Flag and Heraldic Code of the Philippines while showing her poor taste of entertaining the Filipino people. Some of the netizens even felt offended for being somehow belittled by Sofia in making a video that showed disrespect to the Filipinos as a whole.
Maria Sofia Love was bombarded with many negative criticisms yet has remained silent in the middle of the controversy. Meanwhile, her friend Andie Montilla issued a statement defending Sofia.
“Lately I’ve been receiving numerous messages pertaining to the recent controversy involving our dearest friend and my mom Maria Sofia Sanchez, I believe it happened unintentionally, if you only knew how kind, sweet, affectionate and patriotic she is especially to our country, The Philippines, what happened last night was merely to bring pure entertainment without realizing the implications of her action, she has brought positive vibes to all our fellow countrymen all over the world since she became Maria Sofia Love so let’s not quickly judge her and condemn her for this wrong doing, and if in any reason she has crossed the boundaries, in behalf of all her concerned friends, we would like to extend our apology to everyone offended by it…let’s spread love not hate!,” Montilla claimed.
However, netizens desired that Sofia issue a public apology and suffer the consequences for the act which she committed pursuant to House Bill 5224 repealing Republic Act No. 8491.
Should Sofia be found guilty in violating the said law, she will be required to pay a penalty of not less than P 50,000 but not more than P 100,000. Nonetheless, the final verdict is yet to be given after assessing the severity of the act committed by Maria Sofia Love.
House Bill 5224:
House Bill 5224 states that The National Anthem shall not be played and sung for mere recreation, amusement or entertainment purposes except on the following occasions: a) International competitions where the Philippines is the host or has a representative; b) Local competitions; c.) During the “signing off” and “signing on” of radio broadcasting and television stations; d) Before the initial and last screening of films and before the opening of theater performances; and other occasions as may be allowed by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP).