By tradition, “Lupang Hinirang” signals the proper beginning of every presidential inauguration. Undoubtedly, leading the National Anthem on a historic day like today comes with as much honor and pressure on the chosen singer.
For all of history, the great responsibility to lead the nation in singing Lupang Hinirang on June 30, 2022, will forever be credited to actress-host Toni Gonzaga. Because not long after, the 17th President of the Republic of the Philippines will take his oath in the person of President-elect Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. today at the National Museum.
As Filipinos around the world anticipate singing the National Anthem to signal the beginning of a new chapter in history, The Manila Times Entertainment and Lifestyle looks back at the artists preceding Gonzaga in a front act like no other, four presidents to date.
OPM singers for Rodrigo Duterte, 2016. For outgoing President Rodrigo Duterte's inauguration, OPM singers Jimmy Bondoc, Thor Dulay, Luke Mejares, Pido Lalimarmo, Paulo Santos and Gail Blanco formed the ensemble singing Lupang Hinirang at perhaps the simplest inauguration rites at the Rizal Hall in Malacañang Palace.
Charice Pempengco for Benigno Simeon “Noynoy” Aquino 3rd, 2010. Charice Pempengco — who now identifies as Jake Zyrus — delivered her rendition of the National Anthem at President Aquino's inauguration in Quirino Grandstand, Manila.
Nora Aunor and Sarah Geronimo for Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, 2004. Former President Arroyo had a two-part inauguration in 2004. In the morning, Pop Princess Sarah Geronimo sang the National Anthem before Arroyo made her inaugural speech. Closer to noon, the President flew to Cebu City, where she garnered an overwhelming number of votes, where now National Artist and Philippine Superstar Nora Aunor sang Lupang Hinirang before the second lady president of the country took her oath of office.
Nora Aunor for Joseph Ejercito Estrada, 1998. As a close friend of former President Joseph Ejercito Estrada, a famous action star before he entered politics in 1969, Superstar Nora Aunor was chosen to sing the National Anthem, therefore emerging as the only artist who has sung Lupang Hinirang in two presidential inaugurations.
Estrada took his oath at the historic Barasoain Church in Malolos, Bulacan, before proceeding to Quirino Grandstand to deliver his inaugural speech. It was in Quirino Grandstand where Aunor sang the National Anthem.
Military band for Fidel Ramos, 1992. The only Armed Forces of the Philippines General who made it to the highest position in the land, former President Fidel Ramos, had the military band playing Lupang Hinirang at his inauguration. While this may seem like an obvious choice for the military man, there were still some who wondered if an actual artist would have been the alternative had Ramos allowed his now late daughter Jo Ramos — a member of the now-defunct Powerplay Band, which had been Gary Valenciano's constant backup chorus singers in through the '80s — a part in the inaugural planning.
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