Joey Ayala Arrested For Violating National Anthem Law

Joey Ayala’s fateful performance @ TEDxDiliman

Noted composer, singer, and national icon Joey Ayala is now in hot water for what was supposed to be a lighthearted talk at the TEDxDiliman 2013 event held in UP Diliman last week. During the talk, Joey Ayala made minor changes to the wordings of Lupang Hinirang to improve clarity and stress the meaning of the words in the National Anthem.  This apparently did not sit well with the National Historical Institute (NHI), as with most things that are hip and cool.

Ayala was arrested earlier this morning in front of his house by elements of the special armed intervention group of the National Historical Institute and was taken to Intramuros for paperwork and further questioning. Ayala was chosen to do the talk for his previous experience as Chairman of Music in the National Commission for Culture and Arts as well as his noted patriotism. His credentials did not save him from the authorities.

Pepito Jose Pitombayag Jr, spokesperson for NHI Anthem Investigation Unit explained the situation. “I don’t even know why people bother to changing something that’s been the same for the last hundred years. They know we have laws against it. They know we punish violators. Yet they still try and end up just hurting themselves, their loved ones, and their ancestors’ honor.  It doesn’t matter who you are. If you try to mess with the National Anthem, you called down the thunder, you reap the whirlwind.”

As expected, the organizers of TEDxDiliman along with other organizations in UP that seem to never have anything else going on except rallies and communist parties are planning to mount, well, protests, in Intramuros to request Ayala’s early release. Not that protests ever change anything.

Activist leader Mon Jose of student org confederation KAPIT-SIBAK-AGAD says “This is outrageous. Here we have an innocent man who did nothing but try to make Lupang Hinirang sound like something a human would actually enjoy listening to, and the we arrested him. Meanwhile, Daniel Padilla is being given more airtime than most national issues and nobody seems to care. What are we waiting for? A second concert? Also, PNOY RESIGN! TUTA NG KANO!”

The National Anthem Law, which explicitly forbids the changing of the tune, lyrics, and rhythm of the National Anthem, was first passed by the legislation back when the only forms of entertainment entertainment people had was anthem singing, Palo Sebo and rebelling against the Spanish Government. The normally toothless NHI was given full powers to enforce the law later on by the Magsaysay administration. The law was then later relaxed during the Marcos years by adding exempting provisions for people who are genetically horrible at singing and people with poor lyric memory and who have never been to gradeschool.

Well worth noting that this exemption is exactly what allowed Christian Bautista to walk away unscathed after bungling a singing attempt during a boxing match on Aug 2007. Whether he sings poorly, sucks at memorization, or has never gone to gradeschool is not determined.

Joey Ayala is the next big celebrity to come under fire for breaking this law after pop singer, songwriter, and failed talk showhost Martin Nievera. Nievera sang a different tune of Lupang Hinirang last May 2009 during Manny Pacquiao’s fight against Ricky Hatton and was given non-incarcerating punishments stipulated in a special clause of the Penal code relating to the Anthem Law.

Reportedly included in the punishment is the forced signing a contract that stipulates at least seven collaborations together with Anne Curtis (see Without You by Anne Curtis) and having to publicly reread the nefarious FHM issue of August 2006 featuring his ex-wife Pops Fernandez, which avid subscribers describe as “boner reducing” and “the stuff that fuels drug-induced nightmares”.


Interviewed later on, Martin Nievera refused to divulge any details of the punishments and even went so far as outrightly denying them when we asked again a few months later.

When asked for opinion on the very recent arrest of Joey Ayala, Mr. Nievera shed a single tear, bowed down, and whispered “God help him. His fate is with the NHI now and the NHI is very powerful.”


21 thoughts on “Joey Ayala Arrested For Violating National Anthem Law”

  1. This is BAD WRITING!!! If you are writing a satire- make it really satirical so that people will not be confused. Mahina na nga ang karamihan ng PNoy sa pagtanggap ng satire- lalo mo pang nililito mga tao! One more thing add more humor para alam kagad na satire ito kasi nagmumukhang mahinang klaseng writer ka kapag ganyan. Be more creative please…… para mo nang awa!!!


  2. Satire nga sabi ko na! E kung totoo man dapat malaman ng NHC na ang originality ay pwde ring treating the old song in new way. Tingnan mo ang Star Spangled Banner ng US napakaganda. Kalooy sa Dios, luod kaayo kining atong PA lalo na walang K ang nag-eenterpret nito. I’ve been singing this song as I would like it to make patriotic and guess the reaction of pax or audience, walang paki nakikinig lang. Suggest even that this should be sang arranged to cover up it’s masyadong malungkot na dating. Go, go, go Joey. I heard it and what a nice innovation there! Padayon Bai!


  3. Martin’s pain is Anne’s next single.

    From how I understood the video, Joey used it as an exercise in songwriting, focusing on pronunciation to emphasize the meaning of the lyrics. He was giving a critique to the attitude of the people to the national anthem and recommends how the attitude could be changed by introducing some changes to the form and structure of the song. It’s easy to see that it is out of respect to the anthem, not to mock it.

    So changing the word “mamatay” to “magmahal” is criminal in the eyes of the people in NHI.. we must have put the wrong people there..


  4. ” “I don’t even know why people bother to changing something that’s been the same for the last hundred years. They know we have laws against it. They know we punish violators. ”

    1898 – “Marcha Filipino Magdalo” – Tune composed by Julian Felipé, renamed Marcha Nacional Filipina (Philippine National March) [7]
    1899 – “Filipinas” (Original Spanish version) – Lyrics by Jose Palma
    1919 – Land of the morning (English version) – Lyrics by Paz Marquez Benitez
    1940 – Various translations in Tagalog
    1948 – “Diwa ng Bayan” (Tagalog)
    1956 – Current Filipino version “Lupang Hinirang” – Lyrics by Surian ng Wikang Pambansa (Institute of National Language)




  6. Reblogged this on MavShack and commented:
    Even though this news is already outdated, I guess there’s nothing wrong in correcting the syllabication of our national anthem. He just wanted the lyrics to be humane and pleasing to the ears of FIlipino people. Learn to embrace changes, but one should embrace the changes if they know that it is for the betterment of all.


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