“PARA sa Bayan” is such a strong phrase to utter, especially if you are a Filipino. But we Filipinos try so hard to live by the phrase, as if guided by our National Anthem “Ang Mamatay ng Dahil Sa Iyo,” exerting the very best effort we can just to contribute to the glory of the great country Philippines, even if it means giving your life.

But what if in your very best you are accused to desecrating it? That would crush you to pieces, ha?

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This maybe the feeling of Arnel Pineda, a proud Filipino, who made it as the lead vocalist of the famous international rock band Journey. Just recently, he was tapped to represent the Filipino people and sing our national anthem, the “Lupang Hinirang,” in the Pacquiao vs Clottey fight at the Cowboys Stadium (congratulations Pacman for winning the fight!).

Before the fight, all ears were tuned (for Filipinos anyway) on how the Philippine National Anthem would be sang, such natural critics in us Filipinos.

It could be understood that we comment on how our very own “Lupang Hinirang” is sung, but to file a case against Pineda, who sang it with all his heart. His rendition may not please everyone but in his heart, he was doing his best in singing the anthem in behalf of us Filipinos.

As they say, it is the law. But I agree with the comments of a TV journalist and I quote “it should be amended.”

My hats off to Mr. Pineda who readily apologized when confronted by the issue but you can see his innocence, that he meant nothing wrong in his performance. Like a true gentlemen, he opted to apologize rather sink in the issue. He said he meant nothing wrong and if he violated any law he is sorry, but you can see the dismay in his face while speaking in his interviews.

In sports, athletes always represent their country and it is but fitting they be proud to sing the anthem in any competition or representation, whether it be local, national and even international. Artists who sing the anthem may put in their own style in a note or two, but I am sure they have no intention in decrementing the National Anthem.

Maybe it is in the law but there has not been enough information campaign to disseminate its meaning. I am not sure if it’s inculcated in our education system – even briefly about this law’s as well as others which concerns nationalism. I doubt, even if it is included in the educational system, if students will fully understand its provisions.

Imposing the law is unquestionable and ignorance of the law is not an excuse right? But then again the social and moral responsibility of government is to disseminate this law and be well explained and understood by the people.

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Congratulations to the participants and winners of the PMA-PRO COR-PRO 1 “Regional Director PRO Cordillera Badminton Cup Fellowship Tri-meet” held at the Cooyeesan Sports Complex, Baguio City last March 12. It is said it was Police Chief Superintendent Orlando Pestano’s last hurrah! For Badminton as Regional Director of PRO-COR, Police Chief Superintendent Orlando Pestano and his partner Dr.

Jojo Estebar went all out in their matches in the Men’s Double’s Advance category. (For comments and suggestions do e-mail me at jaysonscorpio@yahoo.com.ph)