Composer and Katipunero Julio Nakpil honored on 150th birthday

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Julio Nakpil, Katipunero and composer of the first Philippine National Anthem, on Monday was remembered on his 150th birth anniversary by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines at Bahay Nakpil-Bautista in Quiapo, Manila.

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Nakpil as a member of the Katipunan fought and was in charge of one command in the revolution against the Spanish colonizers.

The first Philippine National Anthem that he composed is entitled “Marangal na Dalit ng Katagalugan.”

He was also the second husband of Gregoria de Jesus when she remarried after grieving the loss of her husband and Katipunan founder Andres Bonifacio, who was supposedly murdered by men of then-President Emilio Aguinaldo in Maragondon, Cavite.

Maria Lourdes Gaston, great granddaughter of Nakpil, expressed her gratitude that his great grandfather is being recognized for his contribution to the country’s history.

“We are grateful that there is a hype now on my [grandfather’s] sesquicentennial celebration. Before he was recognized but not as much as we wanted to,” Gaston said.

“He was recognized in Hanoi [Vietnam], for his Recuerdos de Capiz composition, but as an important composer of the Filipino revolution, he’s not that recognized,” she added.

Gaston said the music of Julio Nakpil is inspired by real-life events in history.

“My lolo grandfather] is the only composer who has captured history in his music. Like Biak-na-Bato, the death of Jose Rizal, what happened in Pasig, so he’s a historian through music and, according to research, he is the only Filipino composer who has done this,” she added.

“Also, what he proposed should be the National Anthem because Andres Bonifacio asked him to compose a national anthem. But as you know, there was a feud between Aguinaldo and Bonifacio,” Gaston said.

She added that the historical significance of her great grandfather’s compositions in the revolution should be recognized by the new generation.

“He should be remembered as a backstage personality of the revolution, but now he should now be at the front stage. His kind of music was Filipino music, really for the love of the country,” Gaston said.

“The young ones should emulate him for the kind of music that he composed and love for the country,” she added.

There will be a lecture series on June 16 for Nakpil’s works that will be delivered by Julio Nakpil researcher Dr. Sandy Chua at the Ayala Museum in Makati City.

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