Entry 103

UP Naming Mahal (UP Beloved) Music Sheets

This may or may not be a re-post about UP’s hymn “UP Naming Mahal” erstwhile sung as “UP Beloved”.

I wrote about this in the past, but here now I am providing the music sheets and additional information.

I recently acquired an addition to my collection of this evocative music. I have three different versions.

Let me call the first one exhibit A. I chanced this from a program booklet of some UP event decades ago. At the back page is an image of the music sheet titled “UP Beloved”. It is set to the key of B-flat. I assume that this is the original arrangement made by Nicanor Abelardo in mixed voices and piano.

Exhibit A: UP Beloved (mixed voices and piano, key of Bb)

My exhibit B is a copy of a music sheet from the library of UP College of Music, also having the English lyrics, and reset to the key of A-flat, two semitones lower than the original key.

Exhibit B: UP Beloved (voice and piano, key of Ab)

Lastly, exhibit C is the a capella arrangement by Nhick Ramiro Pacis, also set to the key of A-flat. This is the version sung by the UP Concert Chorus and subsequently the official version today.

Exhibit C: UP Naming Mahal (a capella mixed voices, key of Ab)

The hymn was conceived through two contests in 1917. The contest for a poem to embody UP was won by Teogenes Velez, a liberal arts student and later a law student. (He would later be a member of the 7th Legislature (1925–27), representing Misamis.) And the contest for setting that poem to music was won by Nicanor Abelardo, a music student that time.

There is a story telling that Abelardo did the music literally in minutes before the contest deadline. This story is documented in the book Nicanor Abelardo: the Man and the Artist by Ernesto Epistola.

“It was already within the hour of the deadline when they (Nicanor and his wife) arrived home. Nicanor immediately went to the round table where he usually wrote and started to work. … For some minutes he hummed, whistled, sang, beat time, and wrote. Then he went to the piano, played the piece through, made a few changes but it was already ten minutes before the deadline. The boy sent to submit the entry had to run all the way to the conservatory to be on time.” (p 38)

Nicanor Abelardo bust in UP College of Music

Nicanor Abelardo’s bust in UP College of Music

Below is the poem penned by Teogenes Velez:

UP Beloved

U. P. beloved, thou Alma Mater dear
For thee united our joyful voices hear
Far tho we wander o’er island yonder
Loyal thy sons we’ll ever be,
Loyal thy sons we’ll ever be.

Echo the watchword the red and green forever
Give out the password to the Hall of brave sons, rare.
Sing forth the message, ring out with courage.
All hail, thou hope of our dear land,
All hail, thou hope of our dear land.

The Filipino translation, however, was a composite of texts made by seven entrants to a translation contest in 1969. As there was no clear winner, the works by Carlito Barril, Conrado Galang, C.P. Habito, Bienvenido T. Miranda, Jose L. Pelayo, Hilarion R. Rubio, and Severino S. Tabios were used in the present text sung today.

UP Naming Mahal

U.P. naming mahal, pamantasang hirang
Ang tinig namin sana’y inyong dinggin
Malayong lupain amin mang marating
Di rin magbabago ang damdamin
Di rin magbabago ang damdamin.

Luntian at pula sagisag magpakailan man
Ating ’pagdiwang bulwagan ng dangal
Humayo’t itanghal giting at tapang
Mabuhay ang pag-asa ng bayan
Mabuhay ang pag-asa ng bayan.



I will be posting my unpublished photos of Oblations in many constituent universities and campuses of UP soon. For an easy compilation of them, read “Entry 058“.


Epistola, Ernesto V. Nicanor Abelardo: the Man and the Artist. Manila: Rex Book Store, 1996.

“Online Roster of Philippine Legislators.” House of Representatives. <http://congress.gov.ph/orphil/index.php>

“Tatak UP.” University of the Philippines Diliman. <http://upd.edu.ph/about/tatak-up/>

“Teogenes Velez – the man behind the lyrics of UP Beloved” CDODev.com. <http://www.cdodev.com/2011/08/09/teogenes-velez-the-man-behind-the-lyrics-of-up-beloved/>


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