(Updated with video) Analyzing `UP Ang Galing Mo!’ and `Isang Daan’

UP logoAs the University of the Philippines (UP) celebrates its 100th year on June 18 (Wednesday), allow me to analyze two centennial-related songs – UP Ang Galing Mo! and Isang Daan.

The first was commissioned by the UP administration in time for the year-long centennial celebration which started last January 8. The second, on the other hand, is the official UPLB centennial theme song, having won the UPLB 19.09 Musicfest in September 2007.

Let’s start by analyzing the lyrics of the upbeat rock song UP Ang Galing Mo!

UP Ang Galing Mo!

Narito kami nagpupugay
Sa unibersidad ng aming buhay
Ikaw pa rin ang binabalikan
‘Di pa rin malilimutan
Ikaw ang UP naming mahal

Salamat sa iyong mga guro
Salamat sa inyong pagtuturo
Taglay n’yo ang kahusayan
Taglay n’yo ang karunungan
Hinubog n’yo kami sa kabutihan

Sandaang taon na tayo
Lagi ka pa rin sa aming puso
Kaya’t kami sumasaludo
UP ang galing mo!
UP ang galing mo!

Wala nang iba pang maihahambing
Sa talino mo’t angking galing
Daanin man sa siyensya
High tech man o kahit ano pa
Ikaw UP ang nangunguna

Sa iyong mga dugo ang kasaysayan
Dumaloy sa pag-unlad ng ating bayan
Sagisag ka ng kagitingan
Bandila ka ng kalayaan
Pag-asa ka ng mamamayan

Sandaang taon na tayo
Lagi ka pa rin sa aming puso
Sandaang taon na tayo
UP ang galing mo!
UP ang galing mo!

Sandaang taon na tayo
Dangal ka ng Pilipino
Sentro ka ng pagbabago
UP ang galing mo!

Sandaang taon na tayo
UP ang galing mo!
UP ang galing mo!

The music and lyrics effectively capture the euphoria surrounding UP’s 100 years. The beat and genre appeal more to the youth crowd. In the process, some UP students can’t be blamed for liking the song. However, I’ve noticed that the more discerning ones are not that receptive, and for good reason.

If you know your basic Filipino grammar, you would immediately notice what’s wrong with a particular word that can be found in the title no less: Instead of “ang galing,” it should be “kay galing.” That the former is commonly used in conversational Filipino does not make it grammatically correct, at least for now. However, you should know that continuous use of the ungrammatical could result in its acceptance in the future.

Don’t you find some lack of creativity in the second stanza where the guro (teachers) are thanked for their…pagtuturo (teaching)? It’s a given that teachers teach. While the intention is to commend teachers for properly shaping their students, there should have been a more creative way in writing this. One cannot be blamed if he or she suspects that the composer simply ran out of words in deciding what rhymes with “guro.”

I also don’t think that UP being first when it comes to “high technology” is true. UP may have the best minds in the country, but the common lament of most students (and professors for that matter) is the lack of basic facilities. And in the context of social relevance, shouldn’t we have an inherent bias for appropriate technology instead of the state-of-the-art?

What about our excellence in non-natural science disciplines like literary arts and media? Kindly refer to the line “High tech man o kahit ano pa.” As a faculty member of the university’s College of Mass Communication (CMC), I guess I belong to the “kahit ano pa” crowd. (Should I be thankful for this?)

There is also something awkward about the use of dugo (blood): History is said to be in our blood, and that the latter flows as society develops. What does this mean? Another important point in grammar: Dugo is already a collective noun so it becomes redundant to use mga as modifier.

As regards the singing style, I am uncomfortable with the singer’s pronouncing unibersidad as YU-NI-BER-SI-DAD. This reminds me of rock singer Ramon Jacinto’s tendency to use American twang in some of his songs in Filipino (Sinasabi ko sa yow/Na wala ekong daramdamin…). While having an accent in using a foreign language is understandable, a Filipino speaking his or her own language should learn proper pronunciation of simple words like unibersidad.

Now that we’re through analyzing this rock song, perhaps we should take it “slow” by analyzing Isang Daan which has, quite predictably, a slow tempo.

Isang Daan

Isandaang taong pagsisilbi sa bayan
Isandaang taon ng kagitingan
Ginising ang ating puso’t isipan
Mula sa pagkakatulog ng kamalayan

* Isang daan tungo sa karunungan
Isang daan tungo sa kagalingan
Daan na tinuro ng ating pamantasang hirang
Inilaan para sa ’ting mga anak ng bayan

Dumating man ang hangin ng pagbabago
Iskolar, huwag patitinag itaas ang kamao
Kasing lawak at ‘sing taas ng langit
Ang abot ng isipan mo

(Repeat *)

Magbago man ang panahon
Pamantasan nati’y ‘di patatalo
Iskolar ng bayan noon at ngayon
Laging angat sa iba

Isang daan tungo sa karunungan
Isang daan tungo sa kagalingan
Isang daan tungo sa karunungan
Isang daan tungo sa kagalingan

(Repeat *)

Notice that the words sandaan (one hundred) and isang daan (one way or one road) are used creatively and convincingly by the composer.

Even if it won a contest at UPLB and is thus the theme song of that particular constituent unit, this is a song that can be embraced not just by the entire UP system but also other 100-year old state universities (e.g., Philippine Normal University) whose students are considered “scholars of the people.”

The reason for this is simple: Unlike UP Ang Galing Mo!, Isang Daan does not make any direct reference to UP, and there was also no allusion to the things that make UPLB distinct and distinguished like agriculture, forestry and development communication. I think this is a welcome move as the composer had the liberty to focus more on UP’s orientation and its tradition of excellence.

There is also an attempt to be socially relevant as the scholars of the people are called upon to continue raising their fists (a sign of militancy), the wind of change notwithstanding. That UP also helped raise the students’ consciousness was also mentioned right at the first stanza.

The lyrics, however, can still be improved. In the first stanza, strictly speaking, the word sandaang should have been used instead of isandaang. (If you don’t believe, look at the P100 bill.) In the refrain, the line “Daan na tinuro…” should have been “Daang itinuro…”

These weaknesses notwithstanding, Isang Daan is a fitting tribute to UP and other state universities especially at a time of government’s very limited subsidy to education.

If you want to have MP3 files of UP Ang Galing Mo! and Isang Daan, you may search the Net or you can opt to just contact me.

Much as I want to, bandwidth limitations prevent me from uploading the two MP3 files. In any case, I’ll be more than happy to share mine with you via email, should you want to.

That’s all for now. Thank you for reading.

Update (June 17, 3:45 p.m.): I found on YouTube the “unofficial music video” of the “official version” of Isang Daan.

In terms of sound quality, it is better than the original acoustic version which, from what I know, is the entry to the September 2007 contest.

That I prefer the acoustic over this official version is just a matter of opinion: You might like the official version if you’re not familiar with the song “We Are the World” which, for some reason, came to mind as I watched this video.

Since it was uploaded only last June 4, only a few people (149 views as of this writing) have seen this video which I took the liberty of embedding for your enjoyment.

I hope you won’t get easily distracted by the smiling faces and totally unrelated gestures as they sung a serious and solemn song. Give the students a break: It’s their moment of glory, after all, and they have every reason to be proud of their work.

21 thoughts on “(Updated with video) Analyzing `UP Ang Galing Mo!’ and `Isang Daan’”

  1. Sir, Can I repost this? :) or kahit yung link lang. :) Thanks!

    UPLB College of DevCom

    Reply: Sure, be my guest. Thanks.

  2. sir,

    i share your observations. it’s good na finally may nakapagsulat tungkol dito, usually by word lang yung comments, esp. from alumni and elbizens..pwde pong parepost..actually,nicopy ko na siya..properly cited nman po..


    DevCom ’03

    Reply: Thank you for your comment. Feel free to quote from this post.

  3. Prof. Danny Arao,

    Thank you very much for this review. Now, I know what to improve. This will help me a lot.

    Marie Angelica Dayao

    Reply: Congratulations for composing a socially relevant song. I hope that you will continue writing and make a serious advocacy (not necessarily a career) out of it.

  4. Hello sir!

    I was able to come across the official recordings of Isang Daan. It seems that they also recorded an acoustic version of the song which is actually nice.

  5. in fact, some people, upon analyzing “UP ang galing mo”, it reminds of a “Love Radio”
    jingle or the theme song of naruto. As for me, that song from diliman must become a jingle for that occasion while “Isang daan” from Los Banos must be the theme, the main theme song of the centennial.

    as for Marie Angelica:

    It is an honour to have your song be heard, not just in the entire UP system-but to every Filipino whether he or she is from UP or not, “SOLIDARITY” ika nga.

    Reply: Thanks for your message. As a rejoinder to what you wrote, what comes to mind as I listen to “UP Ang Galing Mo!” is the band Sugarfree’s “Hari ng Sablay.” I agree with your view that “Isang Daan” should be the theme not just of the UPLB centennial celebration but the entire UP system’s.

  6. I’m in.

    I prefer “Isang Daan” to be the theme song of the Centennial Celebration. Songwriter din ako and I agree na mas maayos, makahulugan, at ‘mas pinag-isipan’ ang Isang Daan. Seryoso pero masarap sa tenga at madaling sabayan. Nakita ko nung nagpa-praktis pa lang sila Angge para sa contest. Tumindig balahibo ko kasi na-gets ko kagad yung mensahe at na-hook ako sa melody kahit gitara lang gamit nila.

    At may sayaw pala yun nung nagpraktis sila. Hindi lang magandang pakinggan ang Isang Daan, maganda rin panoorin yung sayaw.

    Lastly, dagdag sa comments tungkol sa kanta, masasabi kong napaka-versatile ng Isang Daan. Pwedeng haluan ng ibang genre at pwede ring itranslate sa ibang genre. Kumbaga, sa punkista at emo terms, pwedeng pabigatin at pwede ring pagaanin. Kailangan lang ng konting tweaks.

    Invisible Hand
    Yoopster Administrator

  7. Hi sir,

    I’ve been making a short analysis of the two songs and I that some citations from your post could add spice to it. Well, it’s been in draft form on my Windows Live Writer for months. Hehe.

    Marvin Angelo R. Oloris
    BS Civil Engineering

    Reply: Thank you for your message. Once you finish your short analysis of the two songs, I hope you’ll send me a copy. Cheers!

  8. hi sir!

    could you please send me both mp3 files? i would very much appreciate it if you could. pretty please! haha! thank you sir! :)

    JR Geronimo
    UPD, BS ME

  9. Halata naman kasi na hindi ang pagiging dalubhasa sa sining at kultura ang pinairal sa UP Ang Galing mo , kundi kayabangan, komodipikasyon ng Unibersidad ng Pilipinas na pinamumunuan ng mga utak manganagalakal na parag gustong ihalintulad ang UP sa mga variety show… It takes more than a Bussiness Adminsistrator to market a song… Market anaylysis is combined with cultural background and linguistical accuracy to make a song a hit… Gisto yata ng kantang ito makipagsabayan sa Otso-otso, Pito-Pito, Wowowie, Itaktak mo, Spaghetti pababa…

  10. Thanks for the reply Sir.

    I just think that “UP ang galing mo” is good-suitable for ikot jeepneys or in “Love radio” hehehe….

    based on the anecdote I read, it shows some UP students thinks that the song is similar to the jingle, and here it is:

    At habang naghihintay kami para muling makarating ang mga torch bearers sa Quezon Hall… mga ONE HUNDRED bazillion times ding pinatugtog ang UP Centennial Song sung by the mysteriously anonymous “UP Centennial Band.”

    At maraming nag-comment sa lyrics ng kanta ng centennial song…

    Anonymous UP Centennial Band: Narito kami nagpupugay…sa yooooo-nibersidad ng aming buhay…

    Rose Ann: Haayy.. sa dinami-dami ng mga magagaling na bandang alumni ng UP…bakit ganitrez ang centennial song at mukhang kinapos sa lyrics! Buamanat pa ng “Yoooo-nibersidad…” Tama ba naman yun?

    Anonymous UP Centennial Band: Sandaang taon na tayo…lagi ka pa rin sa aming puso…kaya’t kami’y sumasaludo…UP…ANG GALING MO! UP…ANG GALING MO!

    Dingdong: Ano ba yang centennial song natin…parang katunog nung jingle ng Love Radio… “Love Radio…isigaw mo pare!” UP…Ang galing mo nga!

    Naku…sa mga hindi nakakaalam ng UP Centennial Song…imagine-nin niyo yung jingle ng Love Radio…ka-level nun yung centennial song…

    “Kadyot lang…kadyot lang…Ate…ba’t pinakikinggan mo yung UP Centennial Song?”

    “Isipin mo na lang…LOVE RADIO YAN!……..waaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh!!!!!”

    Sagot: Maraming salamat sa kuwento mo. Nakakahiyang nakakatuwang nakakainis. Ibang antas pala ang inabot ng panlalait sa kantang ito. Nakakairita talaga!

  11. Good day sir. Pwede po pasend sa email ko nung dalawang version ng Isang Daan in mp3 format? Thanks po..

    Sagot: Naipadala ko na. Salamat.

  12. Thanks for commenting that story, perhaps most of them criticized the theme and calling it as a theme for radio since they got used to listen on the jeepney. Sa bagay, nakakairita din, nakakatuwa at nakakainis.

  13. hello po sir..

    mas mganda tlga yung isang daan. mas na-capture nya ang kung ano dapat ang role ng UP sa bayan atsaka ang dapat na pagpapatuloy ng student movement sa mga pamantasan ng pilipinas (d lang UP). yung UP ang galing mo. masyado pong mainstream.

    by d way po, pwd pa-email nung mp3 files?


    UP cebu

    Sagot: Naipadala ko na sa email address mo ang dalawang MP3 files. Salamat sa komento mo.

  14. Centennial graduate po ako. Tinugtog yung Isang Daan after ng graduation rights with matching fireworks.

    Please send me mp3 files of Isang Daan at UP ang Galing mo.

    Reply: Kindly check your inbox. Thanks.

  15. UP students are not supposed to be called “Iskolar ng Bayan” (Scholar of the Nation). They are “paying scholars”. If you are paying more or less PHP 21, 000, would you really feel that you are indeed a “Iskolar ng Bayan”? Upon enrollment, UP students get in line to pay for their tuition holding wads of cash roughly four times thicker than those from New Era University would pay for. I am sure that we don’t need figures, charts, and statistics to prove the veracity of my claim.

    Had it been somebody from PUP, PLM, PNU, TUP, or any state university/college who boasted himself as “Iskolar ng Bayan”, I am inclined to agree. Otherwise, if it’s from UP who claims such, I will maintain the same incredulous revulsion.

    Reply: Thank you for your comment. Believe it or not, however, UP is still a state university despite the astronomical increase in tuition and other fees. If we were to believe the claim of the UP administration, the tuition at the undergraduate level amounting to P1,000 per unit is still subsidized, given that the actual cost for UP education is more than P60,000.

    But this is, of course, beside the point: The fact that poor but deserving students are now being deprived of a UP education is a reality that we all have to face, and to collectively change.

    In this context, the term “scholar of the people (iskolar ng bayan)” still applies to those that are classified as state universities and colleges (SUCs). The reality of “paying scholars” applies not just to UP but even to other SUCs you mentioned like PUP and PNU though they tend to pay less, at least for now. It may interest you to know that progressive UP students and teachers unite with other counterparts from SUCs and other like-minded groups to fight for increased state subsidy to education and to change the current trend of its commercialization.

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