Julio Nakpil (1877-1960)

Known as J. Giliw in the Katipinan, Julio Nakpil is known more as a composer than as the commander of all the Katipunan troops in the north. At the request of Andres Bonifacio, Nakpil composed "Marangal na Dalit ng Katagalugan" as the national anthem that is also known as the Himno Nacional of 1896.

Julio Nakpil's original Tagalog lyrics of Himno Nacional (1896) uses the word "Sangkapuluan", indicating that the word "katagalugan" in the original title "Marangal na Dalit ng Katagalugan" refers to the whole country and not just the tagalog regions. At the time the Katipunan was founded, the term "Filipino" referred only to the Spanish born in Las Islas Filipinas. In his unpublished memoir, “Ang Paghihimagsik ng 1896-1897” (The Revolution of 1896-1897), Carlos V. Ronquillo explained the term "tagalog":

"Ito ang dapat unawain ng mga bumabasa: sa tawag naming tagalog na makikita sa bawat dahon halos ng kasaysayang ito, ay di ang ibig naming sabihi’y ang paris ng palagay ng iba, na inuukol lamang sa tubong Maynila, Kabite at Bulakan, at iba pa, hinde kundi ang ibig naming tukuyin ay Filipinas… Sapagka’t sa palagay naminay ganito ang talagang nararapat ikapit sa tanang anak ng Kapilipinuhan. Ang tagalog o lalong malinaw, ang tawag na “tagalog” ay walang ibang kahulugan kundi ‘tagailog’ na sa tuwirang paghuhulo ay taong maibigang manira sa tabing ilog, bagay na di maikakaila na siyang talagang hilig ng tanang anak ng Pilipinas, saa’t saan mang pulo at bayan."

In his memoirs titled 'Apuntes Sobre La Revolucion Filipina (Notes on the Philippine Revolution), Julio Nakpil wrote "I swear before God and before History that everything related in these notes is the truth and I entreat the historian not to publish this until after my death." On page 30 of his memoirs can be found Nakpil's notes on the death of Bonifacio, and on page 130 is his account of the assassination of Antonio Luna where Nakpil wrote "When General A. Luna was dastardly assassinated on the stairs of the Convent of Kabanatuan and already fallen on the ground, the mother of Emilio Aguinaldo looked out the window and asked: 'Ano, humihinga pa ba?'" On pages 157-158, Nakpil wrote of Aguinaldo,

"Emilio Aguinaldo's surrender to the American's was a cowardly act. There was no doubt that he coveted the presidency. He surrendered for fear that others more competent than he would occupy the post of president of tne Republic.

Had he fought with his captors, regardless of whether he succumbed so that he might be considered a hero, at least to vindicate his crimes, by this time we would be admiring a monument to the second hero of the Philippines, unlike what he did delivering himself as prisoner and afterward taking an oath of allegiance to the American flag.

The crimes he committed against Andres Bonifacio and Antonio Luna, and his attempt to assassinate the undersigned [Julio Nakpil] should be condemned by history, and Universal Freemasonry ought to expel him and declare him a spurious son. The coward finds many dangers where none exist!"

A year or so after Bonifacio died, Julio Nakpil married "Oriang" (Gregoria de Jesus) , Bonifacio's widow. The house where they lived is known as "Bahay Nakpil" still stands in Quiapo and is maintained by his heirs as a museum that also offers walking tours of Quiapo and other special events and doubles as a performance area. "Bahay Nakpil" would be quite easy to find beause it is the only house with a Spanish style architecture in Quiapo.

Aguinaldo did not use Nakpil's Himno
Nacional of 1896
or Marangal na Dalit ng Katagalugan, but instead
commissioned Juan Felipe, a fellow Caviteņo to compose
an anthem that we now know as " Lupang Hinirang"

To listen to Himno
Nacional of 1896,
click the graphic image of the music sheet on the left.







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