MANILA, Philippines - Arnel Pineda, the Filipino front man of popular American rock band "Journey," left Manila, Thursday evening, en route to Texas to sing the Philippine national anthem in Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao's much awaited fight with Ghanaian boxer Joshua "The Grand Master" Clottey on March 13 (March 14 in Manila) at the Cowboys Stadium in Dallas.
In an earlier interview with abs-cbnNEWS.com, Pineda said he will make sure that his rendition of "Lupang Hinirang (Chosen Land)" will be appreciated by old and young Filipinos.
"Ang sa akin ay kakantahin ko ito sa paraan na alam kong magugustuhan ng mga Filipino, bata man o matanda," said Pineda who was personally invited by Pacquiao to sing for his upcoming fight.
"Ito ang pambansang awit natin I have to make sure na maganda ang pagkaka-awit natin," he added.
He also said that he will definitely do his best to stay true to the correct rendition of the Philippine anthem to avoid receiving a reprimand letter from the National Historical Institute (NHI). He said he is confident that he will sing the anthem flawlessly.
"Kakantahin ko lang siya sa puso ko. Ang mga Pilipino na ang magsasabi kung tanggap ba nila ang pagkakanta ko," said Pineda.
The proper way of singing “Lupang Hinirang” became a big issue following the "incorrect" rendition of the national anthem by Concert King Martin Nievera during the May 2, 2009 fight of Manny Pacquiao and Ricky Hatton in Las Vegas.
NHI had also called the attention of Charice, Christian Bautista, and Jennifer Bautista, who also sang "Lupang Hinirang" in other bouts of Pacquiao, about their incorrect renditions of the national anthem.
According to Section 37 of Republic Act (RA) 8491, the rendition of the national anthem, whether played or sung, shall be in accordance with the musical arrangement and composition of Julian Felipe.
Section 20 of the law also states: "The rendition of the flag ceremony in official or civic gatherings shall be simple and dignified and shall include the playing or singing of the anthem in its original Filipino lyrics and march tempo."
RA 8491 prescribes that any person who will violate its provisions may be punished by a fine of at least P20,000 or imprisonment of not more than one year.
Aside from singing in the Pacquiao-Clottey bout, Pineda is also set to go to US this coming April to record the latest album of Journey.