SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau
A lawmaker has filed a measure officially declaring and recognizing adobo as the national food, bakya as the national slippers, bahay kubo as the national house and the jeepney as the national vehicle.
Under House Bill 3926 authored by Rep. Rene Relampagos (1st District, Bohol), chairman of the House Committee on Tourism, the song Bayan Ko shall also be declared and recognized as the national song and Maka-Diyos, Maka-tao, Makakalikasan at Makabansa as the national motto.
Relampagos filed the bill to lay the basis for the declaration and recognition of the Philippine national symbols.
"National symbols represent its country, its people, its history and its culture. In the Philippines, there are around twenty national symbols being taught in school. However, of these symbols, only ten are official, that is with basis either in the Constitution, Republic Acts and Proclamations," Relampagos said.
Relampagos said this leaves the other national symbols unofficial or blatantly colorums, for having no basis for their declaration.
"Rizal now becomes the unofficial national hero, carabao the unofficial national animal, mango the unofficial national fruit, bangus the unofficial fish, the baro't saya as the unofficial national costume and so on," Relampagos stressed.
Relampagos said the bill aims to develop and instill nationalism and unity, ensure respect, promotion and preservation of the national symbols, correct the unofficial status of these symbols as taught in schools, provide guidelines for their use, care and conservation and to promote Philippine tourism through these symbols, among others.
In filing the measure, Relampagos cited the declared policy of the State to inculcate patriotism, nationalism and appreciation of the role of national heroes and symbols in the historical development of the country.
Relampagos said the State must give priority to education, science and technology, arts and culture, and sports to foster patriotism and nationalism, accelerate social progress and promote total human liberation and development.
Under the bill to be known as the "Philippine National Symbols Act of 2014," the color blue, white and red flag with an eight-rayed golden-yellow sun and three five-pointed stars shall be declared the national flag of the Philippines.
The City of Manila shall be declared the national capital of the Philippines, Malacaņan Palace as the national seat of government, Filipino the national language and Lupang Hinirang the national anthem.
The bill further declares as national symbols the Great Seal as the national seal; the national coat-of-arms shall have paleways of two pieces, azure and gules, Philippine peso the national currency and Jose Protacio Rizal Mercado y Alonso Realonda as the national hero.
Under the measure, arnis shall be declared the national martial arts and sport, cariņosa as the national dance, the Philippine monkey-eating eagle as the national bird, Kalabaw as the national animal, Bangus as the national fish and Narra the national tree.
The bill also declares the Philippine Pearl as the national gem, Sampaguita as the national flower, Anahaw as the national leaf and mango as the national fruit.
The Department of Education (DepEd), Commission on Higher Education (CHED), the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) are directed to give primordial importance to the respect, promotion, preservation, conservation, cultivation and usage of these national symbols, as appropriate, including dissemination through the quad-media.