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National Symbols that Reflect The Philippines’ Culture and Heritage (Philippine Heritage Month)

Updated: Jun 29, 2022

Part 2 of 2

Symbols and what they represent are a great way to introduce a country. Philippines' Symbols play crucial roles in drawing consciousness for the new generation while the nation's preserved culture and historical legacy.

According to National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), the official national symbols of the Philippines represent the country's traditions and ideals and convey the principles of Philippine sovereignty and national solidarity among its people.

So to understand the Filipino culture better, here are the additional six of twelve National Symbols that the Philippines' Culture and Heritage represent.

7. Anthem: LUPANG"HINIRANG. "The Lupang Hinirang, the Philippine national anthem," embodies and expresses the aspirations, dreams, ideals, longings, commitment and determination, nationalism and patriotism, sentiment and spirit of the people.

8. The Flag Colours: Blue, Red, White and Yellow. The Philippine flag, the National Coat of Arms, and the Great Seal carry the same colours, including the sun and the stars, to denote the same symbolism.

The flag comprises four colours: a horizontal bicolor band of blue at the top, red at the bottom with a white equilateral triangle base, and an eight-rayed golden sun at the center. There are three five-pointed golden stars vertices in each triangle corner.

The four colours: blue stands for peace, justice, sacrifice, and truth, red symbolizes bravery, courage, and patriotism, while the white triangle represents fraternity, liberty, and equality.

The large yellow sun at the center of the triangle symbolizes freedom, unity, democracy, and sovereignty." In contrast, the three five-pointed stars at each of the triangle corners are the three major geographical divisions of the country: Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.

The eight rays represent the first eight provinces ( Nueva Ecija, Manila, Pampanga, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, and Bataan) fought for freedom agains Spanish invaders.

9. "Tree: NARRA." The narra tree was officially declared a national symbol by Gen. Frank Murphy. Filipino'sNarra is a sturdy and durable people symbolizing the Filipino people's indomitable spirit and strength of character. people'sThe Narra tree is agriculturally useful as a windbreaker to protect vegetations of food crops and as natural fencing for pastures. Canada'sNarra also contributes to soil stabilization because of its nitrogen-fixing properties. Woodcarvers use the narra material medium of their artwork because of its pleasant rose-like scent, pliancy, and adaptability to any climate or condition.

10. Animal: KALABAW. The Philippines' animal and the farmer's best partner in the rice field is the carabao (kalabaw). Kalabaw is domestic swamp-type water buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) endemic to the PhilippinesCarabao (Kalabaw) symbolizes strength, perseverance, hard work and efficiency. Filipinos use carabao even through technology for economic and patriotic reasons.

11. Fish: BANGUS. Bangus or "milkfish" may not yet be officially declared the national fish; however, it is regarded as the "superstar of Philippine aquaculture" owing to its relevance as the most important fish species being farmed in the country. Milkfish is cultivated in freshwater, brackish water, and marine environments. This fish is an adaptable, rugged, and sturdy fish that can survive in confined spaces. The milkfish is prepared and cooked into various delicious dishes, which is why it is considered national fish, symbolizing the Filipino's versatility.

12. Leaf/Plant: ANAHAW. Anahaw (Livistona rotundifolia) is still in the process of being declared an official national leaf. However, it symbolizes the Fi people's ingenuity, resourcefulness and craftsmanship. Anahaw is indigenous material and valuable in making roofs and walls. The leaf is also used as food wrappers, pambalot, or makeshift lunchboxes

In the Philippines, Anahaw leaves are frequently used in awards and medals to represent high achievement, strength, and loyalty.

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