Philippine Historical Symbols

The national symbols of the Philippines consist of symbols that represent Philippine traditions and ideals and convey the principles of sovereignty and national solidarity.[1] Republic Act 8491, known also as Flag and Heraldic Code of the Philippines, stipulates the code for national flag, anthem, motto, coat-of-arms and other heraldic items and devices of the Philippines.[1] Apart from RA 8491, the Philippines has only four official national symbols enacted through a proclamation by the executive department, namely sampaguita, narra, the Philippine eagle, and arnis. In 1934, during the Commonwealth era, Governor-General Frank Murphy declared sampaguita[2] and narra[3] as national flower and national tree, respectively, through Proclamation No. 652. Philippine President Fidel Ramos proclaimed the Philippine eagle as the national bird in 1995 through Proclamation No. 615.[4] In 2009, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo declared arnis as the national sport and martial art through Republic Act 9850.[5] Other supposed national symbols such as the Cariñosa, Carabao, Bangus, and Anahaw that are circulating through various sources have no official status and have not established by law.[6] Furthermore, there is no Filipino historical figure officially declared as national hero through law or executive order.[7][8] Although, there were laws and proclamations honoring Filipino heroes. On November 15, 1995, the Technical Committee of the National Heroes Committee, created through Executive Order No. 5 by former President Fidel Ramos, recommended nine Filipino historical figures to be National Heroes: Jose Rizal, Andres Bonifacio, Emilio Aguinaldo, Apolinario Mabini, Marcelo H. del Pilar, Sultan Dipatuan Kudarat, Juan Luna, Melchora Aquino, and Gabriela Silang.[8] Up to now, no action has been taken for these recommended National Heroes.[8]

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