Bill seeks to make adobo, jeepney, carabao as PH national symbols

/ 06:32 PM February 28, 2014


MANILA, Philippines – And you thought adobo, jeepney and carabao are national symbols? Not yet, but they may soon be if this bill becomes a law.

House bill No. 3926, or  “An Act Declaring the National Symbols of the Philippines” authored by Bohol representative Rene Relampagos, sought to make commonly-perceived Filipino icons of pride  as official national symbols.



“(T)here are around 20 national symbols being taught in school.  However, of these symbols, only 10 are official, that is with basis either in the Constitution, Republic Acts and Proclamations,” Relampagos said.


According to the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP), at least 10 were declared in paper as national symbols –   the Philippine flag, “Lupang Hinirang” anthem, the sports “arnis,” the “sampaguita” flower, the “Narra” tree, the Philippine eagle, to name a few.

But contrary to popular belief, some icons thought to to be national symbols were only perceived as such as they not yet recognized in law.

For instance, the Philippine carabao may be seen as a fixture in the typical Filipino “bukid” (field), but it is actually not the official national animal.

Contrary to what is taught in school, the cultural dance “cariñosa” adopted from Spanish colonizers is yet to be recognized officially as the country’s national dance.

Jose Rizal, though popularly known as the country’s national hero, is also not in paper.

The bill aims to “officially” declare these “colorums” as national symbols, it read in its explanatory note.

The bill also seeks to add to the country’s list of national pride – including the adobo, a pork stew marinated in vinegar and soy sauce, which may be the country’s national food.


An even more famous Fiipino object is the “dyip” (jeepney), which may be deemed the national vehicle.

The others in the line-up for national symbols are the following:

  • Anahaw – national leaf
  • Bangus – national fish
  • Mango – national fruit
  • Barong tagalog and saya – national costume
  • Bakya – national slippers
  • Nipa hut – national house

Meanwhile, the other official national symbols according to the NHCP are:

  • Filipino – national language
  • “Makadiyos, makatao, makalikasan, makabansa” – national motto
  • Philippine pearl – national gem

The bill is pending before the House committee on revision of laws.


In the know we have no national hero

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TAGS: Adobo, carabao, House of Representatives, jeepney, National Symbol, Nationalism
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