Thursday, November 08, 2007

Symbols of the Philippines

I. The Philippine Flag

Our flag had interesting origin. It was during the time when General Aguinaldo was an exile in Honkong that he suggested to Mrs. Marcela Agoncillo that she design a flag for the Philippines. The flag,as it came out finally, has blue and red fields,with the sun and three stars. The sun and three stars. The sun has eight rays symbolizing the eight provinces that revolted against Spain. The three stars represent Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao. The blue stands for patriotism, the red bravery, and the white for purify and peace. Since the time of the Katipunan to the present several changes have been made on the flag.

The Philippine flag had stood side by side with the American flag. Today it waves alone,glorious in the splendor of the tropic sky. July 4.1946 is ever inscribed in its memory.

II. The National Hymn

Julian Felipe composed the Philippine National Anthem. Jose Palma, later, wrote the words in Spanish. Our national hymn was first played by the San Fransisco de Malabon Band on June 12, 1898, on the proclamation of the First Philippine Republic at Kawit Cavite. Simultaneously, and purposely on this occasion, was hoisted for the first time the flag of the Philippines.

III. The Sampaguita

The Sampaguita is our national flower. It is white and fragrant, resembling a small white rose. It grows on a small sturdy plant that can withstand sunshine, wind and rain. Now and then, on gay occasions, little young ladies would be seen in the street and public places crying up their wares of sampaguita woven into fragrant necklaces and garlands. When placed around a lady's neck, the sampaguita symbolizes love and respect..

It was Governor- General Frank Murphy who proclaimed the Sampaguita as our national flower on February 1, 1934.

IV. The Narra Tree

The narra is a tall, majestic tree. It is strong and hardly. When it bears a cluster of dainty yellow flowers that adorn its branches like a cluster of gold, you are reminded of a brown, husky Hawaiian maiden basking on the sand in the Hawaiian sunshine. Hence, the nickname for this tree, the Hawaiian sunshine. To us the narra, like the molave, symbolizes hardihood and capacity for endurance.

V. The Kundiman

The song which originated for Kumintang, meaning was song, became known as a love song, in our country through adaptation. The main qualities of a kundiman are its sweet melody, tender pathos, and hunting refrain.

Some of our famous kundimans are "Nasaan ka Irog,""Pakiusap,"Huling Awit,""Madaling Araw,""Mutya ng Pasig" and "Bituing Marikit."

VI. The Nipa Hut

A typical barrio home, this is a small house made of bamboo or nipa or cogon, raised on four bamboo post. It looks frail but it provides cool shelter against the tropical sun, and quiet and repose to farmers and their families.

These days, though, many nipa homes have been replaced by concrete and wooden houses, products of men who have worked overseas.

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