Reinerio A. Alba / August 28, 2009 / Posted at National Commission for Culture and the Arts / NCCA's Philippine Fast Facts
Cariñosa is not the national dance of the Philippines, neither is it Tinikling. It has no basis in Philippine law such as the claims to the supposed Philippines' National Animal (Carabao), National Fish (Bangus), National House (Nipa Hut), National Leaf (Anahaw), National Fruit (Mango), National Sport (Sipa) that are circulating through various sources. Also, related to this, the official national symbols of the Philippines are its Philippine Flag (Republic Act 8491, known also as Flag and Heraldic Code of the Philippines), national anthem (Lupang Hinirang), coat-of-arms and other heraldic items and devices of the Philippines. Apart from RA 8491, the Philippines has only four (4) other official national symbols (meaning, those which represent Philippine traditions and ideals and convey the principles of Philippine sovereignty and national solidarity) enacted through a proclamation by the executive department, namely sampaguita, nara, Philippine Eagle, and the Philippine Pearl. In 1934, during the Commonwealth era, Governor-General Frank Murphy declared sampaguita and nara as National flower and National tree, respectively, through Proclamation No. 652. Philippine President Fidel Ramos Former President Fidel V. Ramos proclaimed the Philippine eagle as the national bird in 1995 through Proclamation No. 615. Ramos likewise named the Philippines' National Gem: Philippine Pearl through Proclamation No. 905 s. 1996.
There is also no Filipino historical figure officially declared as national hero through law or executive order. 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. There has not been any action taken for these recommended National Heroes.
Reinerio A. Alba is a Filipino writer who hails from Gumaca, Quezon. He was a fellow for poetry at the Silliman National Writers Workshop in Dumaguete City in 1993 and Iyas National Writers Workshop in 2002.