National Symbols of the Philippines with Images
The Philippines is an archipelago composed of more than 7,000 islands. Its composition dictates the complexity of the Filipino people. We have nearly 2 dozens ethnic and tribal groups. One animal, plant, or object is not enough to represent this fair land of ours we call home.
If the Philippines is forced to choose only one national symbol, the Haribon would be it. A majestic and totally awesome king of the skies, no grander vessel for our spirit will we ever find. For the record, monkeys form only a minor part of the Haribon's diet. Fact, the giant bird eat more lemurs than monkeys so monkey-eating-eagle is a misnomer. Haribon (short for Haring Ibon or King of the Birds) is a more fitting title.
I once endured a 2-day hike in a deep, dark forest somewhere along the boundary of Agusan Del Sur and Bukidnon to confirm a nesting site. The hardship I endured was rewarded with the glimpse of an eaglet tottering along the branches of a huge Lauan tree at the edge of a clearing. I hope that eaglet has already staked his own claim of the Philippine skies.
BTW, this top gun predator is also internationally known as THE Philippine Eagle. Alas, due to the dwindling forests it needs to survive, it is already a critically endangered species with only 400 or found in the wild. Charles Lindbergh (Yep, The Lone Eagle himself) started the ball rolling on protecting this national treasure.
Slow, plodding, and unrelenting under the heat of the sun, the carabao is a symbol of our indomitable spirit. This docile beast has helped Filipino farmers feed our nation for centuries. A slowpoke it may be, but those who have witnessed a rampaging carabao knew that this beast can sow unstoppable terror if pushed to its limit.
I was not too keen in including this fish in this list. It is bland, wallows in chicken shit, live in cages and paddies (like prisons), and is reared in artificial condition for slaughter. Even its common name is sort of uninspiring -- milkfish. I would have preferred the barracuda for our national fish and there's a lot of them patrolling our seas. However, since one of my teachers back in elementary school said that it is our national fish, then here it is.
The only thing badass I can say about this fish is its bony flesh (tiny needle-like slivers). Even dead and cooked, it can still cause a lot of pain if we are not careful.
Anahaw is the general term given by Filipinos to plants of a certain palm genus. The anahaw leaf is fan-shaped, ranging from tiny fans to huge fans big enough to form 1 umbrella. The anahaw is ubiquitous in Philippine culture. The leaves are used to make hand fans, salakot (a wide-brimmed hat), and as roofing material for our native huts. It is also popular as a decorative palm.
Now, I am truly proud of this plant. It is versatile, useful, and badass! I have seen 10-meter tall sample of this species and the fronds/leaves are awesome. The stalks of each leaf are lined with pointy, triangular, toothy spines along each side. If you've seen shark teeth, that's how they look, except they're black.
More by this Author
Hundred Islands off the coast of the Province of Pangasinan, Luzon, Lingayen Gulf, The islands number from 123 to 124, depending on the tide. Only three are inhabited for tourism purposes. Callao Caves in Cagayan...