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Lawmaker wants adobo declared as national food

MANILA, Philippines - An administration lawmaker has proposed to declare adobo as the national food, bakya as the national slippers, bahay kubo as the national house and the passenger jeepney as the national vehicle to inculcate patriotism among Filipinos.

In filing House Bill 3926, Bohol Rep. Rene Relampagos also sought to recognize “Bayan Ko (My Country)” as the national song and “Maka-Diyos, Maka-tao, Makakalikasan at Makabansa” (pro-God, pro-man, pro-environment, and pro-country) as the national motto.

Adobo is usually a pork, chicken or fish dish cooked with vinegar and soy sauce, while the wooden clogs in the country is called bakya. The bahay kubo is a nipa hut common in rural areas.

Relampagos, chairman of the committee on tourism at the House of Representatives, said his proposal is to lay the basis for the declaration and recognition of the Philippine national symbols.

“National symbols represent its country, its people, its history and its culture. In the Philippines, there 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 or Proclamations,” he said.

And this leaves the other national symbols unofficial or “blatantly colorum” for having no basis for their declaration, Relampagos said.

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“(Jose) Rizal now becomes the unofficial national hero, carabao the unofficial national animal, mango the unofficial national fruit, bangus (milkfish) the unofficial national fish, the baro’t saya (blouse and skirt) as the unofficial national costume and so on,” he said.

Relampagos said the bill aims to develop and instill nationalism and unity, ensure respect, promotion and preservation of the national symbols, correct the unofficial status of these symbols as taught in schools, provide guidelines for their use, care and conservation and to promote Philippine tourism through these symbols, among others.

In filing the measure, the Bohol lawmaker cited the declared policy of the State to inculcate patriotism, nationalism and appreciation of the role of national heroes and symbols in the historical development of the country.

Relampagos said the State must give priority to education, science and technology, arts and culture and sports to foster patriotism and nationalism, accelerate social progress and promote total human liberation and development.

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