Monday, August 24, 2009

The National Flower?

I was asked by my dad to draw a picture of sampaguita or Jasminum sambac on a 1/4 piece of illustration board. It was for a son of a family friend, as a high school project. I assumed that the student would be reporting about the sampaguita, under the premise that it still is the national flower. I am not sure it still is.

Internet sources say that the sampaguita was instated as the Philippine national flower in the 1930's. But recently it got controversial of losing that status because sampaguita is not a native Philippine plant. In 2004 a law was entertained in the Philippine House of Representatives to change our national flower from Jasminum sambac into Euanthe sanderiana or the orchid waling waling, which is very much endemic in Mindanao (and very much in need of publicity to save it from extinction in th wild). I am not sure if that law got passed.

The sampaguita is said to be a native of India and some other neighboring countries. It got introduced into the country and later became a popular flower to be strung into leis or necklaces. It got culturally significant in the Philippines, earning local stories and legends about its origin and places in a lot of Filipino households.


dr magsasaka said...

I am in favor of Euanthe sanderiana becoming our national flower.

metscaper said...

actually i also do.

i was thinking that most our national emblems should showcase the best of the philippines. the sweest smelling non native sampaguita is a bit simple. as most of our national emblems from 1930's like national bird maya which fortunately was replaced by the philippine eagle, the carabao could be replaced by the tamaraw, pangolin or the binturung. the waling waling is a better and spectacular showcase and symbol of what we filipinos are.

Louella said...

I favor the Euanthe sanderiana. It needs to be preserved and protected.

metscaper said...

ironically in thailand they propagate the waling waling better. with much support from their own government.

dr magsasaka said...

It is unfortunate that our government always had other priorities. After so many decades, those priorities have shown how anti-progress and shortsighted they are.
The presidency changes the person, with at most only one exception.