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.