Philippine Symbols

Philippine Eagle

The Philippine Eagle, the National Bird of the Philippines

In the Philippines, there are National Symbols that are enacted by law and some that are informally recognized nationally, despite no official declaration as a national symbol. Those that have been enacted by Republic Act No. 8491, also known as the Flag and Heraldic Code of the Philippines, and other official proclamations include:

  • National flower: Sampanguita
  • National tree: Narra
  • National bird: Philippine eagle
  • National martial art: Arnis
  • National flag: Ang Pambansang Watawat ng Pilipinas

The significance of the national symbols is to represent Philippine traditions and ideals while conveying the principles of sovereignty and national solidarity. Because of this, there are more symbols that have been recognized as national symbols without formal enactment. Read on to learn more about these unofficial (and some official) symbols, their history, and why they were chosen as the national symbol!

National Fish: Milkfish
The milkfish (also known as “bangus”) is said to symbolize the Filipino’s versatility due to the plentiful ways in which it can be prepared and cooked.

National Fruit: Mango
The Philippine mango is acclaimed to be the sweetest mango variety in the world and is therefore in very high demand for export to other countries. Dried mango is also very popular in the Philippines, thus making it the best candidate for national fruit.

National Bird: Philippine Eagle
Philippine Eagle
The Philippine Eagle, an eagle of the Accipitridae family that is native to forests in the Philippines, is among one of the rarest, largest, most powerful birds in the world and was thus enacted as the national bird of the Philippines. Philippine eagles are protected by law in the Philippines; killing one is punishable for up to 12 years in jail and heavy fines. The Philippine eagle was officially enacted as national bird by President Fidel Ramos through Proclamation No. 612 in 1995.

National Animal: Carabao
The Carabao is a Philippine-native species of water buffalo and informally known to be the Filipino farmer’s best friend due to their ability to do nearly anything. Carabaos are used by farmers for pulling plows, produce carts, and the farmer himself. Carabaos are key for the productivity of Philippine farmers, so it’s fair to claim them as the Philippine’s national animal.