The following is an excerpt from Ka Tony’s essay ”Mysteries Behind The Philippine Flag,” which was published on his blog, Ka Tony na Banlawkasaysayan. He is incredibly knowledgeable with our country’s history. Regrettably, he only posts a minimal number of his thoughts, but those he had shared are indeed treasures.
The original design of the flag adopted a mythical sun with a face, a symbol common to several former Spanish colonies like Cuba & Puerto Rico. The similarity of the Philippine flag with these two countries' flag were obviously seen at the Treaty of Paris of1898, where Spanish commissioners argued that Manila (Intramuros), the only remaining city which Filipino revolutionaries have not yet claimed because of the requested of their American ally, Spanish-Manila not had surrendered after the ceasefire and that the Philippines could not be demanded as a war conquest, but they eventually yielded. The treaty specified that Spain would cede her remaining island colonies; Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Philippines with Guam to the United States for 20 million dollars. Based on anecdotal evidence and the few surviving flags from the era, historians argue that the colors of the original Philippine flag were the same blue and red as found on the flag of Cuban and Puerto Rico. From one of the founders of "La Solidaridad" Mariano Ponce, remembered about the original "colors" that the blue is "azul oscuro (dark blue)" between "azul marino (navy blue)" and "azul cielo (sky blue)."
The three stars on the Philippine flag symbolize Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. The 8 rays represent the 8 provinces that took part in the revolution against Spain; Manila, Cavite, Bulacan, Pampanga, Tarlac, Nueva Ecija, Laguna and Batangas. But the symbolism given by Ambrosio Rianzares Bautista who wrote the Philippine Declaration of Independence on June 12, 1898 Proclamation of Philippine Independence, differs from the current official explanation. Bautista explained and read on the occasion of its proclamation on June 12, 1898, has listed the eight provinces as Manila, Cavite, Bulacan, Pampanga, Nueva Ecija, Bataan, Laguna and Batangas. The proclamation also declares that the sun represents the gigantic steps made by the sons of the country along the path of Progress and Civilization and lists "Bataan" instead of Tarlac among the eight provinces were declared in a state of war almost from the start of the revolution, symbolized by the sun's rays. It was also mentioned that one of the three, five-pointed stars, represents the island of Panay, rather than the entire Visayan islands, which now stand for the three major geographical island groups that comprise the Philippines: Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. He continued, that the white triangle of Masonry signifies the emblem of the Katipunan, the secret society that opposed Spanish rule and the flag's colors commemorate the flag of the United States as a manifestation of gratitude for American protection against the Spanish during the Philippine Revolution.
So where is the sun's ray for the Visayans who also raised their arms against Spain? The Visayans like: the Magbanuas, Papa Faustino, The Pulajanes, Dagohoy, Papa Rios, were they forgotten by Aquinaldo? Mindanao was also excluded, is it because the Spaniards only went as far as Zamboanga and had a tough time fighting our Muslim brothers? They have to built Port de Pilar to protect themselves from the fierce Muslims who refused their presences. The Spaniards failed in Mindanao, so as the Americans and the Japanese armed forces during WW II. Gen. Arthur MacArthur's caliber 38 can't stop the "invisible Moros" already been hit by the bullet, still can attack, slash, kill them with their bolos. Gen. MacArthur have to request US armory to design and produced a more powerful caliber 45, was called "kalibreng pang Moro." So if Mindanao was not colonized by any imperialist country, why was Mindanao part of the whole purchase of $20 million at the Treaty of Paris? The Americans knew it, decided to keep quiet and acted like it was part of the purchase. Because of the Philippine was bought at the Treaty of Paris by America, our fight for freedom & resistance against their colonization was branded as an "insurrection" and not a revolution.
If you appreciate this piece of history according to Ka Tony, perhaps, you might find some time to visit his site, and like me, urge him to write and post more of articles.
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I very much appreciate my articles and photos appearing on fellow bloggers' sites, popular broadsheets, and local broadcast news segments, but I would appreciate even more a request for permission first.