The Filipino people are a very prideful people and if you ask them, they will tell you it is one of the most beautiful and culturally rich countries in the world. When you look through all the different symbols and stories from the Filipino culture, you might be inclined to agree with them. There are any ways to show your pride for a specific country. This could include wearing clothes that are native to land, you could wear the colors of your country or even get some jewelry with some symbol of the Philippines on it. However, one really popular way is to get a Filipino tattoo.
In this post we are going to talk about some of the most well known Filipino symbols in their culture and talk about why they are so important. We will talk about these different variations of Filipino tattoos and explain what they mean to the people that wear them. By the end of reading this post you should feel far more informed about the Philippines and Filipino tattoo meanings.
Filipino Tattoo Meaning
The meaning behind Filipino tattoos is simply to show a sense of pride for a country that you have a connection with. There are a lot of things one can do to represent their country and getting a tattoo might be one of the most serious expressions of nationalism that one can take.
National Flag Tattoo
The Philippines flag of the nation is one of the most common and strong Filipino tattoos that you can possibly get. Nothing says, “I love my country”, more than a tattoo of the national flag. This flag is made of silk, has a five pointed star at each angle of the white triangle that presses up against the left part of the flag. The sun of this flag represents liberty while the sunburst is representative of the first eight provinces that stood up and took arms against Spain. Then you’ve got the three stars that symbolize Mindanao, Visayas, and Luzon, which are the three island groups of the Philippines. The white triangle is symbolic of equality while the blue stripe symbolizes justice, truth and peace. The red stripe symbolizes valor and patriotism.
You can see why national flag tattoo might be the most powerful symbol of the Filipino people.
Lupang Hinirang Tattoo
Lupang Hinirang is the title of the Filipino national anthem. Julian Felipe was the man to compose this anthem and it was first played during the proclamation of Philippine Independence on June 12, of 1898. José Palma was the writer of a poem called Filipinas and some of the lyrics for Lupang Hinirang was taken from this poem. So, to see some of the Lupang Hinirang tattooed on someone is the ultimate sign of being person that respects the Philippines.
The national flower of the Philippines is known as the Sampaguita. This beautiful white flower is also known as the Arabian Jasmine. This plant symbolizes simplicity, strength, humility and purity. Therefore, the Sampaguita tattoo carries the above traits as well as being a symbol of the Philippines.
Narra Tree Tattoo
The Narra tree is the national tree of the Philippines and also another popular subject to get as a Filipino tattoo. This tree is also known as the rosewood and it was officially named the national tree in 1934 by Governor General Frank Murphy. In fact, if you ever want to cut down a narra tree, you have to get approval from the DENR Central Office. This tree is a big, strong tree so to have this tattoo is very representative of the Filipino spirit.
Philippine Eagle Tattoo
The national bird of the Philippines is called the Pithecophaga jefferyi but also just known as the “Philippine Eagle.” President Ferdinand Marcos made this bird the representation of the Philippines via Proclamation No. 1732. This unique looking eagle is a representation of the Filipino people and it also looks great inked on the body.
Philippine Pearl Tattoo
The Philippine pearl is another great symbol of this proud country and it was named the national gem by former President Fidel V. Ramos in 1996. This might be hard to depict in a picture as one pear is similar to the next but we usually see this tattoo done with other symbols of Filipino culture. A fun fact about this is that the largest pearl ever found was by a Filipino diver in the Palawan Sea in the year 1934.
Arnis Themed Tattoo
Arnis is the national sport of the Philippines. It is to the Philippines as Taekwondo is to Korea. It is a martial art whose origins are still unconfirmed because of the lack of documentation. It is also known as Eskrima and Kali and they use bare hands, sticks/batons or bladed weapons. In 2009, Arnis became a national symbol when it was signed into law.
The Arnis tattoo can be depicted in multiple ways. Having the weapons tattoo is generally the most common version of this tattoo but people tend to get creative and we’ve seen many battle scenes as well.
Dr. Jose Rizal Tattoo
Dr. Jose Rizal is a national hero and has been seen tattooed in portrait fashion on the body of many Filipino people. Many Filipino scholars will argue about who the national hero is of this country as many people had major impacts on the nation. However, Rizal was the man who led the local Filipino people to rise up and revolt against the Spanish. Much of his fighting was done through his writing as he was a poet. This was the start of the revolution and the others picked up arms and went a bloodier route to freedom.
The national leaf of the Philippines is the anahaw. It is also known as the round leaf fountain palm. It is not part of the national symbols of the country but it is said to represent the Philippines. You can see these leaves on the countryside as material for roofing.
These aren’t even all of the symbols for the Philippines but it should give you a great idea of some of the symbols that could be used for a tattoo.