Senator-Elect Francis Tolentino Wants to Add Another Star in the Philippine Flag

The Philippine Flag has its history. In fact, it’s something that almost all Filipinos know about. If you’ve been in school, you’ve probably been asked what the Philippine Flag meant—what the stars are, why the colors are like that, and so on. So since we were children, we are aware of what these are and it has been embedded to us through education and culture. But what if we change the current standard of the flag of the Philippines? What if we add another star in the Philippine flag?

Another star in the Philippine flag?
This image was taken from Sunstar Philippines |

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Senator-elect Francis Tolentino made a mention that he looks to add another star in the Philippine Flag.

Three Stars and a Sun

This has been a line made famous by a lot of Filipino artists—Francis Magalona, for instance. Three Stars and a Sun is a symbol famous for its roots. It is a symbol of the Katipuneros fighting for our country’s independence.

To give you a brief refresher, the three stars actually represent the three (3) principal islands of our archipelago namely: Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. So, according to Francis Tolentino, he is looking to add another star in the Philippine flag; this was during the 121st anniversary of Philippine Independence in Davao City.

He said that the fourth (4) star that will be in the Philippine flag would be symbolizing the Benham Rise.

I propose a fourth star to the Philippine flag. A fourth star to reflect the Benham Rise, the future Philippines, the future land of the next generation of Filipinos.”

In addition to what Francis Tolentino said, he also looks to celebrate and add a bit of extras to our celebration of the country’s Independence. Things like our country’s battle for drugs, corruption, poverty, crime, and freedom from protecting nature.

The Senate Bill 102

The Senate Bill 102 or most commonly known as the act of increasing the number of rays of the sun on the Philippine Flag from eight (8) to nine (9). Senator Richard “Dick” Gordon, the author of the bill said that the eight rays of sun symbolize the first provinces who tried to battle the Spaniards.

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With this bill, he looks to add another ray of sun for our Muslim brothers who tried protecting our country long before our known national heroes did.

These provinces are:

  1. Manila
  2. Bulacan
  3. Nueva Ecija
  4. Cavite
  5. Laguna
  6. Bataan
  7. Batangas
  8. Pampanga

The Department of Education (DepED) is in favor of this idea and the submitted bill by Richard Gordon. Secretary Leonor Briones of the Education Department says that this thing has been a long debt from the people who started reign and order in our country.

Matagal na utang na natin ‘yan. Consistent yung ano, muslim participation against foreign invaders.”

In translation: This has been a long-time debt. Muslim participation against foreign invaders have been consistent and they never failed us.

However Dr. Xiao Chua, a historian, said that if this is to be made possible, then it shouldn’t be just one (1) ray to include in the sun of the Philippine flag. It should be around 200. Why? Because that was the number of people trying to protect our country even before the 1896 Philippine Revolution.

kung isasama ang lahat ng lalawigan na lumaban bago ang himagsikang 1896, aba’y hindi na magkakasya ang sinag ng araw sa ating watawat… liban sa mga muslim… tinatayang 200 (ang mga pag-aalsa) bago ang 1896.”

History professor of the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) Jonathan Balsamo, is not also agreeing with the bill that Richard Gordon submitted.

He said that the three (3) stars on our flag which stands as the three (3) main islands of the country calls control over all of the regions and cultures of our country.

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pag tinignan mo yung mga kahulugan ng mga simbolo sa ating watawat ay represented na ang mga kapatid nating muslim.”

Sultan Hadji Hassan Nur, the Supreme Council of the Royal Sultanate of the Sulu Archipelago, does not accept the idea of what Richard Gordon appeals. For them, what’s more important is the thorough and in-depth teaching of their culture and the history of our country in accordance to what the Muslim did.

So, from the fact that Senator-elect Francis Tolentino looks to add another star in the Philippine flag, there’s also something that Richard Gordon wants to achieve. What do you think about this? Would this be of importance to what they’re trying to come up with? Or would this just be a nuisance in learning and education?

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