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House bill wants adobo as national food, jeepney as national vehicle

Craving for adobo? This dish, known for the balance between salty soy sauce and sour vinegar, may soon become the Philippines' official national food, if a bill becomes a law.

Bohol Rep. Rene Relampagos filed earlier this month House Bill 3926 which seeks to declare adobo as national food, claiming that the dish uses a cooking method "indigenous to the Philippines."

"The most common table fare among Filipino families, nothing beats adobo for its versatility and variety," the congressman said in his bill.

Relampagos, who chairs the House tourism committee, even cited various ways of cooking adobo – "adobo sa gata, adobong matamis, adobong tuyo, adobong masabaw, adobo sulipan, adobo sa pinya and adobo sa kalamansi" – in his proposed legislation.

The measure, which is currently pending before the House committee on revision of laws, also seeks to declare the Philippine jeepney as the country's national vehicle.

"Originally, the military jeeps left by the Americans after World War II, the Filipinos extended its body to accommodate more passengers and put a roof to give shade. Now, it is the most accessible mode of transportation throughout the country," Relampagos said.

The proposed legislation also seeks to formalize Dr. Jose Rizal as national hero, Cariñosa as national dance, bakya as national slippers, bahay kubo as national house, Barong Tagalog and Baro't Saya as national costumes, mango as national fruit and anahaw as national leaf.

At present, the Philippines has 10 national symbols, declared through various laws and proclamations through the years. These include sampaguita as national flower, arnis as national sport, and narra as national tree.

Last year, President Benigno Aquino III vetoed a bill approved by Congress declaring waling-waling as the Philippines' national flower, along with sampaguita. The government gazette did not publish an explanation for this veto. — LBG, GMA News