MANILA - Senators on Tuesday discussed the possibility of adding a ninth ray in the Philippine flag’s sun.
Senator Richard Gordon, sponsor of Senate Bill 102 which seeks to add a ninth ray in the flag's sun, argued that there is a need to increase the rays of the sun to represent Filipino Muslims who fought against the Spaniards.
“I think inclusion should be the policy. To include our brother Muslims,” Gordon said during the interpellation period.
Senator Franklin Drilon asked Gordon if a 10th ray should also be added for the people of the Cordilleras. Gordon replied that the ninth ray could represent all groups excluded in the eight rays.
“The more important thing is when we replace the rays of the sun there will be discussions in our country’s schools…reminding our people that we have a rich past,” Gordon said.
However, hostorian Xiao Chua earlier said adding a ninth ray in the Philippine flag would "destroy" the historical context behind the symbolism.
Most Filipinos think of the rays as a representation of the first eight provinces - Batangas, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, Manila, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, and Tarlac - that joined the revolt for the country's independence during the Spanish occupation.
But Chua said this was not so.
"These were just the 8 provinces in which the Spaniards suspected that there are members of the Katipunan," he told ANC's "Beyond Politics" in reference to the revolutionary movement.
"To add the ninth ray to it would destroy the historical context. It is something that is not correct should we say it," he added.
Before suspending the consideration of the bill, Senate President Vicente "Tito" Sotto III commented that they might also consider changing the lyrics of the National Anthem by amending the same law.
"Some people mostly composers have told me the last two lines of the Philippine anthem sounds...defeatist,” he said during the interpellation.
Sotto suggests using, "Aming ligaya na pag may nang-aapi, ang ipaglaban kalayaan mo” as the last line of the song instead of “Aming ligaya, na pag may mang-aapi, ang mamatay nang dahil sa iyo.”