Saturday, January 23, 2010

Juan De La Cruz

Juan dela Cruz is the generic name used to symbolically represent the common Filipino. Juan is depicted as a na├»ve-looking man wearing a camisa or Barong Tagalog, long trousers, native slippers (in Filipino: tsinelas) and his trademark gear, the salakot. This icon is the equivalent of America's “Uncle Sam,” and Britain's “Union Jack.”
The Scottish publisher R. McCulloch-Dick of The Philippine Free Press was the first to use the name Juan de la Cruz to refer to Filipinos in general when he noticed the name's ubiquity in court dockets and police blotters. Because of this, McCulloch-Dick wrote small verses about Juan dela Cruz in The Philippines' Free Press who was often depicted narrating the petty crimes he had committed. Slowly, McCulloch-Dick enlarged his conception of Juan until he settled on a fixed template – Juan dela Cruz as a typical Filipino who is friendly, humble, self-respecting and hardworking.
The image of Juan dela Cruz wearing a barong Tagalog, salakot, and chinelas, was first drawn in 1912 by Filipino artist Jorge Pineda. It was published in the Philippine Free Press.

Source: Wikipilipinas