Who ever thought of making this plant the National Leaf of the Philippines has got to be joking! Even the people who was convinced must be crazy. What merits does this plant have to become a nation's symbol?
Honestly, there is nothing significantly historical or distinct about the plant. Nothing really special about the plant since it grows also in other regions of Asia. As of the moment, no wow scientific discoveries about the plant like cure for cancer, or AIDS or help in stem cell research. So why is the Anahaw a National Symbol?!?
Perhaps it is because it is a symbol of resourcefulness for us Filipinos. Why? Making something extraordinary out of an ordinary thing is distinct. This plant could probably be ignored or treated as an ornamental only. But no, we made it a part of our lives.
We made so many things out of something common. Our ancestors has been using the Anahaw as part of our shelters as the roof and sometimes the walls. The leaf has been used as pambalot (food wrapper) for tikoy, or as a makeshift lunchbox for children going to school since lunchboxes were very expensive before.
It has been made into Abaniko (fan), which is very beautiful and a work of art. A relief on a crowded place, or simply a refreshment from a hot, humid day, the colorful abaniko is an indispensable item in a Pinoy's everyday life.
Its really not about the object itself. That's why its called symbol. Its what the object symbolizes. And for the leaf, it symbolizes our ingenuity and resourcefulness.