Saturday, February 21, 2009

Captivating Capiz- Official seal of Tapaz, Capiz

OFFICIAL DESCRIPTION AND MEANING OF THE SEAL UNDER MO 16-01 (Designed by Peter Marlon H. Exmundo based on the general specifications of Mayor Romualdo G. Exmundo, Jr., MD, with inputs from Nona G. Vista, Engr. Victorio Jimenez and Ma. Theresa G. Nepomuceno)

1. Mountain Ranges — The two twin-peak mountain ranges symbolizes the hinterlands and tropical forests of Tapaz and the location of Tapaz at the heart or center of Panay Island. 2. River — the River at the center of the two mountain ranges symbolizes the three largest river systems in the Island of Panay that begins in Mt. Nacuron, in Brgy. Hilwan, a hinterland barangay of Tapaz. Panay River, a 152-kilometer long river feeds the 230,587-hectare Panay River System in the Province of Capiz, or almost 88% of the total land area of the province. Aklan River flows to the Province of Aklan and feeds the Aklan River System in the Province. Both rivers share the same stream in Mt. Nacuron. One of the major streams feeding the main stream feeding Jalaur River, which is located in Calinog, Iloilo, is located in Mt. Nacuron. Jalaur River, feeds the Jalaur River System in the Province of Iloilo. 3. Head of a Deer — The head of the Philippine Spotted Deer, a deer that is endemic in Western Visayas, particularly in the central region of Panay Island (but gradually becoming extinct and given by the DENR a conservation status of IUCN (EN)), with the scientific name of Cervus alfredi, has always been the unique symbol of Tapaz. Symbolizing the once rich fauna and wildlife of Tapaz, it also symbolizes the indigenous people and cultural heritage of Tapaz. The head has eight horns, four on each antler. Two of the horns, one on each antler, are small buds. In Chinese Astrology, the deer, being a swift and agile animal, symbolizes better economic growth and opportunities. The number eight symbolizes continuity and prosperity in the Chinese beliefs. The two small developing horns also symbolize growth. The seasonal shedding and regrowing of the antlers symbolize eternity and constant renewal of the municipality towards progress and development. The deer is facing east where the sun rises. 4. Branch of Leaves — The branch of leaves at the left mountain range symbolizes farming, the chief industry and source of income of Tapaz. As a branch of laurel leaves, it also symbolizes the dignified role of the farmers in our country and the excellent contributions of the Tapaznons in national and international development. 5. The Morning Sun — The morning sun, which is placed at the center of the two mountain ranges, as it rises over the east to begin a new day with its seven rays symbolizing hope and faith for a better future. It also symbolizes our unity with our Filipino brothers and sisters, because the morning sun, which is notable in most Asian flags and seals, symbolizes the sun rising from the East. The number seven is also a mystical and lucky number in most cultures and beliefs. For the Jews, the number seven is the symbol of perfection, thus we have the seven cardinal virtues, the seven beatitudes and the seven habits of highly successful people. Its seven rays symbolize the seven cardinal virtues, and the seven beatitudes 6. The Bird — the bird, specifically the dove, traditionally symbolizes The Holy Spirit. Love and bravery are traditionally symbolized by the color red. The red silhouette of the bird flying in the center of the morning sun symbolizes the spirit of bravery, peace and love living in every soul of each Tapaznon, nourished by the Holy Spirit. However, in the seal the bird is not just a dove but also a parrot or tikoy the official bird of the municipality (which is found in the hinterland of Tapaz and whose number is fast depleting). Its common name in English is “Blue Nape Parrot” and its scientific name is “Tanygnathus luzonensis”. It is placed in the center of the sun and the mountain peaks as a symbol of our unity as Tapaznons under the inspiration and guidance of the Holy Spirit. The bird is facing east where the sun rises. 7. The Blue Background — The background, which is sky blue, symbolizes the clear sky over Tapaz. The color sky blue is usually attributed to the Blessed Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus, and as the color of the Immaculate Conception, the Patroness of the Province of Capiz. 8. Stars — The circle of Fifty-eight six-point gold stars along the inner border of the seal symbolizes the component barangays of the municipality. The six-point star is also known as the Star of David and by its Jewish Name, Mogen David (Shield of David). Its use in the seal of the municipality is our affirmation of our Christian faith and heritage, considering that Jesus Christ belongs to the house of King David of Israel. The Star of David is also the symbol Judaism, the elder religious brother of Christianity. 9. Captions — The seal is surrounded by the following captions: “SAGISAG NG MUNISIPYO NG TAPAZ” (color blue using Bangle as font) and “LALAWIGAN NG CAPIZ” (color red, using Bangle as font). The use of Tagalog or Filipino in the captions symbolizes the unity of the Tapaznons with the Filipino people. The blue and red colors of the captions are the two main colors of the Philippine flag and seal. 10. Numbers — Dividing the two captions are the numbers “1874” and “2005” in gold or yellow orange color. 1874 was the year Tapaz was separated from Dumalag with the appointment of Don Pedro Gimeno as our first local chief executive, which is called at that time as Capitan Mayor, and Padre Jose Aparicio as our first parish priest; and 2005 was the year the new seal was adopted.


THE SEAL OF THE MUNICIPALITY was redesigned to give it more meaning and reflect the identity of the Tapaznons. With the new Seal we added new symbols and arrange them accordingly along the seal as described above to reflect the true identity of the Tapaznons. Despite of the suggestion of some persons to discard the head of the Philippine Spotted Deer in the design of the new seal and flag as an obsolete emblem and relic of a bygone era and that a new one reflective of contemporary and future generations should be adopted, we have decided to retain it for the relevance of its meaning to our identity as Tapaznons. Its retention, together with the number “1874”, the year Tapaz was separated from Dumalag, are signs of our respect, linkage with, and honoring our past, our traditions, and our cultural heritage — it should remind us of the words of our National Hero, Jose Rizal, when he said “Ang Taong Hindi Marunong Lumingon sa Kanyang Pinanggalingan ay Hindi Makakarating sa Kanyang Paroroonan” — and as a reminder to us of our once pristine and lush flora and fauna. However, we accommodated the suggestions of some notable persons to redesign it to make it look more like the deer in our hinterlands. Together with the meaning of the symbolism of the deer, by redesigning it and the number “2005”, the year the new seal was adopted, we are also signifying our desire for change and to move forward towards progress and development. The community/barangays and our Christian faith and heritage, our location in the middle of the Island of Panay, the clear blue skies above us, our principal means of livelihood/the private sector, and our values symbolized by the stars, the twin mountain ranges and the river, the blue background, the branch of laurel leaves, and rays of the sun and the red silhouette of the bird respectively refers to us collectively as Tapaznons. The captions and their blue and red colors is our affirmation of our love for our municipality, province and country and our pride to be part of the Municipality of Tapaz, in the Province of Capiz, of the Republic of the Philippines, and to be called Tapaznons, Capiznons, and Filipinos.



IF YOU WILL EXAMINE CLOSELY THE SEAL you will find new symbols and meaning to the seal. These symbols were just discovered later, some of then after the Seal was already presented to the public and was in general use by the municipal government and some agencies within the municipality and some a few weeks after the enactment of the Proactive Administrative of Code under Municipal Ordinance No. 16-01 on 14 September 2005. The six-point star or hexagram was placed there for its originality to give Tapaz a star different from the rest. It should be noted that most are using the five-point star or the pentagram in their symbols. About two weeks before the enactment of MO 16-01, the author realized that the hexagram is the Star or Shield of David. Sometime in November 2005, it came to the knowledge of the author that the hexagram is the Jewish equivalent of the Chinese (originally Taoist) “Yin and Yang”, the symbol of universal and cosmic harmony and balance. By surrounding the seal, they provide harmony and balance in municipality. The hexagram is the unity of the pyramid, symbolizing the male or the positive force or energy of nature and the vessel (the reverse pyramid), symbolizing female or negative the negative force or energy of nature. The positive and negative energies balance each other thus providing harmony in nature and in the universe. The twin mountain peaks, shaped like pyramids and the v-shaped valley in between them are symbols of the “Yin and Yang”, though they are placed side by side instead of overlapping. From the valley (the vessel) contains the rising sun with its seven (the mythical perfect number) rays as it reinvigorates, renews, and brings us hope and faith for a better future with the red silhouette of the bird of peace and love. These virtues become the source of life, strength and nourishment as they flow from the vessel symbolized by the river (water) flowing from the base of the valley and continuously refreshed by the loving guidance and intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus, and as the color of the Immaculate Conception, the Patroness of the Province and Archdiocese of Capiz, as symbolized by the blue sky. The meaning of the deer and the branch of leaves completes the mysticism of the meaning of the seal. These symbolisms can also be interpreted in a Christian perspective. The mountains and the sky symbolize our unity with Christ, our Savior and our Creator. This unity is manifested by the Divine graces, virtues, and blessings (the sun and the bird) contained in the vessel or chalice (the valley), which eternally (represented by the seven rays of the sun) flow out (represented by the river) to us to cleanse, nourish, and reinvigorate us, wherever we are (represented by the 58 stars symbolizing the 58 barangays) and whoever we are (represented by the deer, symbolizing the indigenous people). The symbolism of the deer is unintentionally similar to the “Moor of Freising” in the Coat of Arms of Pope Benedict XVI. Together with our reverence and care with His creation (represented by the color green and the branch of laurel leaves, which also symbolizes excellence and the greatness of these graces and unity), by being united with Christ and sharing in His perfect (represented by the number seven) and unlimited love in unity with Mary, His Blessed Mother (represented by the color blue of the sky), our unity with our Filipino (represented by the Captions and the colors blue and red) and Asian (the sun rising from the east) brothers and sisters, and our reverence to our ancestors and pride of our historical heritage (both represented by the number 1874), and our concern for the welfare of the future generations (represented by the number 2005 and the antlers of the deer) universal harmony (symbolized by the hexagram) reigns.

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