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Juan dela Cruz

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Title: Juan dela Cruz  
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Subject: Malta, Juana de la Cruz, Shampoo Ni Lola, Salakot, National personifications
Collection: National Personifications, Philippine Culture, Placeholder Names
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Juan dela Cruz

Juan dela Cruz is the national personification of the Philippines, often used to represent the "Filipino everyman". He is usually depicted wearing the native salakot hat, Barong Tagalog, long pants, and tsinelas (local term for the popular flipflops).

History

Juan dela Cruz was coined by Robert McCulloch-Dick, the editor and publisher of The Philippine Free Press in 1900s. He noticed the frequency with which the names appeared on police blotters and court dockets. He was also notified that the Catholic Church baptized a massive number of children named after popular saints. He often wrote small verses about Juan dela Cruz in The Philippines’ Free Press who was often depicted narrating the petty crimes committed by them. Later on, McCulloch-Dick widened his idea of Juan until he made Juan dela Cruz as a typical Filipino. Juan dela Cruz is associated with the image of a naïve-looking man wearing a salakot, camisa de chino, native trousers and slippers. Jorge Pineda, a resident cartoonist of The Philippines’ Free Press, first drew the image of Juan in 1912.

Usage

Activists often portray Juan dela Cruz as a victim of American imperialism, especially since many editorial cartoons of the American period often depicted him alongside Uncle Sam. In modern times, he is shown independently as a venue for the common Filipino's commentary on governmental and social issues.

The term, sometimes shortened to "Juan", also refers to the collective Filipino psyche.

The name (Spanish for "John of the Cross") is often used as a placeholder name for an anonymous individual, roughly the equivalent of the American John Doe. The feminine placeholder is usually María dela Cruz, which like Juan is a common —albeit mostly legal and colloquially rare— first name among the Filipino women, though Juana dela Cruz is currently making mark in current Philippine TV campaigns.

See also

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