Because of my present role as an institution, it is only befitting that I carry my own coat of arms. Coats of arms are symbols used profusely during the Middle Ages to identify the affiliation of a knight or vassal. Noble families, monarchs and ecclesiastical hierarchs have their coats of arms. Eventually, nations would also have theirs. Coats of arms are still used by certain families and people. Like the Pope.
I have just finished a revision of my Coat of Arms. The old one had more elements. I decided to simplify mine. This one speaks more of me as me and I intend to use this for official correspondence, the gate of my hacienda, my monastery and if I get lucky, my papacy. Kidding.
Puro kalokohan. The gate to the hacienda and the papal version. Obviously, these are jokes.
The colors yellow and red point to my Chinese ancestry on both sides.
Yellow is also my first recorded favorite color as I am born the year Ninoy Aquino was assassinated and I was three when EDSA I happened. In the Philippines, yellow is the color of power - people power. I am a firm believer of people and their power. We, people, have the power to change the world, the nation and human society.
In liturgy, red is the color of martyrs and of the Holy Spirit. I value self-offering for God, country and the highest human ideals. I also value the gift of the Holy Spirit (i.e. the Holy Spirit is the gift) - the Spirit of adoption, unity, service, healing, forgiveness, anointing and love. It is the Spirit which produces all gifts in everyone. I tend to believe that all that I do stem from this very important gift.
The cross is the symbol of the Paschal Mystery which is the heart of the Christian Faith. Lord, by your cross and resurrection you have set us free. You are the Savior of the world." This gives meaning to my humanity, my life and my faith. The top horizontal bar is the titulus while the second is for the arms. A cross with two bars can also symbolize the Benedictine Order which runs San Beda. Through them I grew to love liturgy. My mentor and thesis adviser is Benedictine.
The cross (crucifix). Me and my thesis adviser.
The three hills with the water point to the Philippines. The three hills refer to the three groupings of the islands - Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao and the water refers to the archipelagic condition of this country. The three hills are also reminiscent of the the coat of arms of the Diocese of Cubao where it symbolizes the hilly contour of Quezon City, where I am born. The water can also refer to the floods which are getting more frequent. The three green hills can also refer to my Lasallian education - I had my primary and secondary education at La Salle Green Hills.
The eagle at the bottom refer to my name John as the eagle is the symbol of the evangelist John who, "soars like an eagle above the clouds of human infirmity, and gazes upon the light of the unchangeable truth with those keenest and steadiest eyes of the heart" (Saint Augustine). I think it was because of the divinity of Christ which John saw and wrote in his Gospel. I was named after John because his feast is Dec 27 and I was born in the same week. My family chose John over Silvester - good choice! The specie is the Philippine Eagle, one of the biggest in the world (Yes, we, Filipinos, have one of the biggest birds in the world! Something to be proud of - we have big birds!). It eats monkeys - that is something I don't intend to do, although I am also the scourge of people we can call monkeys. Incidentally, the scientific name of the Philippine Eagle is Pithecophaga jefferyi and My second name is Jeffrey. Wala lang, I just connected it, sounds like e. The eagle is also the symbol of the Ateneo, another of my schools.
The unique configuration of my person is embodied in this new design. I like how so few symbols encapsulate a lot of meaning. Kahit pilit. Pagbigyan na.
Henceforth, this shall be my coat of arms. May no one copy it.