LOOK: Iloilo City artist designs a Miriam Defensor Santiago-inspired paper bill

Michael Angelo Sarate shared his vision of a PHP 2,000 paper bill inspired by the late Miriam Defensor-Santiago, who was also a native of Iloilo City.

This comes after the newly crowned Miss Universe Philippines 2020 and Iloilo representative Rabiya Mateo answered that she would put the face of the late senator if she was to create a new paper currency.

“If I were given the chance, I want to use the face of Miriam Defensor-Santiago. For those who don’t know, she was an Ilongga. But what I admired about her is that she used her knowledge, her voice to serve the country. I want to be somebody like her — somebody who puts her heart, her passion into action. After all, she is the best President that we never had,” Mateo answered.

This inspired Sarate, who also hails from Iloilo, to create the paper bill and shared the story behind the symbols he used.

Photo used with permission from Michael Angelo Sarate

The banknote also consists of various nod to Visayas. At the back of the paper note is the famous Jaro Cathedral, which is “a witness of the love and devotion of the Ilonggos towards God. A landmark of Iloilo City” as quoted by Sarate and a Rafflesia speciosa, one of Panay’s endemic species.


Another notable input was a ‘medal of honor’. The late senator was given the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Government Service back in 1988. In 2018, the prestigious Quezon Service Cross Award was posthumously conferred to Sen. Santiago, making her the only woman and the sixth person to receive the recognition since its creation back in 1946.

Banner image from Michael Angelo Sarate


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