Juan dela Cruz

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Juan dela Cruz is the generic name used to symbolize the common Filipino, like how John Doe is used to refer to Americans. Juan is depicted as a naïve-looking man wearing a camisa or barong Tagalog, long trousers, native slippers (in Filipino: tsinelas) and his trademark gear, the salakot.


Juan dela Cruz is the Spanish for "John of the Cross." The Scottish publisher R. McCulloch-Dick of The Philippine Free Press was the first to use the name Juan de la Cruz to refer to Filipinos in general when he noticed the name's ubiquity in court dockets and police blotters. Because of this, McCulloch-Dick wrote small verses about Juan dela Cruz in The Philippines Free Press who was often depicted narrating the petty crimes he had committed. Slowly, McCulloch-Dick enlarged his conception of Juan until he settled on a fixed template – Juan dela Cruz as a typical Filipino who is friendly, humble, self-respecting and hardworking.

The image of Juan dela Cruz wearing a barong Tagalog, salakot, and chinelas was first drawn in 1912 by Filipino artist Jorge Pineda. It was published in the Philippine Free Press.


The name Juan was likewise predominantly used in the Spanish colonial period. A few notable Filipinos named Juan include Juan Ponce Sumuroy, Juan Luna. The lead male character of Jose Rizal's Noli Me Tangere is called Juan Crisostomo Ibarra. Juan dela Cruz (known as “Palaris”) led a revolt in Pangasinan. Another famous Juan is Juan Tamad from the book Buhay na Pinagdaanan ni Juan Tamad na Anac ni Fabio at ni Sofia sa Caharian nang Portugal (The Life of Juan Tamad, son of Fabio and Sofia, in the Kingdom of Portugal).

Aside from being a common name among Filipinos, Juan is also the name of the most famous patron saint in Philippine municipalities – San Juan or Saint John the Baptist, the saint who baptized Jesus Christ. In San Juan, Metro Manila and other cities and municipalities, the feast of Saint John the Baptist is celebrated by showering water among the municipality's constituents.


See also



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