Dallas, TX (PressExposure) June 01, 2009 -- The month of May in the Philippines is considered the month of flowers. Festivies such as the "Santa Cruzan" held in the last day of "Flores De Mayo" is one of the main events that features some of the most wealthiest collections of beautiful and elegant Philippine flowers. But aside from the parades and the beautiful Filipinas wearing long gowns, adorned with beautiful bouquets of flowers, let's look at the flowers less likely to get involved in such events. These Philippine flowers, though sometimes taken for granted in such events, is considered as one of the countries most important flower. Well why not if you're the country's national flower. This is the Sampaguita.
Sampaguita or scientifically known as Jasminum sambac is considered as the country's national Philippine flowers. Though usually known by a lot of Filipinos as the Philippine's unique flower, Sampaguita is also found in other Asian countries. Other than the name Sampaguita, Jasminum sambac is also known as Arabian Jasmine, Mogra in Hindi and Marathi, Mallika- in Sanskrit, Kampupot, Melati in Malay and Indonesian Language, Mallepuvvu in Telugu, Mallikaipu in Tamil, Mallige in Kannada, and Kaliyan in Urdu.
In the Philippines, the flowers are gathered and strung into leis, corsages and crowns or its oils distilled and sold in stores, streets, and outside churches. The garlands may be used to welcome guests, or as an offering or adornment in religious altars. It also symbolizes purity and love.
The name Sampaguita is said to originate from a story long told. The is about two lovers, Lakambini and Lakam Galing. As Lakam Galing went off to a battle to defend their land, the two exchanged the words "Sumpa kita" as a pledge of their undying love for each other. When Lakambini learned that her lover died in the war, she died of grief and sorrow. At her gravesite, there soon sprouted a vine that bore fragrant white flowers echoing her purity and untainted love. Since then, many Filipinos started to call those white fragrant flowers as "Sampaguita".
It is also known that this flower was once used as a cure for a headache. Native Filipinos would extract and drink the oils coming from these flowers believing it would cure their headaches.
Besides the Philippines, it is also the national flower of Indonesia, which was adopted by Indonesian government in 1990 along with Moon Orchid (Phalaenopsis amabilis) and Rafflesia arnoldii. In Indonesia, the flower symbolizes purity, eternal love and nobility. It also symbolizes the beauty of a girl. The flower is commonly used in religious or cultural ceremony especially in Java and Bali. It is nicknamed puspa bangsa (nation flower or people flower) by the government.