The inclusion of Mrs. Aquino, mother of President Benigno Aquino III, is part of the redesigning of all Philippine bank notes that Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) unveiled Thursday.
President Aquino, whose signature is now on the new bank notes, led the launching in Malacañang.
"It does make me happy, as a son and as a Filipino, to have my parents in the same bank note. It is a testament to what they sacrificed for our people, and a testament to their love for our country," he said.
He added, "It also serves as a constant reminder for me that my parents were more fortunate than I in finding that person that made them whole and allowed them to achieve the heights that they did."
This elicited laughter from the audience.
BSP Governor Amando Tetangco Jr. said the new bank notes took three years to conceptualize and print. The idea to include Mrs. Aquino in the P500 bill, however, was conceived when she passed away due to colon cancer in August 2009.
Tetangco said the BSP decided to include Mrs. Aquino in the bank note even before President Aquino announced in September that he would seek the presidency.
All six denominations — P20, P50, P100, P200, P500, and P1,000 — have new designs and security features. Below are the new designs:
Obverse: Manuel L. Quezon
Reverse: Banaue Rice Terraces and a palm civet from the Cordilleras, which are famous for producing the coffee alamid
On the bottom left corner of the P200 bill is the famous photo of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo's oathtaking during the People Power II revolution. Former Chief Justice Hilario Davide Jr. can be seen on the right administering the oath.
Obverse: Sergio Osmeña
Reverse: Taal Lake and the Giant Trevally (locally known as Maliputo), a delicious milky fish which thrives only in the waters of the lake
Obverse: Manuel A. Roxas
Reverse: Mayon Volcano and "butanding" or whale shark, the world's largest living fish which is the main attraction of Donsol, Sorsogon
Obverse: Diosdado Macapagal
Reverse: Chocolate Hills and the Philippine tarsier, one of the world's smallest primates
Obverse: Corazon Aquino and Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino Jr.
Reverse: Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park and the blue-naped parrot, which thrives in the forests of Palawan and Mindoro
Obverse: Josefa Llanes Escoda, Vicente P. Lim, and Jose Abad Santos
Reverse: Tubbataha Reef Marine Park and the South Sea Pearl, which is produced by oysters that thrive in the South Seas which the Sulu Sea is a part of
The images of the national figures on the obverse side of the bills show them at a younger age. Fe Dela Cruz, director of the BSP's corporate affairs office, said in an ambush interview the younger images were chosen because the public servants and heroes on the bank notes served the country during their prime.
The image of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo taking her oath of office after the second EDSA Revolution, which was on the reverse side of the old P200 bill, is now on the obverse side. The image, located at the lower left side, is much smaller.
The new security features of the bank notes include embossed prints, serial numbers, security fibers, watermarks, security thread, optically variable device, optically variable ink, and a see-through mark. The features increase as the value of the note goes higher.
The see-through mark is the word "Pilipino" written in Baybayin, a pre-Spanish Philippine writing system, which is only seen in complete form when the note is viewed against the light.
A banknote's design is first conceptualized before it is drawn by an artist into a prototype banknote. Once the prototype has been approved, printing plates will be produced.
The production of banknotes consists of litho printing; intaglio printing; sheet inspection; numbering; tenning (where numbered sheets are inspected every tenth sheet to check if there are defects); and finishing which includes cutting, counting and packaging, according to the BSP.
Present during the launching were relatives of the heroes and officials on the bank notes.
Luli Arroyo, Mrs. Arroyo’s daughter, was present at the ceremony to represent her mother and grandfather. She and President Aquino, her mother’s political adversary, only shook hands briefly when the Arroyo family was asked to come onstage for the unveiling of the new P1,000 bill. — KBK/VS, GMANews.TV