Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The new generation currency, not perfect, but still very good

The recently released new generation currency was immediately showered with ridicule in the blogosphere. Expect PNoy bashers to pick this up and heap it upon the other perceived missteps of this clumsy administration. Such is the power of the blog, social networking sites and freedom of speech (and to nitpick).

Imagine if we had blogs and social networks back in Marcos’s time. People could have howled against the misspelled scientific name of the Philippine eagle on the 50-centavo coin. We did not. Instead, folks collected them to try to cash in when it becomes a collector’s item. I lost my collection and as far as I know, it did not become rare.

What’s wrong with the new bills? Nitpickers say the new 500-peso bill does not precisely pinpoint the Puerto Princesa Subterranean Park on the inch-tall Palawan map. They won't forgive the use of a bigger marker to locate the site. They also point to the more obvious error in the location of the Tubbataha. But nitpickers must understand that the marker would have been obscured by the small mother of pearl design had it been near the correct location. A security feature would be lost and printing over the marker would be more difficult.

The critics also lament the missing Batanes island. A nitpicker wonders why Batanes, a very beautiful place, is not on the currency. Placing a dot that would be Batanes would make the map even smaller on the 2.5" tall bill. Maybe he has an idea how to depict the beauty of Batanes on a dot. Some purists also decry the color of the beak of the blue naped parrot on the 500-peso bill, as if the bill is a page off an ornithology textbook.

The taxonomists may have a point. Scientific names are italicized - to denote that they are scientific names and not the local names. Perhaps the bank officials have not read anything with scientific names, or if they have, they are not perceptive enough to notice what the taxonomy purists say. But the taxonomists are overreacting when they demand a pullout. The upper cased second name is forgivable. It is correctly spelled. Even if the scientific name is not italicized, it does not appear on the same line as other names. Its placement below the local name suggests (to me, but maybe not to bank officials) that it is a scientific name. Besides, the wikipedia article they refer to say that while the first name is always capitalized, the second name is not. That means the second name is not always capitalized, meaning there are times when it could be capitalized. It's a different matter if it said 'the second name is always not [capitalized]'.

The overreaction against the new currency overshadows the enthusiasm shown by Rico Hizon when he emceed the introduction of the new bills at the Palace. All these negative attitude over the new currency is even more misplaced than the Tubbataha on the bill.

This is your currency, deal with it.

All you nitpickers, if you really feel strongly against the new money, please give all your new bills to me. They are ok with me.


  1. billie3:21 PM

    nice one perry :> and the new bills are really better than the old ones, aesthetically (did i spell it right?) and (how does one say this) nicer and has "lighter feeling" and yet historical... the new bills are like the Filipinos, we have so much history (depicted in the front of the bills) and yet able to enjoy and be proud of who we are (depicted in the back of the bills) :>

  2. The incorrect format of binomial nomenclature of species obviously indicates that the bank officials are lame ignoramuses of science (that's a shame, my Grade 2 cousin knows the format of scientific names!). Acceptance of such ignorance will be a shame to our nationality, especially to us scientist..Imagine how it'll destroy our reputation in the international scientific community if it'll be known that our government is not following correct scientific format!If we still hold on to the new bills, billie is right. The new bills are like Filipinos, still being accepted despite being legally so wrong!

  3. I'm a science man myself, but I'd let this mistake over the scientific names pass. The currency won't affect the local science community's reputation. If at all, their outrage would show that they care much and wouldn't have let this happen. The international community will respect our scientists for that. This mistake has made the Filipinos understand the scientific name format in a way that no ranting scientist would have done. The bills will be corrected, in time. In the mean time let's enjoy the new bills.

  4. Maybe one reason is that it doesn't undergo proper quality checking first before it was publicized. Second reason is that they might be in a hurry that's why they may ignore those mistake thinking that the public is not pretty much aware of the should be characteristics of our currencies and of our history.



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