A national hero of the Philippines is a Filipino who has been recognized as a hero for his or her role in the history of the country. Loosely, the term may refer to all Filipino historical figures recognized as heroes, but the term more strictly refers to those officially designated as such. In 1995 the Philippine National Heroes Committee officially recommended several people for the designation, but this was not acted upon. Currently, no one has ever been officially recognized as a Philippine national hero.
The reformist writer Jose Rizal, today generally considered the greatest Filipino hero and often given as the Philippine national hero, has never been explicitly proclaimed as the (or even a) national hero by the Philippine government. Besides Rizal, the only other Filipinos currently given implied recognition as national heroes are revolutionary Andres Bonifacio and Senator Benigno Aquino, Jr. While other historical figures are commemorated in public municipal or provincial holidays, Rizal, Bonifacio and Aquino are commemorated in public nationwide (national) holidays and thus are implied to be national heroes.
The National Heroes Committee recommended Jose Rizal, Andres Bonifacio, Emilio Aguinaldo, Apolinario Mabini, Marcelo H. del Pilar, Sultan Dipatuan Kudarat, Juan Luna, Melchora Aquino (no relation to Benigno Aquino), and Gabriela Silang to be recognized as national heroes on November 15, 1995: As of today, no action has been taken for these recommended National Heroes.
In August 2009, shortly after the death of former President Corazon Aquino, widow of Benigno Aquino, legislative measures have been filed calling for her official recognition as a national hero. In 2003, his husband, Beningno Aquino Jr. was already officially declared as one of the national heroes by then President Gloria Arroyo through an executive order.
A measure filed by Congressman Rene Relampagos from Bohol in February 2014 seeks to declare Jose Rizal as the sole Filipino national hero. According to the bill, he was a nationalist and well known for his Philippine reforms advocacy during the Spanish colonial era.[5