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Philippine Animals Depicted in Pinoy Currency [Natural Heritage in PH Money]

Philippine animals depicted in the New Generation Currency series in your 20, 50, 100, and 200 bills. 

Do you have these bills in your wallets? 

20-peso bill depicts a musang

The 20-peso bill depicts a musang, a mammal native to many Asian countries. It is a nocturnal animal and prefers to stay on top of trees in search of a variety of fruits and smaller animals. What made civets popular is the controversial and expensive civet coffee, with claims of having richer tastes after passing through the digestive tract of this species. While civet coffee is harvested sustainably in many parts of the country, there are unethical civet coffee farms elsewhere.

Maliputo in the new 50-peso bill

Our wildlife also provides sustenance to many communities like this highly prized fish found in Taal Lake. Depicted on the reverse of the new 50-peso bill is Maliputo, a population of Giant trevally which thrives in freshwater, distinguished from the marine variant called Talakitok. Maliputo spawns downstream - in river mouths and mangroves while fingerlings find their way in Taal Lake through Pansipit River. Unfortunately, Maliputo numbers are in decline due to overfishing and the proliferation of invasive alien species like tilapia which feeds on native fishes in the lake including Philippine endemic Tawilis. 

100-peso bill Whale shark or Butanding

On our 100-peso bill is the Whale shark or Butanding, the world’s largest living fish which can grow up to 12 meters long or about the size of bus. Unlike its torpedo-shaped shark cousins, Butanding has a wide, flat head with its mouth in front. Their backs are spotted in patterns unique per individual like human fingerprints. Despite their colossal size, Whale sharks are filter-feeders and pose no threat to humans. Their diet consists mainly of microscopic organisms known as plankton. Whale sharks are threatened species, and is protected by local and international laws.

Philippine tarsier is found at the reverse of our 200-peso bill

Our endemic Philippine tarsier is found at the reverse of our 200-peso bill. They are found in lowland forests of Bohol, Samar, Leyte and Mindanao, and are known to tolerate second growth and agricultural areas. Like other tarsiers, our Mawmag is nocturnal. Its disproportionately large eyes provide it with excellent night vision, which it uses to hunt in the dark. Its strong legs allow for 3-meter jumps during escape and foraging.



Text by Jasmin C. Meren / NMP Zoology Division, photos by Ruth Francisco and Micky Lim
©National Museum of the Philippines (2021)

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