Juan de la Cruz is symbolically used in the Philippines to represent the "Filipino". The name is roughly the equivalent of the American Uncle Sam and John Doe. Juan de la Cruz is usually depicted wearing the native Salakot, Barong Tagalog, long pants, and slippers (called Chinelas in Filipino). The term Juan de la Cruz is also used when referring to the collective Filipino psyche. The terminology was coined by Robert McCulloch Dick, a Scottish-born journalist working for the Manila Times in the early 1900s, after discovering it was the most common name in blotters.
The name is Spanish which translates to "John of the Cross". The majority of Filipinos have acquired Spanish surnames largely due to more than 333 years of Spanish colonial rule in the Philippines. The Roman Catholic Church also plays an important role in the naming of a child, with almost every other baby baptized and named after a saint. San Juan de la Cruz was a Spanish mystic and Doctor of the Church; a leading figure in the Catholic Reformation.
Activists often call Juan de la Cruz a victim of American imperialism, especially since most editorial cartoons of the American era often depicted Juan de la Cruz along with Uncle Sam.
Link: Filipino eScribbles