Obverse: figure of a man seated beside an anvil and holding a hammer with a volcano (Mt. Mayon) erupting in the background, "One Centavo", "Filipinas"
Reverse: arms of the Philippine-American Commonwealth, "United States of America", year mark
Designer: Melecio Figueroa
The 1/2 centavo, 1 centavo, and 5 centavo coins of the American Series show a Filipino man kneeling against an anvil, with a hammer resting at his side. He is on the left side (foreground), while in the right side (background) there is a simmering volcano, Mt. Mayon. This figure is an allegory for the hard work being done by the Filipinos in building their own future.
Arms of the Commonwealth
When the Philippines became a US Commonwealth, the arms of the Commonwealth were adopted in the reverse of the coins. Compared to the arms of the US Territories, this seal is composed of a much smaller eagle with its wings pointed up, perched over a shield with peaked corners, above a scroll reading "Commonwealth of the Philippines". It is a much busier pattern, and widely considered less attractive.