12/30/11

Rizal Park, Part 4: the Rizal element

Of course, no trip to Rizal Park would be complete without a visit to the main attraction of the park, none other than the Rizal Monument itself. While this monument serves to represent the greatness of the country’s national hero, it is also a symbol of the way things work in the country, of how plans don’t turn out the way they’re supposed to be, for the better or otherwise.

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As I mentioned some posts ago, the Americans when they gazed upon what was then Bagumbayan Field already saw it as a potential center of the burgeoning power of the United States in the Philippines. And with Burnham’s vision of a “Manila Beautiful” set on the drawing board at least in 1905, the US colonial government was determined make that dream of Manila’s National Mall into reality. The first order of business is getting what would be Manila’s counterpart Washington monument for this planned Manila National Mall. Continue reading

12/30/09

the most awkward-looking Rizal ever

Today marks another commemoration of the martyrdom of the Philippines’ national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal.

And being the country’s national hero, you can never escape his name and image almost everywhere you go, from the streets you traverse to the matches you use.

Then again, he is THE national hero so there’s not much one can do about that.

That principle will also apply whenever we come to see him standing in front of some town plaza or municipal/city/provincial hall in his trademark long black overcoat and, sometimes, holding a book or two on his chest as if he was about to sing the National Anthem.

This particular monument of Rizal however, takes the cake for having a “unique” representation of him. Continue reading