Sunday, June 19, 2011

Rizal 150: Tallest Jose Rizal statue inaugurated

The tallest Jose Rizal monument was inaugurated during the celebration of Jose Rizal's 150th birth anniversary in the City of Calamba in Laguna, earlier today. The event was attend by His Excellency President Benigno Simeon Aquino III (PNoy) who unveiled the gigantic statue, himself.

PNoy unveiling Dr. Jose Rizal's tallest statue to commemorate the 150th Birth Anniversary of the National Hero in Bacnotan Road, Barangay Real, Calamba City, Laguna Sunday June 19, 2011.

The statue, which stands 22-feet tall (a pedestal equivalent to a four-storey building), is the tallest monument of Rizal, not just in country but also in the world. It broke the previous record of a Rizal statue in Nueva Vizcaya which measures 18 feet.

Via the Philippine Star, Calamba City spokesman Peter Capitan said the 22-foot Rizal statue represents the 22 major languages that Rizal was able to speak fluently. The 15 steps at the statue's base, on the other hand, act as the representation of the 15th position of PNoy in the presidency.

The bronze statue, which was sculpted by Jonas Roces, is located in the newly-acquired 6.7 hectare property in front of the Calamba City Hall Complex.

Meanwhile, here are excerpts of President Aquino's speech during the event:

Kinikilala natin si Jose Rizal dahil sa harap ng mga sangandaan ng ating masalimuot na kasaysayan, may isang Pilipinong muli’t muli ay piniling gawin ang tama—ang unahin ang kapakanan ng kaniyang kapwa, ang itaguyod ang pagkakaisa para sa kalayaan ng atin pong bansa—kahit pa ang kapalit nito ay ang sarili niyang buhay.

Matagal na pong nakahanay si Rizal sa iba pang mga dakila ng kasaysayan. Ngunit sinabi po niya, sa bibig ng tauhang si Elias sa kanyang Noli Me Tangere:

“Mamamatay akong di man nakita ang maningning na pagbubukang-liwayway sa aking inang bayan! Kayong makakikita, batiin ninyo siya—at huwag kakalimutan ang mga nalugmok sa dilim ng gabi!”

Wala po akong dudang binabati na natin ang bukangliwayway ngayon, nang hindi nakakalimot sa mga nalugmok sa dilim, at sumusumpa: Sa bawat pagsubok, kapakanan ng Pilipino ang isasapuso namin; sa bawat sangandaan, tuwid na landas ang aming tatahakin.

Tandaan lang po natin sana: Kung ang mga dinadakila natin tulad ni Jose Rizal ay namili ng pangsarili, nasaan na kaya tayo ngayon? Nandito tayo dahil may mga nanindigan para sa atin. Maging kaaya-aya naman po ang gawin natin, para talaga naman pong sulit ang kanilang isinakripisyo sa atin.