tap the “play arrow” (if on mobile device, pls click “Listen in browser”) on the soundcloud pod below:
National Hero #JoseRizal and the National Pride: This reading is dedicated to the eight Supreme Court Justices: Justice Presby Velasco, Justice Arturo Brion, Justice Tessie Leonardo-de Castro, Justice Lucas Bersamin, Justice Martin Villarama, Justice Jose Mendoza, Justice Estela Perlas-Bernabe, and Justice Francis Jardeleza:
“To the Flowers of Heidelberg” by Jose Rizal, the most brilliant mind of the Malay race, the most scintillating poet of his generation, a leading figure in the struggle against the oppressive colonial rulers, national hero — laid to rest at Luneta de Bagumbayan… (the audio is on autoplay, which should be playing now…)
(image credits: Photo by Pexels files from the WordPress Free Stock Photo Library, used here non-commercially for academic purposes)
Excerpts from the Petition for Injunction of the Knights of Rizal against the construction of the Torre de Manila, desecrating the historic national park and shrine:
“Rizal Park and the Rizal Monument
“2.15 The Rizal Park, aside from being a popular park and destination for local and foreign tourists alike in the middle of the urbane City of Manila, is sacred ground in the historic struggle for freedom in this country. The said park, formerly called Luneta de Bagumbayan because of its lunette shape embracing the old walled capital city of Manila, Intramuros, serving also as its buffer zone to see attacks from the natives, was an execution site for those who defied Spanish colonialism. “This was where the patriot priests Mariano Gomes, Jose Burgos and Jacinto Zamora were garroted in 1872. The National Hero, Dr. Jose Rizal, was also shot here along with many other martyrs of the 1896 revolution. The blood of these martyrs ignited many hearts to join the Philippine Revolution which victoriously drove out the Spaniards in 1898 after 333 years of masterly dominance.
“In the deaths of the beloved leaders Ninoy Aquino in 1983 and Corazon Aquino in 2009, their funeral processions were stopped here by hundreds of thousands of mourners to link their lives as a continuing struggle for nationhood which the martyrs started.
“2.18 The Rizal Monument, which was erected in 1913, is standing on the ground where the mortal remains of the National, Hero Dr. Jose Rizal is buried. In 1912, Dr. Rizal’s remains finally got a decent burial with honors from a grateful nation spearheaded by the Order of the Knights of Rizal and the masons. The monument was made in
Switzerland by Swiss sculptor Richard Kissling, the design of which was called “Motto Stella”, the guiding star. The three stars arranged in a triangle resembled the stars and the triangle of the Philippine flag. The triangle is based on that of the Katipunan. These symbolized the whole nation consisting of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. The bronze
statue of Jose Rizal holding books and the surrounding figures, especially the mother reading to a child, depict the importance of education.
“The monument was a product of “bayanihan”. It was built by donations from the whole nation in a public subscription that went beyond the target of a hundred thousand pesos. Since then, veterans of the revolution march in front of the monument, leaders of the city and the country honor the national hero during annual public national
holidays, such as Independence Day and Rizal Day, and world leaders in working and state visits honor the country by honoring the monument. Photographs from different periods show the Filipino people surrounding the monument in awe and admiration. It had become our Eiffel Tower, our Forbidden City, our St. Peter’s Basilica, our Brandenburg Gate, our Washington Monument. The monument has, in itself, become a beloved symbol of the city and of the nation.
“2.19 The long, undisputed, wide acceptance of the importance of said monument is made formal by the declaration of the National Museum of the Philippines that it is a National Cultural Treasure. This further confirms what is common knowledge about the structure, that it “xxx possesses outstanding historical, cultural and artistic value xxx highly significant to the country.”
“(A) completed Torre de Manila would forever ruin the sightline of the Rizal Monument in Luneta Park: Torre de Manila building would loom at the back and overshadow the entire monument, whether up close or viewed from a distance. No one can take a photo of the Rizal Shrine without also capturing the high-rise condominium at its
back. xxx …”
… save for the rage of a nation, the opposition of the Knights of Rizal, the National Commission for Culture and Arts, and other concerned agencies and organizations, cultural activist Carlos Celdran and friends, untiring media practitioners such as DZMM’s Ted Failon, and the wisdom and courage of the Enlightened Eight: Supreme Court Justice Presby Velasco, Justice Arturo Brion, Justice Tessie Leonardo-de Castro, Justice Lucas Bersamin, Justice Martin Villarama, Justice Jose Mendoza, Justice Estela Perlas-Bernabe, and Justice Francis Jardeleza: This reading of “To the Flowers of Heidelberg” is dedicated to you all:
Poem, Jose Rizal; background music: True Faith; strings: Ziv Astronomo; photo derived from:katsteph12