Archive for philippine heroes

two tall

Posted in architecture, artifacts, culture, history, locales, people, tradition, travel with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 25, 2010 by mijodo

Lapulapu of Luneta Park. David of Davao City.

Two behemoth structures that call attention from their territory’s populace and guests. Two gigantic personas that awed and inspired their respective people at their respective time and place. One is from the pages of Philippine history; the other is  from the books of the Bible.

There is a replica of Michaelangelo’s statue of King David at the beachfront of Davao City. As written in the Old Testament, King David was the one who slung a rock at the forehead of the taller and much heavier Goliath who had been a menace  to Israelites.

And this tall structure made a commotion, a few years back among the politicians and the citizens of this economically progressive city of Davao. As the reproduction has David, nude and looming above the reflecting pool, some quarters wanted it removed; some, as a compromise, just required it to have some pants.

Apparently until now, the statue still depcits David in its naked glory, perhaps, just cooling his heels for the another round of fight, against censorship and prohibition, after the local elections this year.

Another controversial behemoth statue is the one at Rizal Park in Manila. Supposedly, this park should only honor, Jose Rizal, the Philippines’s national hero, and no one else as the park’s name implies, but apparently there is the great bronze figure of Lapu-Lapu, lording it over between the Department of Tourism and Department of Finance Buildings at the then known, Agrifina Circle of Luneta Park.

Some knowledgeable people of history and even landscape architecture raised voices against Lapulapu’s monument inside the national park. Some historians and chroniclers cited that Lapulapu had lead against the foreign invasion of the Spanish conquistadors, when the Philippines as a nation was not even created yet, hence Lapulapu should not be exactly called a Philippine hero yet. 

And some just didn’t like how the sculpture blends in with the aesthetics of the park, itself.  Lapulapu’s figure was too tall, and just did not create the balance and proportion with Rizal’s monument.

Apparently, regionalism deepened the controversy as some Cebuanos have taken the opposition to the marker as an insult to Visayans since Lapulapu had been a datu from Mactan, Cebu.

Whether such monolithic statues of King David or Datu Lapulapu have served well, in terms of beautifying and enhancing their respective places or not, there is no doubt such great people have affected other men and women to be wilfull and assertive against supposed enemies and antagonists.

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buried in secret

Posted in architecture, artifacts, culture, history, locales with tags , , , , , , , , on March 16, 2009 by mijodo

the charming chapel of paco park

It could be a romantic place. In fact it has been a venue for weddings. And I have been into one. Afterall, there is this old chapel, just big enough to accommodate the groom’s and the bride’s families. There is manicured lawn, and if it is not syrupy enough, one can even have a fountain gushing for the matrimony. Seriously, it is a beautiful and elegant place, this Paco Park.

But if you look closely at the place, actually it is a cemetery, full of catacombs and niches. Paco Park in Manila during the Spanish era was a burial place for well heeled aristocrats. It is interesting to see the names and dates of those interred at this place. You just wonder what life had been during those times, eons ago.

There are several pocket sections inside this intimate park. In fact there is a corner for the unborn children. Then as I walk around, there was a marker which  information I was blown away. Apparently, where the marker was, that was the exact place where Jose Rizal, our National Hero was buried, unbeknownst to the Spanish authorities after his execution in Bagumbayan, the nearby Luneta Park. Somehow for a history buff like me, it was my first time to know such curious fact.

Then I get to imagine what could have happened right after Rizal’s death. The family just trying to haul the lifeless body of the hero, and giving him a decent burial at least. But then everything has to be hushed-hushed lest the authorities find out, and worsen the situation even more for Rizal’s family. Thus in the interim, secrets had to be made, right after Rizal’s demise. 

Sometimes secrets like rizal’s entombment and like the  mysteries of the disappearing articles in this blog, just have to be made – or things may go awry. In time, everything will be unfolded.