Saturday, January 14, 2012

Jose Rizal's memory lives on at Mililani Memorial Park

Who is that statue?  Who is José Rizal?  My oh my, what a loaded question that turned out to be!  I should be ashamed of myself for not knowing.  Don't ask me why I think I should feel ashamed, but I do!    

In the Phillipines, José is a national hero!  He was a brilliant man who stood up and spoke for his people and against the established regime and other powers trying to manipulate his people.  He earned a degree as a doctor and he also wrote novels.  
"Why independence, if the slaves of today will be the tyrants of tomorrow?"  The Reign of Greed, José Rizal.
Rizal Day is celebrated every year on December 30th, the anniversary of his death/execution in 1896.  December 30, 2011 marked the 115th anniversary of the wrongful execution of this young, wonderful life.

During his travels he actually became conversational in 22 languages!

"He who does not love his own language is worse than an animal and smelly fish."

It is a good thing that I am pretty fond of my language!

I did ask Mililani Cemetery why this statue is there.  They could not answer me about its history.  They could only tell me that it had been there as long as they had been working there.  I did, of course, asked about the hat.  The reply was that people put leis on him all the time so maybe someone was trying to protect the head of the statue.
"Oh, from the sun?"
"No, from the birds!"
"Good point."
If they locate the history of the statue, the promised to call me and let me know.  Then I can share it with all of you.

José Protacio Rizal Mercado y Alonso Realonda
The statue certainly does not do him justice -- he really was a very nice looking man.  Wikipedia had this photo and I was very happy to be able to share a true representation of this very young and brilliant man.

If you read through even a little of his history, you can see why he is a hero with the Filipino people!  

You can follow this link to get a better idea of his biography.  This was the best synopsis of his story that I ran across.  Just let me say that I am very impressed and will visit in his honor when I can and report any new discoveries about the statue's history. 

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