CARSON CITY, California, USA – As the Philippines
prepares to celebrate its 114th Independence Day next month, Filipinos
around the world will be honored further as the City of Carson
announced that a statue of national hero Jose Rizal
will soon to rise.
The statue honoring the hero, which will be sculpted by Toym de Leon, will be made of bronze and estimated to be seven feet tall with granite base of six feet high. Funded by the Jose P. Rizal
Monument Movement, the statue will eventually be located at the International Sculpture Garden, which is a strategic place envisioned by Carson
Mayor Jim Dear
to be a dedicated walking history museum that will grant adults and children opportunities to learn about important figures from different parts of the world, particularly the Philippines.
“I feel it’s very important for young people to understand who these leaders were, the work they did, the changes they made in world history and by having a sculpture garden with statues. It’ll bring forth a greater educational experience for children who come here—not just for Filipino-American children but for the all children,” said Mayor Dear.
The process of establishing a Rizal statue had some hurdles along the way as some colleagues of the mayor as well as certain community leaders that belonged to different ethnic groups complained why a hero from the Philippines
was prioritized to be erected first in the sculpture garden.
In response, Councilman Elito Santarina
joined the mayor in justifying Rizal as a worthy figure by explaining in detail that the hero was a ‘man of peace, a champion of human rights, and a national hero’.
As a result, the mini-controversy ended and acceptance of Jose Rizal was realized.About Jose Rizal
Born on June 19, 1861, Jose Rizal
was a patriot who strongly advocated for reforms in the Philippines
during the dark days of the Spanish Colonial era. He was executed by the Spanish authorities on December 30, 1896, which eventually contributed to the staging of the Philippine Revolution.
Before he died, Rizal proved to be a highly-educated Filipino, an engaging author of two considered subversive novels (‘Noli me Tangere’ and ‘El Filibusterismo’) to the Spanish rule and a political figure who emphasized the need of achieving Philippine self-government through peaceful reforms instead of violent uprising. He also believed deeply in restoring people’s dignity.