Luneta Park, Fort Santiago: The Story of Rizal

Thursday, March 22, 2012

I was just reviewing for the Rizal finals then I remembered I had these photos. If you guys haven't guessed it yet, this photo was taken in Fort Santiago. Fort Santiago is considered as a "defense fortress" inside the walled city of Manila.
Yes, the place where the great Jose Rizal was imprisoned before his execution in 1896. 
The bronze foot markers made visitors and tourists picture clearly Rizal's final walk -- The walk from his cell to the place of his execution. 
An urn containing Rizal's verterbra. Look into it closely and you'll see a crack. 
The crack signifies the fatal bullet shot that killed our majestic hero. 
The place where any have been tortured and executed -- activists and even innocent civilians. 
It is quite common knowledge that oppressive forces during the olden times would not hesitate to terminate the lives, even of the innocent. :( 
 Obviously, the place is abundant with Rizal statues. 
It's quite amusing that this place has been preserved, considering the fact that only a handful of places here in the Philippines have been preserved and improved to act as a tool for tourism.

Our next stop, the National Art Gallery in the National Museum
Finally! A close look at the Spolarium! 
"Luna's Spoliarium with its bloody carcasses of slave gladiators being dragged away from the arena where they had entertained their Roman oppressors with their lives...stripped to satisfy the lewd contempt of their Roman persecutors with their honor..." Rizal was footnoted in his speech that the Spoliarium, "embodied the essense [sic] of our social, moral and political life: humanity in severe ordeal, humanity unredeemed, reason and idealism in open struggle with prejudice, fanaticism and justice..." (Leon Ma. Guerrero, "The First Filipino" 2007)

 This photo doesn't give the painting any justice. 
I seriously think everyone should see this piece of art for themselves. 
Just a little background on it -- The Filipino painter, Juan Luna, submitted this entry at Exposición Nacional de Bellas Artes in 1884. He actually took home the GOLD! 
And if you're wondering (because I know I did), it took him eight full months to finish this masterpiece. 
Final stop, the Rizal Monument!
We do look like legit tourists! haha 
Rizal's exact place of execution. Just in case, you guys haven't heard it yet -- Rizal's fellow Filipino soldiers fired the shots that killed him (first row). At the second row were Spanish soldiers who were ready to shoot the executioners if they refuse to obey orders. 
Finally! A chance for me to look into it closely. 
José Protacio Rizal Mercado y Alonso Realonda, you are a legend. You have inspired thousand of people through your works, including me. You have taught me that no amount of power can ever replace talent, hardwork, tenacity and most especially, love for one's country. 

"It is a useless life that is not consecrated to a great ideal. It is like a stone wasted on the field without becoming a part of any edifice."

May the beam of hope that you have shown to this country shine forever. 

P.S. I'll be taking my finals about you a few hours from now. It would be absolutely great if you would help me. hihi

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