Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Rizal 101: First Filipino International Movement (Manila)

Rizal Monument
To commemorate Jose Rizal's 153rd birth anniversary and the upcoming 101st anniversary of Luneta's iconic  Rizal Monument, a press conference, organized by Prof. Melissa Grace Dizon-Dulalia, launched the "The First Filipino Historical Tour of Europe: Journey to Switzerland," a partnership with the Philippine Embassy (Bern, Switzerland), E.T. Dizon Travel Corp.2GO Travel, The Hub @ Kilometer Zero, Mario D' Boro Shoes, Cardam's Shoes  and GNN Philippines Uncut Global News Network
The event was held at 2GO Travel's The Hub @ Kilometer Zero, a 5-in-1 (lounge, cafe, bar, restaurant and ticketing office) for 2GO's  passengers as well as the general public. Fittingly, The Hub is just a stone's throw away from the Rizal Monument and the actual spot where the National Hero Dr. Jose Rizal was executed on December 30, 1896.
The Hub @ Kilometer Zero

Why Switzerland? From 1905-1907, a design contest for a monument in Luneta dedicated to Rizal was held.  Sculptors from America, Europe and other parts of the world began sending their entries in scaled miniature plaster cast models.  

In 1908, the winners were announced and the P100,000 grand prize entry was won by Italian sculptor Carlos Nicoli's Al Martir de Bagumbayan ("Martyrs of Bagumbayan").  It  was, however, not able to post the required sizable performance bond and so the P50,000 second-place winning entry Motto Stella of Dr. Richard Kissling (April 14, 1948-July 19, 1919) of Zurich, Switzerland was used instead.  
The bronze statue of Dr. Jose Rizal and the figures around it were cast in Paris (France) and transported to Wassen (a canton in Uri, Switzerland) for mounting and measurement of its rhombic base (of solid Gotthard granite rock), pedestal and 50-ft. high obelisk  The imposing Rizal Monument was started on December 10, 1910 and was completed on April 26, 1913.  The monument was unveiled on December 30, 1913, the anniversary of Rizal's death, and his remains were finally transferred here on June 19. The Luneta was also renamed Rizal Park, dedicated to the national hero and the values he stood for. 
Unveiling the Rizal bust. L-R - Mr. Cunanan, Ms. Dulalia, Ms. Ong, Ms. Tupas and Ms. Golez

Guest of honor Mr. Thelmo Luis Cunanan
Guest of honor during the presscon was Honorary Consul of Georgia in the Philippines Mr. Thelmo Luis "Buddy" O. Cunanan, Jr.. VIP guests at the presscon were photographer Mr. Benjamin S. Layug, Jr., health and wellness blogger Mr. Fernando "Rannie" C. Bernardo, Kho Travel & Tours CEO & travel consultant Ms. Rosanna C. Kho, Nature Awareness and Conservation Club, Inc. CEO and founder Ms. Violeta C. Imperial, Ms. Imelda Ablan Tinonas, Famous Spots Magazine writer/contributor Ms. Almira Tinonas, Cardam's Shoes Owner Dr. Nancy So Ong, Cardam's Shoes Brand/Marketing Manager Ms. Christine Ng, and Cardam's Shoes Marketing Assistant Mr. Vice Mallapre.
The Rizal bust
Also present, from 2GO Travel, were Mr. Stephen Rey Tagud (VP - Passage Business/Chief Commercial Officer), Ms. Grace L. Golez (AVP - Passage Retail Sales), Ms. Bi-Anne Tupas (AVP - Marketing Communications and Public Relations) and Ms. Abbie Gutierrez-Mapue (Area Retail Sales Manager).  
During the presscon, a video presentation on the Republic of Georgia ("Discover Georgia") and the 2GO Group was shown.  Come lunchtime, guests were served a delightful meal prepared by Executive Chef Jonathan P. Landingin.  The highlight of the event was the unveiling, by Consul Cunanan, Ms. Dulalia, Ms. Golez, Ms. Tupas and Ms. Ong, of a bronze bust of Jose Rizal which will later be sent to Wassen (Switzerland), where parts of the present Rizal Monument were originally mounted and measured.

Mr. Thelmo Cunanan and Mr. Stephen Tagud

The Hub @ Kilometer Zero: Bulwagan ng Kagitingan (Hall of Valor), Central Section Rizal Park (just across the Rizal Monument and beside the Chinese Garden), Brgy. 666, Zone 072, Manila. Open daily,  8 AM-7 PM.

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