150 years ago, the Philippines national here, Jose Rizal was born and to celebrate this wonderful event, people are planning parties, parades, and other celebrations. The National Parks Development Committee (NPDC) is doing its part too.
150 Years of Jose Rizal
Jose Rizal was put to death by the Spanish in what is now called either Luneta Park or Rizal Park. A monument in the park marks the spot and the NPDC is putting in an all out effort to make the park shine by cleaning statues, collecting trash, adding in new buildings, and making the gardens wonderful.
One of the big porblems with Rizal Park over the past few years has been the crime and drug use in the area but by installing closed circuit television in the park, the NPDC has made the park safer and more secure for everyone. The CCTV install was a joint project of the NPDC and the Tourism Department of the Philippines. The park is getting a major overhaul, not just for Rizal’s birthday celebrations but to turn the park into a world class event venue, recreation area, and tourist destination.
Tourism has become a major focus of the Filipino economy and thus the birthday celebration of Jose Rizal is taking on added significance as the Tourism Department sees it as a n event that can draw tourism dollars to the country. By repainting the statue of Rizal at the point where he was killed and refurbishing the garden and fountain where he wrote the last chapter of Noli Me Tangere, the NPDC and the tourism department are highlighting Filipino culture, history, and landscape to a whole new group of people.
In addition, by adding in pavilions, a free wi-fi zone, and crating a Rizal Heritage Trail and Map, the Philippines National Hero will becoe more available than ever before. Tourism Secretary Alberto Lim said “We hope to transform Rizal Park into a world-class urban park where Filipinos and visitors can rediscover history and heritage amidst the fresh air from the famed Manila bay.”
When Rizal was executed on December 30th, 1886 for fighting against Spanish Colonialism, the park was called Bagumbayan. While Rizal was not a rebel who fought with guns, he most certainly was a rebel who fought with words and his novels did more to end colonialism than most of the guns and knives that were used. His ideals are today still valid and a model for the nation.
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