Philippines in the United States
The Philippines in Southern California
Unveiling of the First Full-Size Statue of Dr. Jose P. Rizal in Southern California
On September 29, 2012, Consul General Mary Jo A. Bernardo-Aragon with Carson City Mayor Jim Dear, Carson City Councilman Elito Santarina, National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) Chairperson Ma. Serena Diokno and Jose P. Rizal Monument Movement (JPRMM) Chairman Chito Mandap, led the unveiling of the first full-size statue of Philippine National Hero, Dr. Jose P. Rizal in Southern California.
The historical event was attended by hundreds of guests including some U.S. Government officials representing the different cities of Southern California, officers and staff of the Philippine Consulate General in Los Angeles, various leaders of the Filipino-American organizations in Southern California, students and youth from Carson City and members of the different chapters of the Knights of Rizal.
Photo shows (L-R) Carson City Councilmember Elito Santarina; Congresswoman Janice Hahn; Ms. Maria Serena I. Diokno, Chairperson, Philippine National Historical Commission; Carson City Mayor Jim Dear; Consul General Mary Jo Bernardo Aragon; Congresswoman Laura Richardson; Mr. Chito Mandap, Chairman, Jose Rizal Monument Movement (JPRMM); Mr. Antero Pagunsan, Vice Chairman, JPRMM; and, a representative of the Knights of Rizal.
The ceremony was preceded by messages of Philippine and Carson officials and cultural performances highlighted by the dramatization of Mi Ultimo Adios followed by the dramatization of the execution of Rizal. NHCP Chairperson Maria Serena Diokno gave the keynote address.
The 15-foot tall monument consists of an 8-foot tall bronze statue of Dr. Rizal on a 7-foot granite pedestal with a memorial marker and logo of the National Historical Commission of the Philippines on its front.
The monument stands at the International Sculpture Garden, adjacent to Carson Civic and Community Centers, in Carson City, which is home to a sizeable number of Filipino-Americans and Filipino-American businesses.
The International Sculpture Garden was conceptualized by the City Council of Carson as a place dedicated for public art and a walking history museum where renowned heroes and leaders from all over the world will rise.
In 2010, Carson City Mayor Jim Dear invited the Philippine Government to support this initiative by donating a statue. The Jose Rizal statue is a gift of the Philippine Government to the City of Carson and is the first to be placed in this Garden. It was supposed have been installed on June 19, 2011 in time for the celebration of the 150th Birth Anniversary of Dr. Rizal but was delayed due to difficulties in compliance with Carson City’s technical and engineering requirements.
The Jose P. Rizal Monument was a realization of the vision of JPRMM, a 501 (c)-3 non-profit public benefit charitable organization supported by over 20 Filipino-American organizations in Southern California. The JPRMM was formed in 2004 to raise and generate funds and resources to build the Rizal Monument in Los Angeles. For the past several years, JPRMM considered different sites on which to install the Rizal monument to no avail.
During the monument’s groundbreaking ceremony on 5 November 2011, a stainless steel time capsule, with messages from the current generation to future generations of Filipino-Americans in Los Angeles was buried to be opened after 20 years.
According to JPRMM Chairperson Chito Mandap, the statue was sculpted by renowned Filipino sculptor Toym de Leon Imao, who was one of the awardees of the Ten Outstanding Young Men in 2004. ###