Saturday, April 30, 2016

Rediscovering Manila: Rizal's Execution Site

       Few meters away from the Rizal monument, lies a hidden historical site where our national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal was executed. We all know that the monument is where his remains are interred, but that is not where he was executed. If you have read my blog about Paco Park, you should know that it is where his remains are first buried after he was shot dead in Bagumbayan. 

      The Rizal Execution Site is represented by a diorama, a  three-dimensional full-size bronze statues of about 8 feet representing the actual and dramatic scene and on how Rizal was executed.

Welcome sign to the Execution Site
       The site is beside the Chinese Garden and is few meters away from the monument. There you will see this welcome sign. I've visited Rizal Park many times but I never that there is this interesting place! It was hidden in the woods. Entrance to the site is PHP15 for children and PHP20 for adults.

Rizal's Execution Site marker
       The marker at the entrance of this site reads " Rizal's Execution Site/ Jose Rizal Y Mercado. Filipino. Physician. Propagandist. Writer. And Patriot was executed within these hallowed grounds at exactly 7:03 in the morning of December 30 1896 by an eight-man squad of Filipino riflemen from the 70th Infantry Regiment the Magallanes of the Spanish Colonial Army./ Those who witnessed Rizal's Public Execution included Lt. Luis Taviel De Andrade, his Legal Defender during his trial for alleged treason against Spain and the two Jesuit Priests Fr. Jose Villaclara S.J. and Fr. Estanislao March S.J. who accompanied Rizal during his final walk before his execution./ Rizal's Martyrdom fanned the flames of the Filipino revolution of 1896 and inspired the Filipinos in their resolute and epic fight for freedom."

Entrance to the site
       The entrance itself is already fascinating. There's a Mi Ultimo Adios of various translation in-scripted at a granite wall. Then there's carvings depicting how great Rizal is in different profession.

Concrete bench
       There are concrete benches arranged in a circular order for visitors to sit at during the Lights and Sound show.

Diorama of Rizal's Execution
       By 6:30 of the morning of Dec. 30, Rizal, dressed in a black suit with white vest, Rizal began his march to the field of his execution in Bagumbayan, now the Luneta, from his prison cell in Fort Santiago. The photo above is the exact site where our national hero was executed. It is represented by more than life-sized bronze statues which is I guess 2 feet taller than me so its about 8 feet tall. The site is filled with greens and trees and the atmosphere inside is so sylvan. But I wonder what was the atmosphere here when the during the execution a hundred years ago.

  Rizal finally succumbs to gunshot injuries.
       Finally, the moment arrived. It was 7:03 a.m., December 30, 1896. “Long live Spain! Death to traitors!” shouted the troops. And just like that, Rizal was shot dead.
The Villains
       This is the exact positions of the soldiers who executed Rizal.

       It's interesting how this site was made. The photo above shows the gunshots at Rizal's back.

Around the execution site are these other dioramas showing events before Rizal was executed.
      Rizal really deserves to be called our National Hero. He is a symbol of true Filipino heroism. He taught everyone that freedom can be obtained not by war, but with words. His monuments are almost in every plazas of every cities and towns in the country and in some parts of the world. He is a true inspiration to all Filipinos. -Jon-

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