Rizal Sesquicentennial Birth Anniversary

To commemorate the 150th anniversary of the birth of the national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal, we launch the new website of the Presidential Museum and Library (PML) today, June 19, 2011. The PML is the primary office within the Office of the President responsible for preserving, managing, and promoting the history and heritage of the Philippine Presidency, and particularly of Malacañan Palace as its official seat. (About the Presidential Museum and Library)

Dr. Rizal was no stranger to Malacañan Palace, and has had some encounters with the heads of the colonial Spanish government, the Governors-general, who by then resided and worked at the same location beside the Pasig. Rizal has written about these meetings: One was held in 1887, on account of the popularity, or infamy, of his first novel, Noli Me Tangere. The Governor-general Emilio Terrero y Perinat ordered Dr. Rizal to provide him with a copy of the Noli. Rizal found a dirty copy, and upon delivering it to the Governor-general, was received with warmth. In 1892, he met with the Governor-general Eulogio Despujol y Dusay on a number of occasions, but on sourer terms, which ended up in his exile to Dapitan. Years later, in 1986, it was the turn of Jose Rizal’s sisters (although the prevailing legend is it was Jose’s mother, Teodora Alonso) to visit the Palace. They cried at the feet of Camilo de Polaviej and pleaded for their brother’s life. Nevertheless, convicted of rebellion, sedition, and conspiracy, Rizal was executed at Bagumbayan. (The Sesquicentennial of Dr. Jose Rizal’s birth: An Introduction)

About the Banner: The letters in the image above are made up of full texts of Rizal’s poems: Sa kabataang Pilipino; Imno sa Paggawa; Memories of My Town; and the Mi Ultimo Adios. For more information on the celebration of the 150th anniversary of Jose Rizal’s birth, please visit the National Historical Commission.

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