PNoy unveils tallest Rizal statue, calls on Pinoys to be heroes, to do what is right

( President Noynoy Aquino led the unveiling of the tallest Jose Rizal monument in the national hero's hometown, Calamba, Laguna, yesterday, during Rizal’s sesquicentennial birthday, reports ABS-CBN News. In his speech, President Aquino implored Filipinos to be heroes as well by doing their civic duties.

According to Manila Bulletin, the monument, sculpted by Jonas Roces, stands on a 4.1 meter platform surrounded by stairs and is situated on the four-hectare lot in front of the Calamba City Hall. Its 22-feet (6.9 meters) height represents the number of languages Rizal knew.

In his speech after the reveal, President Aquino urged Filipinos to do simple acts of heroism like paying their taxes, complying with traffic rules, and protecting the environment. "Maaaring may ilang bagay na sa unang tingin ay simple at walang agarang epekto sa malawakang sakop ng lipunan, ngunit paglaon ay mag-iiwan ng bakas at magdudulot ng malaking ginhawa sa kapwa (There are some things that initially seem simple and have no immediate effects on society but after a while may leave a mark and bring convenience to fellow citizens)," he said.

The President added that Filipinos must act if something is wrong instead of just ignoring it. Using Rizal as the model, Aquino said that the hero chose to do what it right instead of ignoring the injustices around him. "Hindi naligaw si Rizal mula sa tuwid na daan (Rizal did not stray away from the right path)." In the ABS-CBN report, Aquino told Filipinos not to waste Rizal’s sacrifices.


Aquino's speech, however, was interrupted when about five people stood up calling for "true" agrarian reforms. On the way to the new Rizal Shrine, the presidential convoy, according to Manila Bulletin, again met another group asking for solutions to political violence.

For more on this story, log on to ABS-CBN News and Manila Bulletin.

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