From my favourite Filipino Historian – Jean
COME READ WITH ME THE QUOTES CHISELED IN
WALLS, FACADES AND MONUMENTS
By Jose Sison Luzadas
Delray Beach, Fl
A close look at the façade of the Pangasinan Capitol building in Lingayen, you will notice the roof design that is uniquely Greek, the sculpted shields and the 3 eagles which are definitely military emblems of the ancient Roman army, however, reading the inscription:
“PROMOTING LIFE LIBERTY AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS” is typical American expression of democratic government and its responsibility to the governed. This one most of us are familiar with.
Note also the inscription using the Roman letters “V” not “U” of the word, ‘BVILDING’. Even the date says the edifice was built AD MCMXVIII in Roman numeral that is 1918.
Compared with other capitol buildings in the country, the Lingayen model has a unique distinction of having a combined Greco-Roman-American influence in architectural design. It was constructed at the time when America started experimenting with colonialism in Asia.
W hen you are in Manila and visiting the Rizal Park formerly Luneta and known a century earlier as the Bagumbayan field, a look at the Rizal monument will not be complete if you are that inquisitive why they chose that piece of land where the monument stood. It is a hallowed ground for both reasons that:
1) It is in that spot where Rizal was executed on December 30,
1896 in a firing squad and
2) Inside the monument was interred his mortal remains. It is
Rizal’s final resting place.
At the foot of the monument is a delicately chiseled quote composed by Rizal himself:
“I WANT TO SHOW TO THOSE WHO DEPRIVE PEOPLE TO THE RIGHT TO LOVE OF COUNTRY THAT WHEN WE KNOW HOW TO SACRIFICE OURSELVES FOR OUR DUTIES AND CONVICTIONS, DEATH DOES NOT MATTER IF ONE DIES FOR THOSE ONE LOVES – HIS COUNTRY AND FOR OTHERS DEAR TO HIM”
Five years ago a friend sent an email about his impression the last time he visited the Philippines. There is this “Black Stone Walls“, he said, erected on opposite sides of the main entrance road leading to the LIBINGAN NG MGA BAYANI close to the Heroes Memorial Gate. Two impressive looking 12-foot high black stonewalls bore the following boldly printed phrase:
“I DO NOT KNOW THE DIGNITY OF YOUR BIRTH, BUT I DO KNOW THE GLORY OF YOUR DEATH”
These touching heartrending words full of sentiments at the same time pride were taken from General Douglas Mac Arthur’s address in 1961 visit paying his tribute to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The eager audience was saddened when the general acknowledged that another sentimental journey is a remote possibility.
“For I must admit with a sense of sadness that the deepening shadows of life casts doubt upon my ability to pledge again, I shall return”.
Let’s begin reading the inscription in the “Tomb of the Unknown Soldier“. What a sensible dedication to every fallen warrior whose name has never been known nor his gallant deeds ever been recorded!
“HERE LIES A FILIPINO SOLDIER WHOSE NAME IS KNOWN ONLY TO GOD”
I remember having been inside a building where I read an amusing quote. It is located in Roxas Blvd and Luneta now Rizal Park. This building housed the Manila Eye Institute. Inside is an E-Y-E-catching phrase boldly printed in the wall:
“THAT NO FILIPINO SHALL BE DEPRIVED OF GOD’S GIFT
I used to stop whenever I passed a building whose marker is a real eye-stopper. You won’t want to bypass this marker erected in front of the Manila Police Department building because it elicits a feeling you can associate with harm and danger that any police officer of the “Manila’s Finest” will most likely face:
”GO AND SPREAD THE WORD
TELL THE PASSERS-BY
THAT IN THIS LITTLE WORLD
MEN KNEW HOW TO DIE.”
What a mockery for a Filipino politician getting elected president only to bungle his presidency! Call it “AN IRONY OF ALL IRONIES, AN ODD OF ALL ODDITIES” that only “ERAP” or Joseph Ejercito Estrada can do such stupid thing allowing himself fodder for the media looking for jokes and blames of a failed and corrupt Philippine president.
It was on June 1, 1999 when, Joseph Estrada who at the beginning of his term as president of the Republic enjoyed immense popularity was invited to inaugurate a building where the people’s COURTHOUSE known as SANDIGANBAYAN is located along Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City.
Like a latter-day Julius Caesar, “HE CAME, HE SAW and was CAPTIVATED” to read in bold prints, a catchy phrase:
”TO THE FILIPINO PEOPLE IN THEIR FIGHT AGAINST GRAFT AND CORRUPTION IN THE GOVERNMENT”
So excited was President Estrada to read his name shown below as the HONORED GUEST.
But came September 11 2007, eight years later, in the same building, ERAP is no longer a public figure but a suspected criminal who “CAME, SAW AND WAS CONVICTED by the very same SANDIGANGBAYAN’ of ”GRAFT AND CORRUPTION IN THE GOVERNMENT” based on the multiple charges filed that he plundered the nation’s wealth.
It is not just an “irony” but a terrible fate that had befallen a man who portrayed “tough guy” image during his long acting profession.
As a convicted felon for plundering the nation’s wealth, he was confined six years under house arrest until pardoned. He launched a political comeback running for president trying to vindicate himself of any wrongdoing.
Capitalizing on the strength and loyalty of his adoring masa who were brainwashed into believing that ERAP always an underdog in most of his movie roles will come out the winner in the last presidential election. Unfortunately, the LEGEND was put on hold as he came out second place. His charisma, his image was tarnished during his incarceration and house arrest for plundering the nation’s wealth.
Source: Sun Sentinel, South Florida newspaper Oct 27, 2007
”You can fool some of the people all the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you CANNOT FOOL ALL PEOPLE ALL THE TIME”. ….Abraham Lincoln
Thanks for walking with me scouring for amazing if not amusing quotes of printed words that were chiseled so delightful to read. I know somewhere in the Greater Manila Area or in countryside are still to find would-be artifacts or relic waiting to be “discovered” of man’s creativity expressing his ideas, sentiments, yearnings and aspirations.
….Jose Sison Luzadas