Contrary to the beliefs that Rizal was executed on the site where the Rizal Monument is situated, our national hero was actually executed on a site just few meters away from the monument. A marker was placed on the actual site of execution and a set of oversized diorama were placed nearby depicting not just the execution scenes but the notable events in Rizal’s life.
You know, the most interesting parts of exploring various historical sites is that you will get the chance to connect them all as if you are building a puzzle of memories and once you found the connection between two places, that’s the most rewarding part. So while exploring Manila, we’ve connected several places related to Rizal. We’ve learned that he was imprisoned in Fort Santiago (Check: Fort Santiago) and then he was brought into this particular site where he was executed. His remains was secretly interred in Paco Cemetery (Check : Paco Park and Cemetery) and then transferred to its present location where the Rizal Monument is erected (Check : Rizal Park)I’m not really sure of the actual title given to this particular area of Rizal Park but you will be welcomed by this thick concrete wall with “Ang Pagpapakabayani Ni Dr Jose P Rizal (The Martyrdom of Dr Jose P Rizal) mounted on it. There’s also a clear pond with fountain in front. It is also very important to note that there is an entrance fee of Php20 to access the area.Before entering the site, you will also be welcomed with this black granite wall inscribed with Rizal’s poem “Mi Ultimo Adios“. It was said that Rizal wrote this poem on the eve of his execution by firing squad on 30 December 1896. The piece was one of the last notes he wrote before his death.
You will also be welcomed with these impressive bronze sculpture depicting different events of Rizal’s life. The diorama and these sculptures were actually made by Eduardo Castrillo who is also behind some notable sculptures around Manila including the People Power Monument, the Bonifacio Memorial Shrine (Check : Bonifacio Memorial Shrine) and that Historical Bridge in Zapote (Check : Battle of Zapote Bridge)The area is more than just an exhibit but also serve as a light and sound theater. The stone chairs are wonderfully arranged to provide the place a theater-like atmosphere. The highlight of course is the dramatical presentation of Rizal’s execution. It features oversized sculptures of Rizal and the firing squad behind him.
Underneath the big statue of Rizal is a historical marker to indicate the actual site where Rizal was executed. Our National hero was executed by a firing squad at 7:03 Am on December 30, 1896
One of Rizal’s final moments before his execution. You can see his arms being tied up. It’s sad that I know nothing much about Rizal’s timeline but this one could be Rizal along with Lt. Taviel de Andrade and Fr. Antonio Rosell who both visited Rizal in the prison prior to his execution.
Rizal and Josephine Bracken in their last moments together. It is said that Jose Rizal and Josephine were canonically blessed as husband and wife by Fr. Balaguer. Rizal writing down his last letter and poem Mi Ultimo Adios on eve before his executionizal knelt before his beloved mother, begging for forgiveness and understanding; the mother and son were separated by the strong grip of the prison guard.The TrialRizal contribution to our country is truly incomparable and his death is even more so. Through his writings and his love for our country ignited Filipino’s sense of nationalism and because of him and the rest of the heroes who offered their life and love for our country we will never experience the kind of freedom we have today.
After a quick peak to Rizal’s execution site, we headed to another park nearby, the Chinese Garden and I will share more about this scenic garden in my next #LetsExploreManila entry.
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Where To Stay in Manila
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In case you missed an entry, here are the rest of the entries you might want to read.
LET’S EXPLORE MANILA TRAVEL SERIES
►Let’s Explore Manila Prologue
►Journey to the Past – Intramuros Part 1
►Journey to the Past – Intramuros Part 2
►The Papier Tole Souvenir Shop
►Intramuros In Black and White
►Go Hotel Otis : A Traveler-Friendly Budget Hotel In the Metro
►Paco Park and Cemetery
►The Historical Rizal Park (Luneta Park)
►The Rizal Execution Site
►The Chinese Garden
►The Manila Zoo and the Current Condition of Mali
►Baluarte De San Andres and Baluarte De San Diego of Intramuros
►The Seven Great Churches of Intramuros
►The Manila Baywalk