Did you know that the famous Rizal Monument found in Rizal Park in Manila has replicas outside the Philippines? One of them is located in Fujian, China, where Rizal’s Chinese ancestors hailed from. The other can be found in the northern part of Madrid, Spain along Avenida de las Islas Filipinas.
I was fortunate to be able to go to Madrid, Spain for a work-related trip last year and I definitely made it a point to visit this historic site. The monument, which appears to be an almost exact replica of the one in Manila, was inaugurated on December 5, 1996 to commemorate the 100th year of Rizal’s death and also as part of the celebrations leading up to the centennial of Philippine independence from Spain in 1998. Along with the monument, Rizal’s poem Mi último adiós is also erected on concrete pedestals on both sides of the monument with the Spanish version to the left and the Tagalog version (“Huling Paalam”) to the right.
I am embarrassed to admit that while I’ve visited the Rizal Monument in Madrid, I have yet to actually visit up close the original monument in Manila, which was originally titled Motto Stella, despite having passed by it numerous times while driving along Roxas Boulevard. But I hope to do so later this year because I am involved with a project to map the historical markers of the National Historical Commission of the Philippines in Wikidata and Rizal Park and its surroundings definitely has a lot of these markers.