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The Province of Laguna, host province of the 2014 Palarong Pambansa in May, will unveil during the games a 25-foot tall monument depicting the Philippines' national hero Jose Rizal as an “eskrimador” and dueler, the province's governor Jeorge Ejercito said Monday.
Eskrima is the Filipino martial art that uses a sword and is similar to fencing.
Ejercito said the new monument — a first in the country's pantheon of statues honoring the Filipino revolutionary — will have Rizal “wearing an eskrima or fencing uniform and holding an eskrima sword in his right hand and a duel pistol in the left hand.”
Ejercito disclosed the historic monument project Monday afternoon during the ceremonies for the signing of the memorandum of agreement on the hosting of the 2014 Palarong Pambansa by the Department of Education and the Province of Laguna.
The town of Calamba in Laguna is the birthplace of Rizal.
The statue, meant to be the tallest honoring Rizal, was commissioned to sculptor Toym Imao, son of National Artist for Sculpture Abdulmari Asia Imao. Ejercito said the statue's creation is underway and will be ready by the time the Palaro starts.
The governor said the inspiration for the statue of Rizal as a sportsman came from a picture showing Rizal in a fencing session in Paris with fellow revolutionary Juan Luna.
Education Secretary Bro. Armin Luistro lauded the initiative of the province and said it is time for the Filipino youth to look up to Rizal as a “bayaning atleta.” — GMA News