By Jelly F. Musico
MANILA, May 1 (PNA) – An unveiling of a 26-foot bronze monument showcasing Dr. Jose Rizal as sportsman will highlight the start of the 2014 Palarong Pambansa which Laguna province will host from May 3 to 10 this year.
”For those who do know, Jose Rizal is a good athlete. He played six sports. He is an expert in fencing, arnis and firing. He was also expert in boxing, jujitsu and judo,” Laguna Gov. ER Ejercito Estregan said in a press conference late Wednesday afternoon.
Estregan said the new Jose Rizal monument is the tallest in the world, surpassing a 22-foot bronze statue built in June 2011 during the national hero’s 150th birthday in Calamba.
”I hope this monument will inspire athletes, coaches, trainers and sportsman on how to achieve sports excellence,” Estregan said.
Estregan said the giant Jose Rizal monument will have Rizal wearing fencing uniform and holding a sword in his right hand a duel pistol in the left hand.
The monument was built inside the sprawling 19-hectare Laguna Sports Complex in Sta. Cruz, Laguna.
Sculptor Toym Imao, son of National Artist For Sculpture Abdulmari Asia Imao, designed the monument.
Estregan said under the monument is a museum and library rooms and beside it the first ever Sports Development Academy for athletes and coaches.
”It will enable us to teach them when it comes to sports science,” the Laguna governor said.
Estregan said the idea of Rizal monument as a sportsman came from a picture showing Rizal in a fencing session in Paris with fellow revolutionary Juan Luna. (PNA)