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Green minds think alike

July 8, 2009

Last end of May I visited the Rizal Shrine in Calamba, Laguna to gather material for a Rizal Day/Independence Day online article. As it was my first time to go to the shrine, I didn’t notice that the house was painted green. It wasn’t successful to grab my attention, but it elicited mixed reactions from other visitors.

Rizal Shrine, Calamba

I even thought that taking pictures inside was still forbidden as I gleaned from online opinions, only to be asked by a huge clan to take theirs on the second floor. It was one of my pet peeves, especially when people take too much time to get assembled. I’ve a curator to locate and an article to write. Then I asked the security personnel if it was ok to photograph the shrine’s insides and he said yes. Nice. So I took pictures of everything, including the bedroom where Pepe’s parents were supposed to be… never mind, I’m conjuring images that I don’t want to imagine.

There’s the staircase, which drew the question of its correct location when Juan Nakpil restored the house which was destroyed during the second world war.

The staircase of contention

What if bumili ng load si Rizal?

And then the controversial color of the house.

The controversial green house

Curator located, she immediately brought up the decision of the National Historical Institute to color the house green. Just read the press release, which was printed in the same color at the house’s entrance, she told me. When I asked why not white? She answered me but asked not to be quoted because in years past, she had been misquoted by media people. She requested me to erase what I’ve noted, and saw to it that I’ve crossed out the information. What luck to have the new regulation implemented on me. Anyway.

[Update: Dr. Ambeth Ocampo stated in a letter just recently that “Before repainting the house, the NHI’s Historic Preservation Division carefully peeled off layers of paint that had accumulated over the last 50 years after the Rizal Shrine was reconstructed using contributions from schoolchildren. The green color everyone hates today happens to be the ‘original’ color.”]

Our conversation turned to raising children, and treating our national symbols with respect, specifically how Martin Nievera screwed the Lupang Hinirang. But always, our talk went back to how Rizal’s childhood must have been like inside this house despite the trauma that the friars inflicted on his parents.

Rizal's doggie

The curator had several valid points but–I can’t quote her, but maybe on parenting. She also gave me a copy of The Flag and Heraldic Code of the Philippines, illustrated, for me to know how to hang my flag the NHI way. She asked me to come on Rizal Day too but she does not have the final set of activities yet. Maybe in another time, I thought, and I will bring the whole clan and take pictures with wild abandon.

The gallery at that time was under construction, and most Rizaliana have been transferred to Fort Santiago except for a few, like this shirt.

Rizal's Shirt

And something child-friendly and accessible. This is after all, where the young Pepe spent his childhood.

Who will be the next Rizal babe?

There is the fresh perspective I have realized, like what if I became famous and my childhood house would be declared a shrine, what would I want visitors to experience?

The famous Rizal quote

What would be the quote that somebody will embellish the ceiling with? Will the duhat tree where I climbed during vacation still survive? Or will somebody replant it like Rizal’s mabolo tree?

From Rizal's mabolo tree

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. July 13, 2009 2:22 pm

    Kulay matcha green tea yung bahay. LOL.

    Gamit mo ba yung 40D dito? ganda ng kulay, toned down, and very vintage.

    • tyroncaliente permalink*
      July 13, 2009 2:55 pm

      @Angela, point and shoot lang yan. If you saw the actual house, it’s bright avocado green.

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