By Xianne Arcangel/VC, GMA News – 118 and counting.
Ginno Jaralve has made it his life’s goal to visit all of Jose Rizal’s statues in the Philippines and around the world.
Jaralve proudly shared the photos of he has taken of himself beside Rizal’s different monuments in a report aired on News To Go on Friday.
As a former teacher at Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila, he used to require his students to visit various Rizal monuments nearby until he heard a writer say that a good way for Filipinos to know more about the hero is to see him through the different sculptures people have made of him. It was this statement that inspired him to to visit as many statues of Rizal as he possibly could.
For four years, Jaralve has been going all over the country just to have a snapshot with busts and monuments of Rizal. His first visit was to a monument of the hero near his house in Marikina.
Since then, Jaralve has collected pictures showing him beside statues in Laguna, Camarines Sur, and Cebu.
The most unique statue of Rizal he has been photographed with to date was the one he saw in Nabas, Aklan where a Swastika sign was positioned at the monument’s base. Jaralve described the statue, which was made in 1925, as “enchanting and different.”
Though there is no official record as to the number of Rizal monuments found in the Philippines, it is known, however, that almost all cities and towns in the country have at least one statue of him.
Some of the well-known local statues of Rizal are his monument in Luneta Park, his 22-foot monument in Calamba, Laguna, and a statue of himself featuring three naked men in Catbalogan City, Samar.
There are at least ten existing statues of Rizal overseas. In the United States, statues of the Filipino hero can be found in California, New Jersey, and Washington. Sculptures bearing his likeness can also be found in Mexico, Peru, Czech Republic, Italy, Singapore, and China.
Last year, a park bearing Rizal’s name in Sydney, Australia was opened to the public as a tribute to his heroism.