History

Doble Kara: Rizal in art and monuments

By on December 6, 2011

doble kara

This year’s History Comes Alive series capped off with the Doble Kara: Rizal in Art and Monuments lecture at the Ayala Museum in Makati last December 3, 2011. It was a well attended event despite the fact that there was also a historic football match between the Philippine Azkals and the L.A. Galaxy held elsewhere. The encouraging crowd turnout only proves that Dr. Ambeth Ocampo, a well-respected historian and widely read columnist for the Philippine Daily Inquirer, has also a strong fanbase just like David Beckham or the Younghusbands.

The topic is also a fitting conclusion to the many activities commemorating the sesquicentennial year of Jose Rizal’s birth. Amidst the numerous researches, write-ups and even movies about Rizal, you’d be surprise to know that there is still so much to learn about him and that he may have been misrepresented in more ways than one. Ambeth’s lecture last weekend underscored the latter, along with the interesting history behind the Luneta Park and other familiar Rizal monuments.

some doble kara slides

It did not feel like a one hour lecture at all as Dr. Ocampo dashes his talk with quirky asides or what he confessed that afternoon as ‘useless information.’ He almost brought the house down when he shared an anecdote about the only known photograph of Paciano, Rizal’s brother. Details like this would never get published in our history textbooks. But these remind us that the dead men and women in the annals of our history, are also human beings.

How we re-present Jose Rizal, and all our heroes for that matter, depends then on how well we know each of them. Rizal may now seem to have lived double lives with the way he is immortalized in our public monuments and with the way he is described in many historical accounts. The contradictions, although expected to some extent, will only become apparent when we give his many lifeless statues at Luneta and elsewhere, a curious, second look.

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Tickets for each lecture of the History Comes Alive! series cost Php350 for adults and Php200 for students. This also comes with a free book (priced at least Php100 at a National Bookstore outlet) and a full access to all galleries at the Ayala Museum (admission fee is Php225 for adults and Php125 for students). When you do the math, the ticket cost is quite a bargain already.

For more inquiries on the 2012 season, please email education@ayalamuseum.org or call them at +63 2 757-7117 to 21 local 24/25/35.

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Brennan Mercado
The Philippines

Brennan is an electronics engineer by profession. From time to time, he gets to travel beyond his office cubicle, try new restaurants or catch up with his terribly long list of unread books. He likes museums, spicy food and talking with habal-habal drivers. For now, he's still deciding on whether to play Pokémon GO or not.

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