Another expensive statue of him facing out to sea, specifically in the direction of Dapitan?
Ipe Remollo shared upcoming plans at the launch of the 75th Diamond Jubilee Charter Anniversary at Pantawan People’s Park. A statue of Dr. Jose Rizal, commemorating his 18-hour visit to Dumaguete in 1896, is scheduled for unveiling in August 2024. The 11-million-peso statue, financed through solicitation, will face Dapitan City, signifying historical connections.
Firstly, with the exception of a few, most of us do not consider the pantawan as a people’s park. It is an insult to due process, an assault on the environment and a waste of limited tax payers’ money. All to serve the egos of a few people in this city who believe control is theirs to wield as they see fit.
Jose Rizal died for us because he would not bow to the whims of Spaniards who invaded our homeland and who concluded that this land they occupied they could utilize for their own interests and purposes.
He spoke against the abuses of the friars. He spoke against the injustices inflicted on our people. Does this speak of a man, had he been around to say so, who would be quite happy having 11-million-pesos spent in making another statue of him. We have statues of Jose Rizal everywhere. Why do we need another one? The only happy creatures will be the birds who will now have another head and shoulders to drop their poop on.
So how is 11-million-pesos spent on an image going to improve the quality of life in Dumaguete?
I believe he would be happier if this amount is spent improving Dumaguete’s infrastructure.
Some advances in our society cannot be turned back. The glut of cars, most of which are gargantuan for the width of our roads, can not be eliminated, not even reduced. If anything, the numbers will just grow. Traffic in Dumaguete is a nightmare. Has been for years. In addition to numbers and size, the other culprit to this is lack of parking. So drivers double park, triple park, arguing in their heads, I’m sure, that as long as they sit in their vehicles it’s ok. But, the physics cannot be denied. No two objects can occupy the same space. So a driver has to inch along trying hard not to sideswipe the illegally parked car and trying equally hard not to be sideswiped by a pedicab driver who has no clue what rules of the road are. Turning left from your right, driving into your lane without checking if someone’s there.
So why not build multi-layer parking lots around the city. And name each floor after a bunch of benefactors so they get credit for their generosity. And you, Ipe and whoever else wants the glory, can name the parking structures after yourselves. I’m ok with this.
The outskirts of Dumaguete needs more street lights, brighter street lights. Try travelling the Palinpinon Road at night and you’ll know what I mean. Clean streets, covered canals, clean public washrooms (and yes, we’re willing to pay each time we use it). These are just the basics. Why does city council continue to lose sight of what the city needs?
These opinions are shared by so many on social media and on the radio. Is anyone paying attention? Very little support is expressed for the efforts of past and current city council. Why is this?
When you’re gone will we remember you because there’s a hard statue staring out to sea? No. We’ll remember you for wasting tax payers’ money (building the Pantawan, blazing lights on the Pantawan, night after night, for example), destroying our environment and convincing donors to share in this megalomania. Pity your descendants who will live the sins of their fathers and/or mothers.
But then, I am old enough to know that in da Pilipins this will likely not happen. Case in point – Marcos.
If you haven’t done so yet, please read Dr. Justin Jose A. Bulado’s latest article in the MetroPost: Transcendent thoughts: Just follow the rules. Pay particular attention to his statement, “To this day, people are afraid to speak truth to power.” Dumagueteños, are we going to remain this way? Stay polite, continue to be viewed as respectful, and let our politicians wreck havoc on our children’s future? How then will your children judge you?
Diana Banogon-Bugeya (She/Her)