read it here : http://wp.me/pnw03-1rZ
Memo To : NHI Director Ambeth Ocampo,
Dear Mr. Ocampo,
We read in the newspapers that President Arroyo has ordered the building of a monument for Tita Cory at Rizal Park and that the details of this plan will be passed on to the NHI. As head of the NHI, it will most likely be placed on your table and decisions made by you.
We almost choked on our steaming hot coffee when we read that on the newspaper. We immediately took 2 Advils, reached for 3 tablets of Valium, ordered a bottle of Pepto-Bismal and texted our psychiatrist to schedule a marathon session on Monday. Pearls of sweat ran down through our forehead even though the electric fan was on full blast. We waited for the medicine for headache and depression to kick in before we finished reading the article.
Afte reading the news article, Mr. Ocampo – I am afraid, I am very afraid.
Right after breakfast, I went to church and said a prayer. This was partly my prayer:
- That NHI has gained some good taste since Jose Rizal’s house was painted puke green.
- That NHI will refrain, stop itself no matter how strong the urge from turning Tita Cory’s monument at Rizal Park into some monument of trivial pursuit like on Rizal’s house – Rizal meant the green of newly harvested rice (even though the color of newly harvested rice is golden, not green). We shudder at the thought that the NNHI might find a color associated with the name Cory or the name Aquino.
- We hope that NHI will not make Tita Cory’s monument screaming yellow since yellow was Tita Cory’s color. We are afraid the obsession on giving us the trivia on the colors that are associated with names might once again show.
- We pray that the NHI will not have a design of Tita Cory’s monument to talk about the beginnings of the color yellow, the yellow ribbon and God forbid a monument of a yellow ribbon tied around a tree with the figure of Cory on top of the tree. (shudder! one more Valium on the go!)
- We hope the NHI will not ask its staff to go scrape off some paint to find out what the original color is of something.
- Finally, we hope that the NHI will have enough money to buy the paint that has the right color for the monument so that the excuse that NHI did not have enough money to paint Rizal’s house in the right shade of green will no longer be used.
To be honest with you Mr. Ocampo, it is hard to pin down what we are most afraid of -
- is it NHI’s lack of aesthetic taste (in other words “poor taste”) in seeing puke green as dignified enough for a national hero
- or the obsession with trivial pursuit in shoving to us the meaning of Rizal’s name, an item of minus zero historical significance to Rizal’s life and the country
We hope and pray, and this will be topic of the Novena I will start on Wednesday at Baclaran Church, that NHI will see the light on this matter and that it will not be tempted to give in to its nature.
Tita Cory means a lot to the country and the people, let not poor taste and obsession for trivial pursuit punish us. We hope that this time, you will not be the “idiot” (your words, not mine) who will do harm to the memory of Tita Cory as it was to Jose Rizal.
ps: Mr. Ocampo – is the NHI involved in the selection of Carlo J Caparas as national artist?
Arroyo orders monument to Cory Aquino built
By Christian V. Esguerra, Jerome Aning
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 04:08:00 08/21/2009
MANILA, Philippines — Enshrined in the hearts of Filipinos, Corazon Aquino will also soon be immortalized in concrete and steel.
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has ordered the immediate construction of a monument in honor of the late President’s contributions to Philippine democracy, Malacañang said Thursday.
The statue of Aquino will be erected at Rizal Park in Manila where the monument to national hero Jose Rizal also stands.
Golez said the NHI would determine the details of the project, including where the monument specifically would rise. There was also no word on who would build it.
read about the “idiot” who painted Jose Rizal’s house puke green here: http://wawam.wordpress.com/?s=jose+rizal
comment made by ted in this blog:
“the funny part here is that the NHI Historical Preservation division before repainting the house scraped off layers of paint from a part of the house and, believe it or not, the green everyone hates today happens to be the “original” color when the reconstructed house was opened to the public 50 years ago.”
found an earlier photograph of the reconstructed house in the late 1950’s, its WHITE
please visit this site… (to look at the photo): http://oldphilippinephotos.co.cc/about/laguna/jose-rizal-house/
comment posted in this blog here: http://wawam.wordpress.com/2009/06/19/shocking-historian-wants-us-to-appreciate-rizal-through-trivial-purssuits-we-need-significance-meaning-from-our-heroes-not-trivia/#comment-1539
somebody at the NHI need to check what this photo of jose rizal is all about. is this an authentic picture of jose rizal’s house replica? what is the color of the house in this photo? the house in this photo is very different in shape compared to the existing one that NHI chair ocampo colored green. we hope the NHI will investigate like the way they scraped the paint of jose rizal’s house.
pending that exhaustive investigation by the NHI, we like to give this opinion:
i am not a photo expert, but that photo seems to show the house is white and not green.
we do not know if this is a black and white photo or a colored photo. but just comparing the tones or shades, the color of the house is NOT the same tone or shade as the color of the leaves of the trees on the left and right of the house. if the house is green, it should then have the same tone or shade as that of the leaves. the color of the house is much lighter than those of the leaves.
it looks like this photo of jose rizal’s house, in white, is very different from the way NHI chair ambeth ocampo imagines it to be – in horrible green. (see photo below)
the photo captured here has some discoloration from the photo posted in the website. please click this link to view the photo in the original website: http://oldphilippinephotos.co.cc/about/laguna/jose-rizal-house/
many thanks to ted for this photo and link.
FYI – we have emailed NHI chair ambeth ocampo about this photo. we hope he will respond to our email. we would loveto know a resolution of this one.
published at PDI’s Letters To The Editor. letter parsed, read in full here: http://opinion.inquirer.net/inquireropinion/letterstotheeditor/view/20090627-212651/NHI-head-on-old-flag-Rizal-House
The other news article, “Rizal House is green but people see red” (Inquirer, 6/19/09), tells us what we already know – public reaction to the new color, and the clamor to have the house restored to its “original” color.
This is a case of judging a book by its cover. 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.
Nevertheless, the good news is that Boysen Paint has offered to repaint the house in the right shade of green for free. After the rains, we hope a deeper green, the color of “palay,” will continue to educate visitors on the meaning and significance of the surname “rizal” from “ricial” that describes a green field ready for harvest.
We appreciate the concern for heritage as expressed in these articles but hope that in the future the NHI as the government agency responsible for history will be asked to comment so that the articles will be balanced and not only generate heat but, more importantly, provide illumination as well.
—DR. AMBETH R. OCAMPO, chair, National Historical Institute
ambeth ocampo, chair of the NHI is “the idiot who painted rizal’s house green” and that is a quote from the column he wrote on the PDI on the topic on june 3.
in his reply, aside from acknowledging he is the idiot who did it, he also knows rizal’s house was painted with the ” green color everyone hates” .
while in his reply to wawam.wordpress he says they scraped off the paint and found out the “original” color of the house was green, this trivia was not mentioned in his june 3 column. we wonder why this was mentioned only now.
but let’s say they did find green after they scraped it – the june 3 column did say the “Rizal Shrine is not the original home of the National Hero. It is not covered by the same rigid conservation principles applied to a 19th century house. The present Rizal Shrine is but half a century old, having been reconstructed by Juan Nakpil in the 1950s and funded by donations from schoolchildren.”
that begs the question, when they scraped it, they were not really scraping the real house of rizal. they scraped the house that someone else imagined to be rizal’s house. so using this argument as reason for painting it green may not hold water, or paint.
based on what he knows and those written in his june 3 column, the best conclusion is that we do not know what was the color of rizal’s house. and yet he knows the green color that is there right is one that everyone hates.
he writes in his column historical sites like those of rizal should “inform, educate and inspire”. this green color certainly does not “inspire” at all. what it does is it makes us want to puke.
the education part is also questionable since this part seem to be just on the trivial pursuit of rizal’s surname to mean a green field. this is trivia and of no real consequence in our appreciation of rizal, his works and deeds. reducing education to a trivial pursuit is an insult to the genius and writings of rizal and something i am sure educators really frown upon.
is painting rizal’s house into green, something everyone hates and something we are really not sure about the only way to communicate the meaning of rizal’s surname?
we agree with ocampo that it is a cute trivia but it does not deserve such a huge place, screaming to the point of inspiring vomit from onlookers. in the scheme of what rizal has done for our country, it is less than a tenth of oen dot in the ellipsis of rizal’s life and his achievements.
we also do not buy what the rizalistas said that they accept the green color to mean rizal was an environmentalist. the color green taking the meaning of the environment is one that evolved during the modern times, not during the spanish period. the color green then most probably did not have any meaning yet.
and did rizal’s family really think about it that way? did they paint their original house green to pay tribute to the trivial pursuit of the meaning of their surname?
we do not think so. except that this idiot who painted rizal’s house green thought so. that is all that there is to it. enough of hiding below the skirt of historical facts and detective work. it does not hold water, nor paint. even if you scrape it. not even green paint.
reply from ambeth ocampo:
Thank you for reading the column and having strong feelings about the preservation of our heritage.
Before you see red while seeing Rizal’s house in green we hope you can at least read the reasons for the change: http://opinion.inquirer.net/inquireropinion/columns/view/20090603-208524/Why-Rizals-house-turned-green
People who have complained demand restoration of the house to the “original” color but then the funny part here is that the NHI HIstorica Preservation division before repainting the house scraped off layers of paint from a part of the house and, believe it or not, the green everyone hates today happens to be the “original” color when the reconstructed house was opened to the public 50 years ago.
Perhaps it is the shock of the old rather than shock of the new.
Dr. Ambeth R. Ocampo
Chairman National Historical Institute
ambeth ocampo, chair of the national historical institute rationalized the painting of rizal’s house into green with this:
In his column in the Philippine Daily Inquirer on June 3, NHI Chair Ambeth Ocampo explained that the reason for painting Rizal’s house green was to “highlight, and inform visitors of, the meaning of his surname.”
The surname Rizal is rooted in the Spanish word “ricial,” which means a green field ready for harvest, Ocampo said.
and this is what we have to say:
we are all familiar with Tide Detergent brand. we all know what “tide” means but we do not see depicted in it’s packaging design nor do we see sea water included inside a pack of Tide Detergent Powder.
it is not trivia we want from rizal, it is meaning and significance that we want. when we find meaning and significance in rizal, then we become a better nation. something i am sure rizal would have wanted.
for a historian, i am shocked that mr. ocampo did not know that.
mr. ocampo is the first historian we know of who intentionally pursued trivia rather than facts, meaning and substance.
historical sites are supposed to elicit respect, inspiration, nationalism and pride, nothing of the sort comes to mind from rizal’s house painted green. it embarasses us.