The Women of Rizal exhibit

SM North EDSA – The Block, Quezon City

SM Super malls  in cooperation with Yuchengco Museum,  7 Castle Corporation ,  National Commission for the Culture and the Arts, Goethe Institut and the descendants of Dr. Jose P. Rizal  opened a  week- long exhibit which is  will be held in SM North EDSA and SM  Biñan in Laguna . The event is open to the public during mall hours.

Crowd during the opening

The author was fortunate to be invited and as  Rizal’s  150th birthday celebration draws to a close , The exhibit  will highlight the significant events in Rizal’s life and our country’s history . The exhibit was segmented into 4 themes  Rizal in Europe , The Women of Rizal , The Rizal family ancestry and descendants ,  The Rizal monument in Luneta   . There are also several huge building replica’s  of various places, buildings, monuments that were visited by Dr. Jose Rizal during his various trip abroad.

replica of the buildings in France as viewed from the balcony

These  replica’s were strategically placed  so that visitors in the exhibition site can have the feeling and  have an opportunity to pose for a souvenir shot at the places that were visited by Rizal.

replica of Arch di Triomphe

Visitors will be  able to follow Rizal’s footsteps in Europe with replicas of the places he lived and visited.  These included the Blaue Stern Hotel in Czechoslovakia where Rizal met visited in 1887 to meet Professor  Ferdinand Blumentritt in 1887.

replica of St. Stephen Cathedral in Austria

St.Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna, Austria where he prayed ; the University of Eye Clinic in Heidelberg where he completed his ophthalmologist studies; the Rizal monument in the Avenida de Filipinas, Madrid, Spain and the view of Rizal’s hotel room and Arch di Triomphe in France.

Ferdinand Blumentritt sketch by Juan Luna

There will also be storytelling sessions called “Mga Kuwento ni Pepe,” were to be held at SM City Calamba and SM City North EDSA. The roving exhibit aims to provide more awareness to the public.

The exhibit features portraits of women who have been part of our National Hero’s life –his mother Teodora Alonso y Realonda , as well as the women he has been romantically linked with beginning with Ms. Segunda Katigbak to his great love Ms. Leonor Rivera, and  Josephine Bracken.

Ms. Leonor Rivera- Kipping ( August 11, 1967 to August 28, 1893 )

She is considered as the childhood sweetheart . He romantic links to Dr. Rizal is said to have lasted 8 years. She was immortalized  as the character Maria Clara in Noli Me Tangere.

Her original hometown  is  in Camiling , Tarlac  and the daughter of Antonio Rivera and Silvestra Bauzon.  She studied in La Concordia College.

Ms. Rivera was later married a British engineer,  Mr. Henry Kipping . She died in August 28, 1893 from complications of childbirth .

These are  tarpaulin print  reproduction of oil on canvas portraits painted by renowned priest-artist Fr. Armand Tangi of the Society of Saint Paul for the Yuchengco Museum’s Loves of Rizal Exhibition in 2011.

family tree linage of Jose Rizal

The exhibit also gives a rare glimpse of Rizal’s other women, descendants of his brother Paciano and sisters Saturnina, Narcisa, Olympia, Lucia, Maria, and Soledad in beautiful black and white portraits by photographer Mr. Raymund Isaac.

Mr. Jose Arguelles

These are accomplished women and men (Soledad’s grandson Jose L. Arguelles, 94, is also included) who would have made their ancestor proud.

Lulu Hidalgo Tinio is President and Chairman of Saturnina Estate Development Corporation; Minney Reyes is a Managing Partner of Suarez and Reyes Law Offices; Tess Herbosa is the Chairperson of the Securities and Exchange Commission; Mia Sy-Quia Faustmann manages 7 Castles, a jewelry export business; and Barbara Gonzalez, once headed an advertising agency and now is also in the jewelry business.

The lone gentleman, Tito Pempot, as he is called, is equally distinguished. He was President of IBM Philippines, President of BenLife Insurance, and Treasurer and Board Member of National Teacher’s College.

Those who married successful men also found their voice. Concepcion Arguelles Feria or Tita Chit, wife to former Supreme Court Justice Jose Feria, is an active member of many religious societies. Marlene Lopez Jacinto, widow of steel businessman Fernando Jacinto, Jr., is an artist, graphic designer, and manages the family business.

Ms. Ana Maria Belen Bantug -Tan and Ms. Narcisa Consunji-Torres

Great granddaughters of Narcissa Rizal -(1852-1939), Mrs. Ana Maria Belen Bantug-Tan is the mother of former ABS-CBN channel 2 new reporter and current PTV channel 4  news anchor Mr. Robert Bantug- Tan.

Ms. Marilu – Bautista and Ms. Rise Fillart-Scott

Great granddaughters of  Olympia Rizal

Dr. Jose P. Rizal y Realonda  will be happy to know that many of his descendants have played an active role in nation building thru their personal advocacies . Ms. Ester Lopez Azurin is active in public service as President of Kaanak, a group of descendants of Fil-Am warriors and a barangay kagawad. Rose Filart- Scott is a psychotherapist and counselor and training consultant for In Touch Community Services. Ms. Trixie Grau is a Board Member of Binhi English Literacy Foundation, an NGO that aims to provide literacy kits to children in marginalized areas. ‘Tess Herbosa’s advocacy is the protection of children against child abuse.

I just wonder “why ” Ms. Gemma Cruz- Araneta was not included in the roster of the descendants of Rizal ? After all she also brought honors to the country by winning the prestigious Miss International pageant in 1964 . Maybe this exhibit wants to focus on the other descendants of the Rizal clan.

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