History and Culture

History Depicted In Stone, Five Manila Monuments Worth Visiting

Metro Manila

Gari Sy Rivera
Gari Sy Rivera | Nov 11, 2019

Photos by the author

Coming from a colorful past, the Philippines wouldn’t be as cultural as it is today if it weren’t for the events, people, and stories of its past. Located in historical Manila are several monuments that serve as symbolic reminders of the pieces of beautiful Philippine history. Check them out throughout this list and each of their photos above!

1.Andres Bonifacio Monument – Lawton

Located at the Liwasang Bonifacio city square in Ermita, Manila, the statue of Andrés Bonifacio, designed by national artist Guillermo Tolentino, was established in 1963. This is also the same year that the plaza’s former name of Plaza del Fortin was changed to commemorate the life of the Filipino revolutionary leader. Being one of the four freedom parks in Manila where locals may peaceably assemble, the monument here honors the hero for founding the Katipunan independence movement during Spanish colonization.

[related: In Quezon City, 5 Monuments Honoring Heroes and History!]

2. Memorae Manila 1945

A few meters away from the Manila Cathedral in Intramuros, is the Memorae Manila 1945, a memorial established in 1995 for the victims of the 1945 Battle of Manila. Inscribed in its stone are words of commemoration, “This memorial is dedicated to all those innocent victims of war, many of whom went nameless and unknown to a common grave, or never even knew a grave at all. Their bodies having been consumed by fire or crushed to dust beneath the rubble of ruins.” Sculptor Peter De Guzman depicts the central figure of a woman as “the motherland," weeping as she holds her child as a representation of lost hope. Other figures in the image symbolize the Filipino people, caught in the events of war and clinging to the mother for salvation.

[related: One Sunny Afternoon Spent At A Local Crafts Market in the Heart of Manila]

3. Bonifacio and the Katipunan Revolution Monument

Scuplted by renowned artist Eduardo Castrillo is the commemoration for Andrés Bonifacio, the “Father of the Revolution” and the founder of the Kataas-taasang, Kagalang-galangang Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan society also known as the KKK. The memorial of Andrés Bonifacio and the Katipunan’s efforts in accomplishing the Philippine Revolution are in the figures placed all across the monument. This monument can be found in Ermita, Manila, near the Manila City Hall.

[related: 7 Churches In Manila That Were Built To Last]

4. Dr. José Rizal National Monument

Found in Rizal Park, Malate, the Rizal Monument honors the life of Philippine national hero José Rizal. Established in 1913, the shrine places the image of Rizal on an elevated foundation, entombing the remains of the nationalist. Sculpted in a coat, he has in hands a book, representative of his novels and pieces that inspired national movements for Philippine liberation. Above him are three stars at the top of the monument’s obelisk, representing Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao, the three major islands of the Philippines. 

[related: Not Like Any Other Monument: Jose Rizal & the 3 Naked Men]

5. La Madre Filipina

Similar to the Memorae Manila 1945, the monument depicts the Phillippines as a woman, a mother caring for her children. Unveiled in 1921, it was first located at the Jones Bridge across Pasig River along with three other La Madre Filipina sculptures. Post-World War II, only three of the four originating sculptures remain, with two of them relocated at the Court of Appeals complex in Ermita, Manila, and the public monument now located in Rizal Park, a few feet from the Rizal Monument in Malate, Manila.

ALSO READ: 5 Manila Spots ASEAN Dignitiaries Can Visit And Enjoy During Their Stay

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