For one, the new emblem is an ode to Dr. Jose Rizal’s martyrdom
On Dec. 27, 2021, days before the 125th anniversary of the martyrdom of Dr. Jose Rizal on Dec. 30, the National Parks Development Committee (NPDC), an attached agency of the Department of Tourism, unveiled a new logo for Rizal Park (Luneta), as well as the Rizal Park Free Library and the Rizal Park Guide App.
Revealed during the “Stop and Salute Flag Ceremony,” in partnership with the Salute to a Clean Flag Movement (STACF) and the National Historical Commission of the Philippines, at the Rizal Monument and Independence Flagpole, the new emblem was unveiled by Jezreel Gaius A. Apelar, deputy executive director of the NPDC.
The new logo was carefully designed with the able guidance of members of the scholarly community such as historians Ambeth Ocampo and Xiao Chua, and other custodians of Philippine culture. Three important elements make up the logo. First is the lunette, the crescent-shaped defense structure used in fortifying the outer walls of Intramuros. Second, the Rizal Monument, the shape of which has become one of the most recognizable structures in the park, often used to symbolize Manila or the Philippines. Lastly, the three stars which, like those in the Philippine Flag, signify the island groups of Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.
Representing the ideals espoused by Jose Rizal are the logo’s colors. Blue stands for the colors of the sky and sea and for honor and patriotism. Red earth is for courage and love of country. While the golden light—the rays from the sun and the stars—represent education and the light it brings. It is NPDC’s aim that through this new logo, Rizal Park will be able to create a new sense of identity for one of the nation’s premier national parks and to be able to foster a community around it.
Present during the unveiling are the soldiers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines who raised the Philippine flag with Soprano Bernadette Mamauag singing the National Anthem as it was being translated by Filipino Sign Language interpreter Christine Faye Garica. STACF founder and president Monique Pronove acknowledged the recent achievements of guests and honorees John Arcilla (Coppi Volpi for Best Actor, 78th Venice Film Festival) and Michael Villagante (Lorenzo il Magnifico Award, Florence Biennale Art Fair). The honorees were awarded Philippine flags in a woven case designed by Zarah Juan. Ending it was an inspirational closing message and personal anecdotes of Rizal’s life given by Dr. Jose Rizal’s great grand-nephew, Dr. Teodoro Herbosa
After the logo launch, NPDC signed a Memorandum of Agreement to partner with the Library Renewal Partnership to install mini-library stands around Rizal Park. The signing of NPDC and Library Renewal Partnership MOA and ribbon cutting of the Rizal Park Free Library was done by its founder and managing director Quintin Pastrana with NPDC and National Library of the Philippines.
To cap off the Rizal Month celebrations, NPDC also launched the Rizal Park Guide App that provides park-goers with an interactive experience around Rizal Park with QR codes providing historical information about all the park’s landmarks and attractions. It also provides regular updates on upcoming events and announcements. Those who are not able to visit the park may also watch the virtual tours and videos provided in the app. The Rizal Park Guide App is free to download on the Apple Store and Google Play Store.
With the aim of increasing awareness and educating the new generation on the importance of our heritage, our national hero, and our national parks, NPDC is proud of these projects launched during Rizal Month. Despite the challenges of the pandemic, NPDC and its partners have been able to deliver quality events and offerings for the general public to commemorate the 125th anniversary of Jose Rizal’s martyrdom. The new logo, new branding, new free mini-library coupled with new technology brings Rizal Park at the forefront of innovation, while instilling a sense of national pride to more Filipinos across generations.