No less than a Filipino artist created a bigger than life sculpture of Philippine national hero Dr. Jose Rizal.
Mogi Mogado, a self-taught artist and Rizalist, built the statue that now stands on the grounds of Luneta Gardens located at the Boxgrove Community Park in Markham, Ontario.
The Dr. Jose Rizal monument was unveiled on June 10 with Mogado, Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti, former Markham councillor Alex Chiu and Philippine Deputy Consul General Bernadette Therese C. Fernandez as part of the community’s celebration of 121 years of Philippine independence. The monument is the latest addition to Markham’s public art collection created by a partnership between the Filipino Canadian community of Markham and the city.
Mogado notes that the sculpture “will honour a man who spent his life advocating for ideas and principles that inspire generations of freedom fighters around the world.”
Mogado adds, “Dr. Rizal’s writings embody ideas that inspire and support multiculturalism in Canada, and harmonious living amidst diversity as exemplified today in our thriving Markham communities.”
Markham Mayor Scarpitti remarked, “Through his silent protest, Dr. Rizal galvanized and inspired generations of people…a man who spent his life advocating the very values that define us as Canadians, multiculturalism and social cohesion.”
Scarpitti adds, The Filipino-Canadian community’s generosity is appreciated and is a reflection of our community -- welcoming and inclusive. We are united by our love for this country and love for Markham.”
The cold cast bronze monument of Rizal is over six feet tall and is installed on a seven-foot-tall granite pedestal. It is expected to last more than 50 years. The site for this monument was chosen as it is situated across the road where Rizal Avenue in Markham begins. The monument and surrounding Luneta Gardens are a significant addition to Markham’s public art portfolio.