Latest Stories

Rizal seen as icon for tourism in PH


A STATUE of national hero Jose Rizal in Baganga, Davao Oriental, was not spared by Typhoon “Pablo” which, while leaving the image standing, blew off its head. NICO ALCONABA/INQUIRER MINDANAO

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO – Dr. Jose Rizal might just give the Philippines a strong push for cultural tourism, a top official of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) said.

Felipe de Leon Jr., NCCA chairman, thinks so because the national hero is excellence personified, a facet of cultural worth.

“As far as tourism is concerned, excellence is a sure winner,” De Leon said in his keynote address at the Icomos international conference on cultural tourism in Vigan City in November.

Icomos stands for the International Council on Monuments and Sites, a non-government organization of professionals whose goal is to preserve the world’s historic monuments and sites.

“A phenomenon characterized by so much excellence, and one that we could surely have capitalized upon to catapult Filipino prestige sky high, as our Edsa Revolution once did, is the ever-fascinating and inexhaustible force that is Jose Rizal,” De Leon told some 500 cultural advocates from the United States, Europe, Asia and the Philippines.

Sadly, however, Filipinos have not been able to capitalize on Rizal’s greatness, he said.

“Filipino ideologues still pit [Katipunan leader Andres] Bonifacio against Rizal or denigrate Rizal as an American-sponsored hero, a notion that is historically nonsensical,” De Leon said.

Rizal, he said, inspired the first revolution against western colonialism in Asia.

“Why is he not well known to the world as [Indian nationalist Mahatma] Gandhi, [Chinese revolutionary] Sun Yat Sen and [Indian poet Rabindranath] Tagore is the Filipinos’ fault,” he said.

Rizal, he said, fought for the “freedom of the creative human spirit, social justice and equality.”

De Leon said cultural tourism could profit from items made from Rizal’s works, such as houses, songs, booklets or cards of his poetry and thoughts.

Photos and images of Rizal and his life would be sought after by visitors, he said.

The same can be done of other Philippine heroes and historical figures, he said.

“More than beaches and resorts, it is really the distinctive cultural and historical landmarks that attract tourists to a place,” he said.

“A serious program for cultural tourism demands that we understand and appreciate our cultural strengths,” he said.

Architect Augusto Villalon, head of Icomos Philippines, said the conference seeks to help Filipinos meld culture and tourism for community development.

Susan Millar, Icomos International head, said a key element of cultural tourism follows the thought that “people like seeing people.”

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Arts , Culture , Jose Rizal , Regions , Tourism

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. Estrada: Gigi Reyes won’t testify vs JPE
  2. Gigi Reyes’ only option: tell all
  3. Unease in Vatican over cardinal’s luxury flat—report
  4. Santiago sees Palace hand in Gigi’s return
  5. Malaysia Airlines jet turns back after tire burst
  6. Gigi Reyes back to face charges
  7. Aquino vows to intensify anti-corruption drive further
  8. In the know: Gigi Reyes
  9. Healing priest invites political leaders to join ‘prayer for nation’
  10. ‘Malang’ next crocodile attraction after ‘Lolong’
  1. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  2. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  3. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  4. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  5. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  6. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  7. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  8. Massive infra spending set
  9. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  10. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  8. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’
  9. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  10. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia


  • Car hits packed US church, injuring about 20
  • LPA enters PH, to bring rains and thunderstorms
  • Sing-along saint: Showbiz world gets papal inspiration
  • Two-thirds of underwater search done, no sign of MH370
  • S. Korea prosecutors turn to mobile app for ferry probe
  • Sports

  • Reigning champs Miami open playoffs with win
  • Spurs subdue Mavericks in playoff opener
  • Wawrinka beats Federer to win Monte Carlo Masters
  • Ageless Hopkins pitches 50-50 Mayweather deal
  • Goodbye MGM, Las Vegas for Pacquiao?
  • Lifestyle

  • Miss America: Don’t suspend teen over prom invite
  • Transitions and resurrection in the performing arts
  • ‘Archaeology tour’ of Cebu’s heritage of faith
  • Historic Fort Bonifacio tunnel converted into a septic tank
  • ‘Imports’ from London, and play of the year
  • Entertainment

  • Discovery network cancels Everest jump
  • ‘Captain America’ stays strong atop US box office
  • Easter musings
  • Solenn in shorts
  • Unmerry mix of attention-calling moves on ‘Mini-Me’ TV tilts
  • Business

  • Oil prices down in quiet Asian trade
  • Asian shares mixed in holiday-thinned trade
  • BDO seen keen on bidding for Cocobank
  • Bataan freeport investment pledges up 1,302%
  • Golden Week
  • Technology

  • PH has slowest internet in Southeast Asia
  • Nintendo’s trailblazing Game Boy marks 25th anniversary
  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Opinion

  • Gigi’s home
  • Palace stonewalls on MRT inquiry
  • Couple of things too
  • There is plenty of water behind Wawa Dam
  • Triduum thoughts of a young boy
  • Global Nation

  • Obama on mission to quiet Asia skeptics
  • Search for Etihad passengers launched
  • Japan presents $57-B ‘dream plan’ to solve Metro congestion
  • Tim Tebow’s charity hospital in Davao seen to open in 7 months
  • OFW died of Mers-CoV in Saudi Arabia, says family
  • Marketplace