Astrologer Resti Santiago created a birth chart for the country’s national hero, using an estimated birth time gleaned from researched documents. Santiago proceeded to show how the planetary positions in Rizal’s chart overlaid with the people in his life, his time abroad, and his return to the Philippines.
The talk was part of the museum’s series of activities under its “RIZALizing the Future” exhibit, mounted to celebrate the 150th birth anniversary of Jose P. Rizal and the 100th anniversary of the Yuchengco Group of Companies—the holdings company that owns and operates the museum and whose Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation is named after the national hero.
On September 24, dream-work counselor Lucito de Jesus will discuss “Jose Rizal and His Dreams: A Look at the National Hero’s Dreams and Their Meanings.”
Previous speakers were Inquirer columnist and editor John Nery discussing the influence of Rizal in Southeast Asia; Justice Justo Torres on the Knights of Rizal; and dramatist-scholar Paul Dumol on “Rizal and Nationhood.”
To bring Rizal closer range to a general audience, “RIZALizing the Future” uses a wide range of paintings, memorabilia, popular icons, books, illustrations, contemporary artwork, archival photographs, costumes and fashion.
Visitors to the exhibit can explore sections on the different ways Filipinos have paid tribute to Rizal—whether it is through spiritualizing him; honoring him with a monument; institutionalizing an organization in his name; collecting memorabilia with his likeness; portraying him in art, popularizing him in mass culture; branding a campaign of his values; or falling in love with the women in his life.
Notable objects on display include sketches by Rizal; jewelry worn by Rizal’s childhood sweetheart Leonor Rivera; art by Team Manila graphic design studio; and banknotes and coins bearing Rizal’s image.
Other highlights are a short video looking into Rizal’s essay “Filipinas dentro de Cien Años” (The Philippines a Century Hence); and “He Ain’t Perfect,” a special gallery drawing attention to Rizal’s strengths and weaknesses.
The exhibit caps off with an installation featuring a circular, walking area of meditation. Visitors are encouraged to walk around a floating garden, and ponder on excerpts from Rizal’s letters, novel and poems reflecting his values.
The museum also has “Nights of Rizal” events lined up.
Upcoming events include Rizal chill-out tapas nights; fundraising dinners; performances of excerpts from the musical “Noli Me Tangere” by Tanghalang Pilipino; book launches and other collaborative events with embassies of countries Rizal set foot on; historical storytelling and lectures; and a fashion show of contemporary apparel inspired by Rizal.
All talks are free with museum admission and begin at 3 p.m. “RIZALizing the Future” runs until Oct 29 at Yuchengco Museum, RCBC Plaza Bldg., Ayala Ave. cor. Gil Puyat Ave. (formerly Buendia), Makati; Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Call 8891234, e-mail email@example.com or visit www.yuchengcomuseum.org.