The state does not decorate itself.
—Charles de Gaulle
The country would again be honoring national hero Dr. Jose Rizal on December 30, 120 years after his martyrdom that helped spark the Philippine revolution against Spain.
Quite curiously, we have honored our national heroes with monuments, shrines, parks, and other historical landmarks.
We have also named avenues, highways, roads, and bridges after them to immortalize their heroic contribution to the shaping of the country’s history.
But Rizal stood out among them for his intellect, patriotism, and his deep immersion in different fields or professions—medicine, history, literature, science, arts, architecture, engineering, and even environmental conservation which made him way ahead of his peers and his time.
Therefore, any physical expression of the country’s gratitude for his sacrifices and appreciation for his greatness must necessarily be proportionate to all his manifold contribution to the building of this nation.
And so if streets, parks, monuments, and shrines would not suffice, for the man’s greatness, what would?
Try a vast and modern sports complex. After all, Rizal was also a sportsman himself.
And since this would require a modest fortune to undertake Ped Xing is glad to know that a Filipino tycoon has offered to underwrite the historic project.
Following is the statement of commitment of the Razon Group of Companies to the huge, historic undertaking:
The Rizal Memorial Sports Complex was originally built 82 years ago in 1934.
Destroyed during World War II, it was reconstructed in 1953, and renovated in 2011.
Since that time, the RMSC has not undergone any structural and facilities improvements or upgrading, rendering it virtually unsuitable and unsafe not only for training athletes, but especially for holding not only local but also international games.
Managed by the Philippine Sports Commission, the property itself is owned by the City of Manila. The City has had no income from RMSC for years now, leaving the city with no funds to modernize facilities.
Of late, the PSC has been considering transferring the RMSC to a different location, possibly Clark, in order to build the Philippine Olympic Village. This new sports complex is envisioned to be a larger and more modern sports complex complete with training facilities for national athletes as well as facilities to host large sports meets. This is expected to happen when funding for the relocation is complete.
In the meantime, the City of Manila has not had any income from the RMSC, income which could have been used to preserve the RMSC. Through all these years, no individual or group, be that government or private, has offered to re-develop the RMSC. Today, it stands derelict and a sad reminder of the Philippines’; former glory days in sports.
The Razon Group has for some time now been offering to re-develop and revitalize the RMSC through a preservation and urban renewal project.
Fully cognizant that RMSC is a sports landmark and of the close association that Filipinos have for sports, the Razon Group, in its preservation plan, will maintain as well as fortify the RMSC façade. But within the façade and walls will rise contemporary buildings that will house modern offices and commercial areas run by smart technologies, replete with modern amenities and green open spaces. A sports museum will also be built. The business areas are expected to compensate for the expensive and meticulous process of restoring and preserving the RMSC façade.