rizalAfter the deliberation of the Technical Committee of National Heroes, in compliance with Executive Order No. 75 on March 28, 1993, Dr. Jose Rizal was recommended as one of the National Heroes of the Philippines on November 15, 1995 . Per Decree of December 20, 1898, by General Emilio Aguinaldo, December 30 was declared as the national mourning day in honor of Rizal and other victims of the Philippine Revolution (https://ncca.gov.ph/about-culture-and-arts/culture-profile/selection-and-proclamation-of-national-heroes-and-laws-honoring-filipino-historical-figures/). We have known him as a progressive patriot who used his wisdom to liberate the country from Spanish colonialism. However, what do we NOT know about him? After all, we have not unraveled, at least for most Filipinos, much about his doctorate.

Let the diverse roster of panelists in the upcoming National Research Council of the Philippines’ (NRCP) Rizal Webcast entitled, Rediscovering Rizal: A Commemoration of the 125th Martyrdom of the National Hero introduce you to the other identities of Rizal. This live webcast will be held at the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Plaza in Bicutan, Taguig on December 30, 2021, from 11:00 AM to 12:30 NN, after the unveiling of the tallest 3D-printed Jose Rizal Monument.

This Rizal Monument stands at 12.5 feet and can withstand a 7.0 magnitude earthquake and a 330 kph typhoon. The design of the monument was conceptualized by historians, scientists and artists of the National Research Council of the Philippines (NRCP), and executed by Professor Jose Manuel Sicat, the College Secretary of College of Fine Arts,at the University of the Philippines Diliman. The sculpture was 3D-scanned at the Metals Industry Research and Development Center (MIRDC) and 3D-printed at the Advance Manufacturing Center (AMCen), both of the DOST.

“Sa aking bersyon ni Jose Rizal, ay nais kong ipakita ang kanyang mas human side (In my version of Jose Rizal, I wanted to show more of his human side),” Prof. Sicat expounded as he explained the idea behind the sculpture that he created. Further, he explained that his presentation of Rizal revealed the national hero’s contributions to the communities as he used his wide knowledge on science and technology to serve the people.

The Rizal Webcast will be in a talk show format and will be guested by experts from various fields, including Prof. Sicat, who also created the NRCP’s Malayang Isip sculpture; Dr. Analyn A. Cabras, Director at the Coleoptera Research Center of the University of Mindanao and a National Geographic Early Career Leadership Cohort, taxonomist, and beetle expert; Dr. Arvin C. Diesmos, a field biologist and Director of the Biodiversity Information Management Unit of the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity and an Academician of the National Academy of Science and Technology; Ms. Gemma Cruz Araneta is a descendant of Rizal, being a great granddaughter of Rizal's sister, Doña Maria Mercado ; and Dr. Francis A. Gealogo, Professor at the Ateneo De Manila University and accomplished author and editor of multiple books and papers on history such as Centennial Papers on the Katipunan and the Revolution.

DOST Secretary Hon. Fortunato T. De La Peña will also grace the webcast as a panelist and will discuss the making of Rizal the Filipino Scientist monument. Meanwhile, Dr. Aimee Lynn B. Dupo, NRCP Governing Board member, and Professor 10 at the Institute of Biological Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, an expert in Entomology and curator of moths and spiders at the UPLB Museum of Natural History, will join Dr. Diesmos, immediate past Chair of the NRCP Division of Biological Sciences, as the moderator.

NRCP Executive Director and Project Leader of the Rizal webinar series, Dr. Marieta Bañez-Sumagaysay, will lead the opening salvo of the Rizal live webcast.

Let our panel of experts take you on a tour de force discourse about the new Rizal Monument at DOST, the life and works of Rizal in Dapitan, the kinds of animals that were named in his honor, his contributions to science, the arts, and humanities, and a vision of Rizal in the 21st century.

The December 30, 2021, live webcast is the second virtual forum/webinar that the NRCP is coordinating in celebration of the 125th martyrdom of Jose Rizal. The first one was hosted by PCAARRD on Jose Rizal the Naturalist and the Agriculturist: Honoring and Remembering @ 125 (December 13, 2021), and the remaining three will be on Rizal the Medical Scientist to be hosted by PCHRD (January 25, 2022), on Rizal 4.0: The National Hero as an Innovator to be hosted by PCIEERD (February 2, 2022), and on Inspirations from Rizal: The Youth Speaks on the Philippines 100 years hence to be hosted by the NRCP (March 29, 2022).

To register for the December 30, 2022 NRCP live webcast, go to https://bit.ly/rizalwebcast (limited slots only).-Regine C. Pustadan, NRCP