Demolition of Rizal’s Binan home deplored

BINAN, Laguna – Several groups, including young artists and the city government of Binan, have decired the demolition of the second ancestral home of national hero Dr. Jose P. Rizal in Binan, Laguna.

The demolition started even as the nation is readying the celebration of Rizal’s 149th birth anniversary on June 19. He was born June 19, 1861 in Calamba, Laguna where the family home been made into a museum. Rizal died December 30, 1896 by firing squad in Luneta.

The second Rizal home in the center of the town of Binan is made of thick hard wood assembled without the use of nails, and bricks. It was in this home where Rizal stayed while he attended his first formal school in the town.

UgnaYAN, a network of youth artists, joined the people of Binan in their calls to stop the imminent demolition of the Alberto House, the 200-year-old ancestral home of Doña Teodora Alonzo, Jose Rizal’s mother.

The group also challenged President-elect Benigno C. Aquino Ill’s administration to defend the country’s national heritage.

“The love of the people to its country is reflected on how they value their culture and how they would respect the inheritances of their history,” said EJ Mijares, spokesperson of UgnaYAN.

“The Alberto house is not only an invaluable treasure to the people of Binan and Laguna, but an historical and architecturaltreasure that survived since 1765 to the nation as well.”

Recently, the lone heir of the Alberto family found that he could no longer maintain and repair Jose Rizal’s second home, which suffered from government neglect and deterioration.

After hearing no response to his call for help from the local government, he was compelled to sell the house that lead up to its attempted demolition.

Reports stated that about 20 percent of the house has already been torn down before the Binan authorities acted to stop it.

“We believe that the Alberto house needs to be guarded not just with crossed fingers but with a vigilance that such an historical and culturally significant artifact deserves,” Mijares declared.

“It is evident that the government’s attention to the preservation of our culture is lacking and we enjoin the president-elect to provide programs that care for our heritage and thus develops national culture,” Mijares said.

Recently, artists in support of the preservation of the Alberto house demonstrated their unity in a night of cultural performances of songs, poetry and the like in the town plaza of Binan.

“The deterioration of the Filipino culture can be directly attributed to the existing attitude of our responsible institutions. This is an issue of our sense of nationhood, and our willingness to promote a culture and society that is relevant to its people,” Mijares said.

Rizal was a Filipino polymath, nationalist and the most prominent advocate for reforms in the Philippines during the Spanish colonial era. Rizal’s 1896 military trial and execution made him a martyr of the Philippine Revolution.

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