Rizal, the Environmental Planner

Manila Bulletin, January 1, 2014 | Go to article overview

Rizal, the Environmental Planner


[caption id="attachment_70538" align="aligncenter" width="581"] The National Shrine (above) in Dapitan,Zamboanga, stands as symbol that Filipino hero Dr. Jose Rizal was part of building the city--fromdes designing the water system to the town plaza. Rizal as an environmental planner is detailed in the new book Parangal Kay Gat Jose P. Rizal: Bayaning Environmental Planner.[/caption] Filipinos know Dr. Jose Rizal as the national hero whose superior intellectual abilities exceeded any Filipino during his time. He is known as the Filipino polymath who delved into different fields like literature, art, and science. But unknown to many, Rizal was also an environmental planner. During his exile in Dapitan, it was discovered that he helped plan the now sprawling city in Zamboanga. He helped local fishermen build fish pens. He helped bring water to the area using a water system. He also helped plant numerous trees, turning the town into a green space. Swamp at gubat na gubat ang Dapitan noon. Sa loob ng dalawa hanggang tatlong taong paglagi ni Dr. Jose Rizal doon, na transform niya ang lugar. Nadala pa niya yung tubig sa Dapitan kasi ang tubig mahirap doon. Siya ang nag design ng aqueduct, hanggang ngayon, buhay pa yun. Kung mapunta kayo sa Dapitan, yung plaza, siya rin ang nag design noon, shares Professor Gabby Lopez, a faculty at the Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP) Graduate School. While helping build the town, he also made sure that everything was done without detrimental effects to the environment by planting trees and keeping natural things intact. Si Rizal ang nagplano at nag umpisang gumawa ng water system ng Dapitan. Nanalo siya sa lotto nung araw at yun ang ginamit niya para maitayo ang water system. Swamp kasi yung lugar kung saan siya naitapon, tinuruan niya yung mga mangingisda doon to do productive fishing, Nag-imbita pa siya ng mga mangingisda ng Calamba, Laguna para ituro sa kanila kung paano magkaroon ng fish pens. At tinamnan niya ng ibat-ibang uri ng punongkahoy. Kaya kung pupuntahan niyo ang Dapitan ngayon, napakaganda at napaka peaceful, Lopez says. TWO YEARS IN THE MAKING Rizals remarkable achievements in this field were chronicled in the book, Parangal Kay Gat Jose P. Rizal: Bayaning Environmental Planner which was published by DAP and funded by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA). DAP planned to publish the book in 2011 to coincide with his 150th birth anniversary. That year, DAP partnered with the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP), City of Dapitan, and the Philippine Institute of Environmental Planners (PIEP) to honor the national hero through the event Parangal Kay Gat Jose P. Rizal: Bayaning Environmental Planner, thus, the books name. The event cited Rizals extensive public work projects which improved the quality of life in the remote town of Dapitan. However, it was only in 2013 when NCCA gave a grant to DAP to publish the short book which features three resource persons a known Rizalista and lecturer on international affairs, Prof. Jose David Lapuz, former vice mayor of Dapitan Patricia Chan, and NHCP chairperson Dr. Maria Serena Diokno. Two years ago, Prof. Gabby Lopez brought me a proposal. Why dont DAP come up with an event for Jose Rizals 150th anniversary. I have doubts about it , ano kinalaman ng DAP kay Dr. Jose Rizal? …

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