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Happy Birthday, Jose Rizal! Help us pay tribute to a great Philippine hero, as we celebrate his sesquicentennial. Read more

Oakland, CA Public Art
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This project was successfully funded on May 23, 2011.

Happy Birthday, Jose Rizal! Help us pay tribute to a great Philippine hero, as we celebrate his sesquicentennial.

Oakland, CA Public Art
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About this project

June 19th marks the 150th birth anniversary of Dr. Jose Rizal, a great Philippine hero and Polymath. To pay tribute to him, I am curating a series of events in Oakland, CA to (re)acquaint audiences to Rizal, the man before the legend, who achieved great things by any standard.

Jose Rizal is a household name among Filipinos. His writings, namely the books: Noli me Tangere and El Filibusterismo, sparked the Philippine Revolution. His martyrdom at the hands of the Spanish solidified his place as a national hero.

Before his political impact was felt, Rizal was already achieving renaissance heights. Here’s a sampling of his achievements:

  • At age 18, he won a poetry-writing contest then he penned his first play.
  • He translated children’s fairytales.
  • He helped to simplify the spelling of tagalog words.
  • He practiced medicine.
  • He illustrated and sculpted images of his friends and family.
  • He defended the Philippines in numerous articles and wrote how Spain should treat the Philippines equally.
  • While in exile, he designed a water distribution system.
  • He identified a new species of a frog, a beetle and a lizard.
  • He spoke at least 10 different languages although some believe as many as 22.

From a San Francisco East Bay perspective, Rizal’s most significant moment was his visit to Oakland via ferry from San Francisco before embarking on a transcontinental train ride. 

Over the past few months, I have been studying Rizal’s life and designing a celebration in his honor hoping to make him relevant and interesting to new audiences. In doing so, I sought the talents of a special group of artists, artisans and Rizalistas (Rizal superfans) to help celebrate Rizal in art, writing, food, music and dance.

Rizal led an exemplary life and his 150th birthday is a beautiful moment to look at the man before the legend. My hope is to present a more complete story about Rizal and how his legacy lives on in the global Filipino community.

We cannot do this without you! Help create a special SF Bay Area celebration for new and old generations, friends and family and aspiring writers, artists and world travelers.  We are volunteering our time to layout plans and make reservations with the hope that you will support our endeavor. More exciting things will be announced in the coming weeks. Please join us and make a pledge.

Thank you so much.

–       Jim

For more information, go to philippinearts.org/rizal150.htm

What is the Money for?

Kickstarter contributions will cover costs for organizing the exhibit and events. Expenses include rental fees, insurance, exhibit materials, printing, food and administration. Most of the people working on the celebration are donating their time. But if possible, we would like to offer a modest stipend to some of the artists and contributors (some are featured in the video).

Tell Me More about the Exhibit and Celebration

All events will be held at the Oakland Asian Cultural Center - 388 9th Street, Suite 290, Oakland, CA.

Exhibit: June 3 - August 31 *Free

The exhibit will feature aspects of Rizal’s family history, name, writings, drawings, legacy and travels. One exhibit will depict his time, albeit brief, in Oakland in 1888. There will be original works-of-art and plenty of Rizal’s creations. The exhibit will be free and open to the public during the summer.

Opening Reception: Friday, June 3, 6:30 – 8:00pm *Free

Be the first to check out the exhibit and enjoy a stage reading from an excerpt of Ignacio Zulueta’s new play, Jose Rizal on Angel Island, a Bindlestiff Stories High selection.

Birth Celebration: Saturday, June 18, 7:00 – 10:00pm

Rizal’s birth celebration will showcase music and dance performances by the American Center of Philippine Arts, tasting menu by local Filipino American chefs and bakers and a silent auction featuring Filipino American artists and Rizal memorabilia. Formal attire encouraged.

The June 18 celebration will support two amazing Oakland-based nonprofits:

American Center of Philippine Arts (ACPA)

APCA provides a unique educational and developmental platform for multidisciplinary Philippine arts through innovative hands-on classes, collaborations, networking opportunities, and showcasing events. We strive to nurture both traditional and progressive Philippine arts to strengthen our community and ethnic identity. 

philippinearts.org

Filipino Americans Coalition for Environmental Solidarity (FACES)

FACES is an intergenerational organization that works for environmental justice within communities in the United States and in the Philippines, and builds partnerships through advocacy, education, service, and organizing.

facessolidarity.org

Who’s Involved?

A talented group of folks are participating to make these events possible (in no particular order):

For more information, go to philippinearts.org/rizal150.htm

FAQ

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  • You selected
    Pledge $5 or more

    3 backers

    We will thank you in our hearts and in print.

  • You selected
    Pledge $10 or more

    3 backers

    We will thank you by mail, in our hearts and in print.

  • You selected
    Pledge $20 or more

    21 backers

    We will give you a Limited Edition T-shirt designed by LeRoid David and thank you in our hearts and in print. (Add $5 for shipping within the US)

  • You selected
    Pledge $25 or more

    9 backers Limited (41 left of 50)

    We will give you a ticket to the celebration and thank you in our hearts and in print.

  • You selected
    Pledge $50 or more

    11 backers Limited (39 left of 50)

    We will give you 2 tickets to the birthday party and thank you by mail, in our hearts and in print.

  • You selected
    Pledge $75 or more

    9 backers Limited (41 left of 50)

    We will give you 1 Jose Rizal book, 1 limited edition t-shirt designed by LeRoid David, 2 tickets to the celebration and we will thank you in our hearts and in print.

  • You selected
    Pledge $100 or more

    13 backers Limited (37 left of 50)

    We will give you 2 limited edition t-shirts designed by artist, LeRoid David, 2 tickets to the birthday and thank you in our hearts and in print. And maybe we'll throw in a little surprise.

  • You selected
    Pledge $300 or more

    1 backer

    Double date. We will give you 4 Rizal books, 4 t-shirts, 4 tickets. You will sponsor the silent auction at the celebration and we will thank you in our hearts and in print.

  • You selected
    Pledge $500 or more

    0 backers

    True Admirer. You will sponsor the exhibit. We'll shout your name in praise online and at the celebration and we will give you 6 tickets for your entourage. Logos in print. To sweeten the deal, we'll bake homemade chocolate chip cookies from scratch.

  • You selected
    Pledge $1,000 or more

    0 backers

    Polymath! You will be a main sponsor at the opening reception and we will add your logo to the celebration and exhibit. We'll shout your name in praise. You'll get 8 t-shirts and 8 tickets for your entourage. To really show our admiration, we'll donate 4 hours of Jim's time to your favorite nonprofit (in the SF Bay Area).

  • You selected
    Pledge $3,000 or more

    0 backers

    Rizalista! You will be a main sponsor for the exhibit and celebration. We will add your logo to the celebration and exhibit. We'll shout your name in praise. You'll get 12 t-shirts and 12 tickets for your entourage. Everyone will know that the festivities would not have been possible without you. And our hearts will sing!

Funding period

- (25 days)