Saturday, June 20, 2009

Happy? Not Happy.

In case you missed it, Rizal's home in Laguna is now freshly minted green. What to make of it?

On the one hand, here's the explanation from Ambeth Ocampo who gave the green light to turn Rizal's home well, green... and got a lot of people seeing red.

(a) Mr. Ocampo says "the green hues are meant to honor the memory of the Rizal family and their way of life."

(b) The house is not even the original anyway, being a mere reconstruction by Juan Nakpil in the 1950s.

(c) And finally, he suggests that actually, houses had color in Spanish times, but were limited to available paint colors: blue, yellow, red and green. So it could actually have been green (although probably not this shade of it).

Hmmm... this explanation is from the very same guy who first took issue with Martin Nievera's singing of the National Anthem a month ago. So something just doesn't ring right.

Where does he draw the line? True, there's a law on how to sing the National Anthem, but there must be a law against vandalism too, right?

Rizal's house may not be the original thing, but the new color we must say (based only on what we see from the only picture we could find on Google shown above, courtesy of California Chronicle), not only isn't very flattering, it doesn't jive with what we imagined it would look like - either today, or in the 1800s during his time.

There's something to be said about at least trying to create the illusion, if not even cultivating the perception, that this once was the great Jose Rizal's home. It may only be a reconstruction, but at least people and tourists who came would somehow feel it was the original, and be given the experience of visually being transported back in time - the same way some of the old churches, houses and buildings in Intramuros, many of which are not originals either, do.

Looking at it now, this house doesn't evoke a sense of awe or reverence. The choice of color certainly doesn't look like something that an artist like Rizal would have approved. If at at all, it seems to fit more with the questionable taste of a presidential wanabee with a liking towards garish baby blue and jarring pink.

1 comment:

sky said...

I went there a few months back for an article, and the curator said that she heard different reactions but their stand is that having a colored house is based on their research data. Perhaps the shade must have led other people to comment that it's like dressing a lola with tube and miniskirt. I perfectly understand NHI's stand but according to Ambeth too, they should have taken the extra mile and mixed a special hue of green instead, not the garish green that assaulted my vision when I went there.

You can snag this picture from my tumblr if you want (