Don Teodoro R. Yangco and the Rizal Monument

IN A rare instance, the Inquirer’s Sept. 7 editorial, titled “Torre de Rizal,” began on the Front Page of your newspaper. I write this letter not with the intention of adding my voice to the growing controversy surrounding the construction of Torre de Manila. Rather, it is about the role of my great-granduncle, Don Teodoro R. Yangco, considered the foremost Filipino philanthropist of his time, in the construction of the Rizal Monument.

I am proud of the fact that my great-granduncle was a member of the commission that supervised the construction of the monument. Nine prominent Filipinos constituted that commission. As stated in the editorial, Paciano Rizal, Jose Rizal’s brother, was among them.

The Rizal Monument was officially inaugurated on Dec. 30, 1913. My great-granduncle delivered an eloquent speech during that occasion. He spoke of the significance of the monument saying that it embodied the greatness and noble character of Jose P. Rizal.

Incidentally, Dr. Jose P. Rizal and Don Teodoro R. Yangco were contemporaries at Ateneo Municipal de Manila (now Ateneo de Manila University). Both graduated with bachelor of arts degrees—Rizal in 1877, Yangco in 1880.

—ANTONIO MA. O. CORPUS, trustee, Teodoro R. Yangco Memorial Foundation Inc., Quezon City