Rebekah Joy Ilo, Angelou Lauresta, Christiana Jade Macapagal, Kim Tristan Padilla – AB English
There are four monuments currently located within the campus of Jose Rizal University, namely, the Armand Fabella statue near building H, the Vicente Fabella in the JRU Quadrangle, the mysterious Carmen Fabella statue, and the Jose Rizal statue near the Alumni Gate. And a small but important one, The Cat.
The Don Vicente Statue
Located in front of the Quadrangle, the Don Vicente Fabella Statue was commissioned by the Jose Rizal College Alumni Association, (JRCAA, now JRUAA) in honor of the late Don Vicente Fabella, the founder of Jose Rizal University, and the first Filipino to obtain a Certificate in Public Accountancy from the United States making as the First Filipino Certified Public Accountant. Created by Anastacio Caedo, a National Artist of the Philippines and the model for the UP Oblation statue. The statue was unveiled on February 28, 1970. The original location of the statue was at Building A.
Statue Inscription: This life size bronze statue, erected and formally unveiled on February 2, 1970, is a humble donation of the Jose Rizal College Alumni Association. In grateful memory of the founder of the Jose Rizal College, Don Vicente Fabella. It is also the Alumni Association’s principal contribution to the celebration of the Jose Rizal College Golden Jubilee (1919-69).
Formal presentation was made during the incumbent of alumni president, Chester G. Babst and the officers, directors and advisers who serve with him.
Cited especially for his untiring efforts and generosity is alumnus Antonio Roxas Chua, past president and ex-officio adviser of the association, whose financial assistance and unselfish dedication made possible the ultimate realization of this memorable project.
The Armand Fabella Statue
Currently residing in front of building H, the Armand Fabella statue, was commissioned by the Jose Rizal University from Tito Sanchez, a student of Anastacio Caedo’s. He’s created over 300 statues, including the Gomburza in U.P. Diliman, to honor the late Armand Fabella, son of Vicente K. Fabella, former Secretary of Education, prominent businessman, and chairman of the board of Jose Rizal University. The statue is 12 feet tall and made of bronze. It is the latest statue of the university, unveiled at February 6, 2012.
Statue Inscription: Secretary of the Department of Education, Culture and Sports, chairman of the board and president of Jose Rizal University, Chairman of the Presidential Commission on Reorganization, Director General of the Program Implementation Agency, Chairman of United Coconut Planters Bank, Chairman of the Private Education Retirement Annuity Association. Member of the Monetary Board and Head of various Government Departments under Presidents Diosdado Macapagal, Ferdinand E. Marcos, Fidel V. Ramos, and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
Educated in Harvard University (A.B. Economics, Cum Laude) and the London School of Economics (Postgraduate Studies). Awarded Doctor of Philosophy (Honoris Causa), Philippine Women’s University, Doctor of Educational Management (Honoris Causa) Emilio Aguinaldo College and Doctor of Education (Honoris Causa) Misamis University.
Secretary Fabella will always be remembered for his humor, his dedication to Jose Rizal University, his commitment to public service and his love of country.
The Carmen Fabella Statue
Located near building A, near the previous “Starbucks” area and canteen. It was commissioned by the Jose Rizal College Alumni Association (JRCAA) from Anastacio Caedo, a National Artist of the Philippines and the model for the UP Oblation statue. It was commissioned to honor the late Carmen De Jesus-Fabella, the wife of Vicente K. Fabella, and the first president of JRU. It was unveiled at January 18, 1984.
Statue inscription: To the memory of Doña Carmen De Jesus-Fabella, mirror of humility and serene wisdom, whose foresight and deeply inspired leadership have enabled all of us—alumni, faculty, and friends—to cherish all these years the great tradition of Jose Rizal College and the ideals of its beloved founder, we dedicate this humble token of our gratitude, profound respect and love.
This modest contribution to the college in commemoration of the JRC Alumni Association’s Diamond Jubilee was made possible through the joint efforts of the officers, directors, the advisers, and in particular, the generosity of past president Ralph Nubla.
The Enigma of Carmen Fabella, and her Mysterious Disappearing Fan.
This certain statue has gained intrigue amongst the students and workers of JRU, old and new alike. It is due to the sheer weirdness surrounding it. Most people claim that they saw the statue holding a fan, describing the fan in detail, and that it had laces on it. Other say that she holds a book. The statue is located next to the oldest JRU building, (which is reported to be haunted, by several students and workers), and nobody knows what materials the sculpture is made out of. But debunking the longtime rumor, it simply did not have a fan. Not even when it was first unveiled to the public.
The Jose Rizal Statue
Located near the Alumni Gate, stands the 3 meter tall bronze statue of our national hero and school’s namesake, Jose P. Rizal. . It was commissioned by the Jose Rizal College Alumni Association (JRCAA) from Anastacio Caedo. It was unveiled to the public on January 4, 1984.
The cat statue, which now resides in a glass case in the first floor of the library, was a prominent part of JRU, it was said to be resting on top of the roof of what used to be the Fabellas’ old home. The reason why the cat was placed there in the first place, was to make the Fabella’s house stand out, because all the houses look the same. The statue depicts a cat curiously peering at a bird.
- The Carmen Fabella statue is only one year older than the Jose Rizal statue
- The Armand Fabella statue is placed where it is now, because it was his favorite spot, when it was still a parking lot. He usually stands there every morning to overseer the place.
- The Don Vicente is also the oldest statue of the four statues in Jose Rizal University.
- The Rizal statue is the only statue without an inscription on it.
- The Carmen Fabella was placed near JRU’s oldest building because Carmen Fabella used to pick up trash (she was reported to be a neat person) when it was still an elementary school building
- Other urban legends and rumors about the origins of the cat statue was made because Don Vicente was a cat lover. Other rumors say that it was based on the family’s cat who apparently fell to its death while chasing a bird in the roof.
- The cannons on the bottom of Rizal’s feet were not originally there. The workers have this inner joke that it should be at the bottom of Bonifacio’s statue since Rizal was a peace-loving man. The cannons were also rumored to have come from Intramuros, back when Imelda Marcos had a project to fix up Intramuros, they asked Armand Fabella to overseer it.
References: Jose Rizal University Library, Museum and Archives.
Special thanks to Ma’am Norma Montalvo of Vice President Administrative Office, Ma’am Esperanza Castillio of Jose Rizal University Alumni Association and Ma’am Karen Guillermo of The Office of the President.