Jose Rizal chess pieces
Lan Magboo created the chess pieces after watching a TV series depicting the lifes and times of Jose Rizal. Credits to Lan Magboo.

Filipino sculptor Rolando “Lan” Magboo has created a chess set with pieces featuring national hero Jose Rizal and some characters from his world-renowned novels.

The Marikina-based sculptor created chess pieces with the likeness of Jose Rizal, the Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo novels’ Maria Clara, Padre Damaso, and the Guardia Civil.

The Philippine history-inspired chess set also features Rizal’s peer, Heneral Antonio Luna, and the Paoay Church, a heritage structure in Ilocos.

The collectible chess set is made of resin and fiberglass. The woodbox itself measures 16″ x 16″ x 3″ with a drawer for the 3-inch chess pieces.

Good News Pilipinas talked to artist Lan Magboo about his unique chess set and learned more about the research and craftsmanship that went into the making of the chess pieces.

Jose Rizal chess pieces
Jose Rizal and Maria Clara meet on a chess board created by Marikina sculptor Lan Magboo. Credits to Lan Magboo.

Lan Magboo says he chose the characters for the chess pieces after watching the Alden Richards-television series Ilustrado which depicted Jose Rizal’s life and times. Afterward, the Marikina sculptor researched on the clothing for his pieces.

The chess pieces take about one week to sculpt including molding and casting.

Magboo also revealed that the Jose Rizal Chess Set is a long-ago project whose recent popularity he owes to daughter Alexandra who promoted it on various social media sites. He has since created 12 sets of the chessboard.

When asked by Good News Pilipinas about the beginnings of his sculpting career, Lan Magboo said it all started when he was a young unmarried designer working in a company where he learned the skills.

Lan Magboo sculpts his many art pieces at his home-based workshop in Marikina. He encourages the public to continue supporting local craftsmen.

“Sana pahalagahan at ma-appreciate ng bawat tao yung mga arts ng local artist at sana sa mga kagaya kong artist magputuloy lang sa paggawa ng mga arts ( I hope everyone values and appreciates the arts of local artists and that my fellow artists continue to create),” Lan Magboo said.

You can check out the Jose Rizal Chess Set and other sculptures of Lan Magboo through the 3DC Sculpture Facebook Page or message Lan Magboo.

SEND encouraging cheers in the comments below for Lan Magboo, Filipino sculptor showcasing Philippine culture, arts, and heritage!

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