Jose Rizal Monument Soon to Grace Niagara Falls: A Tribute to the Filipino Hero in Canada

Jose Rizal Monument Niagara Falls
Filipinos in Canada, joined by Consul General Angelica C. Escalona, pose with a Rizal portrait where his monument will rise. Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. and Philippine Consulate General in Toronto photos.

Niagara Falls visitors will soon have the chance to honor the Philippines’ national hero, Jose Rizal, as a monument commemorating the Filipino icon is set to be erected at the site of world-famous waterfalls in Ontario, Canada.

A bronze sculpture of Rizal’s bust, as well as a historical marker, will stand in the outdoor park facing the scenic Niagara Falls, commemorating the time when Rizal traveled to North America and had a sojourn in Ontario, where he saw the waterfalls.

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The National Historical Institute of the Philippines (now the National Historical Commission of the Philippines) donated a historical marker to the Niagara Falls site in 1998. It read, “The national hero of the Philippines visited this magnificent falls and paused between the two rocks on May 12, 1888.” There is also a tree paying tribute to Rizal at the Niagara Falls Maid of the Mist Plaza.

Rizal even compared Niagara Falls with the natural beauties of his home as he described the spectacular North American waterfalls to be “not as pretty nor as mysteriously beautiful as that in Los Baños” in his diaries.

“The Filipino community in Niagara Falls worked for many years to secure approval of the installation of a Rizal monument, noting that it will be a symbol of friendship between Canada and the Philippines as well as a recognition of the many contributions Filipinos made in their adopted country,” the Philippine Consulate General in Toronto said in a press release dated August 6, 2023.

Ontario was the only Canadian spot in Rizal’s 1888 North American travels. He arrived in San Francisco, California from Yokohama, Japan by sea and then made his way to Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Nebraska, Illinois, and New York. He left the continent a month later to travel to Liverpool, United Kingdom.

Consul General Angelica C. Escalona paid a recent visit to the monument’s location. There, she offered the local Filipino community a portrait of the national hero.

The press release indicated that the Filipino community in Canada extended their “untiring efforts to ensure the realization of the project”. Escalona also thanked the Mayor of the City of Niagara Falls Jim Diodati “for the city’s continued support of the Filipino community,” the Consulate continued.

“Dr. Rizal continues to inspire Filipinos and non-Filipinos alike all over the world to value freedom and make a difference. It would be wonderful to have a Rizal memorial next to one of the most amazing spots on earth,” Escalona continued.

The Filipino community in Canada has launched several initiatives to honor Jose Rizal, including a 10-foot tall monument dedicated to the hero now standing at Nose Creek Regional Park in Airdrie, Alberta, and another Rizal monument at the Luneta Park in Markham, York.

Excited to see a piece of Filipino pride at the breathtaking Niagara Falls? Don’t miss out on this historic monument honoring our national hero, Jose Rizal! SHARE THIS GOOD NEWS with friends and family, and let’s celebrate our heritage together. Click on the share button now!

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Summer is a political science student with a twin passion for journalism. Her hobbies include watching geography documentaries, searching the metro for plant-based food, and free-falling through Wikipedia rabbit holes. Her works have previously been featured in the Philippine Daily Inquirer.