“Bayani” and “Pag-asa” seek to inspire the young.
W hen he was alive, Dr. Jose Rizal believed that hope for the country rests with the Filipino youth.
There are others who believe this as well. And, on December 30, 2021—on a day allotted to remember his life and his beliefs—this sentiment was reiterated in a big way.
At DoubleDragon Meridian Park, along EDSA—a site associated with Filipino heroism—two massive sculptures were unveiled. The first is Bayani, a globe-headed depiction that towers at around 64 feet. The second one is “Pag-asa,” he who was constructed to look as though he is waving at people passing by EDSA. Designed by globally renowned Filipino artist Jefrë Figueras Manuel (also known as “JEFRË”) both sculptures were made to inspire the young.
“Dedicated to the Filipino youth, the sculptures symbolize the future of the country as the young median age of the Philippine population is one of the key driving forces that fuel economic growth,” said the press release introducing the sculptures. “[They] also symbolize the aspiration of making the Philippines into one of the largest economies in the world within the next few decades.”
To JEFRE, this dream is not impossible. “I believe that the Filipino youth have the potential to be recognized as active participants in worldwide activities, hence the globe for the head,” he said. “They’re both composed of very hard metal that is polished and brushed to perfection – very much like the story of the Filipino youth.”
The sculptures currently align with the goals of DD Meridian Park. Spanning over 4.8 hectares, it is a commercial block that seeks to cater to thriving businesses while promoting eco-friendly practices; aspirations that can favor the country’s young. According to the website of the DoubleDragon Corporation, “the entire structure is designed to have a lasting positive impact on the occupancy while promoting renewable, clean energy.” And now, with these two new installations, the company aims to highlight a corporation-wide wish shared by Edgar “Injap” Sia II, Chairman of DoubleDragon and DDMP REIT Inc.
“We hope,” he said, “that this tribute to the Filipino youth, Bayani and Pag-asa, will in some way or another spark inspiration in our hearts and minds to remind all of us that the Philippines has what it takes to become a highly prosperous first world country.”