A fresh look at Graciano Lopez Jaena’s heroic legacy

A fresh look at Graciano Lopez Jaena’s heroic legacy
Kristoffer Brasileno l visual artists in repainting Graciano Lopez Jaena mural. —ARNOLD ALMACEN

ILOILO CITY—On Independence Day on Wednesday (June 12), our thoughts dwell on the valor and dedication of heroes who fought for our freedom. For Ilonggos, among those who stand out is Graciano Lopez Jaena, not just as a revolutionary figure but a beacon of eloquence and intellect as well. 

As a tribute to the propagandist’s heroism, Ilonggo visual artists Kristoffer Brasileno, JJ Macabanti and Bryan Caoyonan repainted the mural of Lopez Jaena on Muelle Loney Street or Iloilo River wharf. 

Lopez Jaena mural on Muelle Loney Street in Iloilo City. —CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Born in Jaro, Iloilo, in 1856, the patriot was known for his extraordinary oratory skills and sharp wit. He was also a brilliant writer and journalist, his contributions to the propaganda movement being pivotal for the revolutionary cause in awakening national consciousness and inspiring the fight against Spanish colonization.

In 1888, Lopez Jaena founded and became editor of “La Solidaridad,” a newspaper that became the voice of Filipinos aspiring for freedom and reform. Writing with satire and humor as literary tools, he criticized the Spanish regime, rallied his countrymen to embrace independence and illuminated the revolutionary path toward freedom.

The mural project, aside from being a preservation activity, was also part of the city government’s sustained support for public art and the creative expression of its artists, the makeover visible in now colorful flyovers, bridges and streets. 

Public art plays a crucial role in keeping history alive and relevant. Thus, Lopez Jaena’s mural serves as a visual storytelling medium that connects past heroism with present-day pride and inspires future generations. 

Lopez Jaena’s legacy remains deeply relevant, inspiring new generations and receiving the honor it deserves through public art initiatives in Iloilo City.

His writings and speeches continue to inspire a sense of patriotism and a commitment to the ideals of liberty and equality. 

Through the mural’s vibrant strokes, we honor his legacy and pass it on to inspire future generations.

Read more: Artist paints tribute to heroes in time for Independence Day

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