National Hero

Today, my friend Arnold sent me and a bunch of our friends an e-mail with the subject, “Our New National Hero.” It has an attached image in sepia colours. Click here to see the photo or the thumbnail.

My first thought was, “is this supposed to be Jose Rizal (the Philippines’ National Hero)?” But I knew that it just couldn’t be. Jose Rizal was one of the most photographed (and painted) of the Philippine heroes from the 19th century and I believe I’ve seen a lot of those photos (and paintings). And this wasn’t one of them.

I’m starting to think that this is just one big joke so I replied to Arnold’s e-mail asking him up-front who this person is supposed to be. He replied to saying that it was Jose Rizal. I didn’t believe him though.

Of course, those of you who are in the Philippines or following the goings-on in the Philippines would recognise immediately the face in this photo. I, however, didn’t. I then assumed that this was one of those e-mail hoaxes that is claiming that this is a long lost photo of Jose Rizal. And so, I set out to disprove the authenticity of this photo.

I scoured the Internet for photos of Rizal but all I got were mostly just different versions of Jose Rizal’s portrait commonly found in the old 2 Peso bills. The other photos I have of Rizal were in the Philippine history books I have stashed at home so I couldn’t reference those.

As a last resort, I even wrote an e-mail to renowned Filipino historian, Ambeth Ocampo, to ask his opinion of this supposed photo of Jose Rizal.

I received his reply this evening:

Thats Abraham Lincolns photo with the head of Manny pacquiao the prize
boxer put in by photo shop. 🙂

I couldn’t stop laughing. Now that he mentioned it, I realised that it was just Manny Pacquiao! I should’ve known. And if I had been following the boxing news from the Philippines, I might have been more familiar with Manny’s mug.

Ah, well. I had to apologise to Ambeth Ocampo and thank him for humouring my question:

Hi Mr Ambeth Ocampo,

HAHAHAHA! I feel like such a fool. I should’ve known. Unfortunately, I’ve been in Australia for far too long that I didn’t follow Pacquiao’s boxing bouts. Although I know who he is and I’d probably recognise him if he is pointed out to me as Manny Pacquiao, I’m not familiar with his face enough to pick him out of this photo.

And now I know for sure that my “friend” is definitely having me on! Hehe. Ah well.

Thank you for humouring my question anyway. 😀 I truly appreciate it. I apologise for the inconvenience.


Arnold, mate, you got me good!

Edit: The photo is claimed to be created by Dung Markus.

Published in: on July 5, 2006 at 10:15 pm  Comments (7)