MANILA, Philippines - In celebration of the 26th anniversary of the EDSA 1 People Power Revolution, a new bronze statue of the late Manila Archbishop Jaime Cardinal Sin was unveiled yesterday at the Cory-Ninoy Aquino Park in Manila, replacing the old one that drew flak for not resembling the cardinal.
According to Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim, the new bronze statue of Cardinal Sin no longer looks too young or like a teenager or a seminarian.
Sin’s brother Ramon, as related by Lim, agreed and said the statue now looks more like the cardinal.
Lim recalled that they opted to change the old statue after the bishops and the entire priesthood criticized that it did not look anything like the cardinal.
“We got worried that the bishops did not like the statue. Manuel Chua, one of the donors who financed the statue, went to my office and told me that he has a good sculptor. The second sculpture was shown to Sin’s brother who commented that it (the new statue) looked more like the Cardinal,” said Lim in his welcome remarks.
The much-improved statue of Sin, also bespectacled, clad in plain priestly robes, with the right hand raised in blessing, was made in Beijing, China by Chinese artist and sculptor Shin Yanmin. It arrived in the country last week.
In an interview after the celebration, Shin told reporters through an interpreter that before doing the new monument, he tried to learn the history of the late cardinal, one of the leading figures in the country’s bloodless people’s revolt.
Shin shared that he collected pictures and other historical information to create the exact figure, which took him three months to finish.
The all-bronze statue cost P700,000 (inclusive of shipment cost) and was donated to the City of Manila by several foundations and private individuals, including Manuel Chua of the Tulay Foundation, Inc.; Simon Chuahe Foundation; Jaime Sumulong Foundation; Chin Chua Foundation; Ching Ban Lee Foundation; Vicente and Juanita Hao; Chua Keng Hua; and the Che Yong Cua and Chua Association (North and Central Luzon chapter).
Shin also revealed that Lim and the city government have commissioned him to make the statue of the late movie actor Fernando Poe Jr., who ran in the 2007 presidential elections. It will be erected at Heroes Garden, near the area where the statues of the Aquinos and Sin stand.
Meanwhile, the old statue will be shipped to Sin’s hometown in Aklan.
Remembering EDSA 1
Lim recalled Sin speaking on Radio Veritas and calling on the public to go to EDSA and help the soldiers on Feb. 22, 1986 at 10:30 p.m.
“When Radio Veritas was closed, June Keithley went on broadcast via RJ Jacinto’s Radyo Bandido and the following day repeated Cardinal Sin’s message. This is the reason why the people went to EDSA,” said Lim.
This is where Cardinal Sin played a vital role, together with President Cory Aquino.
Lim said Sin, along with Cory Aquino and Ninoy, played important roles in the events that triggered the peaceful revolution.
Lim urged everyone to join the Aquino administration in treading the path of righteousness as a way of commemorating People Power.
He added that the people should continue to rally behind the administration’s campaign for a government that is free from corruption and abuses.
For his part, Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Tagle thanked everyone who helped maintain the memory of Sin and EDSA I.
“We do not only remember Cardinal Sin but also the nuns and other religious groups during EDSA I. That believing in God, prayers and being patriotic will not cause any conflict,” he said.
The unveiling was attended by presidential sister Viel Aquino-Dee, Vice President Jejomar Binay, his son Makati Mayor Junjun Binay, Manila International Airport Authority general manager Jose Angel Honrado, defense secretary Voltaire Gazmin, city officials, Manila councilors, city employees, public school students, foreign dignitaries and other key personalities during the administration of President Cory Aquino.