30 December 2008

Mr. Asfour's Rizal Shrine in Bayombong

The Rizal Shrine Complex in Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya – will provide possibilities for leaders and citizens to fulfill the expectations raised by the Covenant Cave of Pamitinan Protected Area Landscape of Rodriguez, Rizal and the Covenant Writing of Dr. Jose Rizal.

This biggest Rizal structure in the World is done by Jordanian Sir Mahmoud A.M. Asfour, the Deputy Area Commander for Northern Philippines of the Order of the Knights of Rizal, chartered under Republic Act 646 – which provides for the establishment of chapters in nations of the world.

This Mahmoud Asfour Rizal Shrine Complex epitomizes the concept of English for National Purpose – since the complex pays tribute to the Filipino people and World.-panitikan.com.ph

The building described as the country’s biggest Rizal shrine, standing 16 meters will tower over a seven-hectare mountain where he had constructed a center for cultural, livelihood, recreation, education, historical as well as medical services for free.

Heroes' temple

At the shrine's entrance is a 10-meter tower where the province's 175-year history is etched. The main complex also has a welcome arch, a children's skating rink with a globe at the center, a water fountain and a nine-meter flagpole.

The main shrine is surrounded by 14 seven-foot arches that will house the busts of the country's other heroes.

Asfour said the shrine would have audio-visual presentations depicting the lives of heroes and their contributions to history.

He has yet to decide which heroes would occupy the 14 smaller shrines that are lined up alongside candle-shaped concrete railings that enclose the main complex.-naga.gov.ph

From the top: panoramic view of the
adjacent towns of Solano and Bayombong;
green fields of Casat.

Four of these grant Filipino citizenship to foreign nationals. Using our previous calculation of the cost of a single law, the Philippine government spent a total of P595.77 million granting Philippine citizenship to Mahmoud A.M. Asfour, whose most notable contribution is the construction of a Rizal Shrine in Nueva Vizcaya, touted to be the biggest and tallest in the country; Michael G.J. Gleissner, chair of the Bigfoot Group of Companies; Charles William Mosser, whose foundation contributes books and library supplies to different schools in the country; and Rev. Fr. Ulrich H. Schlecht, SVD, a retired German priest of the Society of the Divine Word.-www.pcij.org

Mr. Asfour had blazed the trail in the employment of our overseas Filipino workers in the Middle East. Through his own personal effort, Middle East countries, especially Saudi Arabia, eventually hired over half-a-million workers. It was not strange then why thirteen senators supported Mr. Asfour—now married to a pretty Filipina and with beautiful offsprings—in his application for Filipino naturalization. Delicious dates taken from trees that he had planted in Nueva Vizcaya were served as dessert.-www.recoletos.ph

“Our families are crumbling. Children are abandoned. Respect for parents is lost. The Filipino value of close family ties is gone while parents have to leave their children to work abroad.

“This is the reason why I want to help people in my province in the simplest way I can.” Mr. Ashfour, a Jordanian who was adopted as son of Nueva Viz­caya through a provincial board resolution has been conferred the Service Medal of Rizal.-newflash.org

Asfour said he drew inspiration for the shrine from his family's "generations of relationship with Rizal."

But the idea of building the shrine first came to Asfour when he arrived in the country 24 years ago to repay a Filipino truck driver who he said saved his life.

Good Samaritan

Like the Good Samaritan, the man had stopped to give Asfour food and water as he lay unconscious in his car in the Arabian desert.

Then newly married to his Filipino wife, Zenaida, Asfour first caught a glimpse of the hills of Casat from a house in La Torre village where he once lived.

"That can well be the best place for a heroes' shrine," he had said then.

The rest is history.-Inquirer.net

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