Video: President Arroyo Inspects the Urdaneta Monument

President Arroyo inspects the partially completed Urdaneta Monument. It will be open to the public by march 2009.

The Urdaneta Monument, fronting the Urdaneta City Hall is the work of four national artists.

A masterpiece in the making.

This was how President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo described the monument of Friar Andres de Urdaneta which is currently being put up in front of the new city hall.

The unveiling of the monument of Urdaneta will be a commemorative activity to his 500 birth anniversary. Earlier, the President issued Proclamation No. 1423 declaring 2008 as 'Year of Urdaneta'.

The monument of Urdaneta, standing on top of a 15th century Spanish ship, is a joint project of the National Commission of Culture and the Arts (NCAA), the city of Urdaneta and Ordizia City in Spain's Basque country, Urdaneta's birthplace.

The monument is a collaborative work of four of the country's national artists, namely: Napoleon Abueva, Abdulmari Asia Imao, Ildefonso P. Santos and Dr. Alejandro Roces.

Another national artist, Ben Cabrera, also contributed a mural to the collective art design.

Cecille Guidote-Alvarez, NCCA executive director, said the four murals attached to the ship on which the statue of Urdaneta stands depict the life of the Spanish Augustinian friar in different settings.

Urdaneta, a navigator during the voyage of Miguel Lopez de Legaspi to the Philippines and from whom this city derived its name, was born in Ordizia City in 1508 where he is revered as a hero.

The cities of Ordizia and Urdaneta signed a sisterhood agreement in December last year while Arroyo was on a state visit in Spain.

The monument is expected to be completed by March next year and the President said she herself will be leading the inauguration in honor of Urdaneta "who is a testament to the role of the Philippines in the navigational history of the world.

Source of text after video