Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas to release new Jose Rizal P1 coin on December 2011


THE BANGKO Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) will issue this month a one-peso coin commemorating the 150th birth anniversary of national hero Jose P. Rizal.

The central bank said it produced 10 million pieces of the round, grayish, nickel-plated steel coin with the size of 24 millimeters in diameter and weighs 5.35 grams.

The country celebrated the national hero’s 150th birth day last June 19.

"The face of the coin features the portrait of the hero and the markings, ‘150 years,’ ‘Republika ng Pilipinas and 1861-2011,’" the BSP said.

In October, the new security feature in its "New Generation Currency" banknotes won for the Philippines the Best New Currency Feature during the 2011 Currency Conference held in Singapore.

The "New Generation" banknotes were launched in December last year, and featured new designs for the P20, P50, P100, P200, P500 and P1,000 notes and new security features to prevent counterfeiting.

A gold-plated medallion or coin whose design was approved by descendants of Jose Rizal was struck and issued.

The commemorative medal, 35 mm in diameter or about the size of a P1 coin, was designed by the Dr. Jose P. Rizal Foundation Inc., whose members belong to the Rizal clan, and issued by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas in coordination with the BSP’s Mind and Refinery Operations Department.

Reyes, a great-granddaughter of Rizal’s eldest sister Saturnina, said the medals would be known in numismatics, or the study and collection of currency, as “brilliant uncirculated,” meaning they would not be legal tender, of limited issue and intended to be kept in mint condition.

The obverse or front side of the coin features an image of the hero, his name and the years of his birth and death. The reverse or back side features horizontal lines and a sheen that symbolize sunrise, Rizal’s signature and the words “Adios Patria Adorada,” the opening line of Rizal’s poem “Mi Ultimo Adios” which he composed before his execution on Dec. 30, 1896.

Reyes said the coin’s design was conceived by another Rizal clan member, Marlene Jacinto, a freelance graphic designer and a descendant of Rizal’s older and only brother, Paciano. In recent months, the fourth-generation descendants of Rizal’s siblings have been actively engaged in activities promoting the hero’s legacy.

The sunrise, according to Reyes, depicts the time of the hero’s death and also the hope that comes with the beginning of a new day.

The “Adios Patria Adorada” line could be interpreted as a message of hope instead of Rizal’s sadness at having to bid his beloved country goodbye.

“He was not just saying goodbye, he was actually wishing his beloved country Godspeed. His ‘adios’ could have been from the Spanish expression, ‘vaya con Dios’ (go with God) and ‘fare well.’ He was hoping the country would fare well. That is what we want to convey, especially to the young people, that’s it’s all about hope and his love of country,” Reyes said.

Reyes said the Rizal clan would be holding its own private celebration on the sesquicentennial of the hero’s birth. She said the clan was grateful for the numerous year-long activities sponsored by the government and the private sector.

“We’re honored and happy that it’s being celebrated. We hope there would be more activities in the coming years and more to tell all Filipinos that Rizal remains relevant even in modern times,” she said.

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