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Hyundai Carves Out a Spot in Philippine History

Posted June 12, 2011

Art meets technology through Hyundai Asia Resources, Inc.’s (HARI) contribution to ongoing Rizal Park renovation efforts.

Hyundai’s gift to the Filipino: The Ang Bagong Pinoy sculpture (by Jose Datuin, high-grade stainless steel, 10’ x 10’ x 4’) was unveiled June 12, 2011 by MMDA Chairman Francis N. Tolentino, assisted by Government officials, Hyundai Asia Resources, Inc. (HARI) executives, and HE Korean Ambassador Lee Hye-Min of the Republic of Korea. (L-R) Artist Jose Datuin; HARI Chairman Edward Go; Department of Tourism Secretary Alberto A. Lim; Ambassador Lee Hye-Min; Manila Mayor Alfredo S. Lim; MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino; HARI President and CEO Fe Perez-Agudo; HARI Chairman Emeritus Richard L. Lee; Department of Education Secretary Brother Armin Luistro; and HARI Vice Chairman Conrad Marty.

Rizal Park’s Flower Clock, Reborn. Hyundai Asia Resources, Inc. (HARI) and the National Parks Development Committee resurrect this once-famous Rizal Park landmark, with spanking new machinery and a new face.

June 12, 2011, Rizal Park--On the 113th year of Philippine Independence, HARI left its mark on the hearts and minds of the Filipinos, literally carved in steel, in historic Rizal Park. On that day, just a week from the 150th birthday celebration of Philippine National Hero Dr. Jose Rizal, HARI unveiled three National Heritage projects, fruit of the company’s collaboration with the National Parks Development Committee (NPDC) and multi-awarded Olympic artist/sculptor Jose “Joe” Datuin.

“We want to take part in helping shape Philippine history,” affirmed Ms. Fe Perez-Agudo, HARI President and CEO. “We want to help the NPDC in its efforts to restore Rizal Park to its old glory as a National People’s Park and a National Historic Landmark, much like Central Park is to New York and Hyde Park, to London.”

“As we ‘Build Back Better,’ we have a very good partner in HARI, who was one of the private corporations that responded right away to the call of our national leader to engage in public-private partnerships,” said Juliet Horfilla-Villegas, NPDC Executive Director. “Right now, I can say that these spots have already been adapted by Hyundai, a company that supports Filipino ingenuity. Our message for our restoration efforts is ‘Be a Part of History.’ Hyundai now is part of that history.”

While Ms. Villegas lamented that the clock and several other landmarks in Rizal Park have fallen into neglect, she is most heartened to find an enthusiastic partner in the NPDC’s efforts to spruce up Rizal Park. “It’s dismaying that we don’t have a public park. I believe that a public park is a social equalizer. Everyone has access to it and to the other national treasures around it, like the National Museum, Intramuros, and the National Library. Now we are giving the park back to the people. It’s a value-for-money investment by a government and a private corporation.”

HARI funded the replacement of the clock’s machinery and the redesigning of its face and the peripheral area. The clock now boasts a more modern look, courtesy of Datuin, with the Hyundai logo emblazoned on the fulcrum of the clock’s hands and Hyundai’s “New Thinking. New Possibilities” brand slogan engraved on the stainless steel plate fixed on the black granite marker. Now titled “World-Class Filipinos Bloom,” the Flower Clock pays tribute to the Filipino as a world-class genius in the arts and technology and symbolizes the time for change called for by the current Administration.

HARI also funded the design, execution and installation of two Datuin sculptures, Ang Bagong Pinoyand Dancing Rings.

Dancing Rings is a replica of Datuin’s work that bagged the Grand Prize in the Sculpture Category of the Olympic Sport and Art competition in Lausanne, Switzerland, in celebration of the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Ang Bagong Pinoy, on the other hand, is the artist’s interpretation of the Aquino government’s call for pagbabago (personal renewal for the better).

Both works just as well symbolize Hyundai’s never-ending quest for excellence in all its undertakings, as one of the top car manufacturers in the world and as a responsible corporate citizen.

These three striking landmarks in one of the Philippines’ most revered historical spots invite the public to experience Rizal Park in a new light, as a refreshing garden getaway in Manila’s concrete jungle and a silent witness to landmark events in Philippine history.