By: Tara Yap
THE bronze statue atop the dome of the seven-storey new City Hall was unveiled Thursday as Iloilo City celebrated its 74th Charter Day.
The 15-foot lady bronze statue known as “Ang Lin-ay Sang Iloilo” is symbolic of Iloilo’s rich history and culture.
Designed by Ilonggo artist and UP Visayas professor Edward “Ed” Defensor, the lady statue drew inspiration from the bountiful agricultural land that has made Iloilo one of the country’s top rice producers.
“It was in my mind 15 years ago what you see as the graceful figure of a peasant girl standing valiantly and proudly on a harvested field of rice,” Defensor said.
“I envisioned a symbol associated with our rice industry. Iloilo could not be represented otherwise since we have always been known as the rice granary of the whole Visayas,” Defensor stressed.
While the statue sits atop the dome of what would be the seat of power of the City of Iloilo, the artist said it symbolizes the Ilonggo.
“When you say Ilonggo, you don’t specify whether it is of the province or the city. A symbol for one may as well be a symbol of the other,” Defensor emphasized.
The artist also incorporated the four socio-economic assets that has made Iloilo only second to Manila during the Spanish colonial period.
The Lin-ay is standing on a pedestal with four sides, which represented Iloilo’s robust industries of farming, sugar cane, fishing, and a great educational center.
Iloilo City Mayor Mabilog said that the Lin-ay will become an added attraction to the city and will also symbolize the achievements of the Ilonggos.
However, the new City Hall remains unfinished. Mabilog originally planned to have it inaugurated yesterday to coincide with the 74th Charter Day.
Businessman and publisher Rommel Ynion has a pending complaint for graft against Mabilog before the Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas alleging that the construction of the new City Hall is grossly overpriced.