The Bantayog Memorial Center

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This 1.5-hectare cogonland which was once home only to snakes and other reptiles has become a hallowed ground where anti-martial law martyrs and heroes are honored, a hub for present-day human rights activists.

Landscape architect and National artist Ildefonso P. Santos described the concept of the Bantayog Memorial Center as having been molded with two main considerations:

  1. The creation of a monument with a powerful emotional impact to memorialize the ignominious past as a reminder to the future generation not to allow such inhumanity to ever happen again in this country.
  2. The need to provide a memorial with a “nationalistic architecture” to reflect national pride, using native forms and indigenous materials.

Today the Bantayog center has the following components: 1) Inang Bayan Monument, 2) Bahay Bayani, 3) Wall of Remembrance, 4) Amphitheater, 5) Museum and Library (housed in the Sen. Jovito R. Salonga Building), 6) Amb. Alfonso T. Yuchengco Auditorium, 7) multipurpose room, 8) reflexology garden and the 9) grounds. The main feature is the imposing Inang Bayan sculpture set against the backdrop of the symbolic wall. The other elements help complement the overall message.

Inang Bayan Monument

The monument is a towering 45-foot bronze sculpture entitled Inang Bayan (Mother Philippines). Inang Bayan has her left hand raised to the skies as her right hand lifts up a fallen martyr, both her face and gesture showing triumph, a firm belief that freedom, peace and justice shall prevail in the country. Bantayog’s logo is inspired by this monument.

In Eduardo Castrillo’s characteristic expressionist style, the sculpture depicts the dramatic poetry innate in Filipino heroism. The fallen struggling male figure is seen as the quintessential martyrdom or self-sacrifice of true heroism while the vertical female figure depicts one’s motherland, putting across the message that “from where our heroes fall, our nation rises.” A flag entwines the two figures, the mantle that nationalist fervor provides against the nation’s enemies and against injustices.

The monument stands on a red pedestal where lines from the famous Mi Ultimo Adios by national hero Dr. Jose P. Rizal are inscribed in three languages (Spanish, Filipino and English). Materials used to build the monument include brass sheets, bronze bar reinforcements, steel beams and iron bar structures, a concrete base and bronze dedication plaques.

Castrillo is acknowledged as the country’s foremost monumental sculptor. He has pioneered and innovated in public art, introduced new concepts, techniques, and combinations of media. His artistic philosophies and approach have influenced many artists. Although he has been associated with abstract art, he is equally at ease with realistic interpretations. Castrillo’s works reflect themes reflective of the Filipino culture and nation.

Balay Bayani

Bahay Bayani is the home of the Journey with Heroes Project. Non-government organizations find this place ideal for small-group discussions, meetings and story-telling. Bahay Bayani hosts free clinics every Saturday, sponsored by members of the Samahan ng Demoktratikong Kabataan, Inc. (SDK, Inc.) for former activists and residents of nearby poor communities. It used to be the house of the Bantayog’s office and mini-museum initiated by the First Quarter Storm (FQS) Foundation.

Wall of Remembrance

The Wall of Remembrance is the centerpiece of the Bantayog complex. Here the names of the anti-martial law martyrs and heroes are engraved. As research progresses, names of martyrs and heroes are added every year to this roster of honorees. The Wall structure was originally made of marine plywood and the names done in plastic letters. Today it is an impressive well-lighted black granite wall with name inscriptions.


The 1,000-seat amphitheater is the complex’s most utilized place. It hosts the annual honoring of martyrs and heroes’ ceremonies, peace rallies, concerts, Eucharistic celebrations, among others. It has become a venue for pro-human rights and women activities.

Sen. Jovito R. Salonga (JRS) Building

The Sen. Jovito R. Salonga (JRS) Building, inaugurated on 23 February 2007, is the latest addition to the center. This 2-storey building, with 1,000 square meters of floor space, houses the Bantayog Museum and Library, Amb. Alfonso T. Yuchengco Auditorium, a multipurpose room and the administration office. A bronze marker is prominently installed at the building’s entrance. The building was built in cooperation with the National Transmission Corporation (TransCo). BB Soriano and Associates were the architects while J. V. Buan and Company did the construction.

Museum & Library

From a simple collection of First Quarter Storm pictures initiated by the FQS Foundation, the museum, which has been called the “center for rare courage,” continues to expand in its new house at the JRS Building. The museum is visited by students, human rights activists, as well as foreign visitors. The library is in its infancy but already possesses a remarkable collection of books and reading materials about human rights, nationalism, and the Philippine martial law experience.

The Ambassador Alfonso T. Yuchengco Auditorium

The auditorium has first-class audiovisual facilities, projection room and dressing rooms. It has 72 seats and spaces for the handicapped with wheelchairs. Mr. Albert Bento of Professional Sound Acoustic supplied and installed the lights and sound system. The Auditorium was inaugurated on 23 February 2007.

Reflexology Garden

Surrounding the Inang Bayan Monument and Bahay Bayani is a reflexology garden arranged with therapeutic effects in mind. The landscaping project was undertaken by Soroptimist International Eastwood Chapter led by its Chapter President in 2003, Mrs. Lilia L. Lopez, whose brother is one of Bantayog’s martyrs. It was financed by funds from a Singaporean donor.

The Grounds

The Bantayog grounds is ideal for outdoor meetings and functions. Old and young activists can sit and relax under fully-grown balete trees, breathing in fresh air filtered from its urban surroundings. The design is by a national artist, Architect Ildefonso P. Santos.

The center is located in the heart of Quezon City and accessible to both public and private transportation. It is an ideal venue for special events, seminars and activities expressing the Bantayog vision. Facilities include the Amphitheatre, Park, Balay Bayani, Multi-purpose Hall, Amb. Alfonso T. Yuchengco Auditorium. Contact us for inquiries.


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