In front of the National Museum of Fine Arts in Manila stands a stylized sculpture of three Catholic priests, two of them fallen. The last of the trio stands looking sorrowfully at the heavens, agonized as if about to collapse.
This represents GOMBURZA, three of the key figures in the history of the Philippines’ independence: Mariano Gomez, José Burgos, and Jacinto Zamora. Fighting for the rights of Filipino priests against the Spanish colonial abuses, they were suspected by authorities of having incited the so-called Cavite Mutiny of 1872. As a result, they were sentenced to death by garrote and executed on February 17, 1872.
José Rizal, who would later be considered the national hero of the Philippines, wrote his novel El filibusterismo in 1891 and dedicated it to GOMBURZA, influenced by their actions.
Apart from the monument, created by Filipino sculptor Solomon Saprid, there is a historical marker in the nearby Rizal Park indicating the site of GOMBURZA’s execution. Their graves are also located in Paco Park.