The Gomburza Monument is a memorial to Filipino priests Mariano Gomes, Jose Burgos, and Jacinto Zamora whose martyrdom in 1872–due to injustice and inequality–inspired the generation next to them to impart change in Philippine society and eventually rally the people to freedom.
The monument was inaugurated in 1972, during the centennial of the aforesaid historic figures’ martyrdom. It was originally erected in front of the Manila Cathedral, as if asserting the age that these priests’ campaign for a Catholic Church run by the Filipinos had been fulfilled.
The placement of the Gomburza Monument in front of the National Museum dramatizes the fulfillment of Padre Burgos’ death wish to his students who visited him in his cell at Fort Santiago on the eve of his execution on 16 February 1872: “Get educated… Learn from our older men what they know… See in the museums of other land* what the ancient Filipinos really were. Be a Filipino always but an educated Filipino.”
*Padre Burgos never thought the Philippines would have its own National Museum taking care of “what ancient Filipinos really were.”