Presented to the Ville de Montréal by the Philippine government to celebrate the centenary of the proclamation of independence of the Republic of the Philippines, the monument stands in Parc Mackenzie-King. A pathway made of granite flagstones leads to it from Chemin de la Côte-Sainte-Catherine. The waist-length bronze bust, without arms, is presented on a granite pedestal, itself sitting in the centre of a granite base. On the pedestal is engraved a text, in French, English, and Tagalog, commemorating the important role played by Dr. José P. Rizal in the liberation of his country from colonial grasp. The bust in Montréal is one of 24 busts of Rizal cast by the artist, which were offered to various cities around the world.
The artwork celebrates the centenary of the proclamation of independence of the Republic of the Philippines. A poet, writer, and Philippine patriot, Dr. José P. Rizal was also a doctor of medicine and philosophy. After completing his education, he witnessed the injustices suffered by his family and fellow citizens due to oppression by the Spanish colonial authorities. He openly criticized these injustices and tried to obtain reforms through his writing and his political action. In 1886, he published Noli me tangere and El Filibusterismo. Under Rizal’s impetus, the Liga Filipina, a civil society with reformist goals, was founded in 1888 and led to the independence of the Philippines in 1898.