The Rizal in You

June 20, 2019

 THE City government of Naga under the leadership of outgoing Mayor John. G. Bongat observed the 158th birth anniversary of National Hero Jose P. Rizal yesterday. The event started with the Flag Raising Ceremony and Wreath Offering at the monument of Rizal in the city hall grounds. Thereafter, a program was held at the People’s Hall, where the Mayor and the members of the Sangguniang Panglunsod bestowed honors on city hall employees who have served the city government from 19-40 years. This writer as incumbent Commander of the Knights of Rizal for Naga City and Camarines Sur was invited to deliver an address which I am herewith quoting thus:


“Today, on the commemoration of Jose Rizal’s birth anniversary, let me just say that no other tribute can be greater than bringing to birth the Rizals that lie in each of us. In his life and his many writings, Rizal has bequeathed to each of us a heritage we have in our hands to nurture and to care for, no matter what age and state of life we find ourselves. We have at our disposal the wisdom of a great mind and the force of an indomitable spirit. To our people, and to those who are tasked with the work of governing our people, he once said: “An aimless government would be an anomaly among a righteous people, just as corrupt people cannot exist under just rulers and wise laws. Whatever social and political environments we are in are products of men’s deliberate choice.” In these words, he reminds us that our fate as a people does not lie outside of us, but in the choices that we make collectively-the governed, alongside with those who govern us. To our youth, Rizal was the model of one who never grew tired of learning, and most importantly, one who used his knowledge with boldness and courage for the love of his country. To them he might say the words said by Crisostomo Ibarra to that old priest in Noli Me Tangere, “Knowledge is the heritage of humankind, but only the courageous inherit it”. To one of my age, I remember what the character Isagani said to the unpatriotic but wealthy lawyer in El Filibusterismo: “When I have gray hairs like those, and I look at my past to find that I have worked only for myself, without having done for the country that has given me everything,  – then, every gray hair will be a thorn, and instead of rejoicing, they will shame me!”


And to all of us present here, young or old, as we gather to remember him, he might say to us all: “It is a useless life that is not consecrated to a great ideal. It is like a stone wasted on the field without becoming a part of any edifice.”


And so, whichever among these words of Jose Rizal has struck or stirred something in your heart today, let it rise up in you-for it is the Rizal inside of you.”

 

QUOTATION OF THE WEEK


“ IT IS NOT THE CRIMINALS WHO AROUSE THE HATRED OF OTHERS BUT IT IS THE MEN WHO ARE HONEST”

                                                                                                                                                    JOSE P. RIZAL


WORD OF LIFE


“ IS IT IN VAIN THAT I HAVE KEPT MY HEART CLEAN? WASHED MY HANDS IN INNOCENCE?”
PSALM 74:30

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