On Rizal’s 160th Birthday
We write this column as the nation celebrates the 160th birthday anniversary of our national hero Dr. Jose P. Rizal. Unlike our other national heroes Andres Bonifacio and Giregorio del Pilar and others who staged the revolution against the Spanish regime through the force of arms, Rizal’s revolution against the harsh Spanish rule was done through the power of the pen. His Noli Me Tangere and the El Filibusterismo which castigated the abuses of the Spanish rule in no uncertain terms had generated the anger of the Spanish rulers, which resulted in his martyrdom by firing squad at Bagumbayan, now the Rizal Park. Prior to his assassination, he was deported to Dapitan in Zamboanga, where he established children’s school, engaged in farming and other livelihood projects for the residents and populace of the area.
It is also said that one of Rizal’s legacies to the town was the so-called Relief Map of Mindanao which he made and used to teach history and geography to the townsfolk. Incidentally, when the members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan under the term of the late Gov. Felix A. Fuentebella toured Mindanao, this writer and his fellow SP member David Naval made a side trip to Zamboanga City, where they witnessed for themselves the works of Rizal while in Dapitan. Even the place where Rizal used to stand while hearing Sunday mass had a marker to that effect, thus contrary to the impression of most Filipinos that Rizal was a non-christian. As we celebrate Rizal’s birth anniversary, it is most proper and fitting for us to emulate the values and beliefs of our foremost hero, and serve our country and people as he would have served it if he were alive today.
Through this column please allow me and that of my spouse Minda to extend our most sincere and profound condolence to the family of the late former Vice-Mayor Gil Basmayor of Minalabac. The deceased was my former student in the College of Law of the University of Nueva Caceres where he finished law. A dedicated and honest public servant, he will surely be missed by his demise. We can console ourselves however, that he is now in the warm embrace of our Lord.
QUOTATION OF THE WEEK:
“LOYALTY TO COUNTRY ALWAYS. LOYALTY TO GOVERNMENT, WHEN IT DESERVES IT.”
FOR OUR WORD OF LIFE:
“I WILL DWELL IN THE HOUSE OF THE LORD FOREVER.”