June 19, 2010 149th Birthday of Rizal

Some of us don’t even know it was his birthday. Do you ever wonder why? I've heard a story from an academe person who made a simple analysis" "Why are all our holidays, especially those that remember our national heroes, usually is the date of their deaths?" Make sense? Why can't we celebrate life? On a side note, isn't it a bit pessimistic to always dwell on death?

People often forget about Rizal’s birthday because it was his death which had earned him the title of being a hero. While it is true Rizal’s death marked his heroism, it is still his birth date, which marked his life and why do you have to die in order to be a HERO? Without his birth date, the Philippines would have a different national hero, who knows, we would still be under Spanish rule and the Noli Me Tangere and the El Filibusterismo would not have come to exist.

Let us not forget as well his actions, he left a mark in not only in our country but also abroad as well. Let us remember him and at the same time BE INSPIRED! Rizal excelled in all the things that he did.

Everything he did, he did with a single-minded purpose. He was spurred according to his best friend Blumentritt by “a kind or race jealousy” that tells him if a white person can do it, so can a Filipino. That was why he considered every “personal success as a triumph for his own people.” Indeed, his motivations were deeper than the budget in his pocket, the knowledge he would gain in Europe or the luxury that many of his colleagues in Europe would pursue.

One time, Jose Rizal was challenged by a Frenchman to a duel, and he practiced until he became an expert marksman on the day of reckoning. The Frenchman eventually backed out because of fear. When Rizal was in school in Manila, he was teased because of his short stature and brown skin. He responded by rising to the top of his class, defeating his Spanish and meztizo classmates. When he studied in Universidad de Madrid for a licentiate in Medicine, amidst white students, his grades were Sobresaliente (excellent)!

He felt pain for his country and never tried to exclude himself from the shame that his race carried, and instead he tried to rub off that shame with every triumph and achievement. I think such a perspective or mindset still applies today! Oh I almost forgot, HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Jose Rizal!
June 19, 2010 149th Birthday of Rizal June 19, 2010 149th Birthday of Rizal Reviewed by Vernon Joseph Go on Saturday, June 19, 2010 Rating: 5

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