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Friday, June 19, 2009

Happy 148th Birthday, Dr. Jose Rizal!

I see him everyday, on our 1-piso coin...

in front of schools and plazas in the towns and cities I have the great blessing to visit, including this one in Cotabato City...

in Sogod, Southern Leyte...

in the Park that bears his name in Manila.

There are books, movies, websites, even stamps which endeavor to capture the essence of this man, not to mention the thousands of monuments in the country and in other parts of the world. These are all excellent efforts to depict Dr. Jose Rizal, our Philippine National Hero. But for me, the best way to remember and honor him is to give a human face to his ideals, to make his memory live on by living out these ideals: justice, equality, life-long learning, love for country.

The run up to the 2010 elections ought to be an opportune time to put into practice these principles. The one million new or first time voters who registered in just a four-month time period for next year's polls will hopefully be additional living representations of Dr. Rizal. May they- we- not fail him, the ones on whom he has pinned his hopes on for the Fatherland.

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