Are you a modern-day Rizal?
Pocholo Gonzales – The Present Day Rizal
To answer that question, we must know who Rizal is.
How often does the memory of Rizal cross our mind? And when it does, how many of us would remember him as more than our “national hero”?
Perhaps we need to ask: why is he our national hero in the first place?
Rizal is our national hero because he is the epitome of greatness and excellence of the Filipino people.
Rizal loved the country, and he fought for it with the pen. He became the voice of the oppressed Filipino, who stood up for what was right even though death was the price. Today, many Filipinos still feel oppressed – by the government, by the economy, by the “system”. How many of us have the initiative to get up and CHANGE our situation?
Rizal lived in a time where they had no Internet, yet he reached us with his ideas – through the Noli Me Tangere and the El Filibusterismo. He travelled the world before airplanes were even invented. He achieved many great things despite the lack of technological advancements that we experience today.
So, who is Jose Rizal?
Hear what the Filipino youth has to say:
“Rizal is a symbol – someone we create out of our own understanding.” – Pat, province of Rizal.
“He lives on in the memory of people.” – Elaine, Romblon
“He is the symbol of the Filipino’s ideals, united to achieve a common goal.” – Jen, Bataan
“Rizal is the collective identity of the Filipinos.” – Cha, Zambales
“Rizal is a model that compels Filipinos to be nationalistic.” – Bianca, Pangasinan.
“He is a great inspiration to many people.” – Nikki, Batangas
“He is someone who exceeded all limitations imposed by the Spanish.” – BJ, Laguna
“He is an ordinary man, like all of us.” – Kim, Laguna.
Rizal is in every Filipino. He’s in the teacher that prepares students to be the next professionals, in the soldier that fights for our country, in the doctor who cures his sick fellowmen. Rizal is inside each of us, because we all have the power to serve our nation, to be great and excellent in our own right.
Now is the time to realize what our heroes have been teaching us for a long time. Now is the time to follow the prominence of our idols. Now is the time to be a modern-day Rizal.
The next time you see Rizal’s monument, tell yourself that it could be you. Challenge yourself:
What will you do that will make the future generation want to build a monument for you?