Dr. Jose Protacio Rizal – Philippines' National Hero

Dr. Rizal is a medical doctor (an ophthalmologist) by profession, a genius that speaks a couple of languages, and is born from a well-to-do family. His life could have been more enjoyable IF he just practice medicine, he had all the chances to live a luxurious life with a family of his own and even tour the world – that is all ‘what ifs’, because History told us of his patriotism instead. He has helped our ancestors see and realize that this land is ours and we can not be slaves in our own country.


He spent the last years of his life writing novels  that depicts the hardship of his fellow countrymen in the hands of the Spanish Friars (if I am not mistaken) that brought awareness to other heroes – the truth that ignited the quest for Philippine Independence. Pepe, as he was fondly called by his siblings, did not fear death when he was sentence to die in Bagumbayan (now Rizal Park) Dec.30  way back more than a century ago, he did not attempt to escape and he did not wanted to fall on his back when he was shot – saying that he wanted to die facing the foes and he has not been a traitor to the Philippines to the last of his breath.

How noble this national hero is, he is not selfish and impulsive. When Andres Bonifacio sent Procopio Valenzuela and another companion to help him escape during his exile in Dapitan so they can lead the revolution, he refused, telling them that they are NOT READY YET because they lack skills and armaments to fight the oppressors – that he did not wish to sacrifice many lives because of disorganized attempt.

His novels during my highschool days are read in junior and senior level injected in Filipino subject. I do hope that this remains in the K-12 system and his other poems shall be shown to the students too not just the one entitled ‘The Last Farewell/Ang Huling Pahimakas’. No other Philippine hero that is as patriotic as him that has sacrificed that much of what he has just let go for his country’s freedom.

Our generation who is pampered and will be pampered by liberty should be thankful to our National Hero. If not to him, the other heroes will not be awaken to the maltreatment of the Spanish Colonizers. Today’s freedom we attribute to him. We now have fair chances on everything. We Filipinos can live freely, can own a land, can be elected as rulers in our towns/cities, provinces and the whole nation as what we should have been centuries ago.  We did not experienced being framed-up for wrongdoings just to be jailed because we object of the system. We are the ones to reap the rewards of Dr. Rizal’s endeavor to bring freedom in our beloved land.

I am a REAL fan of Dr. Rizal, I even used ‘Patriot’s Daughter’ (with him in mind as the Patriot) as a pen name in my University’s official publication – I even wrote an article featuring him. I was also asked by my highschool professor to write a script –Dr. Rizal as the main character – after giving me an old book of him to read. I finished reading the hundred-page book which I really enjoyed and afterwards I wrote and co-directed (with my professor) a piece for the SAGUFIL-KAFILMA competition on a theater play which won us second place in the inter-school Division. I acted as Rizal’s mother during the play. Such kind of contests reminds us of  History deeply because we get to play the role of important people like him and the character being portrayed remind us what we have become because of heroes like Dr. Rizal that was forgotten by many especially the young generation; although watching an epic-movie is also marking on our memory. Both have different impact and impression to leave.

Indeed, he deserves to have Luneta/Rizal Park as the home of his remains. I heard of this thing that I have not verified  yet - the eyes of the statue are sculpted in real gold metal that is it is guarded twenty-four hours round the clock.  Yes, the guards are breathing, they are alive! The park has been a family picnic site for everyone - very nice place nowadays. Come and visit when you have time. You may want to whisper 'thanks' to him.  

If this post has somehow given you some information you deserved or has entertained you in a little way, please do not forget to give it a plus. Have a  great day everyone!

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Family, Daily Living & Style by Angelita Galiza-Madera is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.