This is the first time that we as a nation are celebrating the birth and not the death of our National hero, Dr. Jose Protacio Rizal.
This is but fitting, seeing that we value his life more than his death. His life enriched ours, mainly because it was a life dedicated to the Country rather than to the Self.
We have this national consciousness culled from his writings. We appreciate our Filipino-ness because of the life he lived.
His death, which we normally celebrate every December 30, is but an affirmation of his perfected glory.
There are so many interesting things about the life of Rizal. However, I always read about his past loves, his being Chinese, and other mundane things which are attempts to humanize him rather than picture him as what he truly was--a great doctor. His life was multi-faceted. Viewed on every angle, it was a life lived by a globalist, the first of his kind.
His thirst for knowledge made him tour the world. He was able to study different cultures and read so many paradigms that he applied in studying and analysing our own.
Rizal was imbued with so much knowledge that he used it for the benefit of his country. His numerous writings were expositories, meant to enlighten and rouse the people to action.
Rizal is the quintessential Pinoy, fact is, his life is everything Pinoy.
Every one of us wants to tour the world, see new things to learn new ways and newer thinking. Many believe that those 10 million OFWs are just there, working and sweating it out as OFWs just for money. They don't see that these Filipinos are also there to learn many things so that when the time comes, they'll apply these knowledge to their own towns.
An Inquirer opinion piece today described Rizal as the First Filipino, and yes he was. He actually represent the Modern Filipino. His ancestry reflects the ancestries of the ordinary Filipino.
However, what he did was actually rediscover that Filipino community. The true Filipino Nation did not die with colonialism, no. It just morphed or merged itself with the colonial one yet remained the dominant culture even during Rizal's time.
What extraordinary thing Rizal did was to actualize or legitimize other sectors not traditionally Pinoy, for example, the half-breeds.
Rizal was a half-breed, a sire of a family with Chinese and Iberian blood. His writings reflect the longing that this half-breed belonged exactly with the Pinoy nation.
What is our calling? OUr calling is be a Rizal. How then can we be a Rizal? Simple.
1. Be respectful of our parents.
2. Study hard.
3. Love others.
4. After finishing college, try to see how best you can help the country. Dedicate your profession to the Motherland.
5. Love God, Country and Family.
6. Marry a foreigner :-)
Happy RIzal day!