City set for Rizal bday rites PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 16 June 2012 13:56

The city government headed by Mayor Celso Lobregat is preparing for the 151st Birth Anniversary of National Hero Dr. Jose P. Rizal on Tuesday, June 19, with the theme “Rizalism: The Key to National Peace, Truth and Justice.”

The program will also be held at Plaza Rizal from City Hall at 8 a.m. on Tuesday with the Zamboanga City High School Main Choir leading the doxology to be followed by the entrance of colors for the flag raising. Mayor Lobregat will hoist the flag and he will be assisted by Domingo Falcasantos of the Knight of Rizal.

The ZCHS Main Choir will then lead the Zamboanga Hermosa Hymn to be followed by wreath laying the Rizal’s monuments with the chief executive leading city officials, police and military officers, school heads and barangay officials including the representatives of national government offices.

Falcasantos will then give the opening remarks with Mayor Lobregat giving the inspirational message. Joseph Wee of the Knights of Rizal will give the closing remarks.

Born on June 19, 1861 and was martyred on December 30, 1896, Jose Protacio Rizal Mercado y Alonso Realonda was a polymath, patriot and the most prominent advocate for reform in the Philippines during the Spanish colonial era.

He was born to a rich family in Calamba, Laguna and was the 7th seventh of 11 children. He attended the Ateneo Municipal de Manila, earning a Bachelor of Arts, and enrolled in medicine at the University of Santo Tomas. He continued his studies at the Universidad Central de Madrid in Madrid, Spain, earning the degree of Licentiate in Medicine. He also attended the University of Paris and earned a second doctorate at the University of Heidelberg.

Rizal was a polyglot conversant in 22 languages. He was a prolific poet, essayist, diarist, correspondent, and novelist whose most famous works were his two novels, “Noli me Tangere” and “El Filibusterismo.” These social commentaries on Spanish rule formed the nucleus of literature that inspired peaceful reformists and armed revolutionaries alike.

As a political figure, according to historical account, José Rizal was the founder of La Liga Filipina, a civic organization that subsequently gave birth to the Katipunan led by Andrés Bonifacio and Emilio Aguinaldo. He was a proponent of achieving Philippine self-government peacefully through institutional reform rather than through violent revolution, although he would support “violent means” as a last resort.

History also has it that Rizal had the belief that the only justification for national liberation and self-government is the restoration of the dignity of the people. He was quoted having said, “Why independence, if the slaves of today will be the tyrants of tomorrow?”  The general consensus among Rizal scholars was that his execution by the Spanish helped bring about the Philippine Revolution. — Vic Larato