[PHOTO - RIZAL DAY PREPARATIONS: An employee of the City Environment, Parks and Management Office (Cepmo) cleans the sculpture of Dr. Jose Rizal in Baguio City Friday, June 17, 2011, in preparation for his 150th birth anniversary celebration on Sunday June 19, 2011. (Photo by ZALDY COMANDA)]

MANILA, JUNE 18, 2011 (BULLETIN) By DR. FLORANGEL ROSARIO BRAID - Cultural presentations, art exhibits, TV campaigns, tours retracing Rizal’s steps in various parts of the country, a stamp design and a fun-run contest, restoration of Rizal’s manuscripts – these were among the activities that had been lined up to celebrate the 150th anniversary of our national hero.

The activities dramatized his genius, courage, and patriotism. Historical researcher Isidro Escare Abeto in his book, “Rizal, the Immortal Filipino,” (1984), has documented the impact of his legacy, highlighting some of the relevant quotations that have significant implications on our national life.

I have chosen the following as they provide insights into Rizal’s value system, his passion and ideals, and the choices he had throughout his brief but meaningful existence.

Association: The spirit of tolerance ought to prevail. The individual should give way to the welfare of society. Thrift, thrift, thrift, seriousness and equal justice for all. These are my admonitions. (To members of La Solidaridad, 1889)

Citizen of the World: When mankind shall become enlightened, when all people become free, when there shall be neither tyrants nor slaves, when justice shall rule and men shall become citizen of the world, the cult of science alone shall remain. (El Filibusterismo, 1891)

Decentralized government: In view of lack of rapid communications, the life of the towns would be paralyzed if the government resided in only one hand and sole will. (Sucesos de las Islas Filipinas, 1891)

Education as a right: It is the duty of everyone to seek perfection, a desire to cultivate his intelligence. Through education and work, they could have a personality of their own. (El Filibusterismo, Marifesto, 1896)

Freedom: The government needs a free press. A free press will make the government know the throbs of public opinion. (La Solidaridad, 1889)

Indolence: If indolence exists, it exists only as the offspring of ignorance and not as a quality that they attribute to the country and her climate. (La Solidaridad, 1890)

National Progress: The smallness of our advancement is due to the fact that our talented men have died without bequeathing to us nothing more than the fame of their name. (Letter to Fr. Vicente Garcia, 1891)

Patriotism: The greatness of man is not be ahead of the age – but to divine its desires, to respond to its needs, to guide it to march forward. (El Filibusterismo, 1891)

Reforms: We do not want separation from Spain. All that we want is greater attention, better education, better government employees, one or two representatives and greater security for our persons and property. (Letter to Blumentritt, 1887)

Revolutions: I have no desire to take part in conspiracies which seem to me too premature and risky. But if the government drives us to them, when there is no other hope for us... when the Filipinos would prefer to die rather than endure longer their misery, then I will also become a partisan of violent means. (Letter to Blumentritt, 1887)

Filipinos Needed in their Country: They could serve their country more if they were in the Philippines. To serve our country, there is nothing like staying in it. (Letter to Jose Basa, 1889)

Rizal, the multifaceted genius mastered 22 languages, and according to Abeto, he was above the ordinary in 47 intellectual disciplines and other branches of human endeavors as linguist, philologist, poet, dramatist, essayist, satirist, folklorist, novelist, historian, translator, theologian, painter, sculptor, humorist, magician, scientist, psychologist, educator, engineer, surveyor, marksman, fencer, physical culturist, conchologist, botanist, businessman, cartographer, economist, entomologist, farmer, geographer, inventor, zoologist, musician, composer, lexicographer, prognosticator.

He was also a cooperatives pioneer and a futurist, a man ahead of his time. My e-mail is

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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