Rizal as a Subject in College

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Nice Meeting You, Rizal
Alfonso M. Samillano, Jr. BSED 1A

Like anyone of us, he too is not perfect. He is vulnerable and emotional. He fell in love and got hurt. But unlike any other heroes the world has known for their bravery and courage, he is the gentlest and noblest. He didn’t die in the battlefield like El Cid Campeador of Spain. He didn’t win over an assault in a city like Agamemnon of Greece. He doesn’t possess invulnerability like Siegfried of Germany. He is not a mythical hero but he is not a looser. He didn’t fight his enemies by sword; he attacked them with his plume and ink.

I should be ashamed of myself to confess that I don’t know him that much. This guy has six names and I only know him by the name he was known to the world – José Rizal. I am envious of others who kept a memory of the names of all the women he’d loved before. With great humility, I admit I only know two of them: Leonor Rivera and Josephine Bracken, the faces whom I associate with Mickey Feriols and Chin Chin Gutierrez. I don’t know how or when he was born except that he died on December 30 because it’s a national holiday. I have no idea how many courses he took in Ateneo and UST except that I know he took medicine that’s why they call him Dr. José Rizal. All I know is that José Rizal is the Philippine national hero and he died because the Spaniards executed him for his attempts to overturn the Catholic Church and liberate the Filipinos from the Spanish dominion. Nevertheless, I’d like to comfort myself to the belief that in order to appreciate what José Rizal has done for the country, someone need not to know everything about him including the petty things like how he comb his hair or does he wear undergarments or does his fart smell bad as well. I believe these things are beyond our concern to delve into. The purpose of the subject is to make us realize his noble deeds and instill in our minds how José Rizal selflessly devoted his life for the love of his country and his...
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