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Embracing Rizalism as a Way of Life

Jose Rizal, a hero!

Many of our youth today equate Rizal, the hero with martyrdom, death!

Being a hero isn't "cool", this is for "freaks". Jose Rizal is no longer "in".

Distinguished members of the board of judges, ladies and gentlemen –

I don't have to go into detailed account of dates, places and people in the biography of Pepe. No!

All literate Filipinos start their lesson in history with the stories of the boy from Calamba, Laguna.

Rizal lived his life in an extraordinary way.

I don't need to make a deep analysis of his ideas in education, philosophy, religion, politics, human behavior, ethics, in society. No, I leave that to the scholars.

What I choose to talk to you about is how I could live my life today with a little piece of Rizal in me.

Yes, I have to be in my own little way a mirror of what Rizal envisioned of every Filipino.

The youth is the hope of the fatherland. This is no longer a statement. It has become a challenge.

Let us start with the simplest question.

If you are to choose between Cadbury chocolate or any other Swiss chocolates and the most popular Filipino brand, which would you choose?

Chocnut, Nips, Cloud 9? "Yucky", "cheap" or even "wa class". We do not trust our local brands, we do not trust our fellow citizens, we do not love our own. This is not being a Rizal…

Rizal recognized clearly the social evils that hindered Filipinos to excel. Inferiority complex, cowardice, timidity, false pride, pervade the Filipino consciousness and contribute to the decay of the society.

Today, our country is suffering from both physical and moral degradation. The tremendous problems have made us become too critical, disgusted, indifferent, hopeless. Where do we go? Do we just have to give up?

"Cursed be those who have left my beloved homeland bleeding and torn…" says the Non- revolutionaries, a good short story I once read.

This is not being a Rizal!

Today, our country needs Filipinos who will live their lives in a "Rizal way".

Today, our country needs people who have the will to make Rizal happen once more in our times.

Today, our country needs people who are persuasive and decisive to adopt Rizalism and to nurture it as an integral part of their person.

Today, our country needs people who have the strength to complete and expand the works and wisdom of our Jose Rizal.

Today, our country needs people who can revive the genuine love of Rizal to our beloved homeland and to its people.

Today, our country needs people who have the courage to attain liberation and freedom from the bondage of ignorance, laziness and indifference.

Today, our country needs people who have the magnanimity to enjoy peace not only for oneself but for all humanity.

Today, our country needs men who promote Rizalism as a way of life.

I belong to this country…

My country needs me…

I embrace Rizalism as my way of life…

It may not be listed in any edition of any dictionary ever published, may not be found in any index or glossary of any published material, may not have been given a meaning at all in any of my elementary or high school text but Rizalism has always been there.

Yes, Rizalism is in the heart.. Rizalism is nationalism. It is the symbol of the noble Juan de la Cruz.

Rizalism is a code to live by, a life of philosophy!

Rizalism is being free from corruption., injustice, inequality, selfishness, unrest, poverty.

It means peace and order. With Rizal as my model, I could rise from my being an ordinary unconcerned, uncaring Junior high school student.

For a start…

I can do littler acts of kindness to my brothers and sisters to develop righteousness in my being.

I can show respect to m6y parents and elders top promote harmony in my home.

I can be attentive to my teachers to gain wisdom that will shield me in my adulthood.

I can be obedient to...
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