Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Year-End 3: Thoughts on Rizal Day

I hope it doesn’t spoil the anticipations of the Filipinos for the New Year celebrations with the coming of the Rizal Day. It is not an excuse at all that we have anyway his birthday to celebrate on June. It is in my belief that December 30 is as much as important as the celebration of his birthday, perhaps more. To borrow a line from a local TV channel, tomorrow marks Rizal’s martyrdom.

It certainly would look boring if I am to recount the details leading to his execution. Perhaps it is a better thing to assume that most of us (if not all, for I know that there are still those who care not about history) knows a bit about him. The point of this entry is to reiterate the important of putting our minds in retrospect, especially when they concern events in our history that have made lasting marks to the country.

For one point, I think I am in no position to put forward a meaty opinion about the possible thoughts of Rizal when he sees our situation today – widespread graft and corruption in the public offices; swept almost entirely by blinding promises of game shows; and suspended to our dreams ‘thanks’ to the many forms of entertainment abounding around.

Certainly, I would not want to be a killjoy as well. This is our times and it is kind of crap to twist the present to suit certain things about the past. Rizal may have enjoyed as well the ‘refreshments’ of life back in his times.

But Rizal is one of the exponents of the struggle for freedom (well, technically reforms, but that’s another story) and it would be a bad slap to his memory if we are to succumb to the distractions of the present times – entertainment, fashion, the notorious internet, among other. It would not cause a thing, not even our face, to revere in our own ways the works, in fact almost the entire life, of our established national hero. We have December 30 to do this.

But of course, it is a personal hope that ‘realizations’ or resolves to interconnect our country’s past with the patterns of the present would be a lifestyle. We have seen anyway (through the death of a former president) that we are as much as receptive to national sentiments as open to sensational issues in showbiz. We must therefore reinforce it to a better, loftier cause.

Sharing things about Rizal to the younger generation is one, attending ceremonies tomorrow or involving one’s self into discussions is another (although may already be a little too heavy already to some). But in any case, each one of us should re-orient our thoughts and reflect in the relative freedom that we are enjoying now. Rizal may not the knight-in-shining-armor that completely gave this ‘freedom’, but it is irrefutable that he did his part to ensure this.

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