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A paper on Veneration without Understanding by Renato Constantino.

In the histories of many nations, Constantino writes, the national revolution represents a peak of achievement to which the minds of man return time and again in reverence and for a renewal of faith in freedom. For the national revolution is invariably the one period in a nations history when the people were most united, most involved, and most decisively active in the fight for freedom. It is not to be wondered at, therefore, that almost always the leader of that revolution becomes the principal hero of his people. There is Washington for the United States, Lenin for the Soviet Union, Bolivar for Latin America, Sun Yat Sen, then Mao Tse-Tung for China and Ho Chi Minh for Vietnam. The unity between the venerated mass action and the honored single individual enhances the influence of both. In our case, our national hero was not the leader of our Revolution. In fact, he repudiated that Revolution. * In 1901 the Governor of the so-called Philippines, William Howard Taft suggested to the Philippine Commission that we so-called Filipinos be given a national hero. He boldly states, And now, gentlemen, you must have a national hero. Taft with other American colonial officials and some conservative Filipinos chose him (Rizal) as a model hero over other contestants Aguinaldo too militant, Bonifacio too radical, Mabini unregenerate.** Charles Bohlen, one-time ambassador to the Philippines, described Tafts motivations like this: Taft quickly decided that it would be extremely useful for the Filipinos to have a national hero of their revolution against the Spanish in order to channel their feelings and focus their resentment backward on Spain. But he told his advisers that he wanted it to be someone who really wasnt so much of a revolutionary that, if his life was examined too closely or his works read too carefully, this could cause us any trouble. He chose Rizal as the man who fit his model.*** Governor Taft told Pardo de Tavera, Legarda and Luzuriaga, the Filipino members of the civil commission, to impose the beginning of Rizal day. With this decision, Philippine Commission implemented: (1) Act No. 137, in which the district of Morong is named after Rizal; (2) Act No. 234, in which Rizal should have a monument at Luneta; and (3) Act No. 345, setting aside the anniversary of his death to be a day of observance, placing Rizals picture on the postage stamp and on the currency and teach the young Filipinos to revere his memory as the greatest of the Filipino patriots. * There is no doubt that Rizal was a great man and was unjustly killed. But by elevating him to national hero, we neglect the other great men. In school, media, government and etc. we hear Rizal this, Rizal that, until our ears bleed. What about our heroes who advocated independence for us? Rizal pointed out problems in the Spanish colonial society, but he did not want to drive out the Spanish. He never wanted independence for the so-called Philippines. That was the important factor because it would be a contradiction for the so-called Filipino people to advocate independence from the USA. He did not join Bonifacio and Katipunan. He was a conformist. He wanted better conditions for so-called Filipinos under Spanish rule. Taft also picked Rizal because he was already dead and he could not speak against the American neocolonialism. Every aspect of so-called Filipino life is infiltrated by our colonial and neocolonial past, even our heroes have become used against us.

Veneration Without Understanding This is about Jose Rizal as national hero of the Philippines. He used the peaceful manner which was the pen, the print media in his fight to gain freedom of our country from the rule of Spain, who unlike the other option,Andres Bonifacio who lead the uprisings of Kilusang kagalanggalangan Katipunan ng Bayan(KKK). Mr. Renato Constantino wants the Filipinos to analyze why Jose Rizal should be emulated? Was he really a hero at that who wanted the country to gain its own hold in the government but yet still a province of the Spain?The writer also wanted us to understand him as a person not as god. Constantino also would like say that the Filipinos is still in need of heroes. Rizal became a hero because of the circumstances around the time he was alive.It was hard to deduce what Jose Rizal would comment on the present situation that we have because his environment was different for what we have today. Our present was different from his time. It was hard to say how would he react to the situation that we have now. In the first place, during his time, he was not for the freedom of the country. He just want the Philippines to have a representation in the Spanish cortez.

Veneration without Understanding By Renato Constantino

Rizals refusal to align himself with the revolutionary forces and his vehement condemnation of the mass movement and of its leaders, have placed Filipinos in a dilemma. Rizalists, especially, have taken the easy way out, which is to gloss over the matter. They have treated Rizals condemnation of the Katipunan as a skeleton in his closet and have been responsible for the silent treatment on his unequivocal position against the Revolution.

In short, Rizal is not agreeing to the plan of the Katipunan to revolt against the colonizers. But the analysis of some of our historians about the fact why is Rizal did not agree to the revolution is superficial. Meaning they do not tackling too much about the condemnation of Rizal about the revolution planned by the Katipunan. We refuse to analyze and discuss the significance of Rizals repudiation that is why our understanding and his role in our national development remains superficial.

We magnified the role of Rizal to such extent that we have lost our sense of fairness and proportionality in viewing ones role on the development of a nation and relegated to a subordinate position of our great men and heroes and historic events that they took part with.

Rizal, considered as one of the American-sponsored hero because he was been chosen by the American colonial officials and some conservative Filipinos to be a model hero which sponsored and supported by the some ordinance and laws made by the colonial officers here in the Philippines. According to Taft, Rizal is the greatest Filipino, a physician, a novelist and a poet. Also, according to the Americans, Rizal considered as an American sponsored hero because he is a reformist and not a separatist. A proper understanding of our history is very important to us because it will serve as demonstration of how our present has been distorted by a faulty knowledge of our past. By this fact, the weaknesses and errors of Rizal have been subtly underplayed and virtues grossly exaggerated.

With or without these specific individuals, the social relations engendered by Spanish colonialism and the subsequent economic development of the country would produced the nationalist movement. Rizal is a hero, in the sense that he was able to see the problems generated by historical forces discerns the new social needs created by the historical development of new social relationships and take an active part in meeting these needs. The fact is that history is made by men who confront the problems of social progress and try to solve them in accordance with the historic conditions of their epoch.

In short, heroes are the people who can lead the people to solve some social problems, to correspond to the demands and needs of the people for the social relationship between the members of the society. And also, the stronger the relation of an individual to his society the more heroic he is.

Rizal lived in a period of great economic changes. The transformation of the sugar industry due to financing and the introduction of steam powered milling equipment increased sugar production. These economic developments inevitably led to improvement in communications. Material progress set the stage for cultural and social changes, among them the cultivation of cosmopolitan attitudes and heightened opposition to clerical control which lead to liberalism. The mestizo culture that developed became the crude ideological framework of the ferment among the affluent indios and mestizos.

This innovation leads to the different ideas about the social separation and clustered level in the society.

Economic prosperity pawned discontent when the native beneficiaries saw a new world of affluence opening for themselves and their class. Hispanization became the conscious manifestation of economic struggle, of the desire to realize the potentialities offered by the period of expansion and progress. Wherein anti-clericalism became the ideological style of the period. A true historical review

would prove that great men are those who read the times and have deeper understanding of reality. In which Rizal as an illustrado, fulfilled this function in the society on that time. He equated the interest of his class with the peoples welfare. Social contradictions on that time had not ripened sufficiently and revealing that essential disparateness between class and national goals. Where one of the ways Rizal to show it is through his writings was became a wick of the protest which eventually blossomed into revolution, into separatist movement. One of the main goals of Rizal to his writings is that winning of our name as a race, the recognition of our people as one, and the elevation of the Indio into Filipino.

Being a Filipino is one of the victories in the realm of consciousness, a victory in a racial sense. The concept of Filipino nationhood is an important tool of analysis as well as a conceptual weapon of struggle. Why? Because some of the Filipinos do not realize that they are Filipinos only in the old cultural and racial sense. We must also know where the term Filipino came from. It is important to bear in our mind that the term Filipino originally referred to creoles which are the Spaniards born in the Philippines or simply Espaoles Filipinos and the native Filipinos are called the indios. The indios led by Rizal gained acceptability as Filipinos because they proved their equality with the Spaniards in terms of both culture and property. For short, the winning of the term Filipino was anti-colonial victory for it signified the recognition of racial equality between Spaniards and the Filipinos.

Rizals time, this was a signal of victory; it was in truth a limited victory for us, for the users of the term were themselves limited Filipinos based on education and property. Even though Rizal was able to win for his countrymen the name Filipino, it was still as Ilustrado that he conceived of this term. As an ilustrado, he was speaking in behalf of all the indios though he was separated by culture and even by property from the masses. From this fact, we can say that Rizal was an ilustrado hero whose lifes mission corresponded in a general way to the wishes and aspirations of the people. Rizal was acting from patriotic motives when fighting for reform and not for the separation. And also Rizal did equate liberty with independence. He has self realization about liberty and political independence. According to him, liberty was essentially the demand for those rights while political independence is not a prerequisite to freedom. Meaning liberty and independence is different to each other in terms that it liberty is referring to have an equality in terms of the rights they need and independence is referring in having separated with its colonial country.

People learn and educate themselves in the process of struggling for freedom and liberty. They can attain the highest potential only when they are masters of their own destiny. Colonialism is the only agency still trying to sell the idea that freedom is a diploma to be granted by a superior people to an inferior one. In Rizals generation, there is no difference from the generation that was engaged in our independence campaigns. This reflects the bifurcation between the educated and the masses.

The elite had a subconscious disrespect for the ability of the people to articulate their own demands and to move on their own. They felt that education gave them the right to speak for the people. The new ilustrados today are shocked by the rash of rallies and demonstrations. As a matter of fact, the illustrados of the first propaganda movement utilized the same techniques and adopted the same general attitude as the modern day mendicants and pseudo nationalists, so far as the colonizing power was concerned.

As I read this pamphlet, I knew now that the life of Rizal is not easy to understand and to study. There are conflicts that may lead us to confusion. Like that revolutionist of our country used the name of Rizal in order to control some of our countrymen. Also, Rizal is one of the great Filipino that gave us the essence of life, liberty and freedom. Even though that Rizal has also some limitations and weaknesses we cannot hide from our self the admiration to him. Because of his talent, being a genius in order for us to have a peaceful life during the colonization era. We should not also forget that Rizal is one of the Filipino known in different aspect that we can reflect from this that Filipinos are great in doing many things; we can excel in different field and different aspect of life.

Position Paper

Dr. Jose Rizal is sure a great guy, and had a big influence on our history and today, he sure a Philippine hero, but is he worthy for being a Philippine National hero? In my own perspective Dr. Rizal is worthy of being our national hero first of all he had a big part on the revolution not by promoting it, but by provoking the priars and encouraging co-Filipino to stand for our freedom not by sword but by his pen. And looking on his status had a remarkable one but still he sacrifice this for his love on his country and countrymen, and even if he knows going back to Philippines would make him get killed, still he come back for our country, for he know his death could lead his countrymen strive harder for the freedom they received.

On the other side of the tape, Dr. Jose Rizal being a national hero is questioned because he was said to be American sponsored hero, and William Howard Taft was the man behind those line by suggesting to the Philippine commission that they should have a national hero on 1901 and that should be Dr, Jose Rizal. Agreeing to the suggestion because most likely they where Jose Rizals roommate. But even before Americans came Dr. Jose Rizal was already called a hero and almost everyone give sympathy and admiration on his works for his country he even admire by some heroes like Bonifacio and Aguinaldo.

On some point he could be considered an American sponsored hero but like what Ive said Filipino love him long before the Americans came, they even observed for his death. And even he was fighting only by his brain like his works he was the key and the main contributor for stopping three century Spanish regime on the Philippines.

Therefore we can really say that he is definitely worthy for being our national hero not only he had a remarkable academic honor nor for his status or profession but the way he fought for our countrys freedom by pen and paper, and showing his love for our country by being a martyr for it.

Rizal Controversial: Questioning Rizals Heroism Despite his many admirers, Rizals heroism has been continuously questioned on both historically probable and extremely crazy grounds. For instance, some have suggested that Rizal is the biological father of Adolf Hitler, leader of the German People and the architect of the holocaust that killed millions. This is based on the similarity of their emo-hairstyles and moustache, and the fact that Rizal studied in Heidelberg University where he would have met and had a one night stand with Hitlers mother Klara Plzl Hitler, as he was considered a babaero. But truth is, Hitler was born in Austr ia, not Germany, and was probably conceived in June 1888. By that time, Rizal was in London, busy copying with his own hand Morgas Sucesos de las Islas Filipinas for his own annotated version. However, this rebuttal brings up another crazy conspiracy. This time, he is suspected to be the one responsible for the serial murders with the use of medical equipment or better known under the name of Jack The Ripper. True, during the time of the killings, Rizal was indeed in London and was studying to be an ophtha lmic surgeon. Oh and, hold your breath for this, Rizals initials are JRJack the Ripper! Leftist writer Renato Constantino presented strong and valid points on Rizals heroism in his pamphlet Veneration Without Understanding , written during the time of g reat nationalist fervour in the 1950s. He questions the following: Why was Rizal named the National Hero when he was made as such by the initiative of American colonizers, done not in proclamation but with a series of decrees such as naming the province of Morong as Rizal, the erection of monuments in all town plazas and by initiating a contest for the design of the national monument at the Luneta. In fact, the Philippine Commission was said to have chosen him due to his non-radical ways and his giving great importance to education, a significant program for the Americans. Rizals first biographers, a Spanish enemy who turned to be an admirer in his death named Wenceslao Emilio Retana and American professor named Austin Craig, emphasized that Rizals campaign for reforms with the propaganda movement aimed for Hispanization of the Philippines and not for complete separation from Mother Spain. If he was not for the formation of the Philippine nation, then why is he the national hero? Especially since looking at the different national heroes of other countries, one realizes that they were all leaders of the revolution. Rizal, on the other hand, can even be considered as anti-revolution, opposing the clamor of the people for change that would lead for the formation of the first democratic constitutional republic in Asia. In an unpublished manifesto, dated 15 December 1896, to a certain group of Filipinos, he wrote:

Fellow countrymen: Upon my return from Spain, I learned that my name was being used as a rallying cry by some who had taken up arms. Now, rumors reach me that the disturbances have not ceased. It may be that persons continue to use my name in good or in bad faith; if so, wishing to put a stop to this abuse and to undeceive the gullible, I hasten to address these lines to you that the truth may be known. From the very beginning, when I first received information of what was being planned, I opposed it, I fought against it, and I made clear that it was absolutely impossible. I was convinced that the very idea was wholly absurd -- worse than absurd -- it was disastrous. For I was convinced of the evils which that rebellion would bring in its train, and so I considered it a privilege if at whatever sacrifice I could ward off so much useless suffering.... Fellow countrymen: I have given many proofs that I desire as much as the next man liberties for our country; I continue to desire them. But I laid down as a prerequisite the education of the people in order that by means of such instruction, and by hard work, they may acquire a personality of their own and so become worthy of such liberties. In my writings I have recommended study and the civic virtues, without which no redemption is possible. Thoroughly imbued with these ideas, I cannot do less than condemn, as I do condemn, this ridiculous and barbarous uprising, plotted behind my back, which both dishonors us Filipinos and discredits those who might have taken our part. I abominate the crimes for which it is responsible and I will have no part in it. With all my heart I am sorry for those who have rashly allowed themselves to be deceived. Let them, then, return to their homes, and may God pardon those who have acted in bad faith. Then why is he the National Hero? This intially brought me confusion, as with any other Filipino who comes in contact with these facts. Ironically, Constantino does not question his love for country or his contributions. What he brings up is his position as the top hero of our country: Today, we need new heroes who can help us solve our pressing problems. We cannot rely on Rizal alone. We must discard the belief that we are incapable of producing the heroes of our epoch, that heroes are exceptional beings, accidents of history who stand above the masses and apart from them. The true hero is one with the masses: he does not exist above them. In fact, a whole people can be heroes given the proper motivation and articulation of their dreams. My confusion was cleared when I met Dr. Floro Quibuyen, through my teacher, Dr. Jaime B. Veneracion. His book entitled A Nation Aborted: Rizal, American Hegemony, and Philippine Nationalism answered in detail points posed by Constantino and other historians. On his being an American-Sponsored Hero, Quibuyen agrees with other historians who say that Rizal was already a figurehead in his lifetime. His name was used as password and his photo displayed in meetings of the Katipunan. More so, even if the indios were not able to read his novels, for it was originally aimed at a Spanish audience, they talked about his inspiring and brazen acts against the Spaniards. When he eventually returned to the country, after finishing his first novel, the locals stood in awe of him, not only for the already circulating stories but also for his ability to make the blind see. In their consciousness by reading the Pasyon, the only one who was able to do that before him was Jesus Christ. So, the common folk who reverently practiced Catholicism looked up to him as a Messiah. Rizal became the Tagalog Christ, the reincarnation of Jesus, who would save the country from Spanish bondage. Next, on Rizals wanting hispanization, similar to what Father John Schumacher wrote in his opus The The Propaganda Movement, 1880-1895: The Creation of a Filipino Consciousness, The Making of the Revolution, Quibuyen summarized this point in his book:

...in Rizals discourse, assimilation does not mean Hispanization; it simply refers to a non -violent, legal, gradual process that would lead eventually to independence. In short, to be Hispanized is the logical first step so that Spain would eventually peacefully let go of the Philippine nation. In after, upon completion of his first novel, a letter to Ferdinand Blumentritt dated 21 February 1887 says, The Filipinos had long wished for Hispanization and they were wrong in aspiring for it. It is Spain and not the Philippines who ought to wish for the assimilation of the country. Even in his second novel, El Filibusterismo, he expressed the consequences of Hispanization through the character of Simoun: A, kayong mga kabataan! Nanaginip pa rin kayo! Gusto nyong maging mga Kastila din kayo, pero hindi nyo nakikitang ang pinapatay nyo ay ang inyong pagkabansa! Ano ang inyong magiging kinabukasan? Isang bansang walang pagkatao at kalayaan? Lahat sa inyo ay hiniram, pati na ang inyong mga depekto. Mamamatay kayo bago pa man dumating ang inyong kamatayan! Quibuyen pointed out that his ideas of a nation came from Johann Gottfried von Herder who wrote about the nation not based on race but on everyone sharing a national, cultural and moral sentiment. Rizal ideal nation is explicitly written in his aims for La Liga Filipina, established after returning from abroad in July 1892: (1) To unite the whole archipelago into one compact, vigorous, and homogeneous body; (2) Mutual protection in every want and necessity; (3) Defense against all violence and injustice; (4) Encouragement of instruction, agriculture, and commerce; (5) Study and application of reforms, motto: Unus instar mnium (One like all.) This shows that for Rizal, it is necessary that one builds the nation using grassroots movements, particularly in the shared intentions of each individual. This proves that in fact, Rizals La Liga Filipina and Andres Bonifacios revolutionary movement, Kataas-taasang Kagalang-galangang Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan were motivated by the same principle. As one would notice, Bonifacio was present during the first meeting of La Liga. Unfortunately, Rizal got arrested and eventually was thrown in exile in Dapitan three days after. Due to the sudden turn of events, Bonifacio, frustrated about the entire thing, ended up establishing the Katipunan. Many stereotype the Katipunan as an organization of uneducated masses, who without strategy, fought and attacked. Accusations were hurled to its founder for being a man of violence and barbaric means. This was in comparison with Rizal, who was considered a man of sophistication and peace. However, the only real difference is in how Rizal was grounded on Western ideals, while Bonifacio based his views on more indigenous consciousness. As Father Schumacher wrote in our 29 October 2010 correspondence: When one of Rizal's correspondents, Ariston Bautista, was writing to him in early 1892, he spoke of "that katiponan [sic] that you are planning" [not the exact words except for katiponan, but the idea]. He is clearly talking about the Liga, but thinking in Tagalog, he calls it katiponan. You are a better judge than I, but I think that is a good translation of Liga. Hence when Rizal was deported, Bonifacio continues his program of the Liga, but speaking in Tagalog, calls it Katipunan. Thus I don't think Bonifacio founded a new organization on that day but continued with Rizal's program of formation of Filipinos, but gradually introducing revolutionary ideas. In other words, Bonifacio was continuing Rizals project, only with a more radical approach. A closer look at the literature produced by the Katipunan will provide a more rounded view of their concept of a nation: Under the mother country (Inang Bayan), we are all brothers and sisters (kapatiran), bonded by one blood (sandugo: ancient ritual denoting that datus or chieftains constructing the bayan based on brotherhood of all). We are

not just mere citizens. Freedom (kalayaan or katimawaan) means not only political freedom as expressed in the West, but is a prerequisite to well-being (kaginhawaan). A man with civil liberties and can vote but cant eat three times a day is not really free. In Filipino psychology, kaginhawaan can only be attained if you have good intentions (matuwid or malinis na kalooban). With this stance, the Katipunans constitution, written by Emilio Jacinto, talked more on discipline and values, rather than legality. As with Rizal, the Katipunan aimed for social justice and enlightenment through unity among countrymen: Ang kabagayang pinag-uusig ng katipunang ito ay lubos na dakila at mahalaga; papagisahin ang loob at kaisipan ng lahat ng tagalog (*) sa pamagitan ng isang mahigpit na panunumpa, upang sa pagkakaisang ito y magkalakas na iwasak ang masinsing tabing na nakabubulag sa kaisipan at matuklasan ang tunay na landas ng Katuiran at Kaliwanagan. (*)Sa salitang tagalog katuturay ang lahat nang tumubo sa Sangkapuluang ito; samakatuwid, bisay man, iloko man, kapangpangan man, etc., ay tagalog din. Lastly, Rizals attitude towards the Katipunan and the Philippine Revolution of 1896 was more often than not inconsistent and ambivalent. Sometimes, he would side with Hispanization, condemning all types of revolutions. Other times, he would claim to prefer a separation from Mother Spain, even to the point of strategizing taking arms with his friends. To this, some would use Rizals El Filibusterismo as proof of his anti -revolutionary inclination. But Jos Alejandrino, his roommate in Belgium, would claim otherwise. He quotes Rizal upon finishing his second novel: ...I regret having killed Elias instead of Crisostomo Ibarra; but when I wrote the Noli Me Tangere, my health was badly broken and I never thought that I would be able to write its sequel and speak of a revolution. Otherwise, I would have preserved the life of Elias, who was a noble character, patriotic, self-denying and disinterested necessary qualities of a man who leads a revolutionwhereas Crisostomo Ibarra was an egoist who only decided to provoke the rebellion when he was hurt in his interests, his person, his loves and all other things he held sacred. With men like him, success cannot be expected in their undertakings (Alejandrino 1949, 3-4). All things considered, his final statement upon death can easily be surmised as a reflection of his real intentions. Quibuyen recounts that Rizal praised the revolution and the revolutionaries, which included his brothers and sisters, in the second stanza of his farewell poem: In barricades embattled, fighting with delirium, others donate you their lives without doubts, without gloom, The site doesnt matter: cypress, laurel or lily; gibbet or open field, combat or cruel martyrdom, are equal if demanded by country and home. Clearly, we see that Rizal did not want unnecessary bloodshed to attain independence, with unnecessary being the key word. Rizals Death: Conscious Hero The first time I went to the Rizal Shrine at Fort Santiago was in October 1994. I was ten years old. I saw National Artist Carlos Botong Francsicos 1961 wall painting of Rizal being shot at his back. This was of course very intriguing for a ten-year old! At that time, I read books that said that he intended to face the firing squad before the

bullets reached him because he would not allow a traitors death, falling face down. These, with seeing Rizal brass plated final footprints added to the interest that I was slowly having on his venerated person named Jose. It was 6:30AM of December 30, 1896 when Rizal began his final walk from Fort Santiago. Quibuyen, in his talks, always emphasized that Rizal chose to walk rather than be brought to the execution place in a carriage. He wanted his death to dramatic and walking would give it better theatrical momentum. In his 20 June 1892 letter, meant to be opened only after his death, Rizal said I wish to show those who deny us patriotism that we know how to die for our country and convictions. What matters death if one dies for what one loves, for native land and cherished ones. He did not want to die like Father Burgos who was crying before the garrote. To his companions Father Vilaclara and Father March, his former Jesuit teachers at the Ateneo, he would mutter while in exile, What a beautiful morning! On mornings like this, I used to take walks here (the beach) with my sweetheart....Is that the Ateneo? I spent many happy years there. Rizal would continue to try to lighten things up with jokes, but none of them would laugh. An overtly familiar scene to all Filipinos, recounted numerous times by biographers and historians alike, is the walk to his death: Rizal arrives. Many are waiting, as executions were considered a pasttime in the time of the revolution. He asks the captain if he can face the firing squad. The captain declines, saying that this is unacceptable for he was a traitor. Rizal argues that he is neither traitor to his motherland nor Spain, but eventually agrees to be shot at the back as long as his head is spared. Even if it was customary at that time, he refused to be blindfolded or to kneel down. Why should he? He was wearing his Sunday best, complete with coat, tie and hat. A curious medical doctor took his pulse for posterity. It was normal. He was not afraid to die. This is it. This is the moment he has been waiting for. He was being brave for all Filipinos, so as to prove Spain wrong about his countrymen being cowards. And the captain raised his sword and shouted Preparen! Eight indio soldiers loaded their guns ready to shoot their kababayan. At their backs, eight Spanish soldiers ready to shoot the indio soldiers if they hesitate to shoot the traitor. The captain shouted Apunten! Soldiers take their aim. The crowd holds their breath. Rizal shouts Consummatum est! His mission is done. The torched had been passed. With a drop of the sword, the captain shouted Fuego! Shots are fired. At the last moment, he resists and turns himself to face his executors. He falls down, and dies facing the sky... It was 7:03 AM. Towards A Rizal We Can Emulate A well-meaning Ambeth Ocampo once wrote that Rizal was a conscious hero. He planned everything, even his death. This apparently offended some in the Rizal family because nagpakabayani has negative connotations, as it presents a guy who does heroic acts or who offers his life for an unworthy cause. To this, I respectfully disagree. Being a conscious hero is not a bad thing. Rizal consciously and sincerely chose to offer his energies for his countrymen. Yes, he did not see the fruits of his efforts, but the nationalistic spirit and the revolution that he ignited is priceless. Rizal was a man full of love who harnessed all this passions and emotions into

actions. Although always branded as an elitist hero, one can never deny that love transcends class. Nationalism is not a monopoly of the poor. Even if he was not a member of the working class, one cannot deny his love for the country, to the point of offering his life for it. A lot of other people in his time were more brilliant than him, but they were all forgotten. It is not in the number of languages that he can speak, his accomplishments, or the talents that he had. He was a hero because he gave it all for the bayan. Andres Bonifacio, the father of the Filipino Sambayanan, saw that our greatest resource is love. In Jacintos Kartilya, they envisioned a country where the first priority is ang tunay na pag -ibig sa bayang tinubuan at lubos na pagdadamayan ng isat isa. Bonifacio, Rizal, and countless other Filipinos have proven this to be true. This country may not be wealthy with material things, but we are overflowing with pag-ibig, especially when it comes to people loving and caring about each other. How do we prove it? The next time you see your mom, dad, a sibling or a loved one, give them a hug. Youll see that no family or people have the greatest capacity to love but the Filipino. Bottomline, Rizal exemplified this great emotion of love and this is something each one of us can emulate. If every Filipino did the same, a better future would be more concrete. To harness this resource for the development of our nation, by loving our work and dedicating every action to the service of others, will be our greatest sesquicentennial birthday gift to Jose Rizal, Indio Bravo, Hero Nacional, The First Emo.

Jose Rizal a name not so uncommon to many Filipinos. Perhaps because of him being the National Hero or because of his great and famous teachings taught to each and every Filipino child. Since the imposition of the compulsory Rizal courses, Rizal has been a part of every Filipino students learning journey inspiring lives, guiding people. However, despite these remarkable works and valiant acts he had demonstrated as well as those teachings he had left for us to ponder upon, there are still some who seem unhappy and discontented with what Rizal had done. According to them, Rizals being a hero should be reconsidered since he became a hero only because the Americans sponsored him as such. The article, Was Jose Rizal an American Sponsored Hero? discussed some facts which proves that Rizal truly deserves what and where he is today the National Hero of the Philippines. Having read the essay, I noticed that the author had laid several facts to back his points up. His discussions were articulate and were convincing and due to this, I would have to concur to what the author has been emphasizing throughout the whole essay that Rizal is not an American sponsored hero. Rizal, as the author explained, was already seen as a hero even before his execution. And he has provided evidences to vouch this claim. And as for the idea that Rizal never had a direct participation in the revolution, yes, that I believe is true. As a matter of fact, Rizal was against it. But this, I think, is relatively insignificant compared to what Rizal had truly done. Yes, Rizal may not have been a part of the revolution, he may not be one of those Filipinos who raised their bolos to fight for our freedom - but Rizal, he was the one behind those raging emotions of our fighting forefathers. He was the soul of the Revolution, and this alone already puts him as the most qualified person to ever earn the title as the National Hero of the Philippines.