Celebrating Rizal Day: Remembering the Humanist Hero
By Ma. Almaver Victoria “Vic” M. Suarez
Why is Jose Rizal considered an inspiration to humanists around the world? What are the values and beliefs that he stood for, and how did he use them to make a positive impact on society? How can we learn from his example today, and how can we honor his legacy as we work towards a more compassionate and just world?
Jose Rizal is the national hero of the Philippines and a global inspiration to humanists all over the world. Born on June 19, 1861, Rizal was a writer, artist, and activist who fought for the rights and freedoms of the Filipino people. Through his writing, he exposed the injustices and corruption of the Spanish colonial government and inspired a generation of Filipinos to stand up for their rights and demand change.
But Rizal’s influence extends far beyond the Philippines. His ideas and values are rooted in humanism, a philosophy that emphasizes the inherent worth and dignity of every individual. Rizal believed that all people deserve to be treated with respect and fairness, regardless of their race, religion, or background. He fought for the rights of the poor and marginalized, and advocated for social justice and equality.
As Rizal’s ideas and actions were grounded in humanist values, he is remarkable. He believed in the inherent worth and dignity of every individual, practically a heroic quality in that period of Filipino history. He also believed in the power of education and knowledge and promoted critical thinking and personal growth. Rizal’s humanist ideals are embodied in his famous quote,
“Ang hindi marunong lumingon sa pinanggalingan ay hindi makakarating sa paroroonan.”
(He who does not know how to look back at where he came from will never get to his destination.)
This quote emphasizes the importance of learning from the past and using that knowledge to shape the future.
Rizal’s life and work serve as a powerful reminder of the importance of standing up for what is right, even in the face of adversity. He risked his own safety and freedom to speak out against injustice, and his courage and conviction inspired others to do the same. Today, his legacy lives on as a symbol of hope and inspiration for humanists around the world.
But Rizal’s legacy is not just a thing of the past. His ideas and values are just as relevant and important today as they were over a century ago. As humanists, we can learn from his example and strive to embody his ideals in our own lives. We can work towards creating a more compassionate and just world, where every person is treated with respect and dignity.
There are many ways we can honor Rizal’s legacy today. We can educate ourselves about his life and work, and share his ideas with others. We can advocate for social justice and equality, and stand up for the rights of the marginalized and disadvantaged. We can also be more mindful of the way we treat others, and strive to embody the values of empathy, compassion, and understanding that Rizal held dear.
On this Rizal Day, let us remember the legacy of Jose Rizal, and the values and beliefs that he stood for. Let us be inspired by his example, and work towards creating a more compassionate and just world for all.