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The life of Dr. Jose P.

Rizal, the Philippine National Hero from his early childhood, his education
and the struggle for freedom through his writings and through his life, is the fundamentals of
the Philippine history.

The biographical film, Jose Rizal (1998) directed by Marilou Diaz-Abaya and starring Cesar
Montano as José Rizal, recounts the life and works of our National Hero during the colonization
of the Spaniards in the Philippines. By and large, Jose Rizal (1998) is a commendable film with
great actors and good transition of events. It clearly depicted the pitiful and despicable
situation of the Filipinos in the hands of the Spaniards, which stirred the mind and heart of Rizal
to face the reality and that he did so through education and writing.

When I finished watching the film, there are two important things worthy of note that is being
highlighted throughout the film – the importance of education and the ‘pen being mightier than
the sword’.

Education is the key to success, as to what the old and enduring maxim states. Rizal, at a very
young age, gives great magnitude to education even until the end and even when his life is in
jeopardy. The youth deemed to be the hope of the society as Rizal viewed it, should give more
importance to their education. Although he failed to save his life and still died a martyr, his
works being studied throughout the ages in the Philippine curriculum is the living proof of what
education has taught him. Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo is his magnum opus that aims
to bring to light the spiteful deeds of the Spaniards and stir up the minds and heart of every
Filipino to reality.

The pen is mightier than the sword as another maxim states is clearly apt in Rizal’s life. All
attempts to oust the Spaniards from the Philippine archipelago through mutiny, rebellion, and
revolution, are completely futile. Dr. Jose Rizal, on the other hand, preferred the civilized
manner of revolt by using his pen and is the first to succeed. It was through his works that we
are able to gain our freedom after 333 years of being slaves, that is, however, in the expense of
his life. It was his pen instead of the guns and weapons that succeeded in conquering the
Spaniards.
If I would define what noble is, I’d say Dr. Jose P. Rizal. He is a man of his words, and his love for
his country is beyond compare. He is just like any of us bearing the features of a Filipino. We are
all Filipino and out of millions of people in the Philippines, it was only him who made a great
difference. He was this powerful with a pen in his hand and love for the country in his heart
that he was able to change the Philippine history. His love for education is worthy of note as
well.

Dr. Jose Rizal’s life taught us not just history but of various values as well. The most important
thing is education. We should give more importance to our education. Without it, we’d be naive
and fragile. It was our greatest weapon to success. Another thing is patriotism. It wasn’t about
risking your life for your countrymen but to love our own country and patronize our own. The
best thing to show patriotism is to use our own language. As a matter of fact, Rizal wrote a
poem for the youth entitled Sa Aking Kabata, which emphasizes the use of our own language.
We should love our own because if we don’t, we’re just like an alien to our own country.

The death of Dr. Jose P. Rizal is the birth of our independence. He died for his country, for our
freedom. His life and works are an eye-opener. Let us not put his death into zilch. Let us not be
alien to our own country. Let us not forget how he fought hard along with other Filipino heroes
to regain our freedom and take back our own country. We should love our own first and not
put foreign countries over our own.

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