In commemoration of our national hero's martyrdom on December 30, 1896, let's reflect upon a few words of wisdom he left behind. They are very relevant today as they were over a hundred years ago.
"My countrymen, I have given proofs that I am one most anxious for liberties for our country, and I am still desirous of them. But I place as a prior condition the education of the people, that by means of instruction and industry our country may have an individuality of its own and make itself worthy of these liberties."
What Rizal stood for:
"I do not write for this generation. I am writing for other ages. If this could read me, they would burn my books, the work of my whole life. On the other hand, the generation which interprets these writings will be an educated generation; they will understand me and say: 'Not all were asleep in the night time of our grandparents.'"
Dr. Rizal's Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo have been required reading for high school students since the 1950s and the essence of these novels is still very pertinent in our present day society. But why have we allowed the oppressors to develop from within?