Hero. Hero. Hero. He wrote.
I remember one day during Fil 40 (yes, I know my other blog post mentioned this class too) a strange man entered our room and he started making a speech. it was one of the weirdest speeches I’ve every encountered because he was just there trying to discredit Jose Rizal as the National hero of the Philippines. His point were reasonable, but for some reason I couldn’t remember them. For some reason they just slipped my mind because i don’t know, i just found it absurd to even question the fact that Jose Rizal is our National hero.
He had his flaws. He had a lot of flaws, and his biggest one was not spending enough time in the Philippines, but so what? Didn’t his novels matter more? Didn’t the fact that he kept his country in mind, that he kept the sake of his fellow citizens in mind negate the fact that he didn’t spend enough time here? I know my argument isn’t as technical as debaters who argue about Rizal’s heroism, but I would believe it to be quite valid. Rizal sparked a revolution. In his novel, El Filibusterismo, he made a lamp. He made a lamp to be lit up by future generations. Sure, there are modern day heroes but I think that Rizal’s heroism would live on forever. I think he’s someone we look up to, not because of his heroism, but because of his ingenuity and his ability to see past the revolution. He saw something in the Filipinos. He saw past the Spaniards and knew almost instantaneously that the next generation would do something great.
Before Elias passed away he said “Mamatay man akong hindi nasisilayan ang maliwanag na pagbubukang liwayway sa aking Inang Bayan, kayong makakakita, batiin ninyo siya at huwag niyong kalimutan ang mga taong nalugmok sa dilim ng gabi.” In that line alone he inspired millions. He inspired people to keep fighting after the revolution. He wrote a novel that’s immortalize in the minds of Filipinos. He wrote a novel that would forever serve as twigs that ignite the flames in the Filipino soul. He wrote a novel that’s undying, and that’s why his heroism is undying as well.