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Commemoration of Rizal’s life, works mark Filipinos’ hope for the future

ILOILO CITY (PIA) -- Remembering the 126th death anniversary of the national hero of the Philippines, Dr. Jose P. Rizal, a tribute ceremony underscoring the project of nationhood he has founded among the Filipinos, was held here today, Dec. 30, through the lead of the Iloilo City government.

Serving as the keynote speaker of the activity, University of the Philippines Visayas (UPV) Chancellor Clement C. Camposano emphasized that studying the past and making it accessible as coherent and common memory was a political necessity for Rizal, as it is, indeed.

University of the Philippines Visayas  Chancellor Clement C. Camposano delivers his keynote message during the 126th Rizal Day celebration held in Iloilo City on Dec. 30.

Hence, he said there is truly an urgent need for a historical narrative that would allow the Filipino nation to emerge from the distant.

“Only this rootedness in the pre-colonial past would give Filipinos confidence about who and what they were. Only this sense of common origin would allow people speaking in multiplicity of languages forcibly brought together by colonization to look beyond what separates them,” Camposano cited.

It could be noted that Rizal has attempted in 1889 to write and publish the very first history of the Filipinos as a nation through his famous novels.

According to him, such grand undertaking resulted to the now famous Rizal’s annotated edition of work where he attempted to “single-handedly write the nation into existence.”

Further, he tackled the significance of the archeological discoveries of the last three decades which have given the Filipinos a much clearer picture of what was in these islands in the country before the Spanish colonization and evangelization. 

“As we continue to evolve in the present, as we struggle to reimagine the nation in light of contemporary imperatives, so must we revisit the story of how we came to be as a nation. We need to share in Rizal’s intellectual audacity and dare to mobilize the knowledge of the past for present purposes and to do so, forcefully,” added Camposano.

Learning from Rizal that the identity is “the story about ourselves,” he encouraged everyone to continue writing as it is only this way can the memory in the past serve not as a guide but as a firm foundation upon which the edifice of the future of the country will be built. (JBG/AGP/PIA 6)

Iloilo City government officials lead the local commemoration of the 126th death anniversary of the national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal on Dec. 30.

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April Grace Padilla

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