Marcos to Filipinos: Emulate Rizal's life, genuine love for country

James Relativo - Philstar.com
Marcos to Filipinos: Emulate Rizal's life, genuine love for country
President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. led on Dec. 30, 2023 the wreath-laying at the monument of our national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal in Manila as the country remembers the 127th anniversary of his martyrdom with the theme “Rizal: Pundasyon ng Kahapon, Isinasabuhay Ngayon.”
Released / Presidential Communications Office

MANILA, Philippines — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. called on fellow Filipinos to emulate Dr. Jose Rizal's genuine love for the Filipino people as he urged everyone to have a deep sense of ownership for the country and its future.

He made the statement on the 127th anniversary of the national hero's martyrdom while laying a wreath at Rizal's monument, accompanied by family members including First Lady Marie Louise Araneta-Marcos and Ilocos Norte Rep. Ferdinand Alexander Araneta Marcos.

"I enjoin all of you to keep emulating the timeless values we can learn from his life and works," he said on Saturday.

"I also call on everyone to let the genuine love for the country that he lived out and later died for propel us to have a deep and personal sense of ownership for our land and our future."

The Armed Forces of the Philippines rendered him arrival honors followed by the ceremonial raising of the Philippine flag shortly after arriving at the Rizal National Monument before 7 a.m.

Marcos was also joined by Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin, Manila Mayor Maria Shiela Honey Lacuna, National Historical Commission of the Philippines Chairman Emmanuel Franco Cairo and AFP chief Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr.

"With our meaningful commemoration, may the ideals and spirit of Dr. Jose Rizal live on as we fully realize the Philippines that he and his contemporaries fought hard for," Marcos said.

'Strive to follow his footsteps'

Marcos likewise reminded Filipinos to continue striving to follow Rizal's footsteps with the same purpose of passion and nationalism.

Rizal, through his literary works "Noli Me Tangere," "El Filibusterismo" and his idea of Filipino nationhood, inspired Filipino revolutionaries of the Katipunan like Andres Bonifacio to fight for national sovereignty against colonialism through armed struggle.

It could be remembered that the Philippine Revolutionary Government, led by Emilio Aguinaldo, decreed on Dec. 21, 1898 that the 30th of December be celebrated every year as a national day of mourning in honor of Rizal and other casualties of the Philippine revolution.

Rizal's first monument was erected and unveiled on Dec. 30, 1898 in Daet, Camarines Norte. After which, Act 243 (s. 1901) granted the right to use the public land at Luneta in Manila to erect a statue of "Pepe."

A committee was then created to take charge of the proper celebration of Rizal Day in every municipality and chartered city under Republic Act 229.

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