As the country commemorated the 125th anniversary of the martyrdom of Dr. Jose P. Rizal on Thursday, Ilonggos are urged to emulate the national hero and be reminded not to give up hope.
The city’s celebration of the theme “Rizal para sa Agham, Katotohanan at Buhay (Rizal for Science, Truth and Life)” was highlighted by the wreath-laying and flag-raising rites before the monument of Rizal at the Plaza Libertad in City Proper district.
Iloilo City Schools Division Superintendent Ma. Luz De Los Reyes, in her message during the short ceremony, said the national hero has plenty of values worthy to be emulated.
“There are so many inherent values that we can learn from the life of our great hero the reason why he is exemplary, example of nationalism and patriotism. Our hero encouraged us to work together within and outside our sphere to achieve a more common goal, a more united Ilonggos, a coherent nation,” she said.
She said that Rizal was recognized and highly appreciated for his scientific works, and treated patients mostly coming from poor families.
“At the height of the pandemic we are in the challenging times, how inspiring it is to see Ilonggos helping one another even with our health is threatened by this deadly virus that is spreading around the world,” Delos Reyes said.
Also, Filipinos exhibited the Bayanihan spirit during the recent devastation in Visayas and Mindanao due to Typhoon Odette.
De Los Reyes also emphasized the desire of Rizal for youth to become a catalyst for change and his devotion to truth.
She said that cultivating truth among young people amid the current digital world besieged with information overload, fake news, and misinformation, can be done through education.
“Through education we can nurture a nation that upholds the truth and honesty. This education is not only the learning that is provided by school but it includes teaching nurtured at home,” she added.
De Los Reyes urged Ilonggos to be like Rizal and should not stop dreaming and working for a better world.
During the ceremony, the city government led by Mayor Jerry P. Treñas recognized Altair Mizar Emboltura, Maulyn Murielle Dominguez, and Rikka Grace Sombiro, all from the Philippine Science High School Western Visayas campus who were conferred with the 2021 Mga Bagong Rizal Award.
The national award by the Philippine Center for Gifted Education, Inc (PCGE) aims to identify, recognize and help further develop potentially gifted Filipino youth in the areas of cognition, the arts, creativity and leadership, and other multiple intelligences and foster them the mindset of commitment towards nation-building.