June 19, 2011, marks the 150th Birth Anniversary of Philippine national hero, Dr. José Protacio Rizal.
A man way ahead of his time, Rizal--or as his friends would fondly call him, Pepe--was gifted with talent for art and literature. But apart from merely creating literary works that other writers of his generation did, he used his talent to promote an idea, that of nationalism, of love for one's own country. He chose to use his gift not for personal gain, but for the good of his fellow men. It was very easy for him to merely choose himself over his countrymen; he was born of a wealthy family and he was educated, having graduated from some of the finest schools in the country. He could have used his talents for international recognition, but wherever he went, he longed for the sake of the country.
I admire him for who he is. And that is why José Rizal is my hero.