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RIZAL 150: RE-DISCOVERING THE REVOLUTIONARY RIZAL

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JOSE RIZAL : RE-DISCOVERING THE REVOLUTIONARY FILIPINO HERO IN THE AGE OF TERRORISM

BY E. SAN JUAN, Jr.
Fellow, WEB Du Bois Institute, Harvard University


Yo la tengo, y yo espero que ha de brillar un dia
en que venza la Idea a la fuerza brutal,
que despues de la lucha y la lenta agonia,
otra vzx mas sonora, mas feliz que la mi
sabra cantar entonces el cantico triunfal.

[I have the hope that the day will dawn/when the Idea will conquer brutal force; that after the struggle and the lingering travail,/another voice, more sonorous, happier than mine shall know then how to sing the triumphant hymn.]

-- Jose Rizal, “Mi Retiro” (22 October 1895)


On June 19, 2011, we are celebrating 150 years of Rizal’s achievement and its enduring significance in this new millennium. It seems fortuitous that Rizal’s date of birth would fall just six days after the celebration of Philippine Independence Day - the proclamation of independence from Spanish rule by General Emilio Aguinaldo in Kawit, Cavite, in 18…