Letter to Jose Rizal

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Letter To Jose Rizal is a letter addressed to the national hero of the Philippines on the occasion of his birth anniversary.

To Dr. Jose Rizal,

I’d often wonder if you ever regretted dying for the Philippines and the Filipinos that fateful day of December 30, 1896. I wonder again today, because today is your birth anniversary. Given another chance to be born one more time in this day and age, would you live and give your life the same way you did, all over again?

Having had studied your life in school, I learned that you were a novelist, poet, ophthalmologist, and journalist. You displayed your precocious intellect from a very early age that your being a top student did not come as a surprise. You were a polymath and a polygloth, displaying extraordinary skills in science and the arts as well as the ability to converse in at least twenty-two languages. Thanks to your prolific writings, the Filipinos of today also know of your other skills as a sculptor, farmer, and educator. My goodness, you even dabbled in architecture, fencing, pistol shooting, and dramatics. You had everything going for you but you chose to speak up and write against the oppressors of your time and died for it.

I would like to think that your decision to fight for the freedom of our country represents that small spark of nationalism that inherently resides in every Filipino’s heart, regardless of economic status. The thin line that separates heroes from the rest is the decision to take action for whatever societal ills confront us. The main enemy is the sense of apathy and indifference that is slowly engulfing the nation after hopelessness has fully set in.

Who wouldn’t feel hopeless, tired, and betrayed after witnessing our long respected institutions get subjected to ridicule and shame because of the actions of the very people expected to guard them? The stories of today would probably compel you to write another novel in the tradition of Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo. I would have to warn you though that the pillage being done to our country today is much more painful because they are being perpetrated not by foreigners but Filipinos like us. Worse of all, the country’s attention is being sought to be deviated by entertainment and misdirected by mudslinging.

I realize that it takes more than one hero to save a nation. I know you knew that before you were executed but that didn’t stop you from doing what you thought was right. Wherever you are, wish on us the courage needed to overcome this new oppression that burdens us. Inspire us to tap into our inner hero by being the best that we can be as we rise above natural and man-made devastation and work to restore decency to our institutions. I hope we need not die doing this like heroes of your time for the very essence of working for positive change is to enjoy life to the fullest, not a day short of our destiny.

Yours in writing,

Letter Writer

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Teresa Martinez

A freelance researcher-writer who has continuously been in such field for more than 10 years. Previous to that, her work experiences are in the banking, advertising, and cooperative industries. More of her work in Google+

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