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MANILA, Philippines – As the Philippines commemorated Rizal Day on Thursday, December 30, Vice President Leni Robredo called on Filipinos to live out the “true meaning of being a Filipino” as shown in the works of hero Dr. Jose Rizal.
“We are called today to live out the true meaning of being a Filipino, as heralded and written by Rizal: Filipinos who are united, who share in communal responsibility, and who always draw strength from one another; Filipinos who always hold on to hope, because they respond with compassion to the needs of their countrymen,” said Robredo, who cited Rizal’s writings.
“May we all be reminded of Elias’s final words in Noli Me Tangere, to always welcome the dawn without ever forgetting those who suffered in the dark of night,” the presidential aspirant added.
Robredo, the nation’s de-facto opposition leader, spent the holiday season working on relief operations for millions of Filipinos affected by Typhoon Odette. Beginning its landfalls on December 16, the typhoon ravaged at least 38 provinces mostly in the Visayas and Mindanao, leaving more than 300 dead.
Noli Me Tangere is one of Rizal’s best known revolutionary novels written during the Spanish colonization. It is a story Filipinos know all too well – as the book criticized the Spanish political governance and clergy, and explored the actions that lead to revolution.
Rizal was executed by firing squad in Bagumbayan (now known as Luneta Park) by the Spanish colonial government for rebellion on December 30, 1896.