MANILA, Philippines – A week after Independence Day, the Philippines celebrates another important day: national hero Jose Rizal's birthday.
The Filipino author and physician celebrates his 158th birth anniversary this year, and Google is marking the occasion with a Doodle for the first time.
In the Doodle, a quill is shown on the left side, "a powerful tool that Rizal used in his works and writings as he fought for the freedom of the Filipinos," said Google. On the right: a magnifting glass, said to represent his time as a practicing ophthalmologist. On the bottom, one can also see two books, likely representing the hero's two novels, Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo.
Google, in its press statement, also includes a summary of Rizal's life and achievements:
"Born in Calamba, Laguna on this day in 1861, Jose Rizal learned to read and write by age five. He received his secondary education in the city of Manila, and then traveled overseas to study philosophy and medicine at the University of Madrid, the University of Paris, and the University of Heidelberg.
While he was living in Europe, Rizal began publishing a series of works including Noli Me Tangere (Touch Me Not) and El Filibusterismo (The Reign of Greed) which established him as a leading voice for reform in his homeland. His translation of Antonio De Morga’s 1609 Sucesos de las Islas Filipinas highlighted the achievements of Filipino society prior to Spanish colonization. He was also a frequent contributor to La Solidaridad, a newspaper published in Barcelona, where he advocated for the Philippines to be integrated as a province of Spain with all the basic rights and representation given to the Filipino citizens.
Today, Rizal is remembered as a Filipino national hero whose expression of love and devotion for his nation in his novels, essays, and articles inspired a revolution. A monument in Rizal’s honor stands in Rizal Park located in Roxas Boulevard, Manila."