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On Rizal Day, Duterte, Robredo urge to live out the true spirit of being Filipino

By Hannah Mallorca Published Dec 30, 2021 11:31 am

As the country honored Dr. Jose Rizal’s life on Dec. 30, President Rodrigo and Vice President Leni Robredo called on Filipinos to hold on to hope on their Rizal Day messages. 

In a statement, Duterte urged Filipinos to honor Rizal by “exemplifying patriotism and idealism in all our endeavors.” He also called on his fellow countrymen to practice a “greater sense of nationalism,” emphasizing the youth.

The President also acknowledged the efforts of frontliners who are leading the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“As we celebrate the life and works of Dr. Jose Rizal, let us also honor our modern-day heroes who are at the frontlines. Let us emulate his wisdom and courage in our own simple ways as we pursue a better and brighter future for all,” he added.

Meanwhile, Robredo appealed to live out the true meaning of being Filipino as shown on the writings of Rizal. “Tinatawag tayo ngayong isabuhay ang diwa ng pagka-Pilipinong hinaraya at inakda ni Rizal: Pilipinong nagkakaisa, nakikipagkapwa, at laging nakahuhugot ng lakas mula sa isa’t isa; Pilipinong laging may pag-asa, dahil tumutugon at nagmamalasakit sa kapwa.”

Citing Noli Me Tangere, the presidential aspirant also reminded Filipinos to welcome the dawn without forgetting those who suffered. 

“Nawa’y mapaalalahanan tayo ng huling mga salita ni Elias sa Noli Me Tangere, at salubungin ang bukang-liwayway nang hindi nakalilimot sa mga nalugmok sa dilim ng gabi,” Robredo said.

Noli Me Tangere is an 1887 novel by Rizal that talks about the perceived mistreatment of the Spanish Catholic friars and the ruling government towards Filipinos.