Friday, June 17, 2011

An Honor to Rizal's contribution to development.

Lucky was I to have been invited to a forum earlier celebrating our national hero, Gat Jose P. Rizal's contribution to the environment and social development. Under the heat of the sun, feeling as though I was being smelted into the pavement of Ortigas, I walked to Development Academy of the Philippines. I was slowly losing my drive to even go as I felt it evaporating with every second that passed.

I arrived a bit late fortunately the talk started late and I just arrived in time to hear part of Professor Lapuz', Grand Knight of Rizal, talk on Rizal's role in Human Security Professional Development. He mainly focused on Dapitan, citing it as a prime example of Rizal's boundless contribution to the city's growth. Despite his exile seemingly destitute of any hope, he found the city, according to Prof. Lapuz, and I quote, an "Ideal place for biological study". True to this, a handful of the animals found there, had 'Rizali' in its scientific name.

Second to talk was Dr. Maria Serena Diokno, Chairperson of the National Historical Commission of the Philippines. I was deeply moved by her intelligent choice of quotes, all of which circumpassing time and be as meaningful as it was during the 19th century. She shared her thoughts on Rizal's efforts on Development Management despite the nonexistence of that term during his time. Praises to him were raised in between her speech, all highlighted through his cited words that reflected the unwanted "Juan Tamad" culture of the Filipinos which he deemed was a result of the occupation and years of societal rape of the Spaniards. She quoted him with "Laziness is the effect of the backwardness of 19th century Philippines," with certainty. According to her, Rizal saw laziness, a negative trait, as a micro-weapon used by the natives against colonialism, and she quoted the thought of Rizal on this "Why be rich, says the native? So that the Government has a lynx eye upon you?". Filipinos, she said, were much less lazy when the word 'miracle' was introduced, and I agree.

She closed he talk with a question for the developers of the new age, will they be strong enough to take upon Rizal's work and help the country?

Before snacks were served, the forum ended with the Philippine Institute of Environmental Planners awarding Rizal, accepted by his descendants, with a conferment of Special Posthumous Citation as Bayaning (Hero) Environmental Planner. This honor was accepted gracefully by the family.

What I took from this was from the talk of Dr. Diokno, she made a very strong point about how a person's initiative should be in relation to his faith. She said that even Rizal had spoke of it back then, and it could be seen now, that blind devotion is as much a sin as those priests who sin by imposing ignorance to his congregation. A very strong argument that could be applied today.

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