Today marks the 158th birth anniversary of Philippine national hero Jose Rizal. More than a hundred years after he was executed for influencing a revolution against the Spaniards, he’s still being celebrated by many Filipinos — and in very modern ways at that.
Trending on Philippine Twitter as of this article’s posting are at least six search terms about him. This includes “Dr. Jose Rizal,” “Maligayaang Kaarawan (Happy Birthday),” “Gat Jose Rizal,” “Happy Birthday Pepe,” “Happy 158th,” and “National Hero.”
“June 19, 1861. A star was born. Happy 158th Birthday Gat. Jose Rizal,” @alora___ wrote.
“Happy 158th birthday paps Jose Rizal! Your legacy lives on,” said @demdemidemii.
@Day6onlyDay6 shared an appreciation for having studied Rizal’s works in school. He even called Rizal by his nickname Pepe.
“To Pepe who made my college years very interesting with his works, happy 158th birthday! My bestfriend in college and I never thought that taking up PI 100 can be as interesting as it could ever be not until we read your ‘retraction papers.’ Thank you Jose Rizal!”
To Pepe who made my college years very interesting with his works, happy 158th birthday! My bestfriend in college and I never thought that taking up PI 100 can be as interesting as it could ever be not until we read your "retraction papers". 😊 Thank you Jose Rizal! pic.twitter.com/DgHzazgqvZ
— aira 🍃 (@Day6onlyDay6) June 19, 2019
@jpmondejar518 quoted one of the lines from Rizal’s celebrated novel El Filibusterismo (The Reign of Greed).
“The glory of saving a country cannot be given to one who has contributed to its ruin.”
Two schools Rizal attended also celebrated the hero with tweets today.
“Today, we celebrate the birth anniversary of our national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal, who took a total of 21 subjects in UST from the period of 1877-1882, among them the preparatory courses for Theology, Law, and Medicine, as well as the first four years of Medicine,” the University of Santo Tomas (UST) posted on its Twitter.
Today, we celebrate the birth anniversary of our national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal, who took a total of 21 subjects in UST from the period of 1877-1882, among them the preparatory courses for Theology, Law, and Medicine, as well as the first four years of Medicine. pic.twitter.com/zHst4nla3M
— University of Santo Tomas (@UST1611official) June 19, 2019
Ateneo de Manila, where Rizal studied when he was younger, shared a video of Rizal memorabilia found inside the university’s Rizal Library.
There is no better way to celebrate the 158th birth anniversary of our national artist and alumnus Dr. Jose Rizal than to drop by the Old Rizal Library Special Collections Building and see the collection of Rizal memorabilia. https://t.co/HIeiJVhN8k
— Ateneo de Manila University (@ateneodemanilau) June 19, 2019
Rizal is remembered as a renaissance man. Born in Calamba, Laguna on June 19, 1861, he was an ophthalmologist, journalist, poet, playwright, sculptor, and painter. He also took up architecture, cartography, economics, ethnology, anthropology, sociology, dramatics, martial arts, and fencing.
However, he is most known for his novels Noli Me Tangere (Touch Me Not) and El Filibusterismo (The Reign of Greed) which comment on the social injustices of his time.
Rizal’s life and works are also being honored on Google with a special Google Doodle for today. Users in the Philippines who visit the search engine are greeted with an illustration of the hero with a quill pen to his left and a magnifying glass to his right. Behind him are his words that inspired the Philippine national movement.
Starting today, the Film Development Council of the Philippines will screen the 1998 film Jose Rizal as part of their National Heroes Retrospective Film Festival at the Shangri-La Plaza mall in Mandaluyong City. It will be shown on:
June 19, Wednesday – 1:30pm
June 20, Thursday – 9pm
June 21, Friday – 6pm
June 22, Saturday – 1:20pm
Admission is free.
For more information, visit the Film Development Council of the Philippines Facebook page.
How are you commemorating Rizal’s birthday? Let us know in the comments below or tweet us @CoconutsManila.