Rizal: Is He a True Hero?


image source: criticafterdark.blogspot.com

The film directed by Mike de Leon features an investigatory style of uncovering the true Jose Rizal. Jose Rizal is known for us to be our national hero. This idea is taught to us since we started our formal education. It is also implicitly stated by the film thru using the pages of the common book of “abakada”. This came into my mind when I first saw the pictures of banahaw, Rizal, etc… with three lines under each pictures which show the elementary way of teaching little kids how to write.

Who is Rizal? Who is our national hero? These two questions may look similar questions, but with deeper comprehension, they meant two different problems.  Rizal as an individual is different from Rizal as the symbol of liberalism in the Philippines. There was an instance where Rizal said that he didn’t desire to be a national hero. Moreover, whether he is an American imposed hero to us or not, we, as common Filipinos look up to him as a person who fought for general awareness through compiling a whole system of Spaniards colonization into words – a narrative to be exact. This narrative tells a story which cannot only touch the minds of the intellectual elites but also of the proletariat minds. For me, it means that a fight can start not from a revolution but from an idea that is uniting all of the people’s minds with one goal for our nation. Revolution comes next, but before it can happen, one must have a symbol. This symbol is the sign that the people will hold as their booster in continuing every fight.  Rizal was not only a hero for us, but also for Bonifacio, Aguinaldo, and other Indio because they used him as their symbolism to attain unity and freedom.


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