I was thinking about Dr Jose Rizal’s 150th birth anniversary this coming June 19, 2011 and was exploring topics in my mind on what I can write to commemorate this event. Then I remembered I have a stamp collection which I haven’t check for years now which I am pretty sure contains some stamps of the Philippine National Hero Dr Jose Rizal, so well I checked my collection, which originally belongs to my mom by the way and mine by default as I am the eldest lol and viola! I got Jose Rizal stamps, yessss!
Pepe is not my favorite national hero, this preference stemmed from my elementary years with me all geeky and highly impressionable and so I was more drawn on heroes on a horse like Gorio (it does not hurt that he is young and good-looking haha) and it stuck even though later on in college I read a book by Nick Joaquin entitled “Unthologies of Heroes” (I am not sure that is the exact title that was eons ago heh ) and the picture on my mind of some of our country’s heroes was forever altered as I learned of their ‘flaws’, but the good thing about reading that book and other Filipiniana books of the genre was that I realize heroes are not perfectly haloed individuals, all have flaws and some may even be just accidental heroes yet when circumstances calls for it, these individuals rise up to the occasion and proves that the human spirit is strong and cannot easily be daunted, just like Gorio.
Now if you are a Filipino and have no idea who Pepe and Gorio are, tsk, shameful from my perspective (my brother if he reads this Rizal blog post would probably be one of the first to say Pepe and Gorio who?’). I guess most students and Filipinos could not relate to my love of the dreaded history subjects haha.
Anyway as I was saying, Dr Jose Rizal is not my favorite hero BUT I feel a bit of closeness to him (feeling close hahahah) because firstly, I stayed for 5 years just a block away from the Rizal Shrine and Museum in Calamba City, Laguna. Rizal if he lives still when i was in Laguna could have practically been my neighbor lol 🙂
Secondly in those years, whenever I was working in Binan bayan I always parked my car beside the wall marker that says ‘Dr Jose Rizal studied at this very place etc..” (there was no building in site, just an unkempt wall in the market, it’s no way to treat a national marker for the country’s most popular hero in my opinion).
And third and lastly, because I actually read his two famous books from cover to cover even before the school year started (yes that’s how I was able to stand before the class on the very first day of the school year quoting from memory Elias long spell on freedom ..so I’m a proud nerd lol).
Anyhow, I believe Pepe would not mind that he is not my top favorite when it comes to Filipino Heroes. But on more serious note, I think students should read the whole Filipino book versions of the Noli Me Tangere and the El Filibusterismo and not just abridge versions.
So back to the stamps, I always get sidetrack when I talk about history. Hmm. These are some of the different stamps of Dr Jose Rizal which i have unearthed from a long forgotten baul 🙂
Rizal Stamp circa 1976
Mura pa noon bumili ng stamps featuring Dr Jose Rizal
Nagmahal na talaga lahat sa Pinas pati Philippine Stamps lol 🙂
And in the spirit of the Philippines 113th Independence Day today June 12,2011, I am also showing stamps of several National Symbols of the Philippines:
!! will be updating this with pics of stamps, right now have to sleep!!
Happy day of freedom to all Filipinos wherever you maybe! Happy Independence Day!
From the words of Elias in Noli…..”
di man lang makikita
ang maningning na pagbubukang-liway-way sa aking Inang Bayan.
Kayong mga makakakita,
batiin ninyo siya
at huwag niyong kalimutan
kaming mga nalugmok sa dilim ng gabi…”