Jose Rizal, the National Hero of the Philippines, will be 150 years old on June 19, 2011. The said birthday is a milestone celebration. The life and times and the works of Rizal were subject of various movies using them as sources of its stories. The latter included his major literary works such as “Noli Me Tangere” and “El Filibusterismo”. Although many of them were already seen by the movie audiences, there are still aspects of his life and times that need to be explored in future possible films about him. These films may be mainstream, indie movies or documentary which will be appreciated by all generations of Filipinos all over the world and the people from other countries as well.
JOSE RIZAL AS A TEACHER
Rizal’s abilities as a teacher was a revelation when he was exiled to Dapitan by the Spanish authorities. Here, he used his time wisely by teaching the young people of the place basic learnings like writing, reading and arithmetic. He also taught them language subjects like Spanish, and English. He guided them also in farming activities and physical education classes. In the farming activities, his students helped him in watering the plants, pruning the fruits and planting many kinds of trees. As a teacher, he valued inclination and aptitude. This was shown when two sons of his sister Lucia were sent to Dapitan to be educated by their uncle. According to the article entitled “Choosing Between Books and Bolos” written by Father Ambeth Ocampo recently in his column “Looking Back”, Rizal wrote his sister that her sons will in time become very useful men. A son was observed to have more interest in farming than reading books while the other has the opposite inclination. Rizal further told her that we cannot all be doctors while some will become farmers who will till the land. From those times up to now, this blogger observed that there are still parents, grandparents and other relatives who decide what courses the graduating high school students in their family would take in college, not taking into consideration the latter’s interests, inclinations and aptitudes. In fairness to them, some gave well meaning advices while some gave advices for the sake of it, sometimes telling exaggerations or even unfounded lies that the courses the young ones would take would not give the latter enough money and so on. This blogger suggests that documentary, mainstream or indie movies be made on the said subject matter so that all of us would be informed better and appreciate that the younger ones will ultimately decide what career they would like to take when they finish high school. For education is part and parcel of nationbuilding and we are all stakeholders of the nation.
JOSE RIZAL AS A SPORTSMAN
Rizal as a sportsman would be potential sources of story lines for movies either in indie or mainstream type. Somehow, movies about sports people can attract audiences where they can learn about the disciplines, attitudes and techniques about sports and how the sports people persevere through various trials and challenges. While in Dapitan, he also conducted classes in physical fitness program, judo or jujitsu, Spanish Fencing, American Boxing, native arnis and marksmanship. As a pistolero, he was a sharpshooter wherein he could hit a target 20 meters away. As a fencer, he did it with Europeans and with Juan Luna and other Filipino friends in Europe. Spain was the European country where Rizal became interested as a pistolero and a fencer. As a chess player, he played and beat several German and European friends and acquaintances. He learned jujitsu or judo when he traveled to Japan. He also became interested in gymnastics.
Being a teacher and a sportsman are only two of the many aspects of the personalities of Jose Rizal during his lifetime. If all of us will take a look at ourselves, we may find that some of them are within us. Rizal harnessed and developed them to improve his knowledge, skills and talents which he used not only for himself but shared them with other people. Perhaps, all of us can do the same.
Until the next post.
Happy Weekend to All of Us!