At first, I was aware that a lot of us are wondering why do we have to study The Life and Works of Rizal, even for foreigners. We discussed about it being mandated by the Law and we questioned a lot of things. But we believe that it is necessary in an effort to inspire the nation of the idea of Nationalism. After studying about it for one semester, I can say that it helps us to recognize the importance of Rizal’s ideals and teachings in relation to present conditions and situations in the society. By studying about Noli me Tangere and El Filibus Terismo, we learn about social cancer that really happens in our society and we are encouraged to apply Rizal’s ideals in current social and personal problems and issues. Through his books, Rizal asked the youth to study, to acquire knowledge, because as he said, nationality does not define your intelligence. As well as we develop an appreciation and deeper understanding of all that Rizal fought and died for. It fosters the development of the Filipino youth in all aspects of citizenship and love of country.
As a nation, we share the same collective experience, history, culture, and identity as one. By studying about Rizal’s life and works, together with other historical figures that we encountered, ex: Juan Luna, Andres Bonifacio; we will learn to understand our identity as a Filipino. The Philippines experienced the suffering under the colonization of foreign power. And we saw their desire to attain reform, freedom and independence. Rizal’s novels reflect, through the characters in it, the hardship and conflicts in order to attain the desired independence. But at the same time, it ignites the awareness of people and their spirit to defend their country. From the novel, I really admire Elias. We saw how he tried to prevent the revolution from happening by try to ask Ibarra to help them grant the reform. Elias loves the country so much that he sacrifices his own personal need for the good of his country and others. We saw how his family suffered so much, but Elias was willing to leave his resentment behind and do what’s best for his country.
Aside from learning about Rizal and his books, we also did our final project. We had to do a community service. From planning, executing and report about the activity that we chose. By doing this project, we were not only doing it for academic requirements, but we as well, want to apply the stewardship of the community. We belong in the same society and we respect, care, and share the same love for our country, ideology, and history. We believe that it is our responsibility to act for the common good of people, especially the less fortunate than us. Our project was a helping mission part of the Joyful Church regular activity and our group chose to collaborate with the church because one of our underlying principles to do this is to exercise our duty as a good Christian.
We are always being reminded of the importance of giving. Not just material based, but as well services, time and effort. To be sincere, generous, and sacrifice to those in need. By doing this project, our group is trying to promote the people to care more about public welfare. We prefer this helping mission because we admire the simplicity, the straightforwardness, and the regularity or the continuance of the program. Due to those elements, the ability of the citizens to participate is imminent. It has been a good semester learning more about the Life and Works of Rizal. We learned new things, had good discussions, watch movies, etc. We really appreciate the effort that was given by the teacher to make this subject interesting, thank you.