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Legarda Encourages Filipino Youth to Emulate Rizal’s Patriotism, Love for Culture and Environment

June 19, 2018

Senator Loren Legarda has called on the youth to emulate Dr. Jose Rizal’s patriotism, and unequivocal dedication to fight for the protection and preservation of the Filipino heritage, as the nation commemorates the national hero’s 157th birth anniversary today, June 19.

“The values and principles of Jose Rizal as the country’s national hero has been instilled in all of us. I encourage the youth to emulate Rizal’s indisputable loyalty and love for the country and for our people’s heritage as the fate and future of our beloved Philippines rest upon them,” Legarda said.

“The progress & freedom that he fought for are still the very same challenges we face as we continue to strive for a strong independent nation. Instilling the love for country at an early age will inculcate the values of discipline and organization, and will impart common sense to the young generation of Filipinos,” Legarda added.

Legarda, who believes that learning is an everyday process, noted Rizal’s enthusiasm to learn and educate himself with skills and expertise which not only benefitted his growth as an individual, but most importantly, also contributed to the betterment of the nation and his fellow Filipinos.

“Rizal never got tired of acquiring knowledge and new skills. He never stopped learning because he knew and believed that for a country to be socially and economically progressive, its people must not remain ignorant but instead be empowered through quality education.”

“For our part, we should develop within ourselves the same fervor Rizal had. There is an inherent creative genius that lies within each and every Filipino. Everyone has the potential to grow, excel and be the pride of the nation.  All that is needed is to cultivate these and gain inspiration from the noteworthy contributions of other individuals, such as our national hero,” Legarda said.

Moreover, Legarda renewed her call for the Filipino youth to respect and preserve the nation’s heritage, stressing that Rizal himself had expressed the need to embrace one’s roots.

“While fluent in several foreign languages, Rizal had always expressed his love for his native tongue. He also recognized the exceptional artistry and craftsmanship of Filipinos and, perhaps not known too many, he was also fond of indigenous Philippine textiles. Many of his works also described the beauty of the Philippines and its people,” Legarda said.

A known environmental advocate, Legarda also noted Rizal’s concern for the environment. Citing historical accounts, the Senator said that during his exile in Dapitan, Rizal engaged in farming, planting trees and crops, and showing the local people how to improve their agricultural productivity through enhanced methods like irrigation and other scientific practices.

“As a tribute to our national hero, we should continue his work of caring for the environment by introducing innovative solutions to issues and problems of our country, especially in light of the biggest threat to humanity and development, which is climate change. As the future of this country, I urge the youth to follow the footsteps and the advocacies of Dr. Jose Rizal, not just in the aspect of protecting our rights and sovereignty but also with regard to preserving our environment,” Legarda said.

“We should continue to honor the sacrifices of Rizal. On his birth anniversary, let us all look back at his life, work and his fight to ensure that the Filipinos preserve their national identity. Without his life and sacrifice, there would be no Republic of the Philippines,” Legarda concluded.

Legarda will likewise file a bill again seeking to declare June 19 of every year as a special nonworking holiday in the Province of Laguna in honor of the birth anniversary of Rizal.