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Message: National Day Reception

June 19, 2019

Message of Senator Loren Legarda
National Day Reception
19 June 2019 | Philippine Embassy in Berlin

 

As the Embassy commemorates the 121st anniversary of the proclamation of Philippine Independence on this day when we also celebrate the birth anniversary of Dr. Jose Rizal, we might as well highlight our National Hero who was instrumental in achieving Philippine sovereignty.

 

Dr. Jose Rizal was an unparalleled visionary whose thoughts and actions greatly influenced the country’s social and political landscape. The progress and freedom that he fought for are still the very same challenges we face as we continue to strive for an inclusive, sustainable and resilient progressive nation.

 

Dr. Rizal’s ideas began the revolution that earned us our freedom, and his integrity and nationalism continue to inspire new generations. I hope we can continue to be inspired by his values and principles, especially his nationalism, which involves respect for our heritage.

 

Dr. Rizal himself had expressed the need to embrace one’s roots. He loved his native tongue even while he was fluent in several foreign languages. He recognized the exceptional artistry and craftsmanship of Filipinos and was fond of indigenous Philippine textiles. Many of his works also describe the beauty of the Philippines and its people.

 

He was also an environmental advocate. During his exile in Dapitan, he 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.

 

If we can all emulate Rizal’s nationalism—his pride in our culture and heritage, his respect for our environment and natural resources, and his belief in the strength of the Filipino people—then, maybe, it would be less challenging to achieve the kind of freedom that we aspire today: freedom from poverty, discrimination, violence and apathy.

 

Like Rizal and our national heroes, who shared the vision of independence and united towards its fulfillment, all of us must unite now to move forward towards our desired progress so we may truly be a strong, independent nation.

 

Happy Independence Day! Mabuhay!