MANILA, Philippines?National hero Dr. Jose Rizal is recognized in many parts of the world for his intelligence and heroism, earning him at least 10 Rizal monuments in four continents around the world, Senator Richard Gordon said Friday.
At the commemoration of Rizal?s 148th birthday, the senator paid tribute to the national hero.
?Jose Rizal showed us that even if we were colonized by foreign nations, we can refuse to be bound by them, by having a vision and strengthening our values. He showed that Filipinos could excel and compete with the best,? he said in a statement.
?Jose Rizal was the first Filipino to break the walls in his mind, walls which were built by the foreign invaders. Other countries also recognize his heroism and have chosen to erect monuments in his honor,? he added.
Gordon pointed out that Filipinos should be proud that other nations recognize that Rizal?s short but meaningful life is an ideal model which shows that a person can achieve far beyond what he may seem to reach if only he has a vision and strives hard to achieve it.
He welcomed the development of a Rizal Park in New South Wales, Australia as a fitting tribute to Rizal?s heroism. (Earlier, the Department of Foreign Affairs said a 2.2-hectare property in the city of Campbelltown, New South Wales will be developed to become the Rizal Park in Australia. It was through the initiative of a group of Filipino-Australians and their friends who petitioned the city council of Campbelltown to name it Rizal Park. Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd gave A$120,000 for the initial construction of the park while the Campbelltown city council will provide another A$140,000.)
Aside from the park being built in Australia, he said there are monuments in Rizal?s honor in Madrid, Spain; Wilhelmsfeld, Germany; Jinjiang, Fujian, China; Cherry Hill Township, New Jersey; San Diego, California; and Seattle, Washington; Reforma Avenue in Mexico City, Mexico; La Molina in Lima, Peru; Litomerice, Czech Republic; and Singapore.
Guided by the values inculcated by Rizal, Gordon started the Bagumbayan Movement which seeks to rediscover and revitalize the Filipino identity by having a vision grounded on values and empowered by volunteerism.
He explained that the Bagumbayan movement aims to regain the Filipinos? sense of responsibility, to reinvent the government that it may faithfully perform its duty to serve and protect the people, to fortify law and order, and to build a strong and growing economy.
It also strives to prioritize education, provide adequate health care, create jobs, assist people in securing homes and land, strengthen the family as the foundation of the nation, and protect and preserve the environment for posterity.