By: Penn T. Larena
Dr. Jose P. Rizal's 161st birthday message was presented in Quezon Park in Dumaguete City on June 19, 2022. The Rizalian Patriotic and Chivalric Spirit: Principles for Life and Living Written by Cesar P. Estrope, LPT, EdD, KOR.
“Non Omnis Moriar!” In 23 BC Odes of Horace, in particular, the 30th Ode, Carmina, 3rd Book and line 6 emphasized and I read - “I have built a monument more lasting than bronze and mightier than the royal palace of the pyramids. Non Omnis Moriar (I will not altogether die) and a great part of me will live beyond death.” This is an address of the key ancient topic of the great love of country and countrymen. Whether “Non Omnis Moriar” is improper, unsuitable, and unbefitting the motto of the Knights of Rizal,” it is still the call for every Knight of Rizal to live chivalric virtues with the spirit of Rizalian patriotism. Allow me then, to give my shower of thoughts on our 2nd purpose of being a Knight of Rizal, “to promote among the Knights of Rizal the true spirit of Rizalian Patriotism and chivalry.” When Dr. Jose P. Rizal clarified in his El Fili that “perfect humanity maybe, patriotism shall always be a virtue among the oppressed because at all times it will signify love for justice, liberty and dignity itself…” Today, these oppressed are the last, the least, and lost sectors of the society and we, the Knights of Rizal are stewards for them.
Adaptive to Sojorian influence on progressive leadership and excellence in education, these marginalized sectors can challenge the status quo; can change life and living; and can create citizens for nation-building. My thoughts on Dr. Jose P. Rizal’s patriotism into my experiences in academia . We are to pass on the chivalric virtues of Charity, Piety, and Empathy to the last, the least, and the lost sectors of our community. Charity is generosity and helpfulness, especially toward these sectors. In the research of Durano, Marina (2011) titled “Reason and responsibility: reading Rizal’s letter to his Maloleña compatriots using the capabilities approach,” Rizal’s letter to the women of Malolos ``emphasized reason and supported the education of women so that they may be enlightened…” Many of us here are in the academe and there are many little ways of charity that we can do to many of our learners, especially in this New Better Normal time. Our passion to teach and the effective approach to education and care is Charity. It is our being pro-people. Piety is the personal reverence recognizing the total reliance on God and comes before God with humility, trust, and love. Based on the letters Dr. Rizal wrote, it can be said that “he believed that God existed, he believed that God was Plus Supra (Divine Providence), and he believed that God was the origin of nature; that is, nature was the expression of God” quotation from the works of Palma, Rafael (1949) known as The Pride of the Malay Race: Jose Rizal. We all have the turmoil of the pandemic, yet we all survive with sound mind and body. Our faith in the Divine Providence made us strong and threaded the virulence of this pandemia. The challenged sectors (the last, the least, and the lost) were given care through our initiatives and advocacies. We feel that this is our prayer to God who made us as channels of P a g e blessing.
To a close, Dr. Jose Rizal wants us to celebrate his 161st Birthdate by remembering his father, Don Francisco (a.k.a Teniente Kiko) with such virtues of charity, piety and empathy. Teniente Kiko is a “Knight” in his noble chivalry. Keeping his father in his heart and with such reverence, Rizal named his and Josephine Bracken’s premature son “Francisco.” Although the baby thrived in hours, such a token of charity lives on. On the day of his martyrdom, Dr. Jose Rizal penned a note to his brother Paciano: “tell our father I remember him, and how I remember my whole childhood, of his affection and his love. Ask him to forgive me for the pain that I have unwillingly caused him,” re-written in Maximiano, Jose Mario (2022) in an article “Rizal’s devotion to his father.” Rizal picked up his quill and inked further.
“My beloved Father, pardon me for the pain with which I repay you for sorrows and sacrifices for my education. I did not want nor did I prefer it. Goodbye, Father, goodbye… JosE Rizal.”
What chivalric lines so absorb with virtues and passing-on charity, piety, and empathy of a father (Don Francisco) to a son (Dr. Jose P. Rizal) and to all of us who are here, the Knights of Rizal. The Spirit of Rizalian Patriotism and Chivalry: Virtues for Life and Living is addressed to all of us. We can be the “father” to pass them on to the last, the least, and the lost sectors of our community. Let us continue what we have done and what we do next can be better.
Such spirit of Rizalian patriotism and its chivalric virtues of charity, piety, and empathy can be part of our Non Omnis Moriar” translated as “I shall not wholly die! My work will live!” Let's recast the lines – “Dr Jose P. Rizal has built a monument of his life and works more lasting than bronze and mightier than the royal palace of the pyramids. Non Omnis Moriar (I will not altogether die) and a great part of Dr. Jose P. Rizal will live beyond death.”
Long live Dr. Jose P. Rizal!