• Rizal Day: ‘Despair’ a big challenge

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    PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino 3rd on Tuesday called on Filipinos to “continue the fight” that national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal, died for more than a century ago, noting that alleviation from “despair” remains a huge challenge.

    “The battles we confront may be different from our forebears’, yet the call to action and service they once heard remains resonant and clear,” Aquino said during the commemoration of the martyr’s 118th death anniversary at the Rizal Monument at Luneta (now also called Rizal Park) in Manila.

    In his Rizal Day message, the President urged fellow Filipinos to “walk the path of accountability and commit ourselves to the task of nation-building.”

    “Rizal served as our precedent for prodigious acts: He took it upon himself to alleviate the despair of others and cast his stake for a tomorrow of peace and liberty,” he said.

    “We shall compose the next chapters of our history and pass [them]  on to [the next generation of]Filipinos. United, let us strive to leave them a legacy of an empowered and proud nation,” the President added.

    Tuesday’s ceremony was also be attended by Vice President Jejomar Binay, Armed Forces Chief of Staff General Gregorio Pio Catapang Jr., Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada, National Historical Commission of the Philippines Chairman Maria Serena Diokno, NHCP Executive Director Ludovico Badoy and Supreme Commander of the Order of Knights of Rizal Sir Jeremias Singson.

    “We discover an exemplar of citizenship in our national hero; and in his triumphs and sacrifice, we imbibe the inspiration to continue the fight for the Filipino. May this commemoration invigorate and impassion us as a people, that we may remain unwavering in the duty to bequeath succeeding generations with the dignified, progressive future they deserve,” the President said.

    After the program, Aquino met with eight descendants of Dr. Rizal through his siblings, Maria, Narcisa, Saturnina, Paciano and Soledad.

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