Veneration without understanding by Renato Constantino, the article that I have read regarding to our national hero Dr. Jose Rizal is very meaningful and essential not only for us students but also for all the Filipino citizens. It is because as a Filipino, his ideologies have contributed a great influence in all of us as we grow up not only for us individuals but also in the society. This article offers a perspective that many of us don’t know. It is suitable to read because it gives clarification in know who our national hero really is. Mr. Renato Constantino wrote the said article to remind all those people who idolizes our national hero so much without fully understanding his contexts during his time. The veneration without understanding’s purpose is for us to be censorious about Rizal’s concepts and ideas so we can be able to benefit in his extremities. Like us, Rizal is just a person; although he has done a lot of great things he also has his flaws. And these concepts of his may be able to get a modification so that it may be able to cope up with our current generation. As I read this article there are some questions that pop-upped in my head.
Let us enumerate Constantino’s showcased thoughts in his article and I’ll give my own opinion whether I agree or not. First question is as a Filipino do we really need to honour Rizal? According to Constantino, he strictly contradicts the over exaltation of our national hero by some people. He believes that Dr. Jose Rizal is not worthy to be assigned as our national hero because of the following reasons: First is because he refused to take side to the revolutionary army; then he underestimated the power and knowledge of the mass; and lastly he never really promoted true freedom because he believes that it is just for the educated and not a national right. Constantino also denounced the Americans that lead the initiation of choosing Rizal for being a national hero because it served as a triggering devices that gives birth to different cults that recognizes Rizal as their God. And by this, we almost forget the bravery of all the other heroes of our country.
He also called those who covered up Rizal’s treason to our country during the time of revolution as traitors, especially the Rizalistas. Based on my opinion, I believe that we still need to commend Dr. Jose Rizal, because even his simplest traits as a person are enough to consider him as a hero. We may praise him but not in the way to exaggerated. Rizal is also a human just like the all of us, he gets hurt, he also commits mistakes, he is not a saint and not as well as the Lord. That is why we need to recognize him the right way just like a person, a person he always has been. Give him what is right for him no more no less. Next is who proclaimed Dr. Jose Rizal as a national hero of the Philippines?
Constantino says that Rizal was chosen by the American people to be considered as the national hero of the Philippines. Because of the following reasons: He is already dead when the Americans has chosen him to be the national hero and he cannot fight back against the American army; he is from the family of the illustrados, that took side along with the Americans; He was killed by the Spaniards and not by the Americans; And he is against a bloody revolution.( at that time, the Americans are just about to conquer our country; if revolution would be the national hero of the Philippines, the people would have fought back just like the times of the Spaniards)
In short, Constantino believes that the Americans used even the proclamation to manipulate our country. In my own understanding, there is no other than history that proclaimed Dr. Jose Rizal as our national hero. Based on the great things that he had shared and contributed for our country. Even if the Americans and other countries did not consider Rizal as our hero, there will come a time that we ourselves as a Filipino will come together as one to appreciate what he has done for us. And lastly is Dr. Jose Rizal’s ideology still applicable in our generation? In Mr. Constantinos belief, Rizal has writes for his generation. It is a shame for us to embrace his mentality until now because it only means that the Philippines had never changed from what it was in the past. In other words, it means that we are still leaving in a colonial like and feudal like society because we are still seeing the same characters and circumstances from his novel. According to him, the mission of this generation is to make Rizal’s ideas to obsolete.
Because only by this that we can prove that we are truly free from the colony of the past. We can also prove that we are able to think for new solutions for our social problems. I believe that there is no timespan for greatness. Greatness has no expiration, once you have done something that mark on the hearts and minds of the people, it is not important if it is timely or not because true greatness cannot be defeated by time. You will create something immortal that cannot be erased. Heroism has no generation, it may be old, it may be new, it may be in between but it doesn’t matter. And if we apply his article it means we could learn from the past and because what happens in the past may also happen in the future. As the saying goes like this, “History repeats itself”.
And because of this I believe that Rizal’s ideologies are still applicable, yes our generations may change as well as our situations as time goes by but we can still use his lessons as guide in our new period of society. As a conclusion, I didn’t want to say that Dr. Jose Rizal deserves to be our national hero or not, I just want to elaborate that nobody is perfect, there are aspects of Rizal that we may see as a model and there are some angles that needs to be revised and improved. What is important is that we know these flaws and let these serve as an example of things to avoid, let us learn for the benefit our country and for everyone. We can all be heroes in our own special ways, it may be small or big, true greatness is something to be celebrate and appecriate.