On Rizal Day, Gordon calls on Filipino youth to stand for truth
Re-electionist Senator Richard J. Gordon today urged Filipinos, especially among the youth, to continue seeking and standing for truth amid attempts by some quarters to spread lies and disinformation.
In commemoration of the 125th anniversary of Dr. Jose Rizal's martyrdom, Gordon said the Filipino people should take cue at the exemplary bravery and courage of Rizal and other national heroes, especially in fighting for truth and justice.
“Rizal was the embodiment of the line ‘...ang mamatay nang dahil sa iyo’ in our national anthem ‘Lupang Hinirang.’ He sacrificed his life at 35 years old for exposing the cold, hard truth in what was a society full of injustice,” he said.
“Kahit hindi na tayo magbuwis ng buhay, nawa ay tumindig tayo sa paghahanap ng katotohanan sapagkat ang lipunan ay nababalot ng katakot-takot na kasinungalingan,” he added.
Touted as the most revered among the Philippine national heroes, Rizal is recognized worldwide for his efforts to better himself through education. At a young age, Rizal learned numerous languages, which became a useful tool in his worldwide journey, where he met men and women of various nationalities.
Being a polyglot, Rizal wrote his two famous novels “Noli me Tangere,” “El Filibusterismo,” and various poems and essays in multiple languages, inspiring the nationalistic movement of the 1890s.
He also became an optometrician and was able to cure many patients, including his mother. As a talented sculptor, Rizal forged "The Triumph of Science over Death" statuette, signifying his preference of scientific ideals.
Amidst easier access to information due to modern technology, Gordon lamented that disinformation has become more prevalent as it suited the preferences and whims of many, especially among those who have sinister political agenda.
“We are quite fortunate to have with us vital sources of information, such as scientific journals and news reports. Despite it being the bitter truth, we must accept these as facts and not live in a mere fantasy,” he said.
“We must enrich ourselves every day by constant education; we must strive to be knowledgeable for us to become a faster and stronger Philippines. With the grace of God, we will rise from this pandemic," he added.
Widely credited for launching the “WOW Philippines” campaign as tourism secretary during the Arroyo administration (2002-2004), Gordon spearheaded the renaissance of the Philippines as a premier Southeast Asian attraction.
Among those included in his various projects as tourism chief are the rehabilitation of the historic Intramuros where Rizal had his halcyon days as a student, and Fort Santiago where he was incarcerated prior to his execution.
Gordon is the founding chairman of the political party Bagumbayan – Volunteers for a New Philippines and has used Rizal’s ideas as tenets for its causes.