Boracay Pleasure Paradise

Rizal Park Baguio

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Between Burnham Park and the City Hall of Baguio is a rectangular piece of city property known as Rizal Park. The park was erected in honor of Dr. Jose P. Rizal, the national hero of the Philippines and is similar to numerous other parks that are found in towns and cities all over the Philippines which are also named in his honor. It is on this site that the annual celebration honoring Rizal every 30th of December is held.

Rizal is said to be one of the greatest Filipinos who ever lived. At a time when the Philippines was under the oppressive rule of the Spaniards who came to colonize the country, Rizal's brilliance and dedication to his country served as inspiration for the Filipinos to fight for their independence. Rizal was a believer in the potential of the Filipino to seek the greatest heights amid adversity, and he lived a life that proved this.

Rizal was an academician, a linguist, historian, writer, a scientist, and a medical doctor. He wrote a book titled "Noli Me Tangere" where he depicted the condition Filipinos were living in under the hostile and oppressive rule of the Spanish friars. His books were banned by the Spanish friars in the country at that time since it sought to expose their corruption and greed. Rizal’s second novel was the "El Filibusterismo" which was the sequel to his first book and where he clarified his political ideas.

Dr. Rizal had thoughts of eventual independence for his country. He was a believer in non-violent resistance even before India’s Mahatma Gandhi made it fashionable. He refused to endorse an armed uprising against Spain, fearing that the poorly equipped Filipino revolutionaries would be slaughtered. Instead he believed that quality education held the key to the liberation of his beloved land.

It does sound ironic that the revolution which started in his lifetime was attributed by the Spaniards to Rizal although he never had a hand in it. He was falsely accused as the supreme leader of the "Katipunan" which was looked upon by the Spaniards as an illegal and subversive organization at that time. The Spanish military court found Rizal guilty of rebellion and sedition and was executed by a firing squad in Bagungbayan Field (Luneta Park) on December 30, 1896. Rizal's execution served as an inspiration to his compatriots and fueled the Philippine revolution, telling the world that here was a people yearning to be free.

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