February 29, 2024
EMULATE DR. JOSE RIZAL — Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte encouraged youth leaders from all over the country to emulate the resilience and dedication of national hero, Dr. Jose P. Rizal, who persevered despite going through adversities during the opening program of the 60th National Rizal Youth Leadership Institute on Dec. 15 at Teachers’ Camp, Baguio City. Mayor Benjamin Magalong also graced the program along with the officials of the Knights of Rizal led by Supreme Commander Gerardo Calderon also the vice mayor of Angono, Rizal, who organized the annual leadership event, aimed at instilling the ideals of the national hero to mold the nation’s youth as leaders in their own communities. — Ofelia Empian

Vice President and Education Sec. Sara Duterte urged the youth to learn from the life of national hero, Dr. Jose P. Rizal, who made use of his time well despite going through mental distress while on exile in Dapitan.
Duterte was the guest of honor during the opening of the 60th National Rizal Youth Leadership Institute (NRYLI) themed “Rizal in Dapitan: Systems Thinking in Action” on Dec. 15 at Teachers’ Camp.
During the event that gathered 514 select youth leaders from all over the country, Duterte paralleled the effects of the pandemic to Rizal’s exile in Dapitan, where the national hero also went through mental distress during his four-year ordeal after his arrest by the Spaniards.
“Despite being exiled in Dapitan, our national hero refused to be defeated, he made sure his four years in exile was productive and worthwhile. He was not only a visionary or a writer of searing stories that has inspired people’s revolts, but he was also an agrarian systems thinker,” Duterte said.
While in exile in Dapitan, a remote town in Mindanao under the missionary jurisdictions of the Jesuits, from 1892 to 1896, Rizal spent his time fruitfully as an educator, doctor, farmer, artist, architect and engineer, entrepreneur, scientist, and a scholar. 
Duterte said Rizal not only worked to better himself but also sought to improve the lives of the community where he was, such as helping create a water system that provided potable water, and teaching the locals how to fish and make it into a source of livelihood.
Rizal also established a farming system that allowed the community to be self-sustainable by producing crops and earning from regular harvests. 
“He taught the locals academic teachings that were otherwise not accessible to the intelligent but marginalized people. In Dapitan, even in isolation, Rizal continued to liberate the Filipinos,” she said.
The Vice President also urged the youth to learn from the life, works and values of Rizal and apply it to their own communities.
Timothy Justin Francisco of the Knights of Rizal said the activity is part of the celebration of Rizal Month and is an inter-agency collaboration together with the National Historical Commission of the Philippines and other government agencies.
Francisco said the Knights of Rizal want to inculcate the teachings of Rizal especially during December although they have activities year round.
Mayor Benjamin Magalong, Knights of Rizal led by Supreme Commander Gerardo Calderon, also the vice mayor of Angono, Rizal graced the activity. – Ofelia C. Empian