Happy Rizal day to every one ! Every 30th of December here in the Philippines, we celebrate what is known as “Rizal Day,” Jose Rizal’s death anniversary. For those who do not know who he is, Jose Rizal is considered as one of the greatest heroes of the Philippines and is widely well known as the “national hero.”
By virtue of a law, college students here in the Philippines are required to take up a course on his life. There are some students though that complain that this course has no purpose at all as it does not have any relevance to our modern day life, well I strongly disagree with such comment, I’ll write more about this later.
I remember taking up the Rizal course in college. Our teacher told us to buy a “Jose Rizal” book by a certain author, so we bought such book. Days later he was replaced by another teacher who required us to buy another book. I didn’t want to spend money to buy another book, so I borrowed a book from a classmate and promised to return it within a week.
I brought the book home and started reading, I was so engrossed and fascinated by the story of his life that I finished the book overnight ! Since that time on, Jose Rizal became one of those historical figures who I modeled and measured my life with.
So why do I look up so much to Jose Rizal and why I am very fascinated with his life ? Because he is a polymath that’s why ! Aside from highly looking up to Jose Rizal, this blog is about being a polymath, so it would be a shame not to mention him here. For those of you who are new to the term, “Polymath” is derived from the Greek word “polymathes” which means “having learned much.” The term refers to a person whose expertise spans a significant number of different subject areas; such a person is known to draw on complex bodies of knowledge to solve specific problems.
Rizal’s being a polymath and brilliance has observed by both foreign and local scholars. Professor Ferdinand Blumentritt, rector of the Imperial Atheneum of Leitmeritz, has this to say about him, “Rizal was the greatest product of the Philippines and his coming to the world was like the appearance of a rare comet, whose rare brilliance appears only every other century.” In another instance he says “Not only is Rizal the most prominent man of his own people but the greatest man the Malayan race has produced. ” Another German friend, Dr. Adolf B. Meyer, director of the Dresden Museum remarked “Rizal’s many-sidedness was stupendous.” Our very own Dr. Camilo Osias pointed to him as the “versatile genius.”
As a tribute to Jose Rizal on “Rizal day” here is a showcase of his talents and skills. Read more about him and discover for yourself how he draws on these to solve specific problems, the very reason why he is considered as a polymath, a versatile genius indeed !
(Note: The above slides is shared from slideshare.net)
By the way, you might want to read my article entitled “Jose Rizal’s greatest legacy” another tribute article I wrote to him sometime in 2007.