At 150, Rizal is still relevant to today's Filipino youth

By Niko Baua, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 19 2011 03:09 PM | Updated as of May 19 2011 11:17 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine Postal Corporation (Philpost) will be releasing new commemorative stamps on Dr. Jose Rizal's 150th birth anniversary on June 19.

They will also be reprinting past Rizal stamps, but it will be limited to 6,000 copies and will only be sold at the Central Post Office in Manila.

"Para lalo nating maipakita 'yung ating paggalang at pagdakila sa ating national hero, sa ating pambansang bayani eh maipakita rin natin siya dito sa stamps. Itong stamps eh umiikot sa iba't ibang parte ng mundo," said Elenita San Diego, manager of the Postage and Philatelic Department of Philpost.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas will also release a gold-plated bronze commemorative coin for the national hero designed and approved by Rizal's descendants and the numismatics society.

In Calamba, Laguna, Rizal's hometown, a marker is also being prepared.

According to National Historical Commission Chair Ma. Serena Diokno, the Filipino youth need to be reminded of Rizal's contributions.

"It upsets me when I come across young ones who just don't care," said Diokno.

Alberto Filart, the great grandson of Rizal's sister Olympia, said Rizal is still relevant.

Filart said Rizal's works still reflect the problems of the Spanish times--the lack of education, poverty, and even the struggle between religion and governance.

"Kalaban niya ang mga friars. He was not a sinner in that respect just because he was against them. This is something to look at when looking at the RH (reproductive health) bill. You have to toe the line... Rizal would say, 'I am not religious. My accountability is to God. What I do, I am accountable to him,'" said Filart.

Celebrations to mark Rizal's 150th birth anniversary will also be held across all Rizal shrines and museums throughout the country.

A marker will also be unveiled in Barcelona, Spain, and a traveling Rizal museum will go to the US and across Europe.