If national hero Dr. Jose Rizal were alive today, according to his descendant Jeremiah Villaroman, he would probably tell the Filipino youth to get involved in their own little way to protect the country's freedom paid for by the blood of martyrs hundreds of years ago.
“I feel like he would tell the youth, tell my generation, to involve themselves, to make sure that they have a say in the ins and outs of society, in what is going on in the country,” Villaroman told Manila Standard in an interview.
“You need not be a martyr to call yourself a ‘bayani ng Pilipinas.' Ask yourselves this: If the likes of Jose Rizal and his colleagues did not involve themselves during those times, where would we be? Who would we be under? What would the Philippines be in 2021 if they did not involve themselves personally?”
The 27-year-old Villaroman who is related to Rizal's eldest sister, Saturnina, said exercising the right to vote is one way to show patriotism.
“Make sure to exercise that right to vote. That little way can accumulate into a bigger impact and that can be your contribution to call yourselves a hero of the Philippines. It can be as simple as that. Anyone can be a hero in their own right,” he said.
“Right now we are free. We are still free and we should keep it that way and make sure that the sacrifices that led to this celebration will not be in vain. Moving forward, as Filipinos and as citizens, it’s up to us to make sure that it stays the way it is, today and in years to come,” he added. Raxenn Lachica, Coleen Magahis, Theriz Silvano, and Meggie Carpio