Manila (CNN Philippines Life) — Today, June 19, marks the 158th birthday of our national hero, Jose Rizal. Tech giant Google is celebrating Rizal through a Doodle that is comprised of words that he has used to rouse the Philippine national movement as well as a quill pen and a magnifying glass — things that represent his work as a writer and an ophthalmologist.
Born in 1861, Rizal already knew how to read and write when he was only five years old, and went on to further his pursuit of human knowledge, enrolling in courses abroad at the University of Madrid, University of Paris, and the University of Heidelberg. While in Europe, he produced some of the most enduring and most important literature for Filipinos: the “Noli Me Tangere” and the “El Filibusterismo.”
In an essay by history professor Michael Pante, he explains how these books have displayed how the social ills Filipinos fought against during the Spanish colonial era in the Philippines are still the same issues that plague our country today, such as militarization, contractualization, and high taxes.
Pante adds that “Rizal should not be viewed merely as the sole authorial figure in the novels that sparked revolutionary ideas, but as an unwavering organizer of people.”
Indeed, the legacy of Rizal is one that will stand the test of time.
Google Doodle features diverse topics and celebrations that may be meaningful to particular cultures. Also this month, Google Philippines had a Doodle that celebrated the Philippines’ 121st Independence Day.