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Lesson Transcript

Culture Class: Holidays in the Philippines, Season 1, Lesson 20 - Rizal Day
Hello, and welcome to the Culture Class- Holidays in the Philippines Series at FilipinoPod101.com. In this series, we’re exploring the traditions behind Filipino holidays and observances. I’m Eric, and you're listening to Season 1, Lesson 20, Rizal Day. In Filipino, it’s called Araw ng Kabayanihan ni Dr. Jose Rizal.
The day of Dr. Jose Rizal’s heroism is a public holiday celebrated on the 30th of December every year. On this day, Filipinos remember the heroism of Dr. Jose Rizal, the national hero, or pambansang bayani, of the Philippines. But, who is Dr. Jose Rizal? And how is he remembered by the Filipinos?
In this lesson, you will learn about the heroic deeds of Dr. Jose Rizal and how he is remembered today.
Now, before we get into more detail, do you know the answer to this question-
Why is Rizal Day celebrated on the 30th of December?
If you don't already know, you’ll find out a bit later. Keep listening.
Dr. Jose Rizal is considered one of the greatest heroes of the Philippines; he was a nationalist, novelist, journalist, poet and an ophthalmologist. Dr. Rizal was one of the leaders of the reform movement which sought equal rights, or karapatan, for Filipinos during the time when the Philippines was still a colony of Spain. He wrote the novels Noli Me Tangere or “Touch Me Not” and El Filibusterismo “The Filibustering”, both of which are considered to have indirectly sparked the Philippine Revolution.
This day of remembrance is held in Rizal Park, formerly called Bagumbayan and is now known as Luneta Park. In Rizal Park, a national park of the Philippines, you can find a monument, or monumento, of Dr. Jose Rizal. The monument was inaugurated in 1913 and Rizal’s poem, the “Final Farewell”, or Mi Ultimo Adios, was engraved into a memorial plaque.
Each year ceremonies, or seremonya, are led by the president and the vice-president of the country, during which flowers are offered and a 21-gun salute is given in honor of this national hero.
On this day, certain activities are banned in respect of Dr. Rizal. These include cockfighting, horse racing, or karera ng kabayo, and jai-alai, which is a ball game that originated from Spain's Basque region and is played with a hard rubber ball that is caught and thrown with a hand-held device called a cesta.
Now it's time to answer our quiz question-
Why is Rizal Day celebrated on the 30th of December?
It’s held on the 30th of December because this is the day Jose Rizal gave his life for the country. From his cell in Fort Santiago, he walked to Bagumbayan to face his death by firing squad.
How did you find this lesson? Did you learn anything interesting?
Do you have any holidays to remember national heroes in your country?
Leave us a comment telling us at FilipinoPod101.com!
And I’ll see you in the next lesson!

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Do you have any holidays to remember national heroes in your country?