Many months ago, on a Monday, Senator Francis Joseph Escudero, better known as Chiz, went to the Freedom Triangle of the Manila City Hall, upon the invitation of Mayor Alfredo Lim, to give a talk after the flag ceremony. The youthful senator had not yet turned forty and his colleague, Noynoy Aquino, was still completely opaqued by his dazzling celebrity sister.
The only thing I remember of what Senator Chiz Escudero said had something to do with Dr. Jose Rizal. He declared that Rizal was wrong to have said that the youth are the hope ( ang pagasa) of the country (bayan).Coming from a youth icon, that unexpected assertion raised quite a few eyebrows, including mine.
Chiz said that the youth of the land should not just standby, nonchalantly with folded arms, waiting for the future to happen; implying that that was what Jose Rizal meant. He said the youth should act now and be involved now and not wait for a future time . What a baffling interpretation of Jose Rizal lwho had consciously and relelntlessly lived his life for Filipinas and who faced death before he had turned forty.
In fact, the majority of our heroes and heroines, our "best and brightest", were young people who did not wait; in their 20s and 30s they had put their lives at stake so that in future Filipinos may have an independent and sovereign republic. Many of them were inspired by Jose Rizal's appeal (through Padre Florentino in EL FILIBUSTERISMO) so they did not just standby idly waiting for the future to happen.
I believe Senator Escudero misinterpretted Jose Rizal; he should either read the hero's works more carefully or fire his speech writer.#