The most precious, lofty, heart-rending but profoundly inspiring tribute to Jose Rizal was written by Apolinario Mabini in a book he wrote during his exile in Guam, La Revolucion Filipina. You will find this awesome eulogy in Chapter VIII, "First Stage of the Revolution" ; I have read it many times and have wept each time. Mabini did know what it was all about!
He wrote: "In contrast to Burgos who wept because he died guiltless, Rizal went to the execution ground calm and even cheerful, to show that he was happy to sacrifice his life, which he had dedicated to the good of all the Filipinos, confident that in love and gratitiude, they would always remember him and follow his example and teaching. In truth, the merit of Rizal's sacrifice consists precisely in that it was voluntary and conscious. He had known perfectly well, that, if he denounced the abuses which the Spaniards were committing in the Philippines, they would not sleep in peace until they had encompassed his ruin; yet, he did so because , if the abuses were not exposed, they would never be remedied. From the day Rizal understood the misfortune of his native land and decided to work to redress them, his vivid imagination never ceased to picture to him at every moment of his life the terrors of the death that awaited him; thus he learned not to fear it, and had no fear when it came to take him away. The life of Rizal, from the time he dedicated it to the service of his native land was, therefore, a continuing death, bravely endured until the end for love of his countrymen. God grant that they will know how to render to him the only tribute worthy of his memory: the imitation of his virtues."
Let us then imitate Rizal's virtues as a gift for his 150th birthday.
(Source: Mabini, Apolinario, The Philippine Revolution, translated into English by Leon Ma. Guerrero, 1969)