Before anything else we would like to clarify that we respect Jose Rizal. In no way do we mean to offend him as a person or as a Filipino. Rizal as a person is also someone to be amazed at, with his skills in writing, medicine, painting, sculpting, fencing, and etc. His efforts in trying to assert the Philippines as a province of Spain as well as creating awareness among the people about the social cancer that has deeply infected society through his books are indeed honorable and admirable.
But usually during Rizal's birthday or his death anniversary, articles surface on how debatable Rizal is as a national hero. We don't believe it's debatable. Why? Because there is no actual national hero. (HERE'S THE SOURCE IF YOU DON'T BELIEVE US)
We could say it was the Americans who started all of this. During their occupation in the Philippines, the US Governor William Howard Taft suggested to the National Commission Jose Rizal as the country's national hero for his diplomatic and peaceful manner in trying to give more freedom to his countrymen. They believed that Andres Bonifacio was out of the question because he was too violent for their taste. By making Bonifacio as a national hero would also create a greater possibility that the Filipinos would follow his ways of action for independence. He was declared the greatest Filipino hero during the Spanish period, however, not explicitly as the national hero. (source)
Marcelo H. del Pilar
Muhammad Dipatuan Kudarat
- Anna Cayco
click photos for sources