Rizal in the eyes of the youth

Posted at 06/17/2011 4:54 PM | Updated as of 06/17/2011 4:54 PM

MANILA, Philippines - In 2 days, the Philippines will celebrate the 150th birth anniversary of Jose Rizal.

But is the national hero still relevant to today's youth, who are always preoccupied with electronic gadgets and social networking?

ABS-CBN News asked young people on how they see Rizal and the upcoming holiday on Monday, June 20 to commemorate the national hero's birthday.

Their reactions were mixed.

Abby, a college student, said people should always remember what Rizal has done for the country.

High school student Bea, on the other hand, said she will use her Facebook account to pay tribute to Rizal. "Gagawin kong profile picture si Rizal sa Sunday para ipakita 'yung pakikiisa ko (I'll use Rizal as my profile picture on Sunday to show my support)," she said.

But 9-year-old kid Janine is only excited about the holiday. "Masaya po kasi walang pasok...makakapaglaro kami (We're happy because there are no classes...we'll be able to play)."

Dr. Myriam Bacud, a professor at Centro Escolar University in Manila, said technology should be used to encourage the youth to know more about Rizal.

"Iba na kasi ang mga kabataan ngayon...wala na silang kinikilalang hero (Today's youth are different...they don't consider anyone as their hero)," she said.

Last month, National Historical Commission chair Ma. Serena Diokno lamented that some youth need to be reminded of Rizal's contributions.

But Alberto Filart, the great grandson of Rizal's sister, Olympia, believes that young people can still relate to the country's national hero. -- Report from Jerome Lantin, ABS-CBN News