CALAMBA CITY, Laguna – There has been no better way to tell the young generation the stories of the country’s heroes and patriotism than holding storytelling sessions right in this city’s hallowed ground, the birthplace of national hero and revolutionary writer, Dr. Jose P. Rizal.
Vice Mayor Roseller Rizal led the group storytellers on the eve of the 121st Philippine Independence Day celebration during the “Kwentong Bayani” (Hero’s story).
The “Kwentong Bayani” is one of the major highlights of the city’s two-week “6th Buhayani Festival”, which culminates to Rizal’s 158th Birth Anniversary celebration on June 19.
“Ang Pilipinas ay maaring isang nasugatang bansa ngunit hindi maipagkakaila na ang pagsikil, pasakit at dusa ang siyang humuhubog ng tapang ng isang bayang nagnais na ipaglaban at pangalagaan ang sariling pagkakakilanlan (the Philippines may have been a wounded country, but it could not be denied that the oppression, pain and sufferings in the past have molded the bravery and heroism of a country that struggles for freedom and identity as a nation),” Rizal said.
The vice mayor graced the hero’s storytelling session on Thursday with Councilor Johnny Lazaro at the Museo ni Jose Rizal sa Calamba (MJRC) or popularly known as “Bahay ni Rizal” (Rizal’s Shrine)
Around 50 students from Tiani public elementary school in Sucol Village came to learn.
He said the essence of the country’s Independence Day celebration is highly felt among Calambeños as stories on heroism are deeply-rooted in this city known as one of the cradles of the country’s heroes like Rizal, his brother Paciano, Teodora Alonzo, Capt. Geronimo Aclan and Gen. Vicente Lim.
He said this identity as a Filipino should be taught to the young generation, as deeply-ingrained, not only through the classroom setting but right at the museum and shrine grounds so the young learners would appreciate what it is to be a Filipino “in thought, words and deeds.”
Rizal said it is not enough to celebrate and rally behind the Philippine flag, but rather to demonstrate and show unity, justice, genuine heroism and honest service to countrymen.
The “Kwentong Bayani” storytelling sessions were conducted in two sessions for students, at 9 a.m. and at 2 p.m. at the Rizal Shrine from June 11 until Friday (June 14).