On Cinemalaya 2011, Jose Rizal, What I Did This Morning, My First Day Alone, with videos of Gary V, Al Jarreau, The Commodores, Cascades, Astrud Gilberto

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2Rivers Salutes Jose Rizal!

Today June 19 we commemorate the 150th birth anniversary of the national hero of my country the Philippines. Dr. Jose Rizal has always been a man I deeply admire, my inspiration as a patriot and a renaissance genius, the writer and social observer who altered the course of human events and proved the age-old wisdom that the pen is mightier than the sword.

Here’s what I wrote about him in my essay A Celebration of The Filipino Identity: Ninoy “Aquino’s life is an uncanny parallel to that of an equally superior Filipino a century earlier: Dr. Jose Rizal, our European-educated national hero and one of the greatest men who ever lived, whose beautiful mind and supreme sacrifice led to the ultimate victory of Andres Bonifacio and the Katipunan—and eventually, to our Declaration of Independence. And so we have come full circle, as history moves in mysterious ways, marching to the cadence of infinity’s parade.”

Rizal’s novels in the 19th century ignited the nationalistic revolutions that swept Asia in the aftermath of World War II. Here’s what I wrote about Crisostomo Ibarra: “He is the epitome of an educated man: discreet, tactful, introspective, respectful, socially aware, compassionate, intelligent, patriotic and courageous beyond words. Both a man of thought and a man of action, Jose Rizal’s hero in Noli Me Tangere is everything a gentleman should be.” That was an excerpt from the My Most Unforgettable Literary Characters, which originally appeared in Philippine Panorama in January 2005.

I love my country, and even though it seems that God seldom makes old-school inherently decent people like He used to, I still wish there could be more Jose Rizals among us. The youth, after all, in the immortal words of Rizal, is the hope of the motherland.

Watch full movie Jose Rizal starring Cesar Montano here on 2Rivers

OPM: Original Pinoy Movies

2Rivers is a celebration of the rich cultural heritage of my home country the Philippines. You can watch the film clips and trailers of all the movies in Cinemalaya and Cinema One Originals here, plus a vast kaleidoscope of independent and mainstream Filipino movies. This week we feature Cinemalaya 2011. To watch, just click HERE

What I Did When I Woke Up This Morning

Woke up early today to a beautiful rainshower, an easy Sunday morning! Good mornin’ Al Jarreau and Mr. Radio! Surfed the FM stations til I got Di Bale Na Lang by Gary V. I love Sundays: it’s rest day from both work and school. I love it when it rains and I don’t have to go out, enjoying that cozy moment sheltered from the elements, remembering that line from the Astrud Gilberto jazz classic A Certain Sadness: “Look out the window when that rain storms…”


My First Day Alone

There’s a reason why Cascade’s First Day Alone is super special to me. “Here comes the morning sun …” It’s perfect hearing it on the jeep radio in the early smile of sunshine on a Sunday two weeks ago. This Cascades classic revives my youthful adventures in my quest for independence and my place in this world. It just so happens that I was reminiscing about my gung-ho zest to live life to the fullest, totally indifferent to trivialities and gossip. I still have that joie de vivre, that joy for living and I’m happy because I choose to be


Photos courtesy of

Jose Rizal: Methodist On A Mission http://methodistonamission.blogspot.com/2010/01/jose-rizal-is-my-hero.html

Waking: Heartland Writing http://heartlandwriting.wordpress.com/2010/07/20/nothing-here-to-be-afraid-of-its-just-the-mornin/

Boy On A Rocket http://jessperna.com/travel_caricatures.html
Anonymous said…
Hey, this site is really cool! I have one comment though, why can';t I log in using my Yahoo log in?
I’m collecting some songs from the 2Rivers files and bringing them over to the Music tab for user-friendlier access and a sign of pride for Philippine music!
You can try to create a Google account, much easier
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