Rizal. Rizal. Rizal.Do I know you? Have we met?Oh yeah, this was my section when I was in my Senior High. (Laughs J ) My goodness, after four years, we met again, José Protacio Rizal Mercado y Alonso Realonda!Seriously, why heard, read, wrote it down and encountered all over and over again?Having Rizal subject in my schedule this semester is a boring, nonsense and a wasted time ever happened in my life. I thought so. But I was really wrong! Because knowing YOU more is far greater than a SECTION, a MONUMENT, a STREET, the man on the PESO coin, a NAME, etc., much more than that – because you’re a HERO that this world and the Philippines can ever have.Now what can I learn and imitate from you so far? (Because the semester is not yet over.)At first, I was very skeptical about what I read through the pages and chapters of our reference material and to what the reporters in front saying and trying to discuss and emphasize during our discussions – that he is truly GREAT! Because it seems that he and his life is somewhat a perfect one that can only be read and heard in fictional stories – somewhat unbelievable. Maybe that’s his fate and he was really destined to be the “Jose Rizal” everybody around the world admired of! As evidences do not and never ever lie – only interpretations (laughs J). I just hope that, those biographers of him didn’t make exaggerations just to make him appealing like that, that he is so great. Anyway, José Protacio Rizal Mercado y Alonso Realonda and his 35 years of existence simply taught me two great things and values in life.First, valuing and loving relationships – be it family relationships, friendships, special relationships, country-citizen relationship and most especially You-and-Your-Creator relationship. Rizal was a very loving and obedient child to his parents, sibling and relatives. Only the best intentions were his wishes for all of them. Remember, he studied ophthalmology abroad very well just to cure his mother’s eye illness and thanks God he succeeded. Although Rizal going abroad was forbidden by his parents but he still continued to do so – somewhat an act of disobedience – that doesn’t mean he is a bad son. He just has his stand and defends it the way he thinks ought to be. He just proved that no one can ever dictate you on what and not to do because all of us have our own minds, hearts and consciences. People can only give us advises, can influence and affect our decisions but can never dictate us. Like as Khalil Gibran says, “Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself. They come through you but not from you, And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.”When he was roaming around the Western countries, he treasures every memories and moments whenever he is with his friends or acquaintances especially his best friend Maximo Viola. They shared deep thoughts, opinions and happy laughter as well. He just makes sure that every moment with his friends will be a pleasurable and a memorable one.“Chick boy” as others’ impression on him when it comes to his love life, I believed Rizal was a very loving and a stick-to-one partner. Only that many women really liked him a lot that all of them want to be his long-time partner. I strongly believed that he loved all them (the girls!J ) seriously and faithfully. Only that he just have other priorities over them, that’s why he didn’t pursued any one of them.Patriotic and compassionate as he was ever since, he wanted to save his fellowmen from the discrimination and brutal treatment of the Spaniards. That’s why he proved that “pen is mightier than the sword”. He let the