Jose Rizal is the Philippines national zero--err, hero, and today, the city of Calamba as well as the entire province of Laguna celebrated his birthday.
There were nonsensical parades ordered by the city officials where poor students and laborers were forced to march hither-thither while the higher-ups belched like the swines they are in lavish official banquets.
The legacy of Rizal lives on in his works, particularly his two novels which are required reading in middle and tertiary schools throughout the country. The two novels are typical of most contemporary Pinoy fiction, the two-bit paperback ones about romance domestic helpers usually thumb through with their meager read-slowly-while-mouthing-the-words literacy skill.
No, they weren't particularly good. In fact, they were downright boring, even rivaling J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy in terms of sleep-inducing effect. But I guess being the first Filipino to actually write a novel, much less publish two, it was some achievement for a race not much removed from apes.
In other fronts, Rizal managed to spark a religion of his own, yet more proof of the idiocy of the people of the Philippine islands.
I've run out of steam for this rant for now, and as I look back, it seems such a waste of energy for a topic that's so stale and base. Maybe I'll come back and revise and add to this later. But I think the point's been made: Jose Rizal is stupid, honoring him (or anyone from the past) is stupid, and I am superior to him and to everyone else here in the Philippines.