The 15 Best Jose Rizal Quotes

In honor of Jose Rizal's death anniversary, we take a look back at the national hero's most memorable quotes.

December 30 marks 123 years since Jose Rizal uttered his final words and was executed. Over the course of his life, the national hero had plenty of wise words to share on patriotism, liberty, and more. In honor of Jose Rizal's death anniversary, we take a look back at 20 of the national hero's most memorable quotes. Check them out below.

On looking back:

"He who does not know how to look back at where he came from will never get to his destination."

On loving one's country:

"I want to show to those who deprive people the right to love of country, that when we know how to sacrifice ourselves for our duties and convictions, death does not matter if one dies for those one loves—for his country and for others dear to him."

On taking up opportunities:

"One only dies once, and if one does not die well, a good opportunity is lost and will not present itself again."

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#RizalBirthAnniversary Jose Rizal @ 158 and his wisdom was relevant then as it is relevant now. Rizal wrote in his manifesto that expressed his disapproval of the armed revolution against Spain, he opposed and made clear that armed revolution was futile and disastrous. Reforms must not be violent and transitory. Rizal, like any Filipino then and now, desired our country's freedom but his plea to genuine emancipation was rarely heard. Centuries hence, EDUCATION and HARD WORK that he stressed so often that makes the Filipino people worthy of that freedom is still ignored by many: “Our liberty will not be secured at the sword's point... We must secure it by making ourselves worthy of it. And when the people reach that height, God will provide a weapon, the idols will be shattered, tyranny will crumble like a house of cards, and liberty will shine out like the first dawn.” (from "El Filibusterismo") "Ignorance is bondage, because like mind, like man. A man without will of his own is a man without personality. The blind who follows other’s opinion is like a beast led by a halter." (from "Letter to the Women of Malolos") "Man works for an object. Remove that object and you reduce him into inaction." (from "Indolence of the Filipino") For Rizal, "The gift of reason with which we are endowed must be brightened and utilized” (from "Letter to the Women of Malolos") so that our people can overcome ignorance which empowers tyrants and causes a cycle of slavery. True love of country is not about mouthing empty pride, it is claiming the pride by making OUR PHILIPPINES, a noun synonymous to humility, stewardship, service, community, excellence and honor! ???????????????????????? Jose Rizal photo CTTO #JoseRizal #Rizal

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On justice and injustice:

"Justice is the foremost virtue of the civilizing races. It subdues the barbarous nations, while injustice arouses the weakest."

On liberty:

Our liberty will not be secured at the sword's point... We must secure it by making ourselves worthy of it. And when the people reaches that height, God will provide a weapon, the idols will be shattered, tyranny will crumble like a house of cards, and liberty will shine out like the first dawn."

On ignorance:

"Ignorance is servitude, because as a man thinks, so he is; a man who does not think for himself and allowed himself to be guided by the thought of another is like the beast led by a halter."

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From Dapitan to Trial in Fort Santiago TRAVEL TRAVEL! July 31,1896 #Trial #JoseRizal #Doctor #Dapitan #FortSantiago

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On the importance of education:

"Without education and liberty, which are the soil and the sun of man, no reform is possible, no measure can give the result desired."

On language:


"While a people preserves its language; it preserves the marks of liberty."

On the youth:

"The youth is the hope of our future."

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I've started a project called The Poetry Podcast. In this monthly podcast for short story and poetry lovers, I will read a poem (or short story) found in the public domain. ? ? In September, for our first episode, I read a poem translated as "My Last Farewell" by José Rizal. José Rizal, born in 1861, was a Filipino doctor, a writer, and an advocate for reform of Spanish rule over the Philippines. He was arrested and executed for sedition. He wrote, "Mi Última Adiós" or "My Last Farewell" the night before he died in 1896. He hid the letter in the oven of his jail cell for his family to find. It is considered a masterpiece of 19th Century Spanish verse. ? ? I came upon this poem when traveling in the Phillippines in 2008 and I am proud that it is the pilot episode for the Poetry Podcast. It is an absolutely beautiful piece of writing.? ? Check out the episode on the website: ? October's episode will be up on Sunday! ♥? ???? ???? ???? #shortstoriesofinstagram #poetsinautumn #podcasthost #narrators #narrator #joserizal

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On suffering:

"Filipinos don't realize that victory is the child of struggle, that joy blossoms from suffering, and redemption is a product of sacrifice."

On life:

"To live is to be among men, and to be among men is to struggle, a struggle not only with them but with oneself; with their passions, but also with one's own."

On religion:

"To doubt God is to doubt one's own conscience, and in consequence it would be to doubt everything."

On travel:

"Travel is a caprice in childhood, a passion in youth, a necessity in manhood, and an elegy in old age."

On nobility:

"We want the happiness of the Philippines, but we want to obtain it through noble and just means. If I have to commit villainy to make her happy, I would refuse to do so, because I am sure that what is built on sand sooner or later would tumble down."


On the government:

"I can concede that the government has no knowledge of the people, but I believe the people know less of the government. There are useless officials, evil, if you like, but there are also good ones, and these are not able to accomplish anything because they encounter an inert mass, the population that takes little part in matters that concern them."

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