What has been the most defining moment of your life?

 In history, we look at the significance of all the people who fought for the freedom that we are all enjoying now. We look at their contributions to society, what made them distinct and what made them particularly special. Out of the hundreds of heroes, popular or unsung, who risked their lives for the country’s freedom, one person stood out with his writings and inspirational ways—Dr. Jose Rizal.

This year, as we celebrate 150 years of Rizal’s greatness, the National Historical Commission of the Philippines calls for nominations to the Rizal Awards. It is being extended to individuals and groups that:

Spearheaded projects that support the Rizalian concept of love of country and fulfillment of our duties of citizenship; Achieved meritorious individual recognition in various professions, which promote, teach and disseminate the same through proven competence leading to the general benefit of the individual, community, and the country at large in the light of Rizal’s teaching and way of life; and Promoted and encouraged civic and citizenship responsibility as model citizens—incorruptible patriots with the virtue of resisting temptations and misuse of wealth, influence, rank, or power.

The Rizal Awards is divided into two categories: individual and organizational. Ten Filipinos and three foreigners would be awarded in the Individual Category and ten institutions, societies, or organizations that qualified in the terms stated would be awarded in the Institutional Category.

The Rizal Awards commend meritorious individuals who, like Rizal, practiced patriotism, rendered altruistic service, and exercised civic responsibility towards the community and country.

“What strikes me most about the man, every time I read him in a different stage of my life, whether as a Filipino, or as a historian, I have a different reading of him. Every time I come into contact with something he has said or written, there’s something new that resonates. There is much to learn from him,” says Dra. Serena Diokno, Chairperson of the National Historical Commission of the Philippines.

“He played a pivotal role of what it meant to be a Filipino,” Diokno further enthuses, “and it is very important that we recognize the people and organizations of today who remain faithful and who continue to live by what the national hero has started.”

If you believe that a person from your community, organization, or company deserves to be a recipient of the Rizal Award, then send your nominations to the NHCP Office or e-mail them at rizalawards@nhcp.gov.ph on or before March 15, 2012.

To know more about Rizal@150 and the Rizal Awards, log on to www.nhcp.gov.ph or call the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (02) 524 9952. Details are here: https://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=118029414938750

The National Historical Commission of the Philippines (formerly known as the National Historical Institute), is an arm in the culture and development agenda of the government, with the objective of promoting the Philippine history and cultural heritage through research, information dissemination, conservation, site managements and heraldry works. It also aims to promote awareness and appreciation of the ideals of our nation’s heroes and other illustrious Filipinos, to instil pride in the Filipino race and rekindle the Filipino spirit through the lessons of history.

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