Message of His Excellency, Jose P. Laurel, President of the Republic of the Philippines, at the Cavite oratorical contest on June 19, 1944, Imus, Cavite.

I wish to congratulate the Governor and the Cavite Kalibapi chapter for their initiative in celebrating the 83rd birthday anniversary of Rizal. I wish to felicitate likewise the participants in this oratorical contest organized to honor the hero’s birthday for concentrating their attention on the life and contribution of Rizal in the building of our nation.

We have chosen this day to launch the KAPARIZ or Kabataang Pangarap ni Rizal, which, as you know, is the nation-wide movement designed to imbue our citizens with the attributes of character that made Jose Rizal the exemplary citizen worthy of the emulation of all Filipino. I am convinced that whatever future there is for us as a people must depend on how faithfully we of this generation and our children measure up to the pattern of character set by Jose Rizal.

It is my earnest hope that you who are present on this occasion will use every opportunity to promote the attainment of this objective. It should be a lasting inspiration to us that Rizal was of our very blood and that it was out of our own traditions as a race that he succeeded to develop a character, a personality whose intellectual and moral stature so impressed his generation and age as to facilitate their unification and seal their determination to realize the nation’s freedom.

As one of our own race, Rizal proved to us that like any other people we are capable of great things if we have the courage and the determination and if we have the requisite spirit of sacrifice in the interest of the entire people’s welfare. What Rizal was able to accomplish we of this generation should be able to achieve in our own way. We should be able even to do bigger things because we have greater advantages.

It is our duty, therefore, ever to keep before our eyes the life and deeds of the greatest hero of our race and to prove that we are equal to the great dream that he had for us and to the great faith that he had in our capacity to contribute to the welfare of mankind. It should be our constant endeavor to know the life of Rizal and make his ideals our own not merely for pious recollection on his anniversaries but for loyal compliance in our daily life as citizens of the Republic.

Source: Office of the Solicitor General Library