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Why Study Rizal?

It is of great importance that students understand the rationale behind having to take up a Rizal course in college.  For high school students, the Noli Me Tangere and the El Filibusterismo are injected into the Filipino subject as part of the overall curriculum.  In tertiary education, however, Rizal is a subject required of any course, in any college or university in the Philippines. 

Usually, during the first day of the course, the professor asks the well-overused questions:

Why study Rizal?
What is the importance of studying Rizal?
Why is Rizal one of the minor subjects taken up in college?
Why is Rizal included in the course outline?
What relevance does Rizal have in college education?

The answer to such questions can be summed up in two points:

  1. First and foremost, because it is mandated by law.
  2. Secondly, because of the lessons contained within the course itself.

Let us discuss those reasons one by one:


The teaching of Jose Rizal’s life, works, and writings is mandated by Republic Act 1425, otherwise known as the Rizal Law.  Senator Jose P. Laurel, the person who sponsored the said law, said that since Rizal was the founder of Philippine nationalism and has contributed much to the current standing of this nation, it is only right that the youth as well as all the people in the country know about and learn to imbibe the great ideals for which he died.  The Rizal Law, enacted in 1956, seeks to accomplish the following goals:
  1. To rededicate the lives of youth to the ideals of freedom and nationalism, for which our heroes lived and died
  2. To pay tribute to our national hero for devoting his life and works in shaping the Filipino character
  3. To gain an inspiring source of patriotism through the study of Rizal’s life, works, and writings.


Aside from those mentioned above, there are other reasons for teaching the Rizal course in Philippine schools:
  1. To recognize the importance of Rizal’s ideals and teachings in relation to present conditions and situations in the society.
  2. To encourage the application of such ideals in current social and personal problems and issues.
  3. To develop an appreciation and deeper understanding of all that Rizal fought and died for. 
  4. To foster the development of the Filipino youth in all aspects of citizenship.


  1. It is a MUST that the one handles the subject knows more and those Professors who are alive to teach Rizal... majority of the Professors handled Rizal subject were boring and that the students were less interested to listen...

    1. well in my case I am so happy that my professor is not boring,..

    2. True! However, it will always up to us on how we will value the subject itself. When your professor get's boring, do something. You have a choice.

  2. It is an issue today whether we still have to teach Rizal course, looking at the present times, many are now questioning the relevance of the subject. But as for me, Rizal subject will always be significant. It had been our mirror from the past that had helped us shape what we have today.Thus, Rizal course must remain in our curriculum.


  4. knowing the life of our hero is knowing on how to be Filipino!

  5. how can we be inspired if we will learn eventually the life of rizal aside of he as the hero of our country that he was once a womanizer? that what i had thought about him during my hogh school years, since Ive read some of his life story.

    1. Because he's more than a womanizer. Look at the things (good things) he made for the country. That is far more heavier than him being a womanizer.

  6. studying his life and works could promote patriotism and nationalism as well

  7. I still don't see the need to have Rizal subject in College courses which are not related to Education and Arts. Much more today, due to the implementation of K to 12 educational system.

    I'm an Accountancy major and I had enough of the guy from Filipino subjects from pre-school to high school. I don't see how studying his biography would help me with my life after college. Knowing his life story won't make me any more substantial person than those who don't even have a clue who this man is. I don't even admire the guy nor am I a fanatic of nationalism. It doesn't make any sense to force someone to learn what he's not intetested in.

    Now, I'm stuck wasting so many hours memorizing names, dates, places, events, poems, and lines in roleplaying that won't serve me any purpose other than pass the subject. Furthermore, burden of compulsary buying these unnecessary books and costumes takes a takes a toll financially. Those wasted hours and money might have been used for something else more useful like refining my technical skills that which my time consuming major already requires. All these would just make guys like me hate the national hero for making a semester of our college life into a hell hole without getting anything in return.

    1. your time and your money is nothing compared to what he GIVE for this country.

    2. I agree with this. They can implement the Rizal subject in the years of Elementary and High School and they can forget about College. Let the college students focus on their own courses and specialties.

    3. Is that how they taught you in your Rizal class? memorize names, dates and events? Well, apparently, you're missing the whole thing. You're supposed to study the life and works of Rizal in an "out-of-the-box" perspective. Do you even know that Rizal was closely associated with Blumentrit? Or how were they even associated with each other? Do you even know where to stand once you're being asked if either Rizal retracted from he beliefs before he got executed? Do you even know how if he and Bracken really got married or not?
      This course was not proposed by the Late Senator Claro M. Recto if it serves nothing. The Rizal you knew during your elementary and high school days will be way way different.
      I am not Rizalista, but I am currently taking my Rizal class, and I guarantee you, Rizal's stereotypical image of my elementary and high school days have changed.

      And by the way, just so you know, Rizal had tuyo and tsokolate for breakfast. He also loved mais con yelo. Thinking he was frugal? not enough. Tuyo and tsokolate for breakfast was for the supposedly upper classmen during Rizal's era.

      I hope you don't count Rizal according to what your elementary, high school and (unfortunately) college teachers have told you.

  8. learning about the life of Rizal is like learning about the lives of your own parents. You may not be interested for the reason that it is an additional burden to your student life, but still as someone who is born a Filipino it is a must to know about his life.

  9. for me as a student who currently taking up rizal subject is God' s Will. Everything happens for a reason. And learning about rizal's life will lead you a good way of not only educating yourself but also others. So dont hate rizal because he has a purpose in life and that is not to become self centered.


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