Photo of the Day: Lessons From Rizal and his Moth

Photo of the Day

Lessons From Rizal and his Moth
philippines
Image by Storm Crypt
On Explore/Flickr Top 500, Nov. 19, 2008
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This shot was taken west of the Mt. Mayon’s summit, somewhere in the area between Ligao City and Guinobatan, with the sun casting a shadow on this shot. Some part of the high altitude clouds gave way to the sun, illuminating the smoke. If I’m on an open aircraft, I’d have the chance to smell that smoke. I was thinking of the thought of even getting nearer and then I remembered the story of the moth, and Jose Rizal. Yes, Rizal, the Philippines’ national hero(though I don’t think he should be THE national hero). In one of his writings he described how the moth get closer and closer to the flame eventually getting burned and dying. It was compared to one’s determination to get what he desire, in this case the moth sees the flame as something beautiful, something rewarding to get closer to — and the moth died for it. Well, for most Filipinos, we all know that Rizal was a good writer. He is. But a national hero? Remember how he turned down Pio Valenzuela, upon the request of Bonifacio to help plan the Philippine revolution? Remember that? He decided to stay in Dapitan(Mindanao) instead to "honor" his promise to the colonizers, when the real reason was Josephine Bracken. How on earth could we honor someone as our national hero, when he chose not to join the revolution all because of a girl named Bracken. Well, only in the Philippines.

The shot did not seem to turn out right, but it does brings memories of the story of the moth, and the shadows on the slopes tell so much of how much of the Philippines live in the shadow of confusion — and probably the reason why the country will never develop as a people. It can’t even select the right national hero.

In the background is Tabaco Bay, and part of Lagonoy Gulf. Partly shown too are the islands of San Miguel, Cagraray, Batan and Rapu-rapu. The wide horizon to the top of the frame is part of the vast Pacific Ocean.

Mayon Volcano
Albay, Philippines

(Attribution/credits above)

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