3 fun facts of our National Hero and my Best friend who both celebrate their name day today

Unknown to few, today, June 19, we celebrate the birthday of our dear National Hero Jose Protacio Rizal Mercado y Alonso Realonda. Lolo Joe, as I name him, led Filipinos outset a revolution against the Spanish Government for us to attain freedom and gain control of our country.

Be it known to all, today, June 19, also happens to be the birthday of one of my personal heroes- my girl best friend for 10 years. J, as I fondly call her led me out from obscurity and brought back my guile and acuity.

Not by luck but providence did it on purpose both Js be born this day. They have so much resemblance. Few fun facts below.

Fun Fact 1: Lolo Joe is known to be a propagandist and for his manner of fighting the Spanish Government through his written works revealing Spaniards inhumane manipulation. He chose not to have a bloody war to fight for our freedom.

J is a propagandist by action since she is an advocate of silent wars. She culls to settle disputes through sending me long-sentimental SMS narrating my barbaric behavior. I end up ignoring her for I know hangry stomach has just took over her overall sanity. In other words, she’s in tantrums and the only antidote is good food.

Fun Fact 2: Lolo Joe is one of the few recognized “Renaissance Man” in the world. Editors Note: A renaissance man is a well-educated person and one who excels in a wide variety of subjects or fields.

By description, J too. She is a teacher, philanthropist, dancer, singer, writer, theater actress, journalist, dramatist, enthusiast, traveler and more.  She values education at a loft. In fact, our planned gala for this month has to be cancelled to give way to her TESOL classes. Yet, this exploit makes me even more proud of her. Go reach for the stars. Editor’s note: TESOL stands for Teaching English to Speaker’s of Other Languages, a teaching qualification in the field of English language learning and teaching.

Fun fact 3: At one time when Lolo Joe was a medical student in Madrid circa 1882, he didn’t take a bath for 136 days. He wrote his sister Maria about it for 2 reasons. First, he has not perspired because of cold weather. Second, baths were expensive and he must have been conserving his limited funds.

During our heydays in College, there was a time when J didn’t bathe for a week. She told me about it for 2 reasons.First, she had “patutho” from a Manong in her town to treat a quirky illness – fever! The tutho has to linger for days so to heal. Second,  she is simply an obedient daughter following her parent’s instruction. I commended her humor and forbearance cautiously disguising my ridicule. Truce girl. At least now, after our recent trip from Divine Mercy, CDO, we knew seeing “quacks” is against our faith. Editor’s Note: Patutho is a style of quack healing in which a person spews spittle or saliva in your entire body. The spittle is believed to bring healing to any afflictions.  

Kidding aside, the truest fact in a nutshell is… Like Lolo Joe, J is a very high-spirited warrior with so much vigor compound to everyone. I wouldn’t be surprised if one day she will alsomake a history.

Today, June 19, marks her blessed day.

The Lady in Red is posing with me. Happy Birthday J.