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Midnight in Paris

I watched a film about a struggling writer who stumbled upon a way to travel back in time. Lucky for him, he was able to meet his literary idols, like Hemingway. The movie got me thinking. If I could travel back in time and meet my own literary idols, I would choose Jose Rizal. He is one of the people who inspired me to write. Rizal wrote “Noli Me Tangere,” the novel that sparked a revolution in the Philippines, which led to the end of the Spanish colonization in the country. His ability to transport his readers to a world so different from ours is outstanding. The sincerity in his writings is something that only a few writers can sustain. The “truth” in his books is timeless and still relevant today.

Rizal is one of those authors who became a huge influence in the way I write. The voice in his novels–his voice–is so strong and so unique, that by the end of the book, you gain a friend.

Halfway through the movie, I fetched my copy of his original manuscript, a facsimile of Noli, and hugged it till the end of the film. I feel sad that young Filipinos consider Rizal as a mere shadow of the past, boring, and irrelevant. I believe, if the youth of today rediscover his works, his legacy, then we can all build a new and stronger republic.

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