The Ultimate Blogger

by Oliver Carlos

Blog is Life has been running for more than 6 months now, and it has published more than 100 stories so far. There are many more in store for you, and I hope you’ll never grow tired reading them. But don’t you know that blogging was already existent ages ago? There’s even a Philippine hero whom I call as “The Ultimate Blogger.” He is none other than our national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal.

This statue of Dr. Jose Rizal in his hometown of Calamba, Laguna is the tallest Rizal statue in the whole world. It is 150 feet tall, and inaugurated on his 150th birthday on June 19, 2011. (photo by Jet Castillo)

Why do I call him so? That’s actually what separates him from all the other heroes. Jose Rizal wrote all the time. The primary documents that he had generated in his lifetime outnumber the ones written by all the other heroes combined. We all know Rizal wrote 2 novels, and several poems and essays. Aside from those, he also wrote letters to his parents, siblings, and friends. He had a voluminous correspondence with his best friend Ferdinand Blumentritt. He also drew sketches of people he met, places he visited, and even animals he discovered. If there was social media in his time, he would probably be posting blogs and photos daily!

Rizal didn’t write about politics exclusively. If you would read his letters, he also wrote about his daily non-political experiences. One time he wrote to Blumentritt about the dam he and his students built in Dapitan. He also wrote about how many fruit trees he had in his plantation. He also wrote his sister what pasalubong to bring when they visit him. When Rizal was in Europe, he wrote his family what goes on in his daily life there. He wrote about little things too, like the beautiful flowers he saw on the wayside in Germany. When he was traveling across the United States, Rizal wrote about his train ride and his emotions upon seeing the Niagara Falls. He also wrote about the cherry blossoms in Japan, the shops in Macau, the Lauriat he ate in Hong Kong, the library he frequented in London, the fair he visited in Paris, and the parties he attended in Spain.

The other heroes who were contemporaries of Rizal wrote just a few pieces of literature, or a few pages of memoirs. But the pages of the Rizal-written stuff we have today are so voluminous. Thus, we know so much about his life and thoughts. One semester is not enough to cover all that he has written about himself and his time. Indeed, Rizal is instrumental in making the next generation Filipinos know about how life was more than a century ago.

Thousands of years ago, there was also another blogger from whose writings we know about God’s faithfulness in big historical events, and in little daily things. I’m talking about the psalmist David. He wrote poems that talk about his personal experiences and faith in his God. His poems had melodies, but we know how they sounded. Nonetheless, the lyrics were preserved, and we can read them today in the Book of Psalms.

David was deliberate in his writings, so that the next generation would learn about God, his statutes, and his character:

“Each generation will praise you and tell the next generation about the great things you do.” (Psalm 145:4, ERV)

Aside from David, the other psalmists followed his lead. They also wrote poems or songs that talk about God’s love and power. They wanted the next generation to know and experience these. Here’s a sample written by Asaph:

“Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, my God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your mighty acts to all who are to come.” (Psalm 71:18, NIV)

Why don’t we do the same? Let’s try keeping a “gratitude journal.” Find a notebook and write daily what you are thankful for. Count your blessings at the end of each day. You can write there even the smallest and most mundane prayer item God answered. One day, when you read back its pages, you will be overwhelmed at how good and gracious our God is!

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Oliver Carlos wears many hats. He's a history professor, a life coach to young adults, an athlete, a sports media practicioner, and a loving family man.

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Blog is Life

Oliver Carlos wears many hats. He's a history professor, a life coach to young adults, an athlete, a sports media practicioner, and a loving family man.