‘Learn more about the lives of GomBurZa’, Briones tells teachers, students

Published February 17, 2021, 11:51 PM

by Merlina Hernando-Malipot

Know more, learn more.

This is what Education Secretary Leonor Briones would want students and teachers alike to do when it comes to the lives of the country’s heroes – particularly the three martyred priests, Fathers Mariano Gómez, José Burgos, and Jacinto Zamora also known as “GomBurZa.”

Education Secretary Leonor Briones (DepEd / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

“I’d like to encourage our teachers to review once more the lives of these three priests,” Briones said during the a virtual symposium organized by Department of Education (DepEd) – Division of City Schools in Manila in cooperation with the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) on Wednesday, Feb. 17.

“I hope that our teachers will continue to remind our learners and themselves as well that we are not what we are today, we would not be where we are today without these martyrs, without these heroes contributing their lives,” Briones said.

When she was newly-appointed as DepEd Chief, Briones recalled that she had an opportunity to review once more the writings of Nick Joaquin – especially on the lives of the three priests.

“It is a very interesting read and I hope our teachers will review and read this book again so that they will learn more about the lives of these three priests – not as the usual characters that we see in painting looking otherworldly and so different from us – but very human, very humane picture of these three priests as Filipinos and as members of our society,” Briones said.

Aside from teachers, Briones noted that students “should also be encouraged to learn more in addition to studying the lives of our major national heroes” but also the three priests who “helped spark the revolution against Spain.”

Meanwhile, Briones also thanked NHCP for all their efforts in “reminding us not only of the important days in the lives of our national heroes but as they are connected to very important events in the life of our country – particularly in shaping the nation as well.”  

Briones also recognized the descendants of the three priests and thanked GomBurZa for their “heroic contributions to the cause of nationalism, to the cause of freedom and to the cause of separation of Church and State.”

She also urged the descendants to “wear your name proudly, claim that you are a descendant of these three priests who combined – in a really meaningful way – expressions of their faith as priests and their duty as Filipinos and also sacrificing their lives” for the country.

Titled, “GAROTE: Isang Birtwal na Simposyum kaugnay sa paggunita ng Ika-149 taong kabayanihan ng GomBurZa” the forum also featured historian Xiao Chua who discussed in detail the martyrdom of three secular priests whose deaths stirred the hearts of the Filipinos to fight for their freedom from the Spanish colonial rule.