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(From Philippine Daily Inquirer)
Byline: Ramon J. Farolan
IN THE 11TH century, a Spanish soldier, Rodrigo Diaz, emerged as the prototype of the noble and heroic Castillian who defended his king against Moorish invaders. His life story became the basis of a popular movie in the '60s with Charlton Heston playing the role of El Cid Campeador, the Lord Champion. Starring with him was the voluptuous Sophia Loren, one of the great beauties of her time. If we go by the screen version, it was a captured Moor prince who bestowed the title "El Cid" on Rodrigo in recognition of his humanity and chivalry on the battlefield. The end sees a mortally wounded "El Cid" continuing to lead his soldiers into battle turning away the Moors who were besieging the city of Valencia. He is considered a national hero of Spain.