José Rizal and the Propaganda Movement Essay Sample

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Between 1872 and 1892, a national consciousness was growing among the Filipino émigrés who had settled in Europe. In the freer atmosphere of Europe, these émigrés–liberals exiled in 1872 and students attending European universities–formed the Propaganda Movement. Organized for literary and cultural purposes more than for political ends, the Propagandists, who included upper-class Filipinos from all the lowland Christian areas, strove to “awaken the sleeping intellect of the Spaniard to the needs of our country” and to create a closer, more equal association of the islands and the motherland. Among their specific goals were representation of the Philippines in the Cortes, or Spanish parliament; secularization of the clergy; legalization of Spanish and Filipino equality; creation of a public school system independent of the friars; abolition of the polo (labor service) and vandala (forced sale of local products to the government); guarantee of basic freedoms of speech and association; and equal opportunity for Filipinos and Spanish to enter government service. The most outstanding Propagandist was José Rizal, a physician, scholar, scientist, and writer.

Born in 1861 into a prosperous Chinese mestizo family in Laguna Province, he displayed great intelligence at an early age. After several years of medical study at the University of Santo Tomás, he went to Spain in 1882 to finish his studies at the University of Madrid. During the decade that followed, Rizal’s career spanned two worlds: Among small communities of Filipino students in Madrid and other European cities, he became a leader and eloquent spokesman, and in the wider world of European science and scholarship–particularly in Germany–he formed close relationships with prominent natural and social scientists. The new discipline of anthropology was of special interest to him; he was committed to refuting the friars’ stereotypes of Filipino racial inferiority with scientific arguments. His greatest impact on the development of a Filipino national consciousness, however, was his publication of two novels–Noli Me Tangere (Touch me not) in 1886 and El Filibusterismo (The reign of greed) in 1891. Rizal drew on his personal experiences and depicted the conditions of Spanish rule in the islands, particularly the abuses of the friars.

Although the friars had Rizal’s books banned, they were smuggled into the Philippines and rapidly gained a wide readership. Other important Propagandists included Graciano Lopez Jaena, a noted orator and pamphleteer who had left the islands for Spain in 1880 after the publication of his satirical short novel, Fray Botod (Brother Fatso), an unflattering portrait of a provincial friar. In 1889 he established a biweekly newspaper in Barcelona, La Solidaridad (Solidarity), which became the principal organ of the Propaganda Movement, having audiences both in Spain and in the islands. Its contributors included Rizal; Dr. Ferdinand Blumentritt, an Austrian geographer and ethnologist whom Rizal had met in Germany; and Marcelo del Pilar, a reformminded lawyer. Del Pilar was active in the antifriar movement in the islands until obliged to flee to Spain in 1888, where he became editor of La Solidaridad and assumed leadership of the Filipino community in Spain. In 1887 Rizal returned briefly to the islands, but because of the furor surrounding the appearance of Noli Me Tangere the previous year, he was advised by the governor to leave.

He returned to Europe by way of Japan and North America to complete his second novel and an edition of Antonio de Morga’s seventeenth-century work, Sucesos de las Islas Filipinas (History of the Philippine Islands). The latter project stemmed from an ethnological interest in the cultural connections between the peoples of the pre-Spanish Philippines and those of the larger Malay region (including modern Malaysia and Indonesia) and the closely related political objective of encouraging national pride. De Morga provided positive information about the islands’ early inhabitants, and reliable accounts of pre-Christian religion and social customs. After a stay in Europe and Hong Kong, Rizal returned to the Philippines in June 1892, partly because the Dominicans had evicted his father and sisters from the land they leased from the friars’ estate at Calamba, in Laguna Province.

He also was convinced that the struggle for reform could no longer be conducted effectively from overseas. In July he established the Liga Filipina (Philippine League), designed to be a truly national, nonviolent organization. It was dissolved, however, following his arrest and exile to the remote town of Dapitan in northwestern Mindanao. The Propaganda Movement languished after Rizal’s arrest and the collapse of the Liga Filipina. La Solidaridad went out of business in November 1895, and in 1896 both del Pilar and Lopez Jaena died in Barcelona, worn down by poverty and disappointment. An attempt was made to reestablish the Liga Filipina, but the national movement had become split between ilustrado advocates of reform and peaceful evolution (the compromisarios, or compromisers) and a plebeian constituency that wanted revolution and national independence. Because the Spanish refused to allow genuine reform, the initiative quickly passed from the former group to the latter.

Importance significances of the article
Masonry play a signifance role in the Propaganda Movement. Many Filipinos patriots turned to Masons, including M.H. Del Pilar, G.Lopez Jaena, Rizal, Ponce, and others, because they needed help of Masons in Spain and in other foreign countries in their fight for reforms. The first Filipino masonic lodge called Revolution was founded by Lopez Jaena in Barcelona and was recognized on April, 1889 by the Grande Oriental Espanol headed by Don Miguel Morayta. Towards the end of 1891, M.H. Del Pilar, with the consent of the Grande Oriente Espanol, sent Serrano Laktaw to the Philippines to establish the first Filipino Masonic Lodge in Manila. In compliance with his mission, Serrano Laktaw founded in Manila on January 6, 1892, Lodge Nilad, the first Filipino masonic lodge in the Philippines

Summary
To prove his point and refute the accusations of prejudiced Spanish writers against his race, Rizal annotated the book, Sucesos de las Islas Filipinas, written by the Spaniard Antonio Morga. The book was an unbiased presentation of 16th century Filipino culture. Rizal through his annotation showed that Filipinos had developed culture even before the coming of the Spaniards. While annotating Morga’s book, he began writing the sequel to the Noli, the El Filibusterismo. He completed the Fili in July 1891 while he was in Brussels, Belgium. As in the printing of the Noli, Rizal could not published the sequel for the lack of finances. Fortunately, Valentin Ventura gave him financial assistance and the Fili came out of the printing press on September 1891. The El Filibusterismo indicated Spanish colonial policies and attacked the Filipino collaborators of such system. The novel pictured a society on the brink of a revolution.

To buttress his defense of the native’s pride and dignity as people, Rizal wrote three significant essays while abroad: The Philippines a Century hence, the Indolence of the Filipinos and the Letter to the Women of Malolos. These writings were his brilliant responses to the vicious attacks against the Indio and his culture.

While in Hongkong, Rizal planned the founding of the Liga Filipina, a civil organization and the establishment of a Filipino colony in Borneo. The colony was to be under the protectorate of the North Borneo Company, he was granted permission by the British Governor to establish a settlement on a 190,000 acre property in North Borneo. The colony was to be under the protectorate of the North Borneo Company, with the “same privileges and conditions at those given in the treaty with local Bornean rulers”.

Governor Eulogio Despujol disapproved the project for obvious and self-serving reasons. He considered the plan impractical and improper that Filipinos would settle and develop foreign territories while the colony itself badly needed such developments.

Conclusion
Many Filipinos took refuge in Europe and Initiated in Spain in a Crusade for reforms in the Philippines. The immergence of more Filipino Illustrados gave birth to a unified nationalist movement. This campaign was known in our history as the Propaganda Movement. Their aim was peaceful assimilation, referring to the transition of the Philippines from being a colony to a province of Spain. The propagandist believed that it would be better if the Filipinos would become Spanish citizens, since they would be enjoying the same rights and privileges of the latter. Its adherents did not seek independence from Spain but reforms.

References

1. ^ “Bulacan, Philippines: General Info: Heroes and Patriots: Mariano Ponce”. http://www.bulacan.gov.ph/generalinfo/hero.php?id=32. Retrieved 2008-08-01. Philippine Revolution (1896–1898)|
Events| Prelude| * Novales Revolt * Palmero Conspiracy * Gomburza * Cry of Pugad Lawin * Katagalugan (Bonifacio) * Imus Assembly * Tejeros Convention * Republic of Biak-na-Bato * Biak-na-Bato Elections * Pact of Biak-na-Bato * Spanish-American War * Declaration of Independence * Malolos Congress * República Filipina * Negros Revolution * Treaty of Paris * Philippine–American War * Katagalugan (Sacay) * Republic of Zamboanga * Moro Rebellion

Epilogue| * Philippine Autonomy Act of 1916 * Commonwealth of the Philippines * Treaty of Manila|

Organizations| * American Anti-Imperialist League * Aglipayan Church * Katipunan * La Liga Filipina * Magdalo faction * Magdiwang faction * Philippine Constabulary * Philippine Revolutionary Army * Pulajanes * Propaganda Movement * Republic of Negros| | |

Documents| * El filibusterismo * Kartilya ng Katipunan * La Solidaridad * Malolos Constitution * Mi último adiós * Noli Me Tangere| | |
Symbols| * Flags of the Philippine Revolution * Flag of the Philippines * Lupang Hinirang * Spoliarium| | |
People| * Juan Abad * Gregorio Aglipay * Baldomero Aguinaldo * Emilio Aguinaldo * Jose Alejandrino * Vicente Alvarez * Melchora Aquino * Juan Araneta * Bonifacio Flores Arevalo * Andrés Bonifacio * Josephine Bracken * Dios Buhawi * Francisco Carreón * Ananias Diokno * Ladislao Diwa * Gregoria de Jesús * Tiburcio de Leon * Gregorio del Pilar * Marcelo H. del Pilar * George Dewey * Edilberto Evangelista * Adriano Hernandez * Papa Isio * Emilio Jacinto * Antonio Ledesma Jayme * León Kilat * Aniceto Lacson * Francisco Tongio Liongson * Pedro Tongio Liongson * Mariano Llanera * Graciano López Jaena * Vicente Lukbán * Antonio Luna * Juan Luna * Apolinario Mabini * Sultan of Maguindanao * Miguel Malvar * Arcadio Maxilom * William McKinley * Patricio Montojo * Simeón Ola * José Palma * Pedro Paterno * Mariano Ponce * Artemio Ricarte * José Rizal *
Paciano Rizal * Macario Sakay * Sultan of Sulu * Martin Teofilo Delgado * Manuel Tinio * Mariano Trías * Trece Martires * Flaviano Yengko|

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