The Revolution and Our Understanding of Rizal
•Wants reform thru education
•A martyr to oppression, obscurantism and bigotry.
•Create a cult and vilify other heroes
•Theodore Friend: Between Two Empires
Chose him (Rizal) as a model hero over Aguinaldo, Bonifacio and Mabini.
Philippine Commission Acts
Act No. 137 which organized the politico-military district of Morong and named it the province of Rizal “in honor of the most illustrious Filipino and the most illustrious Tagalog the islands had ever known, ” oAct No.243 which authorized a public subscription for the erection of a monument in honor or Rizal at the Luneta oAct No. 346 which set aside the anniversary of his death as a day of observance. •Governor W. Cameron Forbes: The Philippine Islands
They favored a hero who would not run against the grain of American colonial policy.
Bonifacio and Mabini vs. American colonial policy.
Rizal was a reformer, not a separatist
The Role of Heroes
•Rizal possessed a particular talent which influenced the style of the period •Rizal may have given form and articulation and color to the aspirations of the people •Mass action is not the utterances of a leader; rather, these leaders have been impelled to action by historical forces unleashed by social development. •He is a hero in the sense that he was able to see the problems generated by historical forces, discern the new social needs created by the historical development of new social relationships, and take an active part in meeting these needs. •But he is
not a hero in the sense that he could have stopped and altered the course of events. •The truth of this statement is demonstrated by the fact that the Revolution broke out despite his refusal to lead it and continued despite his condemnation of it.
Innovation and Change
•The English occupation of the country, the end of the galleon trade, and the Latin-American revolutions are factors that led to economic re-thinking by liberal Spanish officials.
The Ideological Framework
•New consciousness and new goal – that of equality with the peninsulares – not in the abstract, but in practical economic and political terms. •Hispanization and assimilation constituted the ideological expression of the economic motivationsof affluent indios and mestizos. •Equality with the Spaniard meant equality of opportunity •Anti-clericalism became the ideological style of the period •Though the aims of this class were limited to reformist measures, he expressed its demands in terms of human liberty and human dignity and thus encompassed the wider aspirations of all the people. He did this in good faith. •He had to become a Spaniard first before becoming a Filipino. •Rizal contributed much to the growth of this national consciousness.
The Concept of Filipino Nationhood
•creoles – the Spaniards born in the Philippines
•The natives were called indios
•Spanish mestizos who could pass off for white claimed to be creoles and therefore Filipinos. •We must also correct the common impression that the Filipinos who were in Spain during the Propaganda Period were all indios. •In fact, the original Circulo Hispano-Filipino was dominated by creoles and peninsulares •Differences between the creoles and the “genuine” Filipinos set in. • Rizal and other indios in Paris began to use the term indios bravos, thus “transforming an epithet into a badge of honor.” •The birth of La Solidaridad. Its leaders were indios. The editor was not a creole or a Spanish mestizo but Lopez-Jaena and later Marcelo H. del Pilar. •The term Filipino was an anti-colonial victory.
The “Limited” Filipinos
•Filipino of today must undergo a process of de-colonization before he can become a true Filipino. •The de-colonized Filipino is the real goal for our time just as the Hispanized Filipino was once the goal of the reformists. •He died for his people, yet his repudiation of the Revolution was an act against the people. •He condemned the Revolution because as anilustrado he instinctively underestimated the power and the talents of the people. •He believed in freedom not so much as a national right but as something to be deserved, like a medal for good behavior. •Rizal did not consider political independence as a prerequisite to freedom. • A people can be free without being independent, and a people can be independent without being free. •Americans projected Rizal as the model of an educated citizen. •Colonial mentality. Tutelage in the art of government as an excuse for colonialism is a discredited alibi. •Freedom is a diploma to be granted by a superior people to an inferior one after years of apprenticeship.
The Precursors of Mendicancy
Rizal was one of the practitioners of a mendicant policy. •Propagandists, in working for certain reforms, chose Spain as the arena of their struggle instead of working among their own people, educating them and learning from them, helping them to realize their own condition and articulating their aspirations. •They felt that education gave them the right to speak for the people.
Ilustrados And Indios
•Bonifacio, not as Hispanized as the ilustrados, saw in people’s action the only road to liberation. •Ilustrados cannot be denied for they were purveyors (supplier) of ideas which when seized upon by the masses became real weapons. •Every nation is always discovering or rediscovering heroes in the past or its present.
•Hero-worship, therefore, must be both historical and critical.
Limitations of Rizal
•The revolutions of today would be beyond the understanding of Rizal whose Castilian orientation necessarily limited his horizon even for that period.
The Negation of Rizal
•We must discard the belief that we are incapable of producing the heroes of our epoch, that heroes are exceptional beings, accidents of history who stand above the masses and apart from them. •The true hero is one with the masses: he does not exist above them.