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Jose Rizal: Veneration Without Understanding

13 January 2008 45 Comments

By Renato Constantino

In the histories of many nations, the national revolution represents a peak of achievement to which the minds of man return time and again in reverence and for a renewal of faith in freedom. For the national revolution is invariably the one period in a nation’s history when the people were most united, most involved, and most decisively active in the fight for freedom. It is not to be wondered at, therefore, that almost always the leader of that revolution becomes the principal hero of his people. There is Washington for the United States, Lenin for the Soviet Union, Bolivar for Latin America, Sun Yat Sen, then Mao Tse-Tung for China and Ho Chi Minh for Vietnam. The unity between the venerated mass action and the honored single individual enhances the influence of both.

In our case, our national hero was not the leader of our Revolution. In fact, he repudiated that Revolution. In no uncertain terms he placed himself against Bonifacio and those Filipinos who were fighting for the country’s liberty. In fact, when he was arrested he was on his way to Cuba to use his medical skills in the service of Spain. [p. 125] And in the manifesto of December 15, 1896 which he addressed to the Filipino people, he declared:

From the very beginning, when I first had notice of what was being planned, I opposed it, fought it, and demonstrated its absolute impossibility.

I did even more. When later, against my advice, the movement materialized, of my own accord I offered my good offices, but my very life, and even my name, to be used in whatever way might seem best, toward stifling the rebellion; for convinced of the ills which it would bring, I considered myself fortunate if, at any sacrifice, I could prevent such useless misfortune…. I have written also (and I repeat my words) that reforms, to be beneficial, must come from above, and those which comes from below are irregularly gained and uncertain.

Holding these ideas, I cannot do less than condemn, and I do condemn this uprising-which dishonors us Filipinos and discredits those that could plead our cause. I abhor its criminal methods and disclaim all part in it, pitying from the bottom of my heart the unwary that have been deceived into taking part in it. [1]

Rizal and The Revolution

Rizal’s refusal to align himself with the revolutionary forces and his vehement condemnation of the mass movement and of its leaders have placed Filipinos in a dilemma. Either the Revolution was wrong, yet we cannot disown it, or Rizal was wrong, yet we cannot disown him either. By and large, we have chosen to ignore this apparent contradiction. Rizalists, especially, have taken the easy way out, which is to gloss over the matter. They have treated Rizal’s condemnation of the Katipunan as a skeleton in his closet and have been responsible for the “silent treatment” on his unequivocal position against the Revolution.

To my knowledge, there has been no extensive analysis of the question. For some Rizalists, this aspect of Rizal has been a source of embarrassment inasmuch as they picture him as the supreme symbol of our struggle for freedom. Others in fact privately agree with his stand as evidenced by their emphasis on the gradualism of Rizal’s teachings particularly his insistence on the primacy of education. [p. 126] They would probably praise Rizal’s stand against the Revolution, if they dared. Since they do not dare for themselves, they are also prudently silent for Rizal’s sake. Others, careless and superficial in their approach to history and perhaps afraid to stir a hornet’s nest of controversy, do not think it important to dwell on this contradiction between our Revolution and our national hero and elect to leave well enough alone. Perhaps they do not perceive the adverse consequences of our refusal to analyze and resolve this contradiction. Yet the consequences are manifest in our regard for our Revolution and in our understanding of Rizal.

The Philippine Revolution has always been overshadowed by the omnipresent figure and the towering reputation of Rizal. Because Rizal took no part in that Revolution and in fact repudiated it, the general regard for our Revolution is not as high as it otherwise would be. On the other hand, because we refuse to analyze the significance of his repudiation, our understanding of Rizal and of his role in our national development remains superficial. This is a disservice to the event, to the man, and to ourselves.

Viewed superficially, Rizal’s reaction toward the Revolution is unexpected, coming as it did from a man whose life and labors were supposed to have been dedicated to the cause of his country’s freedom. Had someone of lesser stature uttered those words of condemnation, he would have been considered a traitor to the cause. As a matter of fact, those words were treasonous in the light of the Filipinos’ struggle against Spain. Rizal repudiated the one act which really synthesized our nationalist aspiration, and yet we consider him a nationalist leader. Such an appraisal has dangerous implications because it can be used to exculpate those who actively betrayed the Revolution and may serve to diminish the ardor of those who today may be called upon to support another great nationalist undertaking to complete the anti-colonial movement.

An American-Sponsored Hero

We have magnified Rizal’s role to such an extent that we have lost our sense of proportion and relegated to a subordinate position our other great men and the historic events in which they took part. [p.127] Although Rizal was already a revered figure and became more so after his martyrdom, it cannot be denied that his pre-eminence among our heroes was partly the result of American sponsorship. This sponsorship took two forms: on one hand, that of encouraging a Rizal cult, on the other, that of minimizing the importance of other heroes or even of vilifying them. There is no question that Rizal had the qualities of greatness. History cannot deny his patriotism. He was a martyr to oppression, obscurantism and bigotry. His dramatic death captured the imagination of our people. Still, we must accept the fact that his formal designation as our national hero, his elevation to his present eminence so far above all our other heroes was abetted and encouraged by the Americans.

It was Governor William Howard Taft who in 1901 suggested that the Philippine Commission to the Filipinos be given a national hero. The Free Press of December 28, 1946 gives this account of a meeting of the Philippine Commission:

‘And now, gentlemen, you must have a national hero.’ In these fateful words, addressed by then Civil Governor W. H. Taft to the Filipino members of the civil commission, Pardo de Tavera, Legarda, and Luzuriaga, lay the genesis of Rizal Day…..

‘In the subsequent discussion in which the rival merits of the revolutionary heroes were considered, the final choice-now universally acclaimed as a wise one-was Rizal. And so was history made.’

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45 Comments »

  • laarni said:

    Anybody here who wants to join RIZALINIAN groups in friendster?

    just go to these site!

    http://www.friendster.com/group/tabmain.php?gid=1421825

    then click join,.

    please? pra dumami pa mga members..

    you can post Topic there about Rizal,.

    Thanks u so much!^_^

  • gypsy said:

    ^^ talk about sense & the lack of it.

  • Frances said:

    One of the most critical writings about Rizal’s “heroism”. Irreverent relative to the hagiographical views of the aforesaid figure, but this criticism by Renato Constantino definitely provides an objective interpretation that deconstructs Rizal’s limitations.

  • Mula sa librong ‘Gapo ni Lualhati Bautista « said:

    [...] Haha! Dalhin ngayon dito ang puhunan natin! Dalhin dito ang mga eksperto natin sa teknolohiya. Hawanin ang mga gubat, bungkalin ang mga mina ng ginto at lahat ng iba pang mineral, sementuhan ang mga daan para madaanan natin, magtatayo tayo rito ng base-militar natin. Pagbilhan sila ng kotse at sobra-sobra ang kotse natin diyan. Ipagtayo sila ng eskwelahan para ituro sa kasaysayan at nang makilala nila kung sino ang mga dakilang bayani natin. Pag nagtanong sila kung sino ang dakilang bayani naman nila, sabihin n’yo si Rizal. H’wa… [...]

  • putaing ina said:

    dan tinde ! ang dami neu alm ..

  • skalatoy_yong2x said:

    what a nice idea…i appreciate this idea, it was so valuable to us, it gives a reflection to us,and meaning as a being filipinos…

  • Why Jose Rizal Did Not Deserve to Be Philippines’s National Hero – PinoyPress — Philippines news, opinion, blogs. said:

    [...] him. To be sure, Rizal was a great man. But, as Renato Constantino explains in his classic “Veneration Without Understanding,” he did not deserve to be the Philippines’s national [...]

  • Why Rizal Did Not Deserve to Be the Philippines’s National Hero « Barangay RP said:

    [...] about him. To be sure, Rizal was a great man. But, as Renato Constantino explains in his classic “Veneration Without Understanding,” he did not deserve to be the Philippines’s national [...]

  • kean ivan said:

    ano banaman yan!!! patay na ang tao ginugulo nyo padin eh

  • Bob Couttie said:

    “this criticism by Renato Constantino definitely provides an objective interpretation that deconstructs Rizal’s limitations.”

    Constantino is neither objective nor accurate. To be fair to Constantino, his introduction to “A Past Revisited” makes it clear that he believes that Filipinos must not be given and objective view of their own history and that factual data must be subordinate to political correctness.

    The many errors of fact and analysis he makes in “Veneration without understanding” sadly mean that his commentary on Rizal is worthless as far as determining Rizal’s contribution to the Philippines.

    See “The End Of Veneration” at http://bobcouttie.wordpress.com

  • eob said:

    one thing is for sure…. FILIPINOS DONT KNOW THEIR “REAL HISTORY”.. BETTER READ GUYS… =) THIS ONE IS GREAT ATTEMPT FOR US TO REALIZE IF WE REALLY KNEW OUR HERITAGE OR ARE WE HYPOCRITES OF OUR OWN OWN HISTORY.. =0.. I NEED TO PASS THIS SUBJECT THOUGH!

  • josé miguel said:

    I agree with Renato Constantino. Why should we accept the model developed by the Americans who after we became a nation in 1898, invaded us in 1899. After 500,000 to 900,000 of us Filipinos died in our fierce resistance against their invasion, our resistance weakened and they begun to replace all our organic system with their system. It was a system to cut us from our past. It was a system to corrupt our national character, national identity and national perception. This included the designation of our national heroes by the Americans.

    They succeeded. The Americans still control today our defense, political and economic system. They can still rape our Filipinas without getting jailed.

  • tubong_probinsya said:

    I suspect that most of the heroes come from prominent families. Even Lapu-lapu was a tribal chief, a prominent status.

    Heroes to rise up from the most uncommon places are yet to be discovered. For example, Manny Pacquiao. The difference is that this type of hero is found in everyone. Are you the one?

  • fry said:

    Renato Constantino, is influential in a way, he has his points in his classic “Veneration without understanding”. As what he said, Rizal was an american made sponsored hero, however, it should be clear to all, that Americans did not appoint Rizal to be a nat’l hero, the Americans just paved the way in order for the Filipinos to choose a hero. Although Americans favored Rizal, but still they were not the ones to appoint him, to be so. They just supported Rizal.

  • pao said:

    n our present situation nowadays; I think we must know the basis of everything before we do certain decisions because it will affect the present as well as the future of our motherland….

  • Bataan Boy said:

    i’d like to know if mr. constantino had something in mind who was the genuine national hero.
    i bet what ever his modus operandi to dis credit jr’s accomplishments that lead him to become the hero are for the whole philippine nation to have a better understanding of the truth.
    on the other hand it wasn’t jr’s fault him to be there in the podium. he was there because of martyrdom for his country. likewise benigno aquino, if there was a vacant national heroic position he would have gotten jr’s position because of martyrdom. i believe the key was martyrdom mr. constantino, you maybe successful in many other ways but not to change the classic history of jr.
    but i still want to read your article for whom you think our best national hero.

  • rheydel said:

    ..what can you say about rizalism toward a sacred and noble nation???

  • josé miguel said:

    We have Gen Artemio Ricarte who had been with the revolutionary movement during our struggle for separation from Spain as a nation and finally succeeded. He had been within our defense system when we became a new born nation in 1898 and thru 1899 when the Americans started a full scale invasion of our nation. He had been in our resistance movement when our physical government, physical defense system, and physical chain of command broke down as an enormous proportion of our population perished in the war and had to continue resisting that invasion with whatever parts of our nation are still functioning. World War 2 ended and a little longer after that, Gen Artemio also died while still resisting the Americans who until now are still controlling our nation.

    Heroism and image of Gen Ricarte is valuable for our awareness of our identity and reality that we are a sovereign nation being destroyed by the Americans so that they have been able to control us until today. This is valuable so that, that rsistance will remain alive and will continue.

  • rey marquez jr. said:

    Rizal has a different view on revolution..personally , i dont hold grudges on someones article. this was his opinion
    neither this was a factual evidence. because he did not presented
    any sources from his article. he can tell old dates, people from past and their
    actions when Rizal was made the hero. He(the author)
    can deliberately deconstruct Rizal on his views
    why cant he just accept the fact that Rizal was thinking of the other way around?
    he thought of a peaceful demonstration of showing liberty
    he did not agree on blood shed.. does him made a less of a hero?
    maybe this person who wrote this article wants to hold a rifle instead of a pen.
    He chose to stay on the good side of showing how you feel about liberty. He made the two books for something more important than barbaric revolution. Maybe it was just a fault of other heroes because Rizal and other heroes were not on the same level of thinking.? I see this article as disrespectful to my belief and my principle about Rizal. Let me get back to what was important. The books were made to open the mind of the Filipinos that they need a change in government style. He showed the dark side of the Spaniards and well this had stirred up the hearts of those heroes I wont mention. So barbaric that they fight with bolos and bamboo sticks well in fact the enemies had cannons and rifles and battleships. Where they on drugs? I mean I don’t fight wars that would I know what result and what could happen to me. The Philippine Revolution led by Gat Andres Bonifacio was utterly devastating. He has bravery in his heart but he sacrificed so many lives of our fellowman. and that was why ex-president General Emilio Aguinaldo, his rival, got the position of being the fisrt president of our country. He has more failed skirmishes than victories which you can count in your hand. General Emilio Aguinaldo was more successful in combat situations and hade more victories.

  • ate anne G4C said:

    Dr. Jose P. Rizal is probably an american sponsored because Dr.Rizal advocated that the Philippines in incapable of indepence from spain and thus just be part or be province of spain.That principle can be manipulated as the same to the United States in handling the Philippines. The one being a big nation and the smaller one can be subdued as they please.
    But the principle of Rizal may also not be an american sponsored since he never hinted the transfer of the Philippines to the U.S.He may have based his observations from the differences of filipinos in location so thus hard to unite, and because of seperated islands, filipinos tend to ally to any foreign force that may give them benefits.
    Just look how the different american indian tribes made themselves allied to different european nations who were at war with each other, killing each others own red races.And they were not even seperated by seas.
    So, it is the same with the philippines but with more ease. There is a principle of war that a place scattered by great barries as great mountains and seas can be easily conquered but hard to manage or to unite.
    American sponsored or not, Rizal ,among the heroes of that time , deserves to be chosen as the national figure as his wisdom overwhelmed them all. that wisdom is to be diplomatic at all means to a greater power but resort to violence even when outpowered and be annihilated when justice is trampled.Most important aspect of his life is also not of his being a patriotic or nationalist but of an internationalist person, a citizen of the world, where no boundaries and racial discrimination exist.

  • ate anne G4C said:

    Dr. Jose P. Rizal is probably an american sponsored because Dr.Rizal advocated that the Philippines is incapable of independencece from spain and thus just be part or be province of spain.That principle can be manipulated as the same to the United States in handling the Philippines. The one being a big nation and the smaller one can be subdued as they please. But the principle of J.P. Rizal may also not be an american sponsored since he never hinted the transfer of the Philippines to the U.S.He may have based his observations from the differences of filipinos in location so thus hard to unite, and because of seperated islands, filipinos tend to ally to any foreign force that may give them benefits. Just look how the different american-indian tribes made themselves allied to different european nations who were at war with each other, killing each others own red races.And they were not even seperated by seas.
    So, it is the same with the philippines but with more ease. There is a principle of war that a place scattered by great barries as great mountains and seas can be easily conquered but hard to manage or to unite.
    American sponsored or not, Rizal ,among the heroes of that time , deserves to be chosen as the national figure as his wisdom overwhelmed them all. That wisdom is to be diplomatic at all means to a greater power but resort to violence even when outpowered and be annihilated when justice is trampled.Most important aspect of his life is also not of his being a patriotic or nationalist but of an internationalist person, a citizen of the world, where no boundaries and racial discrimination exist.

  • Bataan Boy said:

    if you were a writer and good @ that one reason to continue doing this is to seek absolute scope or topic that most everybody will dislike it or stick with it.
    rizal is one darn precious topic that can generate big time attention, those who enjoy reading are most likely to get hook to it and become gradually the victim of writer’s intellectual operation.

  • Bataan Boy said:

    writer wasn’t around with us anymore, sorry..

  • akomismo said:

    LOL. Basahin niyo ng mabuti ang pakikipagpanayam ni Pio Valenzuela kay Rizal sa Dapitan at ang iba pang mga mas reliable accounts tungkol sakanya…mapapatunayan talaga na mababaw lang ang nalalaman ni Constantino. Wag kayo masyado magpapaniwala, maging kritikal naman sana tayong lahat.

  • akomismo said:

    Si Rizal bilang repormista na ang gusto lamang ay maging probinsya ng espanya ang Pilipinas? Kalokohan. Kung alam niyo lang. Dapat nga sana’y alam nating lahat ito dahil kasaysayan natin to. REBOLUSYONISTA rin ang pagtingin niyang solusyon noon. Makatwiran lamang na hindi siya nagmungkahi na sumugod agad, kelangan pa kasi ng armas ng mga Pilipino para malakas ang pwersa. Siguro’y dahil sa katwirang ito’y nasabi ni Constantino na ayaw niya ng rebolusyon. Kalokohan. Hindi ito sa usaping dapat o di dapat siya Pambansang Bayani kundi ang mga paninirang dala ng kamangmangan at pagmamarunong sa paglalahad ng buhay ng iba. MAGING KRITIKAL TAYO SA BINABASA NATIN!

  • sciatia said:

    no comment..!!dugo utak kuh haha..!!tnx for the reactions..!!now i did my reacstion paper…because of sum comments u made to rizal’s veneration..!!juz wana say thanks 2 ol hu make there own reactions about the veneration w/out understandng of constantino..muah labzlot tke cre..!!
    :)
    ??sciatia??

  • sciatia said:

    no comment..!!dugo utak kuh haha..!!tnx for the reactions..!!now i did my reaction paper…because of sum comments u made to rizal’s veneration..!!juz wana say thanks 2 ol hu make there own reactions about the veneration w/out understandng of constantino..muah labzlot tke cre..!!
    :)
    ??sciatia??

  • inday said:

    1. Constantino maintains that Filipinos venerate Jose Rizal without truly understanding him. Yes or no? Provide an argument that will justify your answer.pls ans diz..

  • inday said:

    do we need to consider rizal as a hero?

  • dallex said:

    why ? other than Dr. Jose Rizal , is there anyone suitable to be our national hero ? I don’t think so..so it is just right that HE is the one..mas maganda naman tignan na isang matalino at edukadong tao ang hinirang ng bansang ito na maging pambansang bayani..no offense para sa iba,pero kung sino man yung napipisil niyo na mas nararapat, they are still our hero , right ? hindi nga lang pambansa..

    lucky for us,
    xoxo
    mc key

  • miguel said:

    wag naman sanang tawaging ‘barbaric’ yung mga pag-aalsa na ginawa nila Andres Bonifacio at iba pang mga tao na ganoon ang pamamaraan sa pagsulong nga kalayaan. Sa totoo lang naman, ang kalayaan ay hindi dulot ng iisang tao lang. Kahit si Rizal ang national hero, hindi lang siya ang nagsulong nun at hindi lamang dahil sa kanya kaya tayo malaya. Sana matutunan din natin irespeto ang iba pang mga bayani dahil malaki din ang ginampanan nilang papel. Wag ding isisi kay Bonifacio ang maraming pagkamatay dahil i’m sure yung mga namatay ay may parehong paniniwala at ginusto nilang ipaglaban ang kalayaan sa ganoong pamamaraan. So what if they failed? that does not mean what they did was useless? Maybe they were not intellectual enough like Rizal to write a book or to consider all the possibilities before going into war but they were brave enough to fight even if they know they barely had a chance of winning. Lastly, if they didnt do those ‘barbaric’ uprisings, do you think the Filipinos that time would be better off?
    Nakakatawa na ibinabase ng iba ang pagiging isang bayani sa kakayahan ng utak. ang pagpili sa isang bayani ay hindi pagalingan ng utak. pinipili sila sa kung ano ang nagawa nila para sa iba, edukado man siya o hindi. Si rizal naging bayani hindi dahil sa magaling siya sa lahat ng bagay, naging bayani siya kasi ginawa niya ang tamang bagay sa tamang oras. kung si rizal ba ngayon ipinanganak at ngayon lang siya nakagawa ng ganoong libro, magiging bayani pa kaya siya?

  • facts searcher said:

    sa akin po…kung makikita ko po na minamasaker ang pamilya ko sa harap ko..at may choice akong pumili between a pen or a rifle…cguro po yung rifle ang gagamitin ko para mailigtas ko ang pamilya ko…pareho po ng ginawa ng mga pilipino noon nung sinubukan nilang ipagtanggol ang ating inang bayan…”actions speaks louder than words”..

  • emilio said:

    try to search for the name of mr. constatino in the net..he was a leftist leader/historian…so dont be suprised if he discredit the peaceful way of jose rizal…gusto lang nya mgrevolution mga pinoy ngayon or nung time nya para mapatalsik yung goverment

  • Kate said:

    National Hero =/= Being the most genius person ever. National Hero -first and foremost- is a model for Filipinos to protect what theirs, not a model to show how great Filipinos are intellectually. For once, Rizal didn’t approve of Revolution to SET FILIPINOS FREE. He chose to be under and to let Spaniards run the Philippines. He chose PHILIPPINES to be under. It was the revolution who sets Filipinos free and who entails the message that is ‘TOTAL LIBERATION’ (which Rizal pointedly declined to participate). For having a national hero who necessarily doesn’t like his country to have her own name and own set of community, him being a ‘genius’ is nothing but a pathetic facade to veil what he didn’t do for the liberation of Philippines. Tell me, during your HS life and Elementary days, are your teachers ever told you that Rizal didn’t approve of the revolution? No, I don’t think all of our teacher taught us that. They pondered the thought of Rizal martyrdom and his writings because hell, that’s the only he did to promote his ‘patriotism’.

    I agree that Rizal is a hero in his own way but having him as a National Hero is an embarrassment.

  • Lito said:

    ga kababayan magising daw tayo, darating na raw ang bayaning hindi muna mamatay hanggat hindi naiisangkatuparan ang pagangat ng Pilipinas.

    Naku, si Pedro Penduko raw!

  • Lito said:

    Mga kababayan, magising daw tayo! Darating na raw ang bayaning hindi muna mamatay hanggat hindi naiisangkatuparan na maiangat ang Pilipinas sa kahirapan.

    Ang pangalan niya daw ay… Pedro Penduko!

    Biro lang, haha.

    Eto muna siguro ang maibabahagi ko sa inyo tungkol kay Jose Rizal.

    Rizal was a genius and may have been sincere in his love for Filipino compatriots, but he also lacked perception of other important matters and perhaps he even lacked the right spirit for the movement. He may have been afraid of the risks when supporting a movement for CHANGE, he would just like to speculate that Spain will grant the Filipinos better conditions in the future and would be willing to wait. Perhaps, Rizal was unwilling to sacrifice much for he was a mestizo and he also enjoyed the benefits of elite class and the company of other elites that were more in tune with Spain. Nevertheless, he made his own great contribution as a Filipino hero in the history.

    In reading “The Precursors of Mendicancy” at http://www.pinoypress.net/2008/01/13/jose-rizal-veneration-without-understanding/6/ , one may realize upon reflection that the statements of Renato Constantino still have some bearing in our life as Filipinos in modern times. Like during the time of Spanish rule, many of our elite groups today have been living as separate classes from the masses, they have gaps in communicating with the masses. Many of our elites are perhaps just critics and some may even die for our country, but some of them are like Jose Rizal who are just idealists and are more theoretical in working out for solutions. Many of our masses are like during the time of Spanish rule when discontent exist and classes of rebels form.

    Like the old times during the Spanish rule, our society put great status on the western culture (even though we are not anymore under U.S. rule); we put more value in using English as medium of formal communication and treat the Filipino la…nguage as secondary. I am not blaming Jose Rizal and prompting to put higher some other hero. I can just treat them the same as they all did their roles. However, is it not about time that we Filipinos (not only realized that we are already free from foreign colonial rule), also free ourselves from limitations in the development of our culture?

    More words may be stated but perhaps I would like to end with just the two statements below.

    First item, “Be Open with Ourselves and Accept the Responsibilities that had been Left to Us.”

    Second item, “We Need Spirit that Manifest in Action.”

  • tatsulok said:

    Rizal maybe an American sponsored hero,..( buti pa americano napansin yun,) but during his time his the only one who got the balls to write against the spaniards or maybe meron namang iba pero di kasing asim at anghang ng sinulat ni pepe, he cause the flaming feeling of patriotism.. and he walk with his head in decisions na di pa natataon ang paghihimagsik. unlike yung iba sigaw ng sigaw punit ng punit ng cedula eh hanggang ngayon may cedula parin..

  • rebecca said:

    think! who suggested us to have a national hero? is an american “william Howard Taft”. and attended by 3 filipinos… think! just 3 filipinos. :(

  • Lito said:

    Rizal was a genius and may have been sincere in his love for Filipino compatriots, but still he lack perception of other vitally important issues and perhaps he even lack the right spirit. He may have been afraid of the risks when supporting a movement for CHANGE, he would rather speculate that Spain will grant the Filipinos better conditions in the future and would be willing to wait. Rizal, being a mestizo, was experiencing internal conflict for he love his own compatriots, but at the same time he also love Spain and also enjoy the benefits of being in elite class. Nevertheless, he made his own great contribution in his own way as a Filipino hero in the history.

    As with regards to his status among the other national heroes, I do not consider him above the others, all of them made their own contributions.

    Perhaps a few line of words would be worth sharing,

    Be Open with Ourselves and Accept the Responsibilities that had been Left to Us.

    We Need Spirit that Manifest in Action.

  • tatsulok said:

    Rizal was a hero even before the Americans came, he was considered by Spain as the soul of the katipunan though he refuses to accept his participation with the katipunan err.(he may not be part of the katipunan) but patriotic filipinos of his time, sees in him a leading torch…(his picture hangs in every katipunan meeting, His name was used as a password for the katipunan)… you see our Rizal is a thinking hero, a general in his own art of war.. What was considered by others filipinos as the best option for gaining freedom (arm struggle)was not good enough for Rizal… as Rizal said, we must first be mature enough to be a nation… but were we during that time(even now pa nga)?… he may be mestizo sino bang hindi even bonifacio was a mestizo… its a non issue, what matter was how he loves his country. and yes he was part of the elite club… an elite who got the balls to piss oppressors
    .

  • Lito said:

    :D Happy New Year 2012 to All!

    I have mentioned Rizal as being mestizo not only to mean by his physical features but also his culture. He actually wrote most of his well known in mind frame as well. Most of his well admired writings are in Spanish and not in Filipino. He was an elite with reformist agenda on the government during that time. Even though he was genius, he lack the foresight in assessing that Spain may not grant his wish. Although he was such an intelligent person, he did not took the initiative to gain direct leadership of the Filipino people to unite the masses as well as the upper class in facing the problem. His declaration of intent for dependence on Spain or foreign entity may be seen as sort of security blanket and which most of us Filipinos at present still carry on.

    I am happy that we have heroes such Jose Rizal, Andres Bonifacio and the others, but I don’t put anyone of them above the others.

    Like today, the situation is not the same for we already have our own independence and yet we still have similar problems as during the time of Jose Rizal, Andres Bonifacio. We do not have true unity of Filipino people; we are still dependent on foreign language as primary medium of formal instruction (English); our economy can not be sustained without much depending on imported materials and work abroad; our spirit on patriotism is still dampened by lack of confidence and corruption in many agencies government agencies.

  • tatsulok said:

    ahh mestizo thinking Rizal… yap he is, and his the renaissance man of his time., Why who was not influence by the west during his time? ….(and quoting you, until now) but do remember that our Rizal presented in Paris the pre-hispanic Pilipinas, try read Ambet Ocampo’s writing- its writing history as history not yes yes miracles like the friars do with their writings…. no myth! there….

    … It is also unfair to say that Rizal lack’s the foresight, why? Do Spain’s decision can be predicted? his fate is his choosing.. Mind this the other Rizal choose to join the revolution after his younger brother’s balls was sprayed with bullet on Luneta… Again what happen?
    Did the revolution won?..

    JPRM is a guy who do not want to compromise with politics, our revolutionary gov’t was run by politics of their time.

    I really like what you said Filipinos of our time, and Filipinos of their time, still has the same Problem..Di tayo natuto!! Tama ka!, sana … sana matuto na tayo.

  • tg of down to earth said:

    ang glo pero iniidolo ko pa rin si rizal pampagulo ang sa isipan ko mga sinabi ni renato hahahha

  • glenph said:

    constantino did not state categorically that rizal did not deserve to be our principal hero. the points of his essay are: first, that rizal should be viewed with more historicity, that is to say, we should analyze the role he played in our history in the proper context, and not unduly elevate him into the status of a saint. by doing so, we would be able to see that rizal was not a perfect human being. that he could also make mistakes. that his utterances were not always correct for his time, and not always applicable in our present experiences.

    an example of rizal’s weakness was his distrust in the revolutionary solution. akomismo’s assertion that rizal believed in the revolution but was only more prudent in his approach is supported by the account of pio valenzuela’s interview with him, i concede. but let us not forget that rizal, in fact, PUBLICLY CONDEMNED the revolution in the manifesto he issued from his prison cell. akomismo only has the words of valenzuela. constantino has the manifesto of rizal.

    the second constantino point is that rizal was a product of the society in general and his middle class environment in particular. he was not the reason why 1896 revolution erupted. rather, he and the revolution were products only of events that transpired during the 19th century that changed the landscape of philippine society. following this principle, even without rizal, the revolution would have occured. if there were no rizal, another hero would have stepped into the picture to fulfill rizal’s function.

    third, since rizal was only created by the society of his time, and since we can’t always utilize rizal’s ideas to solve our present-day problems, we must begin to realize that everyone could be a hero, that a hero does not not always need to be exceptional or genius.

    as to constantino being a leftist, that is not an accurate description of the man. whenever he wrote history, he always did so not from the vantage point of the left, but strictly from a nationalist perspective. he championed not only philippine nationalism, but the third world nations’ right to self-determination as well. that is why is a highly respected figure in the academic circles the world over. read his writings first before judging the man. otherwise you would be guilty of precisely the same crime that you are accusing constantino. peace tayo.

  • tralala said:

    jose rizal should be given another name that is more fitting:
    Jose Rizal – “Yeah, I trolled the Philippines!”
    The First Ever Filipino Troll.