Page 1

RIZAL: A TRIBUTE

JOSE S. ARCILLA, S.J.


Rizal: a TRibuTe auThoR Jose s. ArcillA, s.J. PublisheR MediAwise coMMunicAtions. inc./ Muse Books Ceo/ exeCuTive CReaTive DiReCToR r AMoncito ocAMpo cruz exeCuTive viCe PResiDenT rey l. Fuentes viCe PResiDenT eMiliA loMBos cruz viCe PResiDenT FoR iT enrico A. iBAnA GRaPhiC DesiGneRs Alex dulAy seyMond eArl nieverA

copyright © 2011

By MediAwise coMMunicAtions inc. And Jose s. ArcillA, s.J. PublisheR oF muse maGazine anD

150: The aTeneo way

114 MAlAkAs street, cBd, diliMAn 1100 tel. no. (632) 922-7583 e-MAil: MediAwise02@ yAhoo.coM weBsite: www.MediAwise.ph

Quezon city, philippines

all RiGhTs ReseRveD

no pArt oF this puBlicAtion MAy Be reproduced in Any ForM or By Any MeAns, electronic or MechAnicAl, including photocopying, recording, or Any inForMAtion storAge or retrievAl systeM, without written perMission FroM the puBlisher

isBn no. ISBN No. 978-971-94465-3-8


CONTENTS INTRODUCTION

i

PART I: THE CONTEXT OF RIZAL’S LIFE

GLIMPSES INTO HISPANIZATION OBSERVING DATES AND MARKING TIME URBANITAS THE JESUIT PIONEERS IN THE PHILIPPINES EDUCATING THE FILIPINO JUDGING THE PHILIPPINE REVOLUTION THE FILIPINO “CITIZEN”

2 16 28 42 60 72 88

PART II: SELECTED ESSAYS AND W RITINGS OF RIZAL

THE V ULGAR MESTICILLO’S NOVEL RIZAL’S LAST HOURS

102 118

READING RIZAL

132

PACIANO MERCADO TO HIS BROTHER, Manila, 26 May 1982 RIZAL TO FELIX RESURRECCIÓN HIDALGO, 5 March 1887 RIZAL TO MARIANO PONCE, London, 27 June 1888 RIZAL TO FERDINAND BLUMENTRIT T, London, 9 July 1888 GRACIANO LÓPEZ JAENA AND OTHERS TO RIZAL Barcelona, 2 October 1888 RIZAL TO SOLIDAD, HIS SISTER, Bruxelles, 6 June 1890 RIZAL TO FR. VICENTE GARCIA Madrid, 7 January 1891 RIZAL TO FERDINAND BLUMENTRIT T Biarritz, 29, March 1891 GR ACIANO LÓPEZ JAENA TO RIZAL Barcelona, 2 October 1891 RIZAL TO THE FILIPINO COLONY IN BARCELONA (FRAGMENT) End of October 1891 FERDINAND BLUMENTRIT T TO RIZAL, Leitmerizt, 30 January 1892 RIZAL’S DIARY BET WEEN HIS ARRIVAL FROM HONGKONG AND HIS DEPARTURE FOR HIS EXILE IN DAPITAN MANIFESTO TO CERTAIN FILIPINOS, Fort Santiago, 15 December 1892 COURT SENTENCE ON RIZAL, 26 December 1896

146 148 150 152 154 156 158 160 162 166 168 170 172 174


i

INT RODUCT ION 150 years ago, on 19 June 1861, in Calamba, Laguna, a boy was born to Don Francisco Mercado and Doña Teodora Alonso. At his baptism three days later, they named him José Protacio, and later they called him affectionately “Pepe.” He was the sixth of nine children, but their second son. Rightly, the Philippines honors him as its national hero. And people invariably measure the notable Filipinos of today against his ideals and accomplishments. A unique honor, to be compared to such a great man. As the Greeks tell us, the hero is half-divine and half-human, the child of heaven and earth. There are only a few of them. Like comets that appear only once in a century, we can count the true heroes with the fingers of our hand. We lesser lights can only bask in their glory, but never add to their brilliance. But the few heroes we have are more than enough to inspire us. Everyone will agree that in these one and half centuries, Rizal has stood head and shoulders above his peers. In his time, the latter invariably looked up to him for direction and advice. Once, for example, discouraged by what he thought was an unsuccessful writing career in Spain, Mariano Ponce wrote to Rizal he wanted to stop writing for the Philippine cause. The national hero dissuaded him against it, quickly assuring him that style was secondary. Not all, he added, were born journalists, and not all journalists were good writers. Besides, the Philippines needed, not littérateurs, but good Filipinos who think, speak, and act correctly. And yet, although words mirror one’s inmost self, to Rizal – and to us – they are airy nothings unless carried out in action. We should all take these words to heart. We admire, but, as much as we can, we should be other Rizals. A tall order? The Old Testament psalmist assures us that God’s hand is not shortened. We can also say that Rizal felt certain his life had been designed by God. In 1896, shipped back to the Philippines instead of being allowed to proceed to Cuba where he had volunteered to serve as a medical officer for the Spanish troops fighting the rebels there, he wrote in his diary: I think that what God is doing for me is a grace, allowing


ii

me to return to the Philippines to disprove so many charges. They either do me justice and acknowledge my innocence, and then I will be vindicated; or they will condemn me to die. Then in society’s eyes, I pay for my alleged crime. Society will pardon me, and no doubt later it will do me justice and I will be one martyr more. Anyway, instead of dying in a foreign land or in Managua, I shall die in my country. I believe what is happening is the best that can occur to me. May God’s will be done. After he had given up the external practices of the Roman Catholic Church, even as a member of the lodges, he never doubted God’s existence. He was what he was and did what he did, because of God’s gift to him, his reason. But realizing that human reason is insufficient and fallible, he prayed for the grace to surrender in faith to God, whose supernatural blessings enhance reason and elevate man. This is the key that opens before us the heart of Rizal.1 The following essays are divided under two themes: (1) the Philippine conditions that produced a man like Rizal; (2) a selection of Rizal’s works, in summary and in his own words, especially a few of Rizal’s letters I have chosen from the standard editions of his works and translated for this book. Except for his letters to intimates and friends, Rizal wrote mostly propaganda, with all the virtues and vices of that literary genre. But style is one thing, content another. We must distinguish the two, or we shall miss Rizal’s message. This is especially true of Rizal’s first novel, Noli me tangere, which is not history, but fiction. Of course, no fiction is possible unless based on historical incidents, even if they are retold imaginatively, not as they actually occur. It is wrong to think they accurred exactly as described in the novel. The brief essays in this book contain ideas I have already aired in public lectures and seminars. Friends had asked for copies of these talks, but, since I generally do not write my ideas in their final form, I decided to revise them and present them in what might be their permanent form. I have done so with the permission of the editors of those publications, mainly the Manila daily, Business World. To them all I am grateful for allowing me this chance of a reprint.

Profile for Media Wise Communications Inc. / MUSE Books

Rizal - A Tribute  

Published in 2011, Fr. Jose Arcilla, S.J. pays tribute to Dr. Jose Rizal by examining the context of his life, as well as selected works of...

Rizal - A Tribute  

Published in 2011, Fr. Jose Arcilla, S.J. pays tribute to Dr. Jose Rizal by examining the context of his life, as well as selected works of...

Advertisement