Jose Rizal

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In the19th century Chile, Peru and Cuba rose against Spain and achieved their independence.  Philippine Spain faced a revolution due to mounting social unrest among the natives.  Thirty-five year old José Rizal was the greatest enemy of Spain in the Philippines.  With his exceptional linguistic ability (speaking twenty-two languages) and interest in the sciences and the arts, Rizal was most effective in his campaign for freedom as a writer.  He wrote two novels: Noli Me Tanger and El Filibusterismo.  These were scathing indictments of Spanish tyranny and of the church which came to acquire immense political power. 1891.  Ghent, Belgium.   José Rizal writes that he is writing a book about the Philippines to reveal the truth.  There are scenes of a priest having sex with a Philippine woman and beating a Philippine child.  He writes of "our sad country" and "our grievances and frustrations".  We meet one of his characters named Crisostomo Ibarra, who took another name Simoun.  1895.  The Philippines.  The Katipunan "sons of the people" shout "Long live Dr. José Rizal."  1896.  MalacaZang Palace.  Governor-General  Blanco presents the Spanish plan to advance on the province of Bulacan.  He says:  "We will crush the rebellion."   Monsignor Nozaleda arrives.  He virtually demands the elimination of the rabble-rouser José Rizal. Guerrilla leader Bonifacio tells his Katipunan to tear up their cedulas.  The Spanish torture José Rizal's brother Paciano.  They want to know what is the role of his brother in the rebellion.  1896.  Rizal Residence, Tondo, Manila.  The family is packing to leave.  Paciano arrives home after his torture sessions. November 1896.  Fort Santiago, Manila. The order is given to bring in José Rizal.  His interrogator tells Rizal that he knows that Rizal knows Bonifacio, founder of the Katipunan.  They know he met Bonifacio at a secret assembly at Doroteo Ongjunco's place.  Rizal is accused of being a traitor like Padre Burgos.  After all, Rizal had dedicated his last book to him:  "For the priests Francisco Gomez, Jose Burgos and Jacinto Zamora."  Flashback.  José Rizal says that his brother Paciano was the one to open his eyes to the injustices in the Philippines.  Paciano had known Father Burgos and had witnessed his execution as well as those of the others.  1869.  Calamba, Laguna.  As a youngster, José Rizal is called Pepe.  His mom is falsely arrested for attempting to poison her sister-in-law.  She is jailed for two years.  The Rizal family had disputes with the friars for years and the clergy got their revenge by teaching the family a lesson.  Pepe is sent to school.  His brother tells him not to use the family named of Mercado since the friars might hold it against him.  1872.  Ateneo Municipal.  Pepe is praised at school for his work.  Back to 1896.  Luis Taviel de Andrade of the Spanish army arrives to be José Rizal's defense council.  He does not seem too pleased with his assignment.  Flashback.  1878.  The University of Saint Thomas.  The teacher has a Spanish student and a Philippine student stand before the class next to each other.  He notes the height difference between the superior Spanish and the inferior Philippine.  José Rizal rises to say that if height is of so much importance then why are so many of Spain's colonies gaining their independence from Spain.  The teacher responds:  "Impertinent!" Back to 1896.  Rizal's novels are banned in the Philippines.  With a knife, the character Crisostomo threatens to kill the local priest for turning on his father and persecuting him.  His father died in prison and then the priest had his body dug up and thrown into the river.  Crisostomo says that he has lost his wife, child and family.  Flashback.  Rizal speaks with his fellow students about Philippine independence.  The Spanish students call them monkeys and a fight breaks out.  Rizal is hit in the head with a thrown rock.  His Uncle Antonio bandages his wound.  Cousin Leonor then sits with him. ...
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