Jose Rizal and his Nationalism
Jose Rizal was idealistic, who wants to free his countrymen from ignorance, exploitation and discrimination. With the use of his works and writings especially his novels – Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo, he reveals to his people their experiences and sufferings, sufferings which he brought to light in an effort to awaken his countrymen to the truths that had long remained unspoken, although not totally unheard of.
He showed to his people their sufferings friars and civil authorities, how the friars whom were guilty of bribery and corruption had made of the Catholic religion an instrument of domination and had prostituted it with exterior practices which foster the appearance of worship. The friars also enriched themselves not only by exhorting excessive fees for church services, but also by unjust acquisition of land estates. They made themselves feared by civil officials. They enjoy priorities over high government officials whose tenure of office they can control. The government itself sees nothing, hears nothing, and decides nothing except what the parish priests makes it see, hear, and decide. And the civil guards do not protect the citizens like they supposed to but protect the interests of the friars and the Spaniards only. The priests controlled also the acts of the ignorant natives and threatened the indios’ heads with excommunication for the slightest sign of disrespect and disobedience. Many Filipinos had become victims of human indignities. They were deprived of their right. They had no right to question authority – they were born only to serve.
But Rizal did not put the blame entirely on the religious and civil authorities; he also honestly showed the weaknesses and defects of the Filipinos. The people themselves, by their timidity, fear, and cowardice had shackled their minds and debased their souls. Contaminated by the airs of superiority of the Spaniards, despise their own countrymen and make...
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