For Was Rizal an American-sponsored hero?
1. What are the bases for the idea that Rizal was an American-sponsored/created hero?
The idea was that Rizal was against the revolution, and he became the national hero only because of the Americans who sponsored and encouraged his cult. Americans chose Rizal as the foremost national hero because he was non-violent and reformist, unlike Bonifacio and Aguinaldo. Americans also had overemphasized Rizal and regarded other heroes like Bonifacio and Mabini as second-class heroes.
2. What are the proofs that he isn’t?
Rizal was not an American-sponsored hero. Even before his death, many people of his time have looked up to him as a hero long before the Americans sponsored him. Consider Andres Bonifacio, he made Rizal the honorary president of the Katipunan and made “Rizal” the password of the KKK. Headquarters and meeting places of the Katipunan had a picture of Rizal as well. Bonifacio even attempted to rescue Rizal from exile in Dapitan so that the latter could lead or inspire the Filipinos to revolt.
In a sense, the Americans simply built on the prevailing sentiment of the people. Rizal was considered “the living soul of the rebellion.” He might not have been the leader of the revolution, but he had inspired the revolution.
3. What could be the implications if he were? Explain the possible effects these implications would have on the Philippines in general and in our study of Philippine history in particular.
If Jose Rizal was indeed an American-sponsored hero, that would imply that a national hero could be chosen only by the people in power, in this case, the Americans, and not by the Filipinos themselves. Filipinos would be deprived of their right to choose who they think is worthy of becoming the national hero. This would also create endless debates among the people. More so, Philippine history would be in chaos as records could be inconsistent and can be controlled and... [continues]
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