“The Philippines a Century Hence” is an essay written by Philippine national hero Jose Rizal to forecast the future of the country within a hundred years. Rizal felt that it was time to remind Spain that the circumstances that ushered in the French Revolution could have a telling effect for her in the Philippines.
This essay, published in La Solidaridad starts by analyzing the various causes of the miseries suffered by the Filipino people: Spain’s implementation of her military policies – because of such laws, the Philippine population decreased dramatically. Poverty became more rampant than ever, and farmlands were left to wither. The family as a unit of society was neglected, and overall, every aspect of the life of the Filipino was retarded. Deterioration and disappearance of Filipino indigenous culture – when Spain came with the sword and the cross, it began the gradual destruction of the native Philippine culture. Because of this, the Filipinos started losing confidence in their past and their heritage, became doubtful of their present lifestyle, and eventually lost hope in the future and the preservation of their race. Passivity and submissiveness to the Spanish colonizers – one of the most powerful forces that influenced a culture of silence among the natives were the Spanish friars. Because of the use of force, the Filipinos learned to submit themselves to the will of the foreigners.
The question then arises as to what had awakened the hearts and opened the minds of the Filipino people with regards to their plight. Eventually, the natives realized that such oppression in their society by foreign colonizers must no longer be tolerated.
One question Rizal raises in this essay is whether or not Spain can indeed prevent the progress of the Philippines: Keeping the people uneducated and ignorant had failed. National consciousness had still awakened, and great Filipino minds still emerged from the rubble....