VENERATION WITH UNDERSTANDING- MALAY
1. Attempts to downgrade Rizal have not ceased completely 74 years after his death. More unfortunately, those who would downgrade him and picture him as a false hero are his own countrymen. 2. “The wounds that had been inflicted by foreigners were painful, but more painful are the wounds still being inflicted on his memory by his own countrymen.” 3. The main argument of the home-grown detractors of Rizal is this: Since Rizal did not lead the revolution of 1896 – he even discouraged and disowned it – he could not be properly the national hero of the Philippines. 4. Two minor themes have been put forward by Rizal’s made-in-the Philippines critics:
*Rizal’s becoming the national hero was the result of American sponsorship *Rizal’s patriotic works, including his two novels, reflected his mestizo or ilustrado background and were taken precisely to protect the interests of the ilustrado class. 5. Main conclusion of Rizal’s latter-day detractors: Since Rizal, despite the fact that he is a false hero, continues to be venerated by Filipinos, then that veneration is misplaced and that if his countrymen only “understood” Rizal’s motivation, they would drop him like a hot potato. 6. A. Malay: “I would like to develop the opposite thesis: Continued veneration of Rizal by the country, and even by the world, is not only deserved but also understood.” 7. R. Constantino: “Almost always, national heroes of the world have been revolutionary heroes. If you do not lead a revolution, your chance of emerging a s a national hero is nil – or very little. 8. A. Malay: “I beg to disagree…Out of 125 nations [in the roster of United Nations), Constantino could only name seven revolutionary heroes who, in his opinion, have become national heroes…Very clearly, a mere seven out of 125 is a very small minority.” The Seven: George Washington (U.S), Vladimir Lenin (Russia), Simon Bolivar (South America), Sun Yat Sen and Mao...
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