Topics: José Rizal, Philippine Revolution, Philippines Pages: 8 (2934 words) Published: December 18, 2013
Ma. Margarita C. Mauel

Rizal Without the Overcoat
by Ambeth R. Ocampo
“Jose Rizal’s greatest misfortune was being acknowledged as National Hero of the Philippines”

Was Jose Rizal an American sponsored hero?
- The Americans over emphasized Rizal and has pushed other heroes inobscurity as second class heroes. - The KKK password was Rizal
- Andres Bonifacio offered KKK honorary presidency to Rizal and attempted to rescue him in Dapitan - Rizal was already considered a hero even before the Americans. - The Americans built on the prevailing sentiment of the people Jose Rizal’s Trip to America/ Rizal’s Anti Americanism

- He described Niagara Falls as “not as pretty or mysteriously beautiful” as the waterfalls in Los Banos - Impressed with New York where “everything was new”
- “Undoubtedly, America is a great country, but it still has many defects. No civil liberty” - Rizal was no ordinary Asian traveller, “the only Asian traveller who travelled first class” - “had he been subject to more discrimination, his impressions of America would have been worse” - Rizal loves America but not its people

- Americans were robots hurled to discredit Europe
- Though Rizal hated Spaniards he was compelled to defend Europe and Spain against Americans  Recto’s Rizal Bill
- Recto fought “tooth and nail” to have the Rizal bill passed into law in 1956 - The Catholic hierarchy found 170 passages in El Fili and 50 in Noli offensive to the catholic faith - Catholic schools threatened to close if the Recto bill was passed - Church officials threatened to “punish” legislators

- There was apropos to use “expurgated” novels as textbooks, with the “un-expurgated” copies to be kept under lock and key. Recto threw this out - “This is not a fight against Recto but a fight against Rizal...now that Rizal is dead and they can no longer attempt at his life, they are attempting to blot out his memory”. Why Rizal is the National Hero

- Thru Rizal’s Letters, diaries and writings, he had planned his entire life down to the last detail. He did not leave anything to chance, not even the choreography of his death.

Rizal As A National Hero
His name can be found in almost all corners of the Philippines. Roads, schools and even a province are named after him. His image can be found in peso bills and coins. Monuments are erected in his name (Rizal Park, Manila). These are manifestations of the country’s reverence accorded to Jose Rizal as a national hero. Why is Rizal a national hero? What are his contributions to Philippine history that makes him preeminent among other Filipino heroes? Here are some of the reasons Rizal is a national hero of the Philippines. In the late 19th century, Rizal became the voice of a people long oppressed by centuries-old Spanish rule. As an educated man, he was exposed to some of the abuses by Spanish friars and government officials. As a founder and a member of the La Liga Filipina, he originally pushed for reforms of Spanish colonial rule. He wrote Noli Me Tangere and El Felibusterismo. Although fictional, the novels described the abuses committed by Spanish officials against the locals. Alarmed over the threat posed by the two novels, angry Spanish officials pushed for Rizal’s arrest and exile in Dapitan. While exiled in Dapitan, Rizal devoted himself to improving the conditions of people in Dapitan. During this time, the concept of “Filipino” was taking shape among the inhabitants of the islands. Before, society was divided among Spanish citizens and indios (locals). Some began to form nationalistic ideas. Rizal’s two novels inspired local to call not for Spanish government reforms but for independence from Spain. This alarmed the Spanish colonial government. In 1986, Rizal was executed in Bagumbayan (Rizal Park) on charges of sedition and treason. The execution did not prevent the calls for independence to stop. The Katipunan led a full scale revolutionary war against the Spanish colonial government....
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