About recovering a lost history and vision, an invitation to re-read Rizal, rethink his project, and revision Philippine nationalism. Traces the trajectory of the Philippine nationalist movement from its inception in the late nineteenth century to its deformation and co-optation by US imperialism in the early years of the 20th century--- through a genealogy of the rise and fall of the symbol of Rizal, the national hero. Reconstructs Rizal's vision of the nation, a moral vision that was appreciated by kindred spirits in the so-called Propaganda Movement as well as the Katipunan, and resonated deeply with the revolutionary spirit of 1896--- the moral vision that constitutes what is most crucial and cogent in Rizal's lifework, in today's era of genocidal assertions of national sovereignty and predatory, corporate-driven globalization. II. Body
Was Rizal a revolutionary? Why did he condemn the revolution that was to be waged by the Bonifacio-led Katipunan? Was there a retraction by Rizal before his execution? These are questions the book tries to argue favorably and positively for Rizal. I am sure that this is a book that our good Jesuits who are so proud to have educated Rizal would have dreamed of writing, publishing and promoting themselves (they actually published it through Ateneo University Press). What Quibuyen calls Constantino's viciousness in denigrating Rizal and giving him up to the enemy is matched by an almost perfect picture of Rizal. Rizal here is a saint to be worshipped, a demigod to be transformed into a religion. This does not do justice to Rizal and is an extreme adulation of our national hero who, instead of being treated as one of us, is molded into a religious relic by Quibuyen. Defending Rizal from his critics does not necessarily give justice to him. Perhaps the critics of Rizal were not out to belittle or devalue him but to present the human Rizal, as flesh and blood, with virtues and vices, strengths and...
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