An Overview of a Symposium held in Berlin on June 14, 2011
(A Working Paper)
1. The working paper contains two keynote speeches:
A. Rotten Beef and Stinking Fish: Rizal and the Writing of Philippine History by Dr. Ambeth R. Ocampo
B. Rizal and Germany: First Impressions and Lasting Influences by Bernhard Dahm
2. Dr. Ambeth R. Ocampo is a very well-known and authoritative historian in the Philippines.
3. Bernhard Dahm is a professor emeritus of University of Passau in Germany. He wrote a book entitled 'Jose Rizal: Dec Nationalheld der Filipinos' which immortalized the life and works of Rizal in Germany.
Rotten Beef and Stinking Fish: Rizal and the Writing of Philippine History
1. The focus is the annotated re-edition of Morga's Sucesos de las Islas Filipinas (Events in the Philippine Islands). Also known as Rizal's Morga.
2. It all started in February 1887 when Rizal was reflecting on his country's history after completing Noli Me Tangere.
3. In April 1886, he sent a letter to Ferdinand Blumentritt asking him to write the Philippine history.
4. By August 1888, resigned that Blumentritt could not be persuaded to write the Philippine history, Rizal began to work in his own.
5. Rizal was then granted a reader's pass to the British Museum.
6. While reading Morga's book, Rizal was enraged because he was insulted by how Morga described Filipino food, "their beef and fish which they know is best when it has started to rot and stink." The fish that Morga mentions is bagoong.
7. Despite the racial slurs, Rizal still maintained mixed feelings for the Morga (the book) on its usefulness for his thesis that Spanish colonization retarded, rather than brought civilization to the Philippines and its inhabitants.
8. Rizal's Morga may not have been widely read but its significance lies in the fact that with this edition, Rizal began the task of writing the Philippine History from the viewpoint of a Filipino.