Dr. Jose Rizal "Connecting the Philippines and Germany"
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. 9. Rizal's Morga is the first history from the point of view of the colonized, not the colonizer. 10. Rizal's Morga remains largely unread due to the ff:
A. Pre-eminence of his other novels
B. Today's scholars concentrate more on the primary sources
C. Obscurity of Rizal's annotations
D. One could count with fingers of one hand the people who would read historical work like
Morga over the more entertaining Rizal novels
1. Rizal was confident that Antonio Regidor, a wealthy country man would publish his work when completed. 2. He even promised to Rizal that as soon as he recovered his investment in the book, all profits would be divided equally between the author and publisher. 3. Rizal did not earn anything from the Morga. In fact, Regidor unexpectedly backed out of the venture without the courtesy of an explanation. 4. Rizal decided to publish the Morga himself. He went to Paris where printing costs were less than in London. 5. The book was published after four months of intense historical research, with a typically long Spanish title:
Sucesos de lasislas Filipinas por el Doctor Antonio de Morga. Obrapublicadaenmejicoen el año de 1609, nuevamentesacada a luz y anotadapor Jose Rizal, y precedida de un prologo del prof. Fernando Blumentritt (Events in the Philippine Islands by Dr. Antonio de Morga. A work published in Mexico in 1609, reprinted and annotated by Jose Rizal and preceded by an introduction by Professor Ferdinand Blumentritt)
Rizal chose Morga’s “Sucesos de las Islas Filipinas” because: 1. The original book was rare
2. Morga is a layman and not a religious chronicler
3. Morga is more objective than religious accounts, which included many miracle stories 4. Morga was more sympathetic than religious chroniclers
5. Morga was a primary source because he was an eye witness
1. The original book was rare
Sucesos was published on 1609 in Mexico with only 25 to less than 30 copies only. H.E.J. Stanley...
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