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Rizal X Reaction Paper

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Rizal X Reaction Paper
I had a lot of preconceived ideas of what the plot of Rizal X would be. Based at the content of the promotional posters scattered all over the campus, I thought that Rizal X would just be another one of those plays that try to portray a modern day Rizal with modern day problems. So I was pleasantly surprised at how the play turned out. It was quite interesting and refreshing to see a play without a linear plot get successfully pulled off.
The manner in which they correlated with the lives and problems of people today to that of the time of Rizal was well done. I was really touched and emotionally affected at how they related the chapter of Crispin and Basilio and that of Cecil to informal settlers and OFWs respectively. It made me realize that occurrences and events that Rizal wrote about more than a hundred years ago are still happening today. Rizal’s Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo are still highly relevant today. There are still young Crispins and Basillions out there. Proof of this: just take a look at the street children out there selling sampaguitas and begging for alms. Notice the teenagers out already working and toiling despite being underage. Cecils also still live among us. There are still women out there who are suffering the unspeakable alone. There are still people out there that are driven mad by the plight they suffer. Our women are still relentlessly raped and abused overseas every day. Our women are still treated like animals by certain groups and people.
Then there’s Rizal’s love life. This is perhaps one of the highlights of the play. Normally when discussing the women that Rizal got involved with, people and authors tend to highlight how noble and selfless Rizal was with the sacrifices he made by leaving these women. It is usually just Rizal’s pain and heartaches that is put into the spotlight. This segment of the play provides a unique and much sadder side to the story; the point of view of the women. I have never before seen or read anything that looked at Rizal’s love life by the perspective of the women he loved. It deeply saddened me to watch this part. I just now realized that it must have really hurt for these women to endure what they did. Rizal wasn’t the only one who was making a sacrifice. These women suffered just as much as Rizal did. I berate myself for realizing this fact just now. I have gained a higher sense of respect towards Rizal’s former lovers. I believe that I might possible forget most details of this play in the future, but not this lesson.
There’s also the scene at the play where the statue at Araneta actually comes alive and starts rejoicing that the problems Rizal faced have been solved. I really felt a bit depressed by this portion of the play. After a hundred years, we’re still stuck with the basic set of problems that the Filipinos faced under the Spanish Regime. There are still Padre Damasos ruling over the weak and ignorant out there. There are still the kind but naïve Guevarras out there. While the Spanish are no longer in power, there are still tyrants that hold government office. Human rights and freedom are still suppressed.
Portrayed next are the OFWs. The play shows how our countrymen are forced to menial and downgrading jobs in order to sustain their families. Their bravery and their sacrifice are vividly portrayed in the various scenes, especially where they slowly undress from having respectable clothes to those that are menial (From Doctor, to nurse, to Nursing Aide). The degrading of our fellow Filipinos made my heart feel deep sorrow. The plight that they encounter made me realize just how lucky my family is.
Then there’s the inevitable part of every Rizal-related play – the appeal to nationalism. The actors and actresses appealed to the audience to act and change the way things are playing out. Rizal’s famous quote, “The youth is the future of our nation”, became the overall theme of the play. The Youth were encouraged to do their part and to strive to be the change our society needs. It is never too late. The change that people are desperately looking for can be achieved if Filipinos just banded together and persevered. The process of change would be slow and tedious. But if people won’t give up, then nothing is impossible.
Overall, I really appreciated watching Rizal X. I’m not a huge fan of watching theatre, but with plays like these I might just change my mind. I really hope that I get to watch Filipino made plays or even films with the same quality as this.

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