RIZAL'S POLITICAL IDEAS
3ideas which they did not understand, an alien code of conduct, an alienconception of beauty, all far removed from those inspired in their race by theenvironment in which they lived and by their native genius. They sank in theirown estimation. They became inferior beings even to themselves. They beganto be ashamed of what was their own, of what was native to their country.They began to admire and praise whatever was foreign and beyond theircomprehension. They lost heart, and became a subject people.The Fiipinos remained in this state of subjection for three centuries. During thosethree centuries the Spanish colonial government not only deprived them of their ownculture but imposed upon them heavy burdens and exactions of every sort. Yet theyoffered no effective resistance. They remained passive and apathetic. Why?The answer usually given today, in line with our aggressive and somewhat uncriticalnationalism, is to deny the supposition. The Filipinos did resist; they did not remainpassive and apathetic; and the proof of this is the almost unbroken series of conspiracies,uprisings and revolts which stretches from one end of the Spanish colonial period to theother.This was not Rizal's view. He pointed out that the revolts cited were limited, local,isolated and easily put down. They were outbursts of rage against this particular exaction,that particular
or official. They were not movements of resistance of Filipinos as such against Spanish rule as such. They were not national for the simplereason that Filipinos were not yet conscious of themselves as a nation.By Rizal's time, however, by the latter part of the nineteenth century, this was nolonger true. Filipinos were conscious of themselves as a nation. And this made all thedifference. This, in Rizal's view, was what gave the contemporary situation its particularcharacter of urgency.What had happened to rouse the Filipinos from the sleep of centuries? What shock jarred them into this new consciousness of themselves as a people? Rizal's answer to thisquestion is curious and characteristic.He attributes the change not to an economic or political or social cause but to apsychological one. What did it was that the Spaniards added insult to injury. During the
The Background of Nationalism
1965 By Horacio de la Costa, S.J.