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Rizal: Demystified
Bernard Jomari B. Razote
The Great Malayan, The First Filipino, Ang Natatanging Indio Bravo—all of these have been the names given to none other than José Protasio Rizal Mercado y Alonso Realonda, simply known as Jose Rizal. Truly, Rizal has been our foremost national hero, for his two novels, Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo awakened the minds of the Filipinos that sparked the revolt against the Spaniards in 1896. But, are all these heroic acts enough for him to be called “The Tagalog Christ”? Iglesia Watawat ng Lahi, located in Barangay Lecheria, Calamba, Laguna, is a Rizalist group founded by Jose Valincunoza in 1936. In this sect, they acknowledge that Rizal as the reincarnation of Jesus Christ. But, the question is: What are the factors that made people believe that Gat Dr. Jose Rizal is the Tagalog Christ? What are their proofs? The Millenarian Belief First, let us tackle where this belief was anchored. According to Covar’s Ang Pagtanggap ng Samahang Milinaryan Kay Gat Dr. José P. Rizal, this belief was attached to the beliefs of the Roman Catholics planted upon by the Spaniards four hundred and seventy years ago. These seeds of Catholicism spread out across the nation and formed hundreds of sects. Yet, although they are different, they have the same belief—millenarianism. According to their beliefs, every millennium, a Supernatural entity will come out and will judge the dead and the living. This millenarian way of thinking is attached in the Santicima Trinidad of the Catholic Church. Although these Rizalistas still believe in The Holy Trinity, one thing that is distinguishes them from the other religious groups is that they chose to anchor it to the concept of sagrada familia, which is composed of Dios Ama, Dios Anak, and Dios Ina. In general, these three compose the Infinito Dios which reigns and governs the world and the universe. Jose Rizal = Jesus Christ Groups such as the Iglesia Watawat ng Lahi and the like believe that Jose Rizal is the reincarnation of Jesus Christ—meaning Rizal lived a life parallel to that of Jesus Christ. These statements and claims are proven by “proofs” provided by various people in order to show that Jose Rizal is truly the Tagalog Christ. Rizalistas also, Rizal had performed numerous miraculous operations in the son of Queen Victoria, Alfonso III, and the wife of the King of Germany. Even the death of Rizal in Bagumbayan in 1896 is mysterious, and is parallel to the death of Jesus Christ for the Rizalistas—actually they believe that Rizal is still alive. According to the accounts of the members of the Iglesia Watawat ng Lahi, on the morning of December 30, 1896, Rizal asked for a banana plant. Cutting the story short, these people believe that Rizal made the banana shoot the one who walked in and was executed in the Bagumbayan. To add to their proofs that Rizal is not the one who got killed was the account of a waiter in Hotel de Francia in which he stated that Rizal was in that area moments after the execution, because he was able to serve him food. Of course, the last one that would make the life of Rizal parallel to the life of Jesus Christ is His second coming. According to the Rizalistas, Rizal would come back like Jesus Christ: Pahayag 3:12 Ang magtatagumpay ay gagawin kong isang haligi sa templo ng aking Diyos at hindi na siya maalis doon magpakailanman. Iuukit ko sa kanya ang pangalan ng aking Diyos, ang pangalan ng lunsod ng aking Diyos, ang bagong Jerusalem na bababa mula sa langit buhat ang aking Diyos. Iuukit ko rin sa kaniya ang aking bagong pangalan (Covar, 1991, p.437). According to this stanza, a New Kingdom will be established in Lecheria, and it will be seen when a great number of tourists and foreigners would come to visit his place in Laguna. Truly, with this claims presented by the Rizalistas, our own national hero Jose Rizal can be named as the Tagalog Christ. Demystifying Rizal The numerous claims presented by the Rizalistas are truly enough in order for us to conclude that Rizal can be named as The Tagalog Christ. But why is it that we cannot call Rizal as this Supernatural being? It is because all of the statements here are untrue—they have no actual proof about all these claims. Also, some of their ideas are purely superstitious, such as the banana plant walking in the Bagumbayan. Educated people would not ponder, even believe, that this case is true. Also, all their claims are purely stories passed on generation to generation, that is why they think that these stories are actually true. The main cause of this blind and erroneous belief about Jose Rizal is them being pobres y ignorantes. Living in towns and barrios far from the center of the civilization, these people do not really know many things, that’s why they hold on to such beliefs like that of Rizal being the Tagalog Christ. Also, these “illicit associations” do not know the truth about Jose Rizal, because they live in remote areas not reached by the latest information. These reasons all in all define why these people believe in such unbelievable things. Now, we can say that Rizal is truly, DEMYSTIFIED.

First of all is the story of his name. According to the Rizalistas, Jose Rizal’s name, if translated in Latin (Jove Rex Al), means Hari ng Lahat. This is somewhat parallel to that of Jesus Christ, which was named “The King of The Jews”, that is why they believe that Jesus Christ is equal to Jose Rizal.
Next, is the truth behind his birth. To the perspective of the Rizalistas, they believe that the birth of Dr. Jose Rizal is filled with mystery. According to their story, Baby Rizal is left in front of Doña Teodora’s house covered in a white cloth and a handkerchief with Jove Rex Al embroidered in it. Another thing that made them believe that Rizal is the Tagalog Christ is his baptism. According to them, Doña Teodora and Don Francisco do not know who to invite as baby Rizal’s godmothers and godfathers so they decided that whoever knocks on their door in that morning will be Rizal’s ninong. Suddenly, a beggar knocked on the door, and as discussed, the adoptive parents of Rizal pleaded the beggar to be the godfather. As a remembrance, the beggar left a letter for Rizal with Jove Rex Al written in it. Of course, people would not believe if a person is supernatural if he has not done any miracle. And in this case, according to Iglesia Watawat ng Lahi and other Rizalistas, Rizal has performed numerous miracles. In a story by Jose Bacarinosa, he said that Rizal had fed thirty children, like the one Jesus Christ did in the Bible where he fed 5,000 children. According to the

But why not?
Photo of a Wall Art by the Rizalistas ©Dennis Villegas, 2010

by Bernard Jomari B. Razote Before KASPIL1 The Battle of the Brains is the type of game that can be categorized as a quiz bee, although in the game, the participants were clustered in groups. In the battle, Me, Zophia, Jomari, Edrick, Deniel, Ivan and Chelsea were the teammates, and were called collectively as the KASPIL Lovers. In the first part of the game, we were one of the frontrunners, leading the other groups by at least a point. Towards the middle, suddenly, we were behind by two points against SPS and EB, the two leading teams. Before the final question, we just behind by one point. By luck, I was called on to answer the last question. The question that was asked of me was: What was the civic league of Filipinos established in 1892? At that time, I had no idea of mind. The first thing that came to my mind was to think of a Spanish term related to the term league, and suddenly I thought of answering La Liga Filipina. When the answer was revealed, I jumped and laughed so hard because I didn’t expect that my answer was correct! And because of the correct answer, were able to advance to the clincher and ensure a spot in the Top 3. But, unfortunately in the end, we didn’t win, although I am proud that at least, I was able to help the team get to second place, as well as the additional five points in the midterm exam. After the Battle of the Brains, the next game that we had was the Slogan Making. In the activity, we had the five philosophies of Rizal in which we should create a slogan, namely: Social, Political, Ethical, Education, and Religion. Also, we have to act the slogan that we will be able to create. That is why our group decided to divide the task assignments into five categories, so that every one of us will be able to specialize on a specific category. It turned out that what we did was very effective, because we were able to win three out of the five philosophies. Also, the cooperation of everyone of was very vital for our win, because we were able to produce brilliant ideas that helped us to do well in the presentation of the slogans as well as the skits. After these challenging activities was the Midterm Exam and the Rizal Law Debate. Actually, I wasn’t that confident when we had the Midterms and the Debate because I wasn’t able to read all of the reviewers Miss Adoptante had provided us. Yet, I believed in my skills and Knowledge that I gained from the group reports that is why I was able to get a good score in my exam. Also, the combined efforts of our team gave each one of us an additional fourteen points, which helped in pulling up our grades. Aside from the activities and examination that we had done, we also had film viewing in the class. The first film, José Rizal: Buhay ng Isang Bayani, helped me to visualize the life Rizal had—that he endured all the sufferings he has had in order to help our country. On the other hand, the second film, Bayaning 3rd World, discussed some of the historical chismis which corrected, if not all, most of the misconceptions that I’ve classified to be true before, such as the place where Rizal was buried. In short, these two films provided by Miss Adoptante helped me to internalize the life of Gat Jose Rizal by showing both of his positive and negative sides. To summarize my KASPIL1 experience, I can say that all of these activities, examinations and films helped me to know more about Dr. Jose Rizal. These new experiences have helped me to gain more knowledge. Also, the things we have done let me realize that Rizal is not perfect—that he has his own weakness and negative attitudes. And finally, this whole KASPIL1 experience helped in awakening the sense of nationalism that is hidden deep within me. After KASPIL1 After my KASPIL1 experience, I can say that the questions that I’ve had in mind were answered. I can also say that, not only it has met my expectations, it has exceeded it. In addition, the learning I’ve had in this course doesn’t stop here—it drives me to know more information about Rizal that was highlighted in class. That is why I want to thank Miss for being able to help me understand more about Jose Rizal, and for being able to awaken the sense of nationalism in me. In addition, I want to thank Miss for pushing us to do our best with her challenging activities. To close this memoir, I want to say that what Miss had taught us wouldn’t just be forgotten after this term— because it will live not only in our minds but also in our hearts.

Still not over from the mishaps and tragic moments of the previous term, life has to move on. Walking in the hallways of the Andrew 12th Floor to go to my next class, I anticipated fervently on future experiences and learnings that will happen in my next course, KASPIL1. Ever since I was a child, I’ve had this profound love for history. Every day, in grade school, I would read books and other reading materials related to history. I would memorize the dates, as well as the people involved in those notable events. WWII, Adolf Hitler, JFK, Martin Luther King, King George VI, Jose Rizal—all of these events and names have been a part of not only my childhood but also of what I am today. That is why, as I was waiting for Mr. Jose Torres in my seat in A1202, many questions kept bugging my mind: Will this course meet my expectations? Will KASPIL1 satisfy my hunger for Philippine historical knowledge? Will it clear my mind on the things I know about Jose Rizal? Will it help me not only be historically-inclined but also a nationalism-driven person? I knew these questions have to hold on for a long time, but I am willing to wait. At 12:25 PM, someone opened the door—a skinny woman probably in her late 30’s, holding a small bag and a portfolio. Murmurs filled the room with the same questions: Where is Mr. Torres? Is she our professor? Then, the woman introduced herself in front: I am your professor, Ms. Myra M. Adoptante. And that is where my KASPIL1 experience all started.
During KASPIL1 In a span of thirteen weeks, many things have happened in our class. Many ideas have been shared, and many things have been clarified. Six groups have reported—all of different scopes—in order to fully understand the life of our greatest national hero, José Protasio Rizal y Alonso Realonda, or known by many as simply, Jose Rizal. Aside from discussion provided by the six groups, we have done many activities in order to assess our knowledge about Jose Rizal, the first thing of which was the Battle of the Brains.


Clodualdo del Mundo, & Mike De Leon (Directors). (1999). Bayaning 3rd World [Motion picture]. Philippines: Solar FIlms. Covar, P., Ileto, R. (n.d.). Ang pagtanggap ng samahang milinaryan kay Gat Dr. Jose P. Rizal. In Himalay Rizal. Guerrero, L. M. (2010). The first Filipino: A biography of José Rizal. Manila: Guerrero Publishing Jose Rizal Buhay ng Isang Bayani [Motion picture]. (n.d.). Philippines. Rizalista groups. (n.d.). Retrieved from my_sarisari_store/mount_banahaw_rizalista_groups/ Rizalista religious movements - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. (n.d.). Retrieved April 1, 2014, from Rizalists or Rizalista. (n.d.). Retrieved April 3, 2014, from Zaide, G. F., Zaide, S. M., & Rizal, J. (1997). Jose Rizal: Buhay, mga ginawa at mga sinulat ng isang henyo, manunulat, siyentipiko, at pambansang bayani. Cubao, Quezon City.

In the course of thirteen weeks, I can say that I have participated actively in Miss Adoptante’s class. I can say that the contributions I’ve given to my group have helped us excel in the competitions we’ve had. Also, I’ve never slept in class, and paid close attention whenever someone is speaking in front. Consequently, I’ve tried to participate in class discussions by thinking critically on the questions Miss Adoptante had raised. And finally, I can say that I deserve that grade because I was able to internalize the learning I’ve had, by awakening the true sense of nationalism that wasn’t in me before I take this very challenging yet interesting course .

Perspectival Rizal
Jose Rizal from Different Viewpoints
Over the course of
thirteen weeks, we have tackled all things related to our greatest national hero—the person whose face has been the embodiment of Filipino nationalism. In class, we have done various activities and tests in order to nurture and assess the understanding we have achieved. One of these activities included watching the two films, José Rizal: Buhay ng Isang Bayani, and Bayaning 3rd World, which catalyzed higher learning and understanding in our KASPIL1 class.
Jose Rizal: Buhay ng Isang Bayani In the film Jose Rizal: Buhay ng Isang Bayani, we traced back the life of our greatest national hero by dividing it into five significant chapters, namely: Ang Batang si Moy Mercado, Jose Rizal Mercado: Atenistang Probinsyano, Patungo sa Liwanag ng Dunong at Daigdig, Lakbayin Patungo sa Ligalig, and Dapithapon at Dilim. All these five chapters helped and guided me in understanding and visualizing the most important stages of Rizal’s life. SUMMARY Ang Batang si Moy Mercado The first chapter shown in the film was about the childhood of Jose Rizal. Here, in this chapter, all of the fascinations and interests of Rizal as a young boy were revealed. Also, all the hardships that he had experienced as a boy were also told, such as the slashes and spanks that he had received when he was studying under Maestro Justiniano Aquino Cruz, and the imprisonment of Doña Lolay caused by the wrong allegation of the wife of his brother Jose Alberto. Jose Rizal Probinsyano Mercado: Atenistang Another biggest event that happened in his life was the writing and publication of Noli Me Tangere. In this stage, Rizal was able to publish the book with the help of his friend Maximo Viola. This happening agitated and stirred more anger to the friars. Also, in this chapter, his friend and soul mate, Ferdinand Blumentritt, was introduced. It was stated that both Ferdinand Blumentritt and Jose Rizal exchanged letters, and both became close due to their common interests in science and Filipiniana. Lakbayin Patungo sa Ligalig Because of the noise Noli Me Tangere had created, Rizal went back to the Philippines. When he went back, he experienced violence and unjust treatment from the friars. Also, his book Noli Me Tangere was banned by the Commission of Censure. That is why the Governor General and his family advised him to go to Hong Kong to put off the fire he had lit to the minds of the friars. From Hong Kong, he went around the world, travelling in various places such as Japan, San Francisco and New York in USA, and London in United Kingdom. He also was able to access the British Museum with the help of Dr. Reinhold Rost, where found a book related to the Filipinos. This book is Dr. Antonio de Morga’s Sucesos de las Islas Filipinas, which clearly shows and depicts that there is civilization in the Philippines. Because he wanted to disprove these wrong claims of the Spanish colonizers about the civilization in our country, he patiently copied the entire book and listed his own comments and notes. Aside from the annotation of de Morga’s book, he actively participated in La Solidaridad. In this time, he wrote essays and articles like the Sobre La Indolencia de los Filipinos, which aimed to defend the Filipinos from the criticisms and insults being said by the Spanish writers. Also, he wrote a letter to the young women of Malolos to commend them for their bravery and courage to voice out their desire to study the Spanish language. Yet, Rizal faced more challenges in his life. First, his family was forced by the guardia civil to leave their house in Patungo sa Liwanag ng Dunong at Daigdig Upon leaving Manila to study in Spain, Rizal bade goodbye to his fatherland by drawing a sketch of the Manila shores. Also, aboard Djemnah, he discussed all the remarkable places he had seen, such as Aden, Sicily, Naples and the famous Suez Canal. Finally, Rizal arrived in Marseilles, France and took a train to Barcelona, Spain, where he stayed for a month to wait for the summer break. Upon arriving, Rizal admitted that he lost his amor to Mother Spain, stating that “the people here do not care about the other people”. While waiting for the opening of classes, he exchanged letters with his friends and family members. One of the pivotal happenings in his life was also discussed in the movie—his presentation of the speech entitled Brindis. This which the speech he presented in order to congratulate Juan Luna and Felix Hidalgo for winning first and second place in a painting contest. The speech he addressed created a lot of noise in the friars, which caused him to be observed keenly. Calamba. All their properties were taken by the guardia civil, and were forced to live in Mindoro. Next, an intrigue arose between Rizal and Marcelo Del Pilar about the latter’s management of the La Solidaridad. And lastly, his former fiancée Leonor Rivera is getting married to an English engineer named Henry Charles Kipping. Amidst all the challenges he had faced, Rizal was able to finish as well as publish his second book, El Filibusterismo, with the help of his friend Valentin Ventura. Also, a friend of Jose Rizal named Jose Basa lent him money so he could meet and join his family again after a long time in Hong Kong. Dapithapon at Dilim Being the last chapter in the film, the most pivotal happenings in his life were discussed in this stage—his exile in Dapitan, and his execution in Bagumbayan. Celebrating the New Year in Hongkong in 1891, Rizal, even though he was finally with his family after a long time, was not truly happy—for he cannot endure seeing his countrymen suffering because of what he has done. That is why he decided to go back to Manila. When he was in Manila, he was exiled into Dapitan, where, at least, he was able to find a “ray of sunshine”. Here, he was able to teach kids, and cultivate crops and vegetables in his farm. Also, in Dapitan, he was able to examine insects, frogs, and lizards, which was, later on, named after him. Later on, Rizal was able to open a clinic. There he met Josephine Bracken, an Irish woman who accompanied his stepfather Engineer George Taufer to cure his blindness. He and Josephine, after their first acquaintance in the clinic, got to know each other, and soon enough, fell for one another. Although Mr. Taufer vehemently objected their relationship, Josephine was able to come back to Dapitan to join her lover Rizal. There, in Dapitan, they lived happily. Yet, they were not allowed to marry by the Church unless Rizal would retract all his written works. Rizal then, volunteered as a physician in Cuba. On the way to Spain, the Katipuneros tried to let Rizal escape but he refused. When he arrived, he was captured by the Spanish authorities and was immediately sent back to Manila. Here, he was tried and later on, was sentenced to death. the Bagumbayan Field, now known as Luneta. The film ended with a still of Rizal after he was shot with two bullets, and left a note that the Rizal family was able to buy a coffin for Rizal, but was not able to get the body of Jose Rizal. Also, in the end, it was stated that the body of Rizal was buried in the Paco Cemetery without a marker and a name. My Critique and Personal Insights The movie, without a question, has depicted the life of Rizal perfectly. No doubt, it was able to completely explain and show to me the most important stages of his life, by dividing it into the five stages which I have mentioned above. Also, the way they used in order to present Rizal’s life was very effective, because I was able to know his story in a chronological order, which helped me to understand it more. Aside from the flow of the story, I want also to commend the high number of credible sources and facts they used in the movie. Because of that, I now believe that the film is truly based on Rizal—for it was very factual and reliable. In addition, I liked how they were able to show old photos and rare artifacts in the film, because by that, somehow, I was able to picture out and look back to the time where Rizal existed. I also want to give credit to the narrator of the film, Mr. Gamboa, for telling Rizal’s story very effectively. His voice truly complemented the way he narrated the story that is why many of the ideas he stated in the movie stayed in my memory. In addition, his rate of speaking was just enough for me to understand what he was saying on the film. On the other hand, the thing that the film should improve on is the lack of humor per se. There came moments where I got bored easily because the narration of the story was bookish. Also, I think they should also improve on the choice of language. In the film, there were Filipino words which I wasn’t able to comprehend, not because I’m not familiar with our language, but because the words they used were too deep. These instances therefore hindered me from gaining the maximum knowledge I could have achieved in watching the clip. To summarize, although the films had its own set of weaknesses, I still think that this film is effective in telling the life of Rizal, because of its credibility and the plethora of facts presented. That is why I personally recommend this to people who would want to know more about Rizal, because, they would truly learn from it. CONTINUATION SEE PAGE 4

In this chapter, the life of Rizal as a student in Ateneo Municipal de Manila was discussed. All his triumphs in the Ateneo were clearly shown in the film, such as the numerous prizes and medals he won every semester. Also depicted in the film were Rizal’s award-winning literary pieces, as well as his translation of San Eustaquio Martir, a foreign play, which was performed in his graduation. On the other hand, all his hardships, such as his disadvantages against the Spanish mestizos, and his ineloquence in Spanish and Latin were also clearly shown in the movie. Aside from his life in the Ateneo, the news about Doña Lolay being freed from the prison cell in Calamba was also shown in the film. Also, here in this part, the love affairs Rizal had with different women such as Segunda Katigbak and Leonor Rivera were depicted briefly. This chapter ended in the life of Rizal as a student in the University of Santo Tomas. All his achievements, such as winning first place in a literary contest, as well as the insult and whipping he had received when he forgot to bow down to the guardia civil were shown. Towards the end, it was revealed that Rizal was not satisfied with the quality of education UST was giving to him, because he thinks that the knowledge he was obtaining in the academe is not enough to cure the eyes of his mother. That is why he and his brother Paciano secretly planned of sending Rizal to study in Spain, without the knowledge of Don Kikoy and Doña Lolay.

In December 29, 1896, a day before his execution, Rizal met his mother Doña Lolay, his sister Trining and Josephine Bracken. There, he asked for his mother’s forgiveness for bringing so much pain and unhappiness to her. He also asked forgiveness from Josephine Bracken because he will leave her an “unhappy wife”. Meanwhile, Rizal gave Trining a lamp given to him by the Pardo de Taveras, and told her in English: There is something inside. Hidden inside the lamp was the last poem of Rizal, entitled Mi Ultimo Adios. There, he wrote for his family and friends that he was not able to bid goodbye. He also wrote for his father, Don Kiko, who was not able to visit because he was not allowed to do so, his friend and soul mate Ferdinand Blumentritt, who is residing in Europe, and his brother Paciano, who was already involved in the revolution. Then the day had come. In December 30, 1896, Rizal was executed in

The 1999 Movie Bayaning 3rd World ©Google Images

Bayaning 3rd World Contrary to the typical films related to Rizal like the first movie we’ve watched, Bayaning 3rd World has given another perspective in order to narrate and explain the life Jose Rizal had. They have given another color to the discussion of the man in the Philippine peso coin, which helped me to understand his life in a more inviting and interesting way. Also, they tackled what are known as historical chismis, which are brought about by the intrigues and speculations in the life of our greatest national hero. SUMMARY WITH PERSONAL INSIGHTS The film Bayaning Third World started by defining our national hero, Jose Rizal I was impressed that it is not the one we typically see in most documentaries related to him. In the movie, he was introduced as The Great Malayan, The First Filipino and The National Hero, yet in the end they sarcastically said that he is the person that we know from our birth (as depicted by a match with the picture of Rizal in front of it and a shoe emporium named Rizal) and will continue to know until the day we die (as depicted by the Rizal Funeral Homes). As the film progressed in the debate on what should be topic per se. They have raised many ideas for it: Rizal vs Bonifacio, Rizal, Rizal vs. Flor Contemplacion, Retraction Controversy—but later on concluded that the movie aims to investigate on the heroism of Jose Rizal. Also, it raised questions which, although funny, still had sense, like “Was Rizal not in favor of the revolution because he was not the one who started it?” or “Did Josephine Bracken and Rizal had sex?” which they aimed to be answered. Aside from that, many important happenings that happened in Rizal’s life were discussed contrary to the conventional way. First, was his execution in Bagumbayan. This part was introduced by the reenactment of the shooting of Edward Gross’ and Albert Yearsley’s Rizal films. Here, it was clearly discussed that, because of the execution, Philippines was able to gain freedom from Spain. Honestly, I was impressed on how the director was able to use this “epic” scenario in order to engage the viewers, as well as to incorporate the thoughts that he wants to impart to us. Another thing that they talked about was Josephine Bracken. They described her as “childish” and sentimental”, and even tried to portray her personality through her letter to Rizal in 1896. Also, they questioned her actions after the death of Rizal by saying, “ Tanga ba talaga o nagtatanga-tangahan lang?” through her letter to Ferdinand Blumentritt in 1897. In addition, the narrators tackled about the case she filed against the Rizal family, due to the alleged Last Will and Testament Rizal left to his own family. According to her personal statement, “I took them to be like my husband, but I see that I am deceived”. Yet, the narrators again questioned her marriage to Rizal, and linked her case to another topic they exposed, which is Bracken’s marriage to our national hero. In this chapter of the film, actually, I was able to see another perspective of Josephine Bracken, which was depicted in other films as “the beautiful and kind Irish lover of Rizal”. Here in this film, I was able to see a negative side, which brought me more understanding of her life. After the intertwined J. Bracken—Marriage to Rizal discussion they have conducted, they also questioned

the reaction of one of Rizal’s sisters, Trinidad. Here, they tackled about her comments about the Retraction Letter before and after she heard about the letter. In an interview in 1922 about the retraction, she denied that Rizal will ever retract and said, “ Iyan lamang ay panlilinlang at paninira sa taong patay na.” Yet, in an interview two years before her death, she said that no doubt, it is Rizal who wrote the Retraction Letter. This part of the movie helped me to gain interest to know more about this issue. Also, their debate about the Retraction controversy aroused my interest in learning and understanding the truth behind this controversy. There were a wide variety of issues discussed in the movie. But apart from these controversies they have tackled, one thing that I also liked was their depiction of various characters such as Dona Lolay, and even Rizal himself. In the film, they even debated on how Dona Lolay must be portrayed and acted. On Rizal, they even questioned if the actor Joel Torre is fit for the role, because he is smoking and Rizal doesn’t. These silly things, although can be deemed “nonsense”, still allowed me to gain interest to the movie. In the end, they had a commotion on whether Rizal had truly retracted his two novels. That is why they gave the movie the title “ Bayaning 3rd World” because they think that, if the retraction is true, Rizal had somewhat removed his sense of being the national hero—because he disowned the two novels. Also, they dubbed him as “fragile and weak”, which added to the definition of the movie title. Yet, in the end, they used the tagline “ Kanya-Kanyang Rizal”, because it is still up to us on what we choose to believe in the whole story of Rizal.

To summarize my reaction towards the movie, I can say that, again, it has given another perspective from the usual Rizal that I knew. It has shown me the negative sides of Rizal and the people connected to him, which I don’t usually see in the Rizal films. Although their discussion wasn’t that clear, I can still say in the end that I have gained a lot of knowledge from the movie. Comparison of the Two Movies Obviously, the two movies, José Rizal: Buhay ng Isang Bayani, and Bayaning 3rd World , are binary opposite in terms of revealing the true story behind Rizal —one was conventional while the other one was out-of-the-box. Yet, there is only one topic that they wanted to discuss—Rizal and his heroism. Personally, I am grateful that these movies were used in our class in order to hasten learning and understanding in class. With their storytelling of Rizal’s life in two different perspectives, I can say that I am able to know both sides of the story—that I do not only know the story from the perspective of the pro-Rizal. Also, I was amazed that, although both are of different angles, still they were able to tell the whole story of Rizal. To sum all of these wonderful experiences up, I can finally say, that truly, Tayo nga ay may kanya-kanyang Rizal.

Putting Back The Pieces
Aside from the films
and activities that we had done in order to
catalyze learning in KASPIL1, we also had group reportings. Here, we tried to look at Rizal from the different perspectives of the Filipinos—which each category trying to at least understand critically the life of the most circulated face in the Philippines. Rizal and the Reform Movement

Looking back in the context of the 19th century, the Filipinos, also known as the indios, were deemed as the lower race, because of the Spanish colonizers living in our country. With the peninsulares in the top of the class hierarchy, the illustrados and other Filipinos were limited to various privileges and rights, ironically, in their own country. But, because of the sudden rise of the clase media, as well as the ideals of liberalism brought about by the countries in Europe which emancipated the thought of openness and freedom, the Reform Movement was finally born. Our national hero was actually one of the leading Propagandists in the Reform Movement, and truly participated actively for the cause. Here, one of his aims was not for the Philippines to gain independence— but to be assimilated and to be a province of Spain. He, also, with the other propagandists, amended for the secularization of the Church. Another aim that he wanted for us was for country to have a proper representation in the Spanish Cortes. He wanted us to receive equal rights and privileges in comparison to the citizens of Mother Spain. Although the main objective of Rizal which is to assimilate the Philippines and to make it a country of Spain seems to be in contrary of what a national hero should have done, I still believe that he did what is right for our country. I know that he did this in order for us to be honored and treated justly, because he cannot see us Filipinos endure pain from the hands of the country he dearly treated as his own Motherland.
The Political Philosophy of Rizal Delving and exploring his two famous novels Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo, we can really see the political philosophies of Rizal through the characters as well as the setting he used in the narration of the story. Using the character of Crisostomo Ibarra, he expressed his own ideals about education which is depicted in a chapter of Noli Me Tangere where he wanted to build a school for the children. As we all know, Rizal deeply valued education, and according to what he had said: “Pen is mightier than the sword”. Therefore, we can really see from the novel that Rizal wanted the Filipinos to have the right education, because he believes that through their bright

ideas, the Philippines would be able to defend themselves from the Spaniards. In his books, he also exposed the current situation in his time. One of these characters was Huli. In the story, Huli jumped in the window of the Church after she engaged in sexual intercourse with Padre Camorra. To add to this, is the pahalik or the indulgencia being given by the Filipinos to the friars to ensure a place in heaven. Here, we can see the profanity being done by the Church, especially the friars to us Filipinos. Another character in the story which showed the crookedness of the colonizers is Placido Penitente. In the chapter Ang Klase sa Pisika, it is depicted that the materials and the apparatuses used in order to hasten learning in class are in glass cabinets—which clearly shows the kind of education the Filipinos were having at that time. Aside from exposing the current norms of the society in his era, he used the book also to awaken the minds of the Filipinos. In the book Noli Me Tangere, he used Crisostomo Ibarra in order to talk peacefully with the Spaniards. But contrary to his ideals of “a peaceful revolution”, in the next book El Filibusterismo, he used Simoun, a jeweler blinded by anger and revenge, in order to start a revolution against the Spaniards. In the end, the revolution wasn’t successful, which clearly shows that Rizal is never in favor of a “bloody revolution” and still thinks that a “peaceful revolution” will solve any issue or dispute.
Rizal the Radical In this stage, the radical nature of Rizal blossomed due to the negative experiences he had with the Spaniards. Here, he expressed these radical ideas into his writings, namely: The Philippines a Century Hence, The Letter to the Young Women of Malolos, and On the Indolence of the Filipinos. In the Philippines a Century Hence, he expressed his ideas on what will happen in the country after a hundred years. The first scenario that he thought would happen is that the Philippines would be assimilated and would be a province of Spain. The next was that the Philippines will gain freedom after a revolution. And the last one, which actually happened, was that the Philippines will be colonized by another country. Also, he pointed out in the essay that in order for Spain to maintain its hold on the Philippines, it should amend and tackle the reforms the colony needs. In his Letter to the Young Women of Malolos, he expressed his gratitude in the women for pursuing their desire of learning Spanish. Also, in the letter, he explained the wrong deeds being done by the friars, and said that “religiousness does not consist of long periods spent on your knees, nor in endless prayers, big rosarios, and grimy scapularies [religious garment showing devotion], but in a spotless conduct, firm intention and upright judgment (Zaide,

1997)”. Also, in his letter, he said that these young women, should they have children later on, should be like that of a Spartan mother. He wants these women to be an example to her children in order to develop and empower the future youth. And lastly, in his essay On the Indolence of the Filipinos, he explained that the Spaniards were the ones who caused the Filipinos to have a backward thinking. He reasoned that these Filipinos also have dreams for themselves, and that if given the choice, they would also want to improve their lives. Also, he reasoned that, if analyzed critically, the Spaniards are more indolent as compared to us because they are the ones who wake up late in the morning and are surrounded by slaves who do the work for them.
Pivotal Period of Rizal in Dapitan This part is the pivotal period in Rizal’s life, because after a while, he was kept silenced by the Spaniards for a short period of time. Also, this part was where the Retraction Controversy was discussed, because this is the place where he met Josephine Bracken. Josephine Bracken is an Irish woman who went to Dapitan alongside his stepfather Mr. Taufer to seek for Rizal’s service in the field of ophthalmology. There, they got to know each other a bit more and in the end, decided to get married, but because Rizal has not yet disowned his two novels, they were denied a church wedding. Then the Retraction Controversy started to blossom. According to Fr. Balaguer and Fr. Obach, Rizal had signed the Retraction Letter they prepared for him. Also, according to Josephine Bracken, they had exchanged their vows and got married, although she wasn’t able to present any document that would prove her marriage to Rizal. Up to date, the two issues were not yet resolved, and the truth about both of the issues is still debatable. Described by Miss Adoptante as the “most boring topic”, I still think it is interesting because of the love story of Rizal and Josephine Bracken. Also, the Retraction Controversy gave an additional flavor to the supposed-to-be “tedious discussion” on the life of Rizal. Rizal as Model of Nationalism In this chapter, we discussed how history from books are structured—from the Golden Age to the Dark Age, and then to the Rise of Nationalistic Consciousness and finally to the Suppressed Nationalism. Also, we discussed Dr. Hila’s Critical Questions on Nationalism: A Historian’s View. Here in this text, I’ve learned that the way we study history is linear, which although convenient, closes opportunities to questions. Also, I have known that the history we know now came from the illustrados—and can be pictured out as concentric circles, because the further you are from the center, the

lesser your history has been told. That is the reason why the illicit associations, the bandits, and the tulisanes are not tackled too much in our history, and is not considered a factor in the rise of the Philippine nationalism. Also, we tackled and discussed Armando J. Malay’s Veneration With Understanding in comparison to Professor Renato Constantino’s Veneration Without Understanding. Here, we discussed and countered the points presented by Constantino in relation to Malay’s text. According to Constantino, a hero must work among his people in order to know them better, but according to Malay, a hero “does not lead a revolution, but is admired for his achievements and noble qualities”, citing Gandhi as an example. He furthered that the totality of achievements is a better criterion in selecting a national hero, and that a hero should not be limited in the field of revolution by saying that, “If a man could serve his country working from the outside, then more honor to him than the one who elects to stay in his country where he can virtually do nothing because of despotism.” The last essay we tackled was Who Made Rizal Our Foremost National Hero? by Esteban de Ocampo. Here, we discussed why Rizal was chosen as our foremost national hero using the definitions of a hero. Also, using a table presented by Miss Adoptante in class, we were able to compare his ideals and principles to that of Bonifacio and Aguinaldo. Rizal as The Tagalog Christ
This topic is the one reported by our group. Here, we used the context of Prospero Covar’s Ang Pagtanggap ng Samahang Milinaryan Kay at Dr. Jose P. Rizal and Reynaldo Ileto’s Rizal and the Underside of Philippine History. The one I reported was that of Covar. There, I discussed the basis of the Rizalistas on their beliefs. Also, I discussed the instances where they found the similarities of Rizal and Jesus Christ. And finally, in my report, I was able to discuss how the Rizalistas were able to conclude that Rizal was really the Tagalog Christ. On the other hand, Ileto’s text discussed about the myths that were a vital part in the beliefs of the Rizalistas. Also, they discussed why these people turned out to be pobres y ignorantes. In the end, our group summarized and compared the ideas of the two texts which actually have similarities. Also, in the end, we demystified the theories and beliefs of the Rizalistas which helped to avoid confusion and possible accumulation of Rizalistas in our KASPIL1 class.