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Rizals political ideas are scattered through his published and unpublished works; the two
novels, the annotations to Morga, newspaper articles, pamphlets, letters. They occur for the most part
in fragmentary form as partial studies, occasional reflections, obiter dicta: yet they seem to spring from
a fairly consistent body of doctrine which he had worked out in his own mind, though he never found
the time to get the whole of it on paper.
Various attempts have been made to reconstruct this body of doctrine. The most obvious
method has been to cull from Rizal's writings all the "political" passages and to combine them in the
manner that seems to make the most sense to the compiler. The great weakness of this method is that
while the resulting synthesis may be eminently satisfactory to the one who constructs it, we cannot be
at all sure that it would be so to Rizal himself. For the pieces of this puzzle can be assembled in a number
of different ways; by simply changing the relationships between them we can make Rizal out to be a
radical or a moderate, a liberal or a conservative, a reformer or a revolutionary. Now he obviously could
not have been all these at once, and so our different reconstructions may indeed throw light on our own
political opinions, but not necessarily on those of Rizal. They will embody more -or less neatly the
political philosophy which we imagine or wish Rizal to have held, not necessarily that which he did hold.
It is not enough, then, to pluck the political ideas scattered through Rizal's work and weave them into a
garland the strands of which are of our own devising. We must look for some clue to the structure which
these ideas took in his mind and the relative values which they had within that structure. Where shall
we find it? Our first instinct is to turn to the novels. Of all Rizal's works they are unquestionably the most
elaborate and mature. Yet one consideration must give us pause. These are works of fiction, and in a
work of fiction the author speaks for the most part not in his own person but in that of his characters.
With regard to certain passages we may have a strong suspicion that while the face may be the face of
Ibarra or Elias or Padre Florentino, the voice is that of Rizal. But we can never be quite certain, and Rizal
in one of his letters explicitly warns us not to be.
The concrete starting point of Rizal's thought was the contemporary situation in the Philippines.
That situation called for a fundamental change in the relationship which had hitherto obtained between
the colony and the mother country, between the dominant and the subject people. This change was
inevitable. It could not be stopped and it was useless to try to stop it. However, the change could be
directed. There were two alternative directions in which the change could take place, and it was still
possible to choose between them. To choose rightly it was obviously necessary to understand the
situation that called for change; and to understand that it was necessary to understand the causes that
produced it.
Thus, it is with history that Rizal begins. Spanish rule was imposed on the Philippines by
conquest. Before the conquest Filipinos had their own culture. They had developed their own forms of
economic and social organization. They were governed by their own rulers under their own laws. They
worshipped their own gods. They spoke and wrote in their own languages. They had the beginnings of a
native literature and a native art. It was all admittedly primitive. But it was all in process of normal
development; did not all peoples begin thus? Certain aspects of it were full of promise: left to itself,
what might it not have become?
But it was not left to itself. The Spanish conquest surprised it in mid-career and overwhelmed it.
The Filipinos were forced to abandon their own for an alien culture, a culture which they never
completely understood or assimilated. The result was that they lost their nerve. They lost confidence in
their past, faith in their present, hope in their future. Rizal describes this uprooting of the Filipino
cultural heritage in the following terms :

The Filipinos now entered upon a new era. Little by little they lost theirancient traditions, their memory of the past.
They forgot their own system of wri ti ng, thei r songs, thei r poetry, thei r l aws, i n order to l earn by rote
al i eni deas whi ch they di d not understand, an al i en code of conduct, an al i enconception 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 thei r own, of what
was nati ve to thei r country. They began to admi re and prai se whatever was forei gn and be yond
thei rcomprehension. They lost heart, and became a subject people.

The Filipinos remained in this state of subjection for three centuries. During those three
centuries the Spanish colonial government not only deprived them of their own culture but imposed
upon them heavy burdens and exactions of every sort. Yet they offered no effective resistance. They
remained passive and apathetic. Why?
The answer usually given today, in line with our aggressive and somewhat uncritical nationalism,
is to deny the supposition. The Filipinos did resist; they did not remain passive 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 the other.
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
encomendero or official. They were not movements of resistance of Filipinos as such against Spanish
rule as such. They were not national for the simple reason 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 no longer true.
Filipinos were conscious of themselves as a nation. And this made all the difference. This, in Rizal's view,
was what gave the contemporary situation its particular character 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 this question is curious and
He attributes the change not to an economic or political or social cause but to a psychological
one. What did it was that the Spaniards added insult to injury. During the earlier phase of Spanish rule,
the colonial government demanded much of Filipinos but it did not despise them. It treated Filipinos as
a subject, but not an inferior people. It exploited them, to be sure, but it also recognized their essential
humanity and hence their essential equality with the conqueror. Filipinos were drafted into the colonial
army, but they were also given positions of command in that army. The government insisted on
obedience, but it also listened to complaints and occasionally did something about them. Injustice, even
that committed by the white man, was sometimes punished; wrongs, even those suffered by the brown
man, were sometimes redressed.
But in the latter phase of the colonial period a different attitude began to prevail among the
Spaniards in the Philippines. They began to treat Filipinos with contempt as essentially inferior beings,
"mere muscle, brutes and beasts of burden," who were such because they were incapable of being
anything else. In Rizal's own bitter words, they affirmed and took for granted what they wanted to
believe. They made the race itself an object of insult. They professed themselves unable to see in it any
admirable quality, any human trait. Certain writers and clergymen surpassed themselves by undertaking
to prove that the natives lacked not only the capacity for virtue but even the talent for vice. By adopting
this attitude the Spaniard wounded the Filipino in the most sensitive part of his spiritual being: his amor
propio, that is to say, his self-esteem, his sense of personal dignity. Rizal gave great importance to this.
He seems to have looked upon amor propio as the key to the psychology of the Malay race.
Asians in general [he says] and Malays in particular are people of great sensibility; delicacy of
feeling is their most prominent characteristic. This may be observed even today. The Malay Filipino, in
spite of his contacts with Westerners and their altogether different scale of values, will sacrifice
everything freedom, comfort, security, reputation to the attainment of some object, whether it be
religious, intellectual or something else, that has fired his ambition or caught his fancy. Yet at the least
word that wounds his amor propio he forgets all his sacrifices and abandons all his labors in order to
spend the rest of his life brooding on the injustice to which he thinks he has been subjected.
No wonder, then, that the Filipino reaction to Spanish contempt was instantaneous and
passionate. Not only that, it was national; and this is what Rizal particularly wished to Mtreae. It was
national: the affront was offered not to a particular Filipino or to a particular class of Filipinos but to
Filipinos as such, as a nation, and in reaction to it the Filipino nation found itself. What three centuries
of oppression could not do, wounded amor propio did; it brought into being Filipino nationalism.
Conscious now of their common misery Filipinos began to agitate for reforms on a national scale. The
day of regional revolts, of local uprisings, of small ephemeral conspiracies was over. The demand was for
reappraisal of the entire colonial system from top to bottom and for its reconstruction on an entirely
new principle, that of equality between Spaniards and Filipinos. In the van of this new nationalist
movement, one of the earliest to arise in Asia, was a group of young Filipinos imbued with the ideas
of nineteenth-century European liberalism, among who was Rizal himself.
Such in brief was Rizal's analysis of the Philippine situation as stated in the La Solidaridad articles
and resumed or referred to in many passages of his other works. We must now consider what he
thought of the Spanish policy towards it. And first, what did he think that policy was? He believed it to
be, on the whole, a policy of repression. He observed that the Spanish Conservatives were opposed to
any change in the colonial administration on principle. But even the Spanish Liberals; while they might
pay lip-service to liberty, equality and fraternity did not seriously entertain the introduction of any real
reforms. As certain Liberals themselves put it, they could afford to be Liberals in Spain; in the Philippines
they could not be anything but Spaniards.
We would expect Rizal to look upon this policy as mistaken. But he went further than that. He
looked upon it as impossible. How indeed, he asked, did Spain propose to stop progress in the
Philippines? He could think of only four ways: by keeping the Filipinos in a state of utter ignorance, by
reducing them to abject poverty, by not allowing them to increase in numbers, or by sowing discord
among them. None of these devices could possibly work.
The first had been in operation for some time, and, with singular lack of success. In spite of an
educational system designed to impart ignorance rather than knowledge, an increasing number of
Filipinos were finding ways and means of enlightening themselves and their fellow countrymen either by
self-instruction or travel abroad. As for the second method, a little reflection would show that its effect
was bound to be the exact opposite of what was intended.
The third method was to limit the population of the Philippines and by slow degrees render it
extinct; an impossible task. The Australian, the Polynesian and the American Indian might give way
before the advance of European settlement and waste away into a few scattered tribes. But the
Filipinos, in spite of recurrent epidemics, in spite of the almost uninterrupted series of wars in which
they had been forced to take part either as antagonists or as allies of the Spaniards, were actually
increasing in numbers. Malays are too prolific; they absolutely refuse to become extinct.
There remains the method of setting Filipinos against each other and thus preventingthem from
combining against a common enemy or working for their common interests.This might have succeeded -
and did succeed to a large extent - in the past, whencommunications between the different regions
were slow and difficult, travel costly anddangerous. It had ceased to be ipracticable by Rizal's time. The
very attempt to createregional division strengthened national unity, for it meant sending native troops
from oneisland to another, and this intermingling of Filipinos, far from estranging them from
oneanother, merely gave them excellent opportunities for discussing their common problemsand
seeking a common way out of them.
If Spain persisted in her intransigent policy, there was no doubt in Rizal's mind as towhat
direction the inevitable change would take. The Philippines would be compelled toseek by force of arms
its complete independence. The Filipino people still recognizedmoderate reformers as their leaders; but
in the measure that they lost hope of obtainingredress by peaceful means they would transfer their
allegiance from the men of peace tothe men of violence. Rizal's observations on this subject are
strangely prophetic:

It is thus that we interpret the situation, we who labor through legal means and peaceful argument. With eyes fixed on our objectives we shall continue
to promote our cause without overstepping the limits of the law. But if force compels us to be silent or misfortune removes us from public life-which is
not impossible since we are mortal then we know not upon what courses a younger generation, more numerous and more aggressive than we are,
and straining to take our places, will embark.

Would the Filipinos be deterred from attempting a war of liberation by the near-certainty of
failure? Rizal did not think so. Doubtless they would fail the first time, fail a second, third and fourth
time; but they would not always fail. The unalterable facts of geography and demography were in their
favor. Spain was far away and her limited population could not long support the strain of keeping down
by main force a people determined to be free. Once free the Filipinos had a fair chance of keeping their
freedom. True, every European Power was on the look-out for colonies: but this was in the Philippines'
favor, for the Powers would hardly permit one of their number to steal a march on the rest.
Thus Filipinos would at last regain control of their own destiny and resume the untrammeled
development of their characteristic culture and society after the harsh interruption of Spanish rule. This
was one direction the impending change could take. Rizal considered it, presented it - and rejected it.
For one thing, its cost in blood and treasure would be appalling; and it would sever a historic bond
between Spain and the Philippines which had been forged by three centuries of coexistence, which had
yielded mutual benefits in the past and might yield still greater benefits in the future.
This bond ought, then, to be preserved: but how? Not as it was. The master-subject relationship
was no longer tenable. To keep the relationship one must change it, and it would have to be a
fundamental change indeed. The colonial bond must become a partnership. More than a partnership;
for what Rizal contemplated was not so much the British idea of a commonwealth of nations as the
French idea of assimilation. The only way to keep Filipinos loyal to Spain, he claimed, was to grant them
equal citizenship with Spaniards in the same Spanish nation which would then include not only the
Spanish homeland but the Philippines. This was a tall order and he realized it fully. He proposed that it
should be set up as an ultimate objective the way to which was to be paved by a series of reforms.
Some of these reforms should be undertaken by the Spanish government, others by the Filipinos
themselves. The political reforms proposed by Rizal, taken individually, were no different from those
proposed by his colleagues in the Propaganda Movement. What makes them distinctively his own and
hence of interest to our present inquiry is the order of importance in which he lists them. First on his list
is the removal of restrictions on the freedom of expression in the colony with reference to matters of
public interest.
Another reform which Rizal stressed was that the colonial civil service be open to Filipinos and
Spaniards alike, and that admission and promotion in the service be strictly on the basis of merit as
established in competitive examinations. His argument in support of this is a faintly sardonic one. Surely,
he said, the Spaniards could have no objection to this, since they regard themselves as being in every
way superior to Filipinos; they cannot therefore have any fear that Filipinos will take their jobs away
from them. Moreover, it has been said often enough that the Filipino is indolent; very well, why not give
him this opportunity to prove his indolence both to himself and to the world?
The reforms which Rizal urged his fellow countrymen to undertake in their own lives and in the
customs and usages of their country are familiar enough. They are woven into the very theme of the
Noli and the Fili. Filipinos do not have the Spaniards alone to blame for their state of subjection. They
have themselves to blame just as much if not more. "There would be no masters if there were no
slaves." Filipinos must realize that they cannot have the privileges of freedom unless they are willing to
accept its responsibilities. But to fit themselves for the responsibilities of freedom means undergoing a
long, slow and painful process of self-discipline; making a determined and sustained effort, individually
and collectively, to lift themselves out of the slough of despond, ignorance, apathy and indolence in
which they have been complacently wallowing for centuries.
Moreover, if Filipinos wished to establish a democratic republic in their country, then instead of
merely agitating for it as they were doing, let them devote some time and effort to cultivating in
themselves those virtues which the citizens of a democratic republic ought to have. What were these
virtues? In an interesting and all too little known letter to the members of La Solidaridad Rizal
enumerates those which he considered to be the most important.
One was what he called economia : the prudent husbanding of limited resources so that they
will produce the maximum benefit for the greatest number. The British slogan of some years back,
"austerity," will serve well enough as a modern equivalent. The point here is that Rizal thought the
importance of this virtue so obvious that instead of expatiating on it, he merely wrote it down three
times: economia, economia, economia "austerity, austerity and again austerity."
Another virtue most necessary to the free citizen of a free nation is what Rizal called
transigencia, which we may roughly render as "the spirit of give-and-take." By this Rizal meant the
willingness to compromise, not indeed on matters of principle, but on those questions of practical policy
which are of their nature subject to adjustment. Democratic government is unworkable without this
readiness to make mutual concessions in order to arrive at general agreement. For democracy, Rizal
pointed out, is government by discussion; the people or their representatives meet to debate several
different courses of action and decide on one. Hence, the object of debate in a democratic government
is not to make one's opinion prevail at all costs, but collectively to choose that course which will be
found after free and frank discussion to be the wisest and the best. This course may not be one's own; it
may not be anybody's ; it may be, and usually is, a course which emerges during the debate itself
through a series of mutual concessions and compromises. This procedure, so necessary in a democracy,
requires a high degree of discipline, self-restraint and humility on the part of its citizens. Tramigencia
thus understood does not come natural to people, especially to people with as much amor propio as
Filipinos. It must bethe object of conscious effort. It must be learned.
Finally and in the last analysis, what did Rizal understand by nationalism? There is no question
but that he meant by it, first and foremost, sacrifice. The true patriot is he who is ready at all times to
forego his own personal and private advantage in order to advance the welfare of his people. The
common good of the nation is a fine thing; it is a precious thing: but like all fine and precious things it
has an exorbitant price. That price is sacrifice, and the true patriot is he who is willing to pay that price;
to pay it "sin dudas,sin pesar," that is to say, without thinking twice about it, and without calculating the
Such in brief are what I have called the base lines of Rizal's political doctrine. How are we to
evaluate that doctrine? Rizal being our national hero we naturally tend to accept whatever he wrote
almost as gospel truth. It may therefore be of help towards an objective appreciation if we pointed out
what seem to be deficiencies in his historical analysis.
There are some. Rizal consistently overrates the pre-Spanish culture of the Philippines, which
was not nearly as developed as he makes it out to be both in "The Philippines a Century Hence" and in
the annotations to Morga. On the other hand his evaluation of Spanish rule is vitiated by the assumption
that the Spanish conquest destroyed the indigenous culture and substituted an alien culture in its stead.
This is to oversimplify matters considerably. Cultures are not destroyed in quite so summary a fashion.
Spanish rule undoubtedly modified our native culture and added to it elements which were completely
new Christianity, for instance; but it hardly destroyed it. The Filipinos did indeed receive Spanish
culture, but they did so selectively and vitally; they made it their own, a culture different both from what
they had originally and what the Spaniards brought.
I suppose that Rizal, if pressed, would admit this; but he would claim (indeed, he has claimed)
that this transformation of our culture was a bad thing, a forcible deflection of its normal line of
development. This view seems to me unsound. One may well ask: what is the "normal" line of
development of any culture? Is it claimed that cultures develop normally only in a vacuum, solely by the
unfolding of its own inner potentialities and never by stimulation or enrichment from without? If so,
then what existing culture can be said to have had a normal development? What existing or even extinct
culture can be called native in this sense? Can even our pre-Spanish culture, with its numerous
borrowings and adaptations from India and Indonesia, be called such?
No one questions the fact that the Spanish conquest of the Philippines was violent and
destructive, as all conquests must be, and that the subsequent colonial rule was in many ways
oppressive and repressive. But it is going beyond the evidence to argue from this, as Rizal seems to do,
that the Spanish period of our history was an almost completely negative interlude: a state of
suspended, animation; a kind -of Dark Age which contributed nothing to the enrichment or
development of our national culture. The cultural value of Christianity is pretty generally admitted even
by those who do not believe in it, and our debt to Spain in this regard is as obvious as it is profound.
Does the Filipino or Malay amor propio deserve the key role which Rizal gives to it in the awakening of
Filipino national consciousness? People like myself who have only the slightest acquaintance with social
psychology would be tempted to say no. We tend to look for more tangible causes, usually of an
economic or political nature. Still, one can perceive, especially if one happens to be a Filipino, that there
is great value in this insight, even if one cannot agree with Rizal's valuation of it. Certainly there were
other causes equally important which I have tried to suggest elsewhere. Not the least of them was
precisely the action of Spain itself which Rizal tends consistently to minimize.
It is curious but undeniable that colonial rule by the Western nations sooner or later develops
the nationalisms which eventually put an end to colonial rule; and this not only negatively as sheer
reaction but positively, by supplying the separatist movement with its frame of reference and its
principles. It may even be said that colonialism, at least of the Western type, is self-liquidating.
But this ought not to be surprising, especially to us Filipinos, who must realize that it was
through the mediation of Spain in part that the ideas of human equality, civic freedom and the rule of
law, ideas Hellenic and Christian in origin, became an integral part of our national culture. One does not
have to read very extensively in Rizal and his associates to realize that their rejection of colonialism had
for its theoretical base not an Asian but a Western world view. It was not from the Upanishads, or the
Confucian Analects, or the Kokutai-no Hongi, or even the Code of Kalantiao that they derived their
inspiration. The liberty, equality and fraternity they spoke of were forged in the Greek city-state, the
Christian gospels, the universities of the Middle Ages, and the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the
But these considerations are surely peripheral to Rizal's main argument. That must stand in its
essential lines as a monument to the man's perceptiveness and breadth of vision. We may cavil at the
details, but we are bound to recognize that among Rizal's contemporaries no one grasped so surely the
prime factors of the problem presented by the political situation in the Philippines, or passed upon them
so balanced a judgment.

Philosophy of Dr. Jose Rizal
To understand Dr. Jose Rizals philosophy, it is proper for us to see what his backgrounds are,
and what led him to have such version of philosophy. Dr. Jose Rizal was a polymath. He was
specialized on different fields of knowledge such as biology, medicine, philosophy and others.
He studied on the two premier universities on the Philippines at his time, Ateneo Municipal de
Manila and University of Santo Tomas, then traveled on Spain alone to study at Universidad
Central de Madrid, and then to the University of Paris and University of Heidelberg. Due to his
travels, Rizal was also a polyglot who can converse using different languages. The reason of his
outstanding education was because of two things, one is because he is smart, two is because he
came from a rich family that can support him on his studies. Rizal was from a rich family on
Calamba, Laguna, whose income comes from their hacienda. During his travels, he met
different Filipino intellectuals that he made friends with, and soon had joined various
organizations whose interests are the politics in the Philippines. Because of his writings against
the Spanish rule on the Philippines, and against the Catholic friars, Rizal was jailed and executed
to death.
The main sources for Rizals philosophy are his two famous novels Noli Me Tangere andEl
Filibusterismo, both of which focuses on the exploitation and abuses of the Spaniards to the
Filipinos, another good source will be Rizals writings on La Solidaridad where he had written
liberal and progressive ideas for the Philippines and the rights of the Filipino.
We may very well agree with Karl Marx when he said that The philosophers had only
interpreted the world in various ways, the point however is to change it. Rizal too had
interpreted things in his own way, but what he wants is simply change. The political situation of
century Philippines was a disaster. Spaniards were ruling over the Filipinos, the
government is imposing taxes, even though Filipinos are not benefitting from those, the Friars
were controlling the whole culture of Filipinos, setting out beliefs which are only favorable for
their rule and exploitation to the Filipinos. Most of the Filipinos back then dont know how to
read or write, because only the rich Filipinos, the Illustrados, such as Rizal, were allowed to
study. The result is ignorance, Filipinos were not aware that they are being abused, and that
their rights were not respected. Friars controlled their mind, government controlled their body.
Rizal wanted to change all of this.
It was very clear that Social Injustice was happening to the Filipinos, and as Ricardo Pascual
noticed how Rizal see it:

The result of Social Injustice is skepticism and anarchism. In the mouth of Basilio the
author expressed very well the sentiment of a skeptic: What does it matter if they
applaud or censure, in the end where as this world does not care for the oppressed, the
poor and the women? What considerations have I to guard for society when it does not
guard anything to me?

Indeed, Rizal was aware that if this will happen longer, the society might fall and Filipinos will
be subjects to Anarchy and Filipinos might just lose their spirits and give up the fight and be
contented as slaves. Rizal believed that man is a very special creation, and man should not be
used as a slave, nor shall man be exploited. Filipinos back then were treated as slaves on their
own country, they served their foreign masters, for the price of what? A small money? Filipinos
were deeply exploited that some were even forced to work without any payment in the form
of Polo y Servicio. Polo y Servicio is the forced labor for 40 days of men ranging from 16 to 60
years of age who were obligated to give personal services to community projects. Rizal of
course, strongly disagreed with this, for there are no reasons why his countrymen to work for
Spain, since the Filipinos were not even being recognized in Spain. Filipinos also pay big amount
of taxes, to the government and to the friars. Rizal believed that Filipinos deserve justice, as
justified by a letter to Fr. Pastells, Rizal said: For me, man is the masterpiece if creation,
perfect within his condition; that he could be deprived of any of his components be it moral or
physical without disfiguring him and making him miserable.

Rizal wanted changed to happen, and what he had in mind is a set of different reforms. The
reforms that Rizal wanted to happen are as follows:

1. To give representation to the Cortes so as to stop the abuses.
2. To secularize the friars, making them seize the tutelage which they exercise on the
government and the country, to distribute the curates as they are vacant to the clericals
both insular and peninsular.
3. To reform the administration in all its branches.
4. To develop primary institution, taking away all intervention of friar and increase the
salary of teachers.
5. Divide the administration of the country between insular and peninsular.
6. Moralize the administration.
7. Create in the provincial capitals of more than 16,000 inhabitant school of arts and

Rizal wanted that all this reforms be obtained peacefully, all this reforms he believed are
peaceful and good, for he believed that evils are remedied not by evils. Rizal with his
fellow Propagandistas believed that if the Philippines be recognized as a province of Spain,
exploitations and abuses will stop, further, they believed that if the power of the Roman
Catholic Friars would be regulated, Filipinos would gain freedom once and for all. The thing is, it
may be agreeable that these reforms of Rizal are indeed right and good, but what they forgot is,
would the Spanish government accept this? The Spaniards treat us as lower creatures, they call
us Indios, and would the master agree if the slave said to him, Treat me as your family? No,
and history tells us that none of this reforms were ever successful. Then, if one cannot succeed
by formality, one must resort to brutality, but still Rizal strongly criticized a revolution, he said
that the Filipino people are still not united, they are not yet capable of fighting the Spaniards,
and what they need is a spark, which will boil their revolutionary spirits.

What the Filipinos needed is unity. As shown on the end of El Filibusterismo, the plan of the
protagonist, Simoun, failed. At the end, the lamp that has the bomb didnt explode, the
enemies were not killed. Rizal believed that during those times, it would be a suicide if Filipinos
try and revolt against the Spaniards, and if ever they are successful, they are not yet ready to
lead by themselves, for they had been long brainwashed by the Spaniards that they had
forgotten their own identity. Ricardo Pascual said:
It follows therefore that a social regeneration is not an easy task. It has a very great
responsibility that requires the workers a spirit that wills, although it may be dismayed
and cowed by the elements and the fearful manifestation of their mighty forces, stores
up energy, seeks high purpose in order to struggle against obstacles in the midst of
unfavorable natural condition in order that he may progress. It is necessary that a
revolutionary spirit so to speak, should boil (not necessary to flow) in his veins, since
progress necessarily requires change.

It may be assumed, that Rizals martyrdom boiled the revolutionary spirits of Filipinos, that had
led to the stronger KKK and the defeat of Spaniards in many battles that had come. It may also
be assumed that Rizals martyrdom, caused Filipinos to join the armed struggle, and clearly we
can see that even though Rizal was against a revolution, he had given a large influence to the
revolution of 1896, to the heart, soul and mind of revolutionaries and to the common Filipino
people to stand up for what is right.

To end Dr. Jose Rizals philosophy, let us have a quick recap of what had been learned so far.
Jose Rizal was a pacifist, who wanted change, but not through bloody means. He was a
reformer, who wished the separation of powers between the government and the church, and
he also wished that the Philippines be a part of Spain since Filipinos pay tax to the Spaniards
and give services to them. Rizal also believed that the Filipino youth be educated, without the
influence of the Catholic friars. It may be said that even though Rizal claimed he was a
reformer, he was not successful as a reformer, but more successful as a inspiration to the
revolutionaries, ironic that may seem, but even though Rizal criticized revolution, he have not
enough power to stop the natural progression of history.


With the philosophy of Dr. Jose Rizal and Bonifacio explained, which is reformation or
revolution, and the confusing Filipino mentality and philosophy given, it is then time to see who
influenced Filipinos even more, Rizal or Bonifacio.

With the majority of the Filipinos aware of the exploitation, aware of the abuses, but not willing
to stand up, and take a move, whatever move that is, then one may conclude, that neither Jose
Rizals pacifist reformative philosophy, nor Andres Bonifacio influenced the majority of the
Filipinos. It may be saddening to hear, majority of the people thinks that change cant happen,
or if change will come, it shall happen via divine intervention. It is very saddening to see that
most of the Filipinos are scared of change, and contented with what the politicians promise. If
either the philosophy of Rizal or Bonifacio inspires most of the Filipinos, people like Noynoy
Aquino, Erap Estrada would not be presidents, Lito Lapid, Bong Revilla and other inefficient and
incapable politicians would not be senators, and political dynasties on provinces will not be

Yes, there are those few who had been influenced by Rizal, or by Bonifacio, but the truth of the
matter is, their numbers are not enough. What we need is the very one thing they have on the
revolution of 1896, they have unity. Filipinos may be united as a race, but out love for the
country is very well diverse. If only we would study and understand the works of this two
heroes of our country, we may be on a different track right now. We have been brainwashed by
individualism, and a hope of someday being rich and going away from this country and
spending the rest of our lives on US. That is the illusion we must remove. We must start
thinking again, as a whole. We must know who our enemy is. And who are our allies. We must
have the same nationalism and patriotism possessed by the revolutionaries of 1896 we must
restore the old Filipino ideologies, we must gain back our identity and we must examine reality.

That would be the start of the freedom of the Filipino people.

The Evolution of Filipino Political Thought
Political Thinkers
Ideas are meant not to immortalize history but rather to make sense of it. The manufacture of such ideas are influenced by
circumstances that shape it and also, the vital thoughts of their authors. If we are to analyze our history, we could see that ideas are
not only important for their interpretation of our history but also for their contribution to changes in our nation. Groundbreaking ideas
have moved our nation to change. It is thus valuable for us to recall our own political thinkers. To fully appreciate our nation's
existence, it is important for us to trace the evolution of Filipino political thinking.
During the time of Spanish colonial rule, Filipino political thinkers focused on reacting to the oppressive rule that governs the
Filipinos. Marcelo H. Del Pilar, an ardent propagandist, reached out directly to the masses by illustrating in his writings, the
problems of the Philippines. His thoughts during his last years became increasingly militant until he foregoes the assimilationist
cause, saying: "Insurrection is the last remedy, especially when the people have acquired the belief that peaceful means to secure
the remedies for evils prove futile." In the case of Graciano Lopez-Jaena, political thinking began mostly by chance. His practice of
small medical works among poor Filipinos led him to come to terms to the discriminatory actions of the Friars. Apolinario Mabini,
being known as "the sublime paralytic", was engrossed to the practice of establishing a government for the Philippines following the
revolution. He also dreamt of worlwide recognition of the Philippine's sovereignty. Andres Bonifacio, on the other hand, was
known as the instigator of the Philippine revolution and the founder of Katipunan. His ideology is what guided the Katipunan's liberal,
radical and propagandist movements.
The post-Spanish war brought forth the country's first president, Emilio Aguinaldo. He became the figurehead of Philippine
nationalism and the subsequent resistance to the Spaniards. His ideas were largely confined to that of his upbringing, status and
influences. More recent thinkers included Maximo Kalaw, Rafael Palma, Claro M. Recto, Manuel Roxas (Ang Bagong
Katipunan), Benigno Ramos (Sakdal Movement), and Jose P. Laurel. These thinkers proved to be influential in the formation of
an ideology. Luis Taruc, is the one who established Hukbalahap (Hukbo ng Bayan Laban sa Hapon). This group was very active in
Central Luzon. They were later known as Huks, Running under the Nacionalista Party, Ferdinand Marcos won the presidential
elections. Jose Ma. Sison, Benigno Aquino, Fidel V. Ramos are other political thinkers hailed for their contributions to Filipino
political thinking. Notably, all these thinkers have contributed to Filipino political thought. Their ideas, as reactions to their times,
prove that nationalism is highly valued.
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Political Parties
The first Philippine political party, established in 1900, was the Federal Party, which advocated peace and eventual statehood.
Later, in 1907, the Nationalist Party (NP) and the Democratic Party were established. They did not produce an actual two-party
system, since the Nationalists retained exclusive control and the Democrats functioned as a "loyal opposition." However, foll owing
Japanese occupation and the granting of independence, an effective two-party system developed between the Liberal Party
(LP) and the NP. TheProgressive Party, formed in 1957 by adherents of Ramon Magsaysay, polled more than one million votes in
the presidential election of 1958. In the elections of November 1965, Senator Ferdinand Marcos, the NP candidate, received 55% of
the vote. In the 1969 election, he was elected to an unprecedented second term. All political activity was banned in 1972, following
the imposition of martial law, and was not allowed to resume until a few months before the April 1978 elections for an interim
National Assembly. The Marcos government'sNew Society Movement (Kilusan Bagong Lipunan- KBL) won that election and the
1980 and 1982 balloting for local officials, amid charges of electoral fraud and attempts by opposition groups to boycott the voting.
The principal opposition party was the People's Power Movement-Fight (Lakas Ng Bayan- Laban), led by Benigno S. Aquino, Jr.,
until his assassination in 1983. This party joined with 11 other opposition parties in 1982 to form a coalition known as the United
Nationalist Democratic Organization (UNIDO). Following Aquino's murder, some 50 opposition groups, including the members of
the UNIDO coalition, agreed to coordinate their anti-Marcos efforts. This coalition of opposition parties enabled Corazon Aquino to
campaign against Marcos in 1986. In September 1986 the revolutionary left formed a legal political party to contest congressional
elections. The Partido ng Bayan (Party of the Nation) allied with other left-leaning groups in an Alliance for New Politics. This
unsuccessful attempt for electoral representation resulted in a return to guerrilla warfare on the part of the Communists.
After assuming the presidency, Aquino formally organized the People's Power Movement (Lakas Ng Bayan), the successor to
her late husband's party. In the congressional elections of May 1987, Aquino's popularity gave her party a sweep in the polls, making
it the major party in the country. Marcos's KBL was reduced to a minor party. Some of its members formed their own splinter groups,
such as the Grand Alliance for Democracy (GAD), a coalition of parties seeking distance from Marcos. Others revived the LP and
the NP, seeking renewed leadership. The left-wing People's Party (Partido Ng Bayan), which supports the political objectives of the
NPA, was a minor party in the elections. In May 1989 Juan Ponce Enrile reestablished the Nacionalista Party. A new opposition
party, theFilipino Party (Partido Pilipino), organized in 1991 as a vehicle for Aquino's estranged cousin Eduardo "Danding"
Cojuangco's presidential campaign. He ran third in the election, taking 18.1% of the vote, behind Miriam Defensor Santiago with
19.8% of the vote. On 30 June 1992 Fidel Ramos succeeded Corazon Aquino as president of the Philippines with a plurality of
23.6%. In September 1992 Ramos signed the Anti-Subversion Law signaling a peaceful resolution to more than 20 years of
Communist insurgency, with the repeal of the antisubversion legislation in place since 1957. On 26 August 1994 Ramos announced
a new political coalition that would produce the most powerful political group in the Philippines. Ramos' Lakas-National Union of
Christian Democrats (Lakas/NUCD) teamed with the Democratic Filipino Struggle (Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino, Laban).
Following the 1995 elections, the LDP controlled the Senate with 14 of the 24 members. The elections in 1998 changed the political
landscape once more. In the Senate the newly createdLaban Ng Masang Pilipino, led by presidential candidate, Joseph Estrada,
captured 12 seats to the Lakas 5, PRP 2, LP 1, independents 3. The LAMP party also dominated the House of Representatives with

135 seats to the Lakas 37, LP 13, Aksyon Demokratiko 1, and 35 independents.
Political parties and their leaders in 2002 included: Kilusang Bagong Lipunan (New Society Movement), led by Imelda Marcos;
Laban Ng Demokratikong Pilipino (Struggle of Filipino Democrats) or LDP, led by Eduardo Angara; Lakas, led by Jose De Venecia;
Liberal Party or LP, led by Florencio Abad; Nacionalista Party, led by Jose Oliveros; National People's Coalition or NPC, led by
Eduardo Cojuangco; PDP-Laban, led by Aquilino Pimentel; and the People's Reform Party or PRP, led by Miriam Defensor-