February 20, 2017
Ambeth Ocampo Articles

1. Rizal the user

This article talks about Rizal and his use and experimentation of hashish or marijuana in our modern
day. The fact is supported by the letter which Rizal wrote to Dr. A.B. Meyer as a reply to a question
about the plant. Rizal admitted that he once tried it in 1878 for an experimental purpose. The article
also speaks of Rizal's fate if he was still alive today. He maybe executed without trial for being
connected with drugs or shot in Luneta again for railing against people who make Filipino lives
miserable. The writer then reflects on extrajudicial killings being inappropriate and that much
attention has been given to other event like the Marcos burial in the Libingan ng mga Bayani rather
than a turnout for victims of extrajudicial killings.

2. Filipino kids 'not allowed to be themselves'

This article talks about Filipino children in Rizal's time were not allowed to be themselves, to have fun
and play outside, and even make noise. The children are just tasked to recite prayers like the rosary
or novenas until they become sleepy. As they grow, they just pray as what they do when they were
children. The article speaks a thought of Rizal being alive today. Different letters from Rizal's siblings
were shown which were mostly about his sister's kids. The godfather or Rizal's older sibling, Paciano,
even asked for suggestions of good schools abroad because he sees the potential of his nephews. The
article ends with saying that if Rizal was still alive, he would have been a good schoolmaster teaching
the youth the proper way.

3. Rizal in Wilhelmsfeld

This article talks about Rizal being in Wilhelmsfeld, a small town in Germany, to attend lectures and
observe medical procedures. A good pastor gave him a place in his house and even became close to
all family members even the dog. The article also mentions some Rizal related letters, drawings,
notebooks which were donated to the Philippines by the pastor's relatives today. The notebook was
also placed in auction for the reason that it would be acquired by someone who will share it to the
public. This is a part of history that made its way back to the country and hopes are still up on what
other Rizal property would still come.

4. Rizal and Josephine outside of marriage

This article talk about Jose Rizal and his girlfriend Josephine Bracken together but not married. This
article came to be because Filipinos were intrigued of Rizal's love life and they wanted to know more.
Rizal's mother and most of her sisters did not approve of Josephine and the fact that they live
together unmarried. Josephine even tried to leave not only once but twice. Letters to Rizal from
Josephine were showed in the article and clearly shows the love they both have. The writer also said
that it's sad to know that we learn about Rizal only through textbooks and hearsay because he left 25
volumes of writings for a nation that does not read him.

5. Rizal in the Lopez Museum

This article talk about Rizal manuscripts and collections in the Lopez museum. The author gives
reference and suggestions as to where user-friendly libraries in the Philippines are. For original
Rizaliana, there are only two places: the National Library of the Philippines and the Lopez Museum
and Library. The Lopez Museum houses different letters that form part of Rizal's correspondence. The
letters are in the private museum and not in the National library because the government couldn't
afford so the owner, Eugenio Lopez Sr. bought it. The letters are arranged properly and published into


Ambeth Ocampo corresponds his articles to what is really happening now and connects it to an event
that occurred in Rizal’s time. I find him a very good writer, as his articles are really informative and
clear. Of all the articles of Ambeth Ocampo that I have read, I really liked the ‘Rizal as a user’. Here
Ambeth mentioned the possibilities as to how Rizal would die having been able to experiment on
hashish, which is marijuana today: a dangerous and prohibited drug. The main thought of this article
was on extrajudicial killings being inappropriate. Its effects and victims are somewhat hidden by other
events without any turnout for the deaths. I like the way Ambeth incorporates Rizal in the article. I
think one of his message was that even our national hero can be just killed anywhere if he was alive
today. This shows his stand against extrajudicial killings warning everyone that no one is really safe.