Renato Constantino’s Veneration without understanding looked into Jose Rizal as a national

hero, how he became one and if he really should be called such. The article itself offered a

historical criticism that I will analyze through Marxist, reader-response and historical as well.

Constantino’s approach in making Jose Rizal known is far different from what other

biographers write. While others write about Rizal’s glorious achievement and triumphs fitting

him to be a national hero, Constantino differed by saying otherwise. His main point was Rizal

opposing the revolutionary movement.

Historical Criticism

First, Constantino strongly said that Rizal was in opposition of the Revolution, but in Rizal

and the Revolution, Galicano Apacible, Rizal’s cousin and Jose Alejandrino, his roommate in

Germany wrote that they found it strange that Rizal was being portrayed as opposing in the

revolution (Quibuyen 1997). Rizal was in fact venerated as a symbol of the revolution. His name

was used as a password, his picture was on the walls of the Katipunan meeting hall, and

“according to Emilio Jacinto, Katipunan meetings were always adjourned with three cheers

including “Long Live Dr. Jose Rizal”” (Ibid). The commemoration of Rizal’s death every 30 th of

December was even started by Emilio Aguinaldo in his First Philippine Republic in 1898

(Ocampo 2012).

Ambeth Ocampo also agreed with this in a Philippine Daily Inquirer Opinion article Reform

and Revolution. Constantino may have a lot of arguments that makes Rizal unfit to be a national

hero and may have so called evidences as to being a disbeliever of the revolution but clearly

some facts like what was stated above was left out.

Another historian comes into the picture. Soon. a Spanish mestizo medical doctor. the classic Rizal is Ibarra. One of this was Rizal’s December 15 Manifesto that contains his condemnation of the “ridiculous and barbarous uprising” (Ibid). Pardo de Tavera. Retana. “a. On the other hand. One of Retana’s arguments was also taken from interpretations of Noli Me Tangere. Rizal wrote a letter to Ferdinand Blumentritt from Geneva dated June 19. Zaide’s essay was nothing but mere trash. profriar journalist” (Ibid) though was said to have released primary sources as evidence to support Rizal being an “anti-revolutionary reformist” (Ibid). On the validity and basis of this sources. This may have been a fitting evidence but three years after it was debunked by more documents by E. Four primary sources dated 1896 were laid by Manuel saying that Rizal was against the revolution. Tavera wrote a biography of Rizal that says he opposed the revolution and wanted a peaceful struggle but Bonifacio lied to the Filipinos and said Rizal was in favor of the revolution. Trinidad H. In the issue of evidence. none was said. Constantino’s arguments may be supported by Dr. there wasn’t any mentioned. Rizal’s reaction was said to be “So the seed grows. timely because now Spain is weakened by the revolution in Cuba. and above all. Tavera’s version said that Rizal was in no way connected to the revolution and this version has been repeated and passed on. 1887 saying that Rizal was not entirely against the revolution but just thought of it as premature and risky: “I assure you that I have no desire to take part in conspiracies which . patriotic. Arsenio Manuel refuting Zaide’s evidence. Dr. To confuse us all a little bit more. Sanskrit scholar and ethnohistorian” (Quibuyen 1997). I approve these resolutions and I suggest that they be complied with as early as possible in order to take advantage of opportunity” (Quibuyen 1997). Gregorio Zaide as he puts Dr. The resolutions of the association are very just. “an anti-Rizal. Pio Valenzuela’s memoir into the table. Wenceslao E.

Third and last point. This proclamation happened on December 20. so long happened before Constantino’s claim of Governor William Howard Taft suggesting for a national hero in 1901. to answer the question of who is Constantino to say that Rizal is an anti-revolutionist? The evidence shall not be the Katipunero’s veneration of Rizal. then I will also become a partisan of violent means…” (Ocampo 2012). As Quibuyen concluded in his Rizal and the Revolution. But if the government drives us to the brink. Manuel F. To simply put it. the same ones being used to come into such conclusions of Rizal repudiating the revolution and was thus reproduced and passed on. even through revolution” (Almario 2012). 1898. Rizal’s Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo. Almario in his Philippine Daily Inquirer Opinion article Rizal planted seed of revolution. he advocated independence. With the Katipunan’s veneration for Rizal. that is to say. Moving on to the second point. his novels and essays proclaimed the idea of independence. or Rizal’s letter to Blumentritt but Rizal’s statements in the documents precented by Manuel. said that Rizal seemed to have planted the seed of the revolution through his novels.seem to me very premature and risky. Constantino said that Rizal was an American-sponsored hero. The rejection of the . An apparent hesitation behind Rizal’s views there is. they started petitions after petitions for reforms. Indirect as it may be. Bonifacio watered it. The documents of 1896 were the latest ones. Constantino had a debate on Rizal vs Bonifacio being the national hero. But when the plea for reforms failed. when no other hope remains but seek our destruction in war. Emilio Aguinaldo as head of the First Philippine Republic proclaimed December 30 of every year a national day of mourning for Jose Rizal’s death (Palafox 2012). “At first Rizal advocated reforms. when the Filipinos would prefer to die rather than endure their misery any longer. Rizal’s statements in Valenzuela’s memoirs.

Thus when the revolution pushed through. In contrast to Rizal as an ilustrado. so the birth of the revolution. He saw freedom as a prize. Marxist Criticism Constantino argued Rizal’s stature as an ilustrado. there is Andres Bonifacio – leader of Katipunan. He gained the recognition of our people as Filipinos. He fought for freedom the way an ilustrado should. Almario said Bonfacio has watered the seeds of Rizal. Rizal was said to have advocated for assimilation with Spain. He did not want the people to revolt against the Spaniards rather wait for Spain to abandon their land. Rizal was in utmost condemnation as he is not in favour of the uprising along with the fact that elites “had a sub-conscious disrespect for the ability of the people to articulate their own demands and to move on their own” (Ibid). Constantino was not entirely right that even without Rizal the fight for independence would have pushed through.petitions by Bonifacio and company led to the revolution. . The Filipino indios rose and fought through revolution while the Filipino ilustrados fought for reform. Ilustrados were not accustomed to people doing things on their own without the Ilustrados commands and support. indios were raised to a higher class for that matter. he was limited by Constantino into a hero who fought for national unity but in “his own Ilustrado way” (Constantino 1969). However. “like a medal for good behaviour” (Ibid). He feared the revolution and was instead in support for reformist actions. He wanted hispanization for his fellow countrymen. People were in support for this as “equality with the Spaniards meant equal opportunity” (Constantino 1969). The petitions had failed. Both have taken part into the country’s struggle for independence. “He condemned the Revolution because as an ilustrado he instinctively underestimated the power and the talents of the people” (Constantino 1969).

creating a false history that is reproduced and handed down to generations and generations of Filipinos. The article also created a battle between who the national hero should be between Rizal and Bonifacio because of the difference in their approach for gaining freedom. a critical analysis is a healthy move in revisiting and re-understanding our history. . I cannot help not to compare Rizal and Bonifacio to the two political parties existing in the campus. subtly concluding that Bonifacio may be more fitting to be called the national hero. There was a campaign period where one used “Revolt!” and the other opted for “Reform!”. as long as the evidences were all laid fairly and unbiased. Reader-response Criticism Renato Constantino’s article seemed to have created a historical revisionism. It was apparent that Rizal’s stature as an Ilustrado has made a great impact in his fight for freedom and in his becoming of a hero.” Rizal seemed to be above the people and Bonifacio was closer to the masses. he ended it by saying. “The true hero is one with the masses: he does not exist above them. His version of the history may not be entirely false but it certainly caused confusion as facts were either left out or distorted. In fact. Constantino said that “a critical evaluation of Rizal cannot but lead to a revision of our understanding of history and of the role of the individual in history”. With all the arguments Constantio laid in his article. Reform or revolution both had taken part in giving the country the independence it deserves. a whole people can be heroes given the proper motivation and articulation of their dreams. The first pushing forward rallies and walkouts while the latter promoting petitions and reform. The two organizations felt like a physical manifestation of the Bonifacio and Rizal way respectively of fighting for freedom and independence.

http://opinion. with all the evidence pieced together from Constantino and other references used in this Palafox. 2017. "Why We Celebrate Rizal Day Every 30th day of http://www. Ambeth. Floro. is it safe to say that Rizal indeed betrayed the revolution – demonstrating loyalty to Spain and suddenly condemning the uprising? References Almario. Accessed February 26. "Rizal and the December 31. September 06.jstor. Quibuyen. 2012. Accessed February 26. . 2015.” Philippine Daily Inquirer Opinion." Philippine Studies 45. Lastly. 2012. Accessed February 26. http://nhcp. Manuel F. 2017. 2017. 2 (1997). January 19.” Philippine Daily Inquirer Opinion. 2017. “Rizal planted seed of revolution. “Reform and Ocampo. Accessed February 26. no. Bonifacio watered it." National Historical Commission of the Philippines. Quennie Ann J.inquirer.