Skip navigation

Tag Archives: The Philippines A Century Hence

(found this saved on my pc. it’s a college reaction paper to jose rizal’s The Philippines A Century Hence submitted as one of two last requirements for Rizal Course in 2008. so i guess this is an advance birthday gift to the national hero. why do i feel nationalistic these days. lol oh well. kudos!)

The Great Filipino Dr. Jose Rizal has left me astounded with his achievements since his childhood: he was an artisan, a man of knowledge and wonder, a linguist, a gentleman, a master in every crafts, not to mention his hundreds of achievements and profession, with a miracle of how he had attained all of this in his short life span. There could be none left that cannot be attributed to him, unless he could also have been a woman once in his life. Yet the most unusual title I heard given to him by a handful of people really caught my attention. The Great Rizal, was also but a Nostradamus in the making? Then he was a doctor and artisan; next he was a great psychic, a seer, even a prophet! Interesting it was.

This article he wrote in La Solidaridad gave me quite a stir. I was pondering: is it true? Is this the article that, shall say, predicted the future of the Philippines in his years? I was ready to plunge into his mind, into his precious intellect, ready to accept whatever pieces of fact that will make him, our national hero, more of a human being that he was.

I read the article, quite impressed of the heavy title as it summarizes what may the whole thing is all about. However, to tell frankly, the lengthy article didn’t give me a feeling of rush excitement. It did, if not, gave me a sense of historical nostalgia. I was caught up by what he wrote that “in order to read the destiny of a people, it is necessary to open the book of its past”. It was a strong argument, and needed a logical point of view.  As much was said, the Philippines was a battleground of the clash of cultures, of blending of races and of pitiful bloodshed. Rizal in his own words painted the picture of our past clearly; the depth of his writings was proof of much grief and much work. He could have overreacted in telling his stories, but the next generation Filipinos understood the hardships of their forefathers. It can be considered that the people had had enough war, that they longed peace, and that they never stopped hoping for happiness and the right to live in their own contentment. What supplied Rizal of the heart for passion for his country became his primary mission to save from the terror and tyranny of the cruel Spaniards.

Rizal was a son of liberalism. Though he did not approve of much violence, he chose to be vigilant by means of his ways of writing. With his researches on world history, he understood the pattern of cause and effect, and how it has affected and changed the whole world. The facts and figures of one’s country’s history could be a trend that a country like the Philippines may take course. In this context, I think the idea of Rizal being a prophet is vague anymore. Science and logic were intervening.

His allusion of the past Philippines to the story of Sancho Panza gave me the spark of idea that Rizal was not actually prophesying; instead, what he was telling in his article was but an analysis. Something which was not commonly done in his time, for the patterns he used were commonly for science experiments, where intelligent guesses were made from observation. He just carefully observed the present and past situation of our dear Motherland, and from then “predicted” our future. He fearlessly told the public of the plans of domination of other countries. From my own point of view, these expositions were Rizal’s own expression of three things: installing fear on the current regime of Spanish tyranny for them to fly away from the country; expressing sadness and failure, that even if Spain let loose hold of the Philippines, there will be other countries in the world that are ready to take hold of our country; or maybe Rizal was even giving a hint of hope to the Filipinos that sooner or later, a great nation will save their country from the oppressive rule of Spain.

How this article was made gave its reader a hint of the author’s thought. It was full of reverie and passion: every sentence and ideas expressed discontent of the author from tyranny, and his longing for something to do for his homeland. There could also be a possibility that the guesses he made was but a hopeless act of zealousness to the country, that he was having delusions and might have been on the verge of giving everything up. Yet there was still a factor of good reasoning that led him to think of these delusions.

There was also another thing that I think the article was trying to tell. How one shall read this article must interpret it as not just as mere words but full of message for our own generation. I wrote earlier that there were patterns that make the world go on changing. History repeats itself; history may have repeated itself a hundred times now. But today’s battle was not the same battle our forefathers were fighting before. It is now a message with an intention of giving a warning. The colonization by the Spaniards which started four centuries ago is now parallel to the colonization of foreign minds of our countrymen. Most of us Filipinos are now enslaved by materials from other countries, that we neglect the riches of our own. Just as Rizal has thought of saving our ancestors, many modern Rizal’s will begin to save our vanishing culture. Everyone does not need to be a psychic to know what will happen. The Filipinos are now intelligent. It’s just a matter of choosing which way to take: a way alike to what Rizal and many of our heroes had taken or another way of letting things be.

The article was tactful, as expected. It opened to me the thought of Rizal, not a prophet and seer, but just a normal man. Yet he was, no doubt, a genius. His ingenuity transcends through time, which eventually make him a “prophet”.  He was a Great Filipino Genius. It’s the most appropriate title to be given to him.