Saturday, June 16, 2012

Dr. Jose Rizal as the Illuminator and Philippine history as incomplete

Three days from now, and we will be celebrating the birth of Jose Rizal. Do you know that Rizal is not officially our national hero? There is still no law that really establishes Rizal as our national hero. 

And understandably so. Would you allow this present bunch of nincoompoops in Congress to specifically give you the standards for national heroes? Besides, we always say that we are a nation of heroes. 

Dr. Jose Rizal gave his greatest contribution by being the literary force that illuminated the minds of Filipinos and led to the masses' fight for freedom. Rizal was the first to break the slavish system which ingrained itself in the psyche of the Filipino, among other things. 

Rizal, to my mind, was a sly revolutionary who figured that weapons and modern arms were useless against a petty mob of rulers who think themselves as lords over a mass of dishevelled slavish-thinking people. When emissaries of Bonifacio went to Rizal for counselling and the doctor reportedly disagreed with them, Rizal did so because for him, the illumination process was still in its infancy. For Rizal, shoring arms against the Spaniards was an easy task, but nation-building wasn't. 

Rizal was thinking ahead. He saw that the nation was still unprepared. Yes, the might of arms gave way to revolutionary victory, but without breaking the sociological chains that bind both the Lord and the Slave, the Slave would find it extremely hard to make his will a reality. 

This explains why, for a century, we tried to give flesh to our theoretical constructs, trying to determine the true Pinoy, and attempted several times to deconstruct History and glean from the mass of disproportionate parts, lessons which we tried to fit into a boxed up reality of sorts. 

Limited knowledge of the world, that was the problem of decades past. 

Now that knowledge has broken from its prison, and its rays bursting from every single direction, the Filipino now has the great opportunity to construct his own model for progress without reconstructing someone's Idea.

The Filipino, himself, is the Idea.