Category Archives: Books

#12 Noli Me Tangere

Noli Me Tangere (Latin for ‘touch me not) is the iconic 19th-century novel written by the Philippine national hero Jose Rizal. 

The novel may not win literary awards, but as a social manifesto against Spanish rule in the Philippines, Rizal’s novel touched a  raw chord in both Spanish and Filipino readers.  A required reading in all Philippine schools (and in all levels) Noli’s melodramatic  plot exposes the corruption and hypocrisy of the Philippine Roman Catholic Church and the ruling Spanish elite.

Considered as the most influential political novel authored by a Filipino, Rizal completed Noli Me Tangere in Spanish in 1887 while he was studying in Europe. Banned in the Philippines by the Spanish religious and political authorities, Rizal continued to write and completed a second and follow-up novel, El Filibusterismo, to the Noli, and in the process incurred the wrath of the Spanish rulers. Charged with sedition and heresy (by the Catholic Church), Rizal was later executed by firing squad in 1896 at Bagumbayan (now called the Rizal Park) in Manila.

Long live Philippine literature!

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