Tag Archives: Jose Rizal

#145 El Filibusterismo

El Filibusterismo (Spanish for “The Filibustering”), also known by its English alternate title The Reign of Greed, is the second novel written by Philippine national hero José Rizal (From Wikipedia). The sequel to Noli Me Tangere and also written in Spanish, El Filibusterismo was first published in 1891 in Ghent, Belgium.

Like Noli Me Tangere, El Filibusterismo is required reading in Philippine high schools and colleges. The book is not as popular as the Noli Me Tangere, but provides a platform for Rizal to promote his ideas on social change in Philippine society during the colonial era.

Literary critics are divided on the merits of Rizal’s two novels, with many saying that the value of Rizal’s literary writings were mainly anchored on its social commentary or political contents and their impact on or how it shaped public opinion.

Long live Philippine literature!

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#33 Fort Santiago

Fort Santiago, located in Manila’s Intramuros district, was the symbolic seat of Spain’s military complex during the  colonial era. Built for Spanish conquistador, Miguel López de Legazpi, Fort Santiago was the site of  the palace and kingdom of Rajah Suleiman, a Muslim chieftain of pre-Hispanic Manila.

 Built as a wooden fort in 1571 by the Spaniards after they won the battles with the Islamic tribes who originally settled in Manila, the fort was constructed with hard stone in 1589 . The famous Manila Galleon trade to Acapulco, Mexico, which thrived for nearly 350 years, also begun from the fort or what the Spanish called “Fuerza de Santiago.” 

In World War 2, the fort served as one of the main defense and prison headquarters of the Japanese Army. Hundreds of American and Philippine soldiers and civilains were imprisoned in the original Spanish-built complex of dungeons and died either of diseases, starvation or by drowning when the banks of the adjoining Pasig River overflow.

Philippine national hero Jose  Rizal was also imprisoned in one of the buildings in the fort which still stands up to this day. The two-storey building has been converted into a museum and memorial shrine, showing the last days of Rizal through a detailed audio-visual display of his books, photographs, letters, paintings, dioramas, period furniture and some personal belongings.

With its wonderful gardens, quiet walkways, Spanish era defense walls and a nice view of the Pasig River, Fort Santiago is well-loved by park enthusiasts and visitors for its serene ambiance and historical significance.

Mabuhay ang Fort Santiago!

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#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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