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The Important lessons Filipinos forgot from Dr. Jose Rizal’s novels


The Important lessons Filipinos forgot from Dr. Jose Rizal’s novels

Jose Rizal Novels

Jose Rizal’s novels Noli Me Tangere (Touch Me Not) and El Filibusterismo (The Reign of Greed) were significant literary pieces that paved the way for our independence. It narrates how Filipinos suffer under the Spanish colonization and the importance of fighting against social injustices to attain freedom. Through these novels, a revolution began and continued until we became free.

However, Filipinos seem to forget the crucial lessons Rizal taught in Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo.

Resistance, not resilience

Crisostomo Ibarra in Noli Me Tangere and Simoun in El Filibusterismo both spoke and fought against tyranny. Both of the characters show resistance against the abuse of the clergies and the Spanish government. Jose Rizal’s novels, through these characters, want to remind us that there will be no tyrants when there are no slaves. Today, Filipinos receive praises for being resilient in surviving the country’s problems. Resilience became a facade of the actual problem the country was facing. It is just a mere word to let those accountable get away from the injustice, incompetence, and negligence they committed.

Filipinos have forgotten that the suffering of our ancestors lasted for many years because it took them so long to realize that they had to fight. That it is not endurance that will stop oppression, but resistance. We must remind ourselves that resilience did not attain independence. But, it’s a fruit of resistance where our national heroes fought and risked their lives.

Ignorance and Apathy

In Jose Rizal’s novels, the abuses were enabled because of the privilege of Filipinos who do not care. There are people today who, despite accessible information about the country’s issues, refuse to read and engage with it. They become blinded by their privilege, that they would not care unless they will experience the same sufferings others had.

Being apolitical and neutral in situations of social injustices has become a trend, and they are proud of it. Filipinos have forgotten the essence of supporting the marginalized, of being the voice for them: on being the help they seek. They sleep at night knowing that there are people who agonies because of their silence, without realizing that they are safe because of the outcries of the others.

As hopeless as it seems today, most of them are indifferent to the sufferings of their countrymen. Rizal is correct in saying that Filipinos do not realize that victory is the child of struggle, joy blossoms from suffering, and redemption is the product of sacrifice. Because right now, the comfortable ones choose a blind eye to the social injustices the unprivileged people experiences.

Depriving the youth

It seems that Filipinos also forgot one of Jose Rizal’s famous lines saying that youth is the hope of our future. The youth is actively engaging in the discourse of today’s social issues; however, doing so puts a stake in their lives. They speak up against the justices, and what they receive is red-tagging instead of hearing them out.

The young ones are vital for the nation because they will be the ones who will run the country, but can this be possible when people mock them for being vocal? If there is anyone who has the right to speak today,  it’s the youth because what happens right now will be the consequences of their future. What’s waiting for the country that shut the concerns of children whose futures are in danger?

A social cancer

What is the essence of celebrating  Independence day if people have forgotten these lessons from Rizal? The history is there to remind us of what our forefathers fought for and forgetting it is a social cancer that enables the reigning of greed.

Tyrants of Today

We might be free from the foreign colonizers, but oppression is still there; unfortunately, it comes from our fellowmen. Maybe, Padre Florentino in El Filibusterismo was right; he said,

“Why independence if the slaves of today will be the tyrants of tomorrow?”

Because now, the oppressors are our fellow Filipinos living with riches and sitting with a power that treats us the way Spanish colonizers did.

See Also

But shall we lose hope?


Not today.


Tomorrow’s Hope

Even though most Filipinos have forgotten the essence of independence from oppression, we who remember shall continue to remind them of the importance of resisting tyranny. We will fight until our hope for the betterment of our country will not just be an idea but a reality. We do not just celebrate independence day today but live with its lessons and apply it.

May we continue fighting for freedom from oppression.

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