Jose Rizal, accidental national hero
JOSE RIZAL, he never dreamt of being the country’s national hero.
All he wanted was to have the Indios or natives to be declared Filipinos as well, some sort of citizenship reserved only to the illegal immigrants of Spain.
Rizal also wanted the Philippines declared as a province of Spain that would entitle the archipelago a congressional seat in the Spanish parliament.
Having failed in both instances, Rizal downgraded his dreams to just become an eye doctor serving the Spanish soldiers in the Spanish-Cuban war.
Sensing that it was just a ploy, Spanish authorities led by the friars jailed Rizal instead and executed him in Bagong Bayan in Luneta.
Rizal hated the friars because they were grabbing the lands that his family owned.
The Rizal family became homeless. To this day, even his ancestral home was declared a government museum.
After his death and when Spain ceded the Philippines to the United States, its new governor general deemed it politically wise to declare a national hero who would not be a revolutionary but a pacifist who believed in reforms and the status quo to protect the interest of America.
Thus came Jose Rizal who fitted to a shoe the great American dream of subjugating the Filipinos – natives and overstaying Spaniards – with the least of worries.
No doubt, Rizal was a talented individual who wanted the Indios speak Spanish and raise their intelligence quotient (IQ) to western standards.
He was also a talented student, writer and swordsman who spent most of his adult life in Spain.
As an Ateneo student, he was known for his academic excellence although he despised the friars’ appetite for lands they did not own.
At the University of the Santo Tomas, his grades began to falter perhaps owing to his failure to win the love of a distant cousin, Leonor Rivera of Dagupan, Pangasinan who was in love with a British train engineer.
In the end, Rizal just disappeared from UST and never got to finish his medical studies. He was a drop out.
In Spain where he re-emerged, he founded the La Solidaridad to push through with his reforms and the acceptance of the Philippines as a political district of Spain.
Many must have heard modern romanticists who would write their mothers in the provinces about the high grades they were getting and town mates who would marvel at the string of girlfriends these liars had in Manila.
It is said that Rizal had so many girlfriends that it was almost impossible to count them. Well, he met them mostly in Spain during drinking sessions.
This is not to belittle Rizal but to appeal to the biographers to please add a few sense and logic to their writings and textbooks that are neither here nor there.
Our historians are not supposed to write fictions but write about the truth. But they idolize Rizal so much that they probably could not distinguish truth from lies. Raul Valino