“Noli Me Tángere” and “El Filibusterismo” of Dr. Jose Rizal, our national hero, blatantly exposed the abuses committed by the Spanish priests against the Filipinos during his time. He, himself, and his family experienced firsthand the injustices done by those who claimed themselves as the upright religious authorities of the Catholic church. This led Rizal to question the credibility of religions when he came to realize that believing God is something personal, revealing to every man from the day we were born to the last breath we take.
His writing depiction is filled with terrible realism which evokes strong feelings from the readers to hate the priests represented by Padre Damaso. Even after having read a lot of novels, still his works are the ones which moved me deeply that until now, I keep thinking about the vivid horrific scenes described by his pen. It’s like I just can’t get past it. I can’t accept how such a great epic story ended so tragic where the hero failed and the villain went unpunished. But I know Rizal intended the plot to be that way as his writings were able to ignite the revolution which gradually freed Philippines from the Spanish colony.
I read the two books repeatedly during high school and college. I watched all its film and TV adaptations. I even went to Dapitan (where he was exiled) just to feel his struggles and pains. He’s the only author whom I have a mystical bond for a reason that I can’t decode. Sure…because we’re of the same race. But more than that, there must be more.
(photo courtesy of wikimedia)