Friday, 30 December 2016

"More than just Remembering or Venerating"

"More than just Remembering or Venerating"

(or "Rizal and the generation who chose to 'Move on')

At first, "Rizal Day" is about celebrating a figure people that's trying to be remember, if not to venerate even though he had been stripped of anything beyond recognition, sometimes of his humanity in favour of his "demi-god" status; of his activism end rather hijacked and diluted in pursuit of turning away from struggle that is both "national and social" in character; and his "enduring" legacy rather mangled and distorted with his novels both misunderstood and misinterpreted by its readers, most of which treated it as any other literature for a subject required before marching off to their graduation. 

But despite all these realities, Filipinos have built a pantheon to honor him like the others even though he disliked being honored from the time before his death;  turning him into a myth which is distant from his true self whose intentions was driven by concern, what more that of a person who was constantly battling his own contradictions and emotions, of toying the desire for freedom and contented in "reforms" that rather sheets of paper and of pleadings.

And when the day of celebration ends, everyone shall forget his existence once again except as a statue stood at Luneta Park and as a subject meant to be studied in history especially those of "his life and works", only to be rinse and repeat this process every year. Also if given chance, they are willing to "move on" from that person and think that his "special day" as mere prequel for the last day of the year. Waiting for fireworks and of Media Noche to come.

 For in fact, that goddamn word that is, "patriotism" is nothing but unbecoming of an instinct that is, of a scoundrel. In an era where patriotic sentiment was diluted in favour of a globalist one, "patriotism" or even "nationalism" as but becoming tools.

The product of veneration without understanding
(or "moving on" as no one seriously remembers him)
Sorry for all the words elaborated from Allen Severino's social media post, but reality has made a concerned thinking that people who venerate without understanding are mostly failed to create a nation's destiny according to its cherished principles. And in it perhaps Rizal himself would think that he failed not as a writer, an activist, but even a person who sometimes his aspirations of a better future being marred by his selfishness, that his aspiration is not of his nation but of his Calamba alone. 

And if so, then of what of his works if his thoughts selfishly goes to Calamba alone and not of his fellow compatriots? Of his aspirations as a concerned brown-skinned Filipino? Maybe initially most of his views are rather tried to keep it rather himself or even shrugged it off altogether, but the atmosphere of national concern, of patriotic fervor of those times made him willing to offer that fiction that was based from his experiences and his willingness to "undertake the deed" if not for his "adherence to law" as any other "legalist"; of toying the idea of independence and at the same time thinking the impossibility of asserting beyond "reforms" or "peaceful means".

But the fact that works like Noli me Tangere and El Filibusterismo, no matter how fictional it was, rather reflected the Feudal setting that Spain chose not to dismantle, sometimes at the expense of those who desired for some changes, what more of seeing the Philippines as a victim of its coloniser's negligence, amidst token "improvements" such as electricity for lights and steam locomotives; and persons behind Crisostomo Ibarra, Simoun, Padre Salvi, Padre Damaso, and Maria Clara reflects the Filipino as well as the Spaniard during that period.

And in fact, despite seeing Rizal's life and works emphasising the positive qualities of Filipinos ranging from the devotion of a Filipina and her influence on a man's life, the deep sense of gratitude, and the solid common sense of the Filipinos under the Spanish regime. The centuries old tension brought upon by that past still continues regardless of being disregarded by many as it emphasise much on the "positive".

And thus made Severino think how people praised Rizal as a hero but disregard the value of his work behind his heroism, that he is meant to be praised not to be understood as a person.

Sometimes, this writer think that if given chance, everyone is willing to "take the deed" if one fills Rizal's shoes and rewrite the entire chapter of El Filibusterismo. That everyone is willing to become like Simoun and undertake his task of bombing the entire banquet out of revenge, yet the fact that everyone is like Basilio or Isagani, or even Senor Pasta and Dona Victorina, one be end rather pessimistic, or apathetic in asserting what the once Crisostomo Ibarra wanted.

But anyway, regardless of being open ended, Rizal's work rather evolved to other chapters brought upon by those who adhere to his aspirations. Hernandez's "Ibong Mandaragit" was one example of an "continuation" if not an "off-shoot" or a "fanfiction" of what Rizal in "El Filibusterismo", and in it sometimes one would even think why need to settle of being Crisostomo Ibarra in an era where society demands a Mando Plaridel-like figure who is willing to undertake the task by any means necessary?

Perhaps the drive that made Amado Hernandez did that "Ibong Mandaragit" fills what Rizal had lacked upon such as the will to go further from the parameters. And to think that both of them are learned and having an aspiration that is to improve the well-being of its compatriots, Hernandez's idea of making that "chapter" showed that the story Rizal did was rather unfinished if not how Rizal himself chose not to make it further with the death of Simoun and the unknown fate of Basilio.
And with that kind of "dare" also shows that it is up to the generation how to finish the task Rizal and his colleagues had left upon; and it reminds of the quote that "Man is the creator of History, what more of its destiny."

Sadly, that drivel to go beyond further is what the lack of most Filipinos nowadays. They did venerate a person without understanding, what more of intentionally disregarding the value of his actions "simply because it is irrelevant" in a generation where anything does not require struggle but instead "moving on" as if they don't take place in their lives. 

On the first place, they just treated Rizal as just a required subject before they finish college if not his grave treated as a park for penniless lovers, what more of misinterpreting Rizal Day as a "happy day" before New Year!


And had Rizal lived maybe he thinks that Noli and El Fili shouldn't been made in favour of his version of Don Quijote, that smacks of Pinoy's still feudal mindset with its fantasies included.

That would sound much relevant.