Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Liberating Prose

Right now I'm in a Tagalog language class. Thats the language they speak in the Philippines. So for my final project I have to present something about Philippine history or culture that maybe my classmates don't already know about.

I decided to do my project on a book written by the Philippines' most famous hero: Jose Rizal. He was an educated filipino in the Spanish-colonialized Philippines. He had the chance to go to France and study, and while he was there, he saw the difference between Europe and his home country. He saw how the Spanish treated his people unfairly, especially with the dominance of the Catholic church. He wanted to help his fellow countrymen realize this, so he wrote a book.

This book, Noli Me Tangere (the title is latin and means "touch me not," taken from what Christ said after he lived again), seemed nothing more than a well written love story but hidden in the prose were direct jabs at the Spanish ruling his country.

His book, and the sequel, sparked a revolution.

When the Americans arrived in the 1930s, the Spanish were already losing ground. As for the Filipino's beloved hero, he was captured, unjustly charged and put to death by a firing squad.

I'm reading the book right now and I was surprised. It's not just eye-opening, it's also great writing!

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