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FO: The Influence of Jose Rizal

Rizal Day, a national holiday in the Philippines, is commemorated every December 30, when Jose Rizal was executed 110 years ago.

Rizal is probably the best known Filipino who has been killed because of what he wrote. Unlike the Filipino journalists whose deaths have turned the Philippines into the most dangerous place after Iraq for press people, Rizal was actually "tried" for his "crime"—writing about Spanish abuses in the Philippines, primarily in Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo.

The following video from Filipiniana.net provides a flavor of the effect of Rizal's work:

The same video also indicates the puzzle that was Rizal's influence on his countrymen, most of whom could not read Rizal's works in Spanish. It must be noted, too, that only 2,000 copies of each of the books were printed in Europe, and that perhaps half made it to Philippine shores. And yet, according to Sichrovsky,

these thousand copies exerted an explosive effect, were of decisive influence and changed as no other event had, the course of Philippine history at the end of the nineteenth century.
Noli Me Tangere literally means "touch me not," but has been translated as The Social Cancer and The Lost Eden. El Filibusterismo (subversion), meanwhile, has appeared as The Reign of Greed and The Subversive.

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