Rizal’s birth anniversary

33 Rue Philippe de Champagne, Brussels
5 March 1890

Dr. A.B. Meyer

My distinguished friend,

I received your letter of the 27th last month and excuse me for not answering you before this, for i have had to consult some countrymen and books concerning your question about hashish.
No book, no historian that i know of speaks of any plant whose use is similar to that of the hashish. I myself, though in 1879 I used hashish, did it for experimental purposes and i obtained the substance from a drugstore. I do not believe that its use has been introduced either before or after the arrival of the Spaniards. The Filipinos drank arak , nipa-palm and coconut wine, etc. and they chewed buyo before the arrival of the Spaniards, but not hashish.
Neither is a word resembling it found in the language. The is is or asis is a kind of wild fig-tree.
If I had Fr. Blanco’s Flora , I could find out if this plant exists. I believe therefore that its use is unknown. Opium was introduced only after the arrival of the Spaniards. We Tagalogs call it apian….

Jose Rizal
(Letter 62, Miscellaneous Correspondence, Vol. II Book IV, translated by Encarnacion Alzona)

My favorite essay on Rizal was written by Miguel de Unamuno, but I can’t find an English translation. You can read Unamuno’s essay in the original Spanish. There is a kind of summary in Tagalog here.

You can’t go wrong by reading Nick Joaquin’s essay (essentially a review of two books) on Rizal, “Anatomy of the Anti-Hero.” For more recent views, you can read Floro Quibuyen’s spirited counter blast of a critic here. A more mainstream, Leftist interpretation is by E. San Juan, Jr. here. Rizal continues to fascinate -and irritate- intellectuals to this day. He was the father of the ideal of a Filipino nation, with the Filipino people, replacing all that came before; he was intellectual father of both the Propaganda Movement and the Revolution against Spain; he is the inspiration for our mainstream political culture and civil society; he is, in a sense, the figure against which our the Left must turn against in order to prove radical credentials.

Other useful information is at the Jose Rizal Website.

Manuel L. Quezon III.

7 thoughts on “Rizal’s birth anniversary

  1. And in a shameless self-promotion of my poem I say as Nietzsche
    says of God: Rizal is dead. Nothing hits as hard as the fact. He continues to fascinate, yes. But perhaps all the more because he is gone.

  2. hahaha sana naman my mga talambuhay kayo ng mga sikat na tao para n malaman din ng ating kabataan ang kahalagahan ng buhay nila

  3. It’s nice for us, to the youth to know the life,struggles,and inhibitions of the people who became a part of our beloved counry.For us to value all their sacrifices in ordert to attain freedom to our counry.Their deeds should really be proud of because they reall did their part as a real Filipino in blood.

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