Rizal was a multi-talented scholar who excelled in both science and the arts. He painted, drew, sculpted, and carved wood. He was a brilliant poet, essayist, and writer best known for his two books, Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo. These works are considered landmarks in the history of Philippine literature.
Rizal's ideas on reform, revolution, and opposition to tyranny were very similar to those of Thomas Jefferson. Rizal also supported the formation of an autonomous republic within the Philippines. However, he did not live to see this dream come true since he was executed by Spanish authorities in 1896.
But even though he died too early, his ideas will live on forever through the efforts of others. Today, the Philippines is still looking toward its first Nobel Prize winner for Literature - Jose Rizal.
What is Jose Rizal's most notable accomplishment? Both are considered classics of the Philippine literature.
Rizal's ideas about education and culture had a profound impact on the Philippines. He fought for the country to have its own independent government, which it did after his death. Today, schools all over the world honor Rizal with a December 10 as their National Day of Remembrance and Prayer.
His accomplishments shine bright even today. However, it was because of his efforts that the Philippines was able to declare its independence from Spain. This makes Jose Rizal's achievement even more significant.
One of Rizal's greatest contributions to Philippine civilization was his ability to thrive in every profession while remaining modest and humble. Noli Me Tangre and El Filibusterismo are his two most recognized books. But he wrote many more essays, articles, and poems that were never published during his lifetime.
Another contribution of Rizal's is the formation of an educated elite in the Philippines. Before his time, most people were not even aware of how government works or what responsibilities they have as citizens. But Rizal opened their eyes and turned them into activists who fought for their rights and those of other oppressed peoples.
His ideas on reform and revolution inspired several Filipino leaders after him. These include President Aguinaldo who adopted some of Rizal's proposals before going to war against Spain, and Emilio Aguinaldo Jr., the first president of the Commonwealth of the Philippines after World War II.
Finally, Rizal laid the foundation for the medical industry in the Philippines by founding the University of Santo Tomas Medical School. Today, this school is known as one of the best hospitals in Asia.
He died at the young age of 36 from tuberculosis but left behind many ideas that continue to influence people around the world today.
The assimilation of the characters of Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo into the life of Rizal and Filipinos in general is one of Jose Rizal's strengths. This merely demonstrates that the two works are reflections of Filipino life during the Spanish era. The fact that they can still speak to people today proves how relevant they are even after 150 years.
Rizal's literary talents were not limited to only two books. He also wrote poetry, plays, essays, and scientific articles. These various pieces of work reflect the variety of interests of Jose Rizal who was a polymath before his time.
Another strength of Rizal's book is its critique of the government and society then existing in the Philippines. In addition to this, he also exposed the unjust practices of the church then prevalent in the country. Last but not least, Rizal's books have made him an icon to many Filipinos who believe that he is a symbol of patriotism and resistance to oppression.
However, despite all these merits, not everyone will like Rizal's books. For some people, reading about political violence may be too disturbing while others might find the length of his books too boring.
In conclusion, we can say that the strengths of Jose Rizal's book are its ability to speak to people today and its capacity to touch hearts across the world.
Rizal's only two books, Noli Me Tangere (1887) and El Filibusterismo (1891), became vital guides for participants of the Philippine independence struggle. Noli me tangere is considered a seminal work on modern Filipino literature, while el filibusterismo is regarded as the first anti-imperialist book published in the Philippines.
In addition, he wrote numerous articles for newspapers such as La Solidaridad and La Independencia which opposed the Spanish rule and advocated for the rights of the indigenous people and an independent Philippines.
These three elements - his novels, essays, and poems - formed a strong weapon against the abuses committed by the Spaniards. Rizal was imprisoned several times for his involvement in the resistance movement and was eventually executed at the age of 36 on December 30, 1896.
His ideas lived on though, and many Filipinos today regard him as the father of the nation. A national hero, he has been celebrated each year on December 30 since 1949 when then president Elpidio Quirino signed a decree designating that day as "National Heroes Day".
Rizal's contribution to our country is undeniable. He showed us the way out of oppression and demonstrated that freedom is possible even under colonial rule.