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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Filipino Philosophers Part 2

Ian Mallari 
Blog Part 2

Filipino Philosophers

Today I will discuss the Filipino Philosopher Jose Rizal. 

While the Philippines don't usually have a classified Philosophy, or widely recognize the field and its Philosophers, many men (and women) have contributed to Filipino Philosophy. As a national hero, Jose Rizal is considered one of the many people to introduce a form of Philosophy to the country. A man with many talents, Rizal was well educated with a degree in medicine, and dabbled in art and poetry. 



Rizal has extensive documents about his life, both by him, and written about him. His impact on Philosophy had several different impacts on the Philippines:

Educational Philosophy:

Rizal’s concept of the importance of education is clearly enunciated in his work entitled Instruction wherein he sought improvements in the schools and in the methods of teaching. He maintained that the backwardness of his country during the Spanish ear was not due to the Filipinos’ indifference, apathy or indolence as claimed by the rulers, but to the neglect of the Spanish authorities in the islands. For Rizal, the mission of education is to elevate the country to the highest seat of glory and to develop the people’s mentality. Since education is the foundation of society and a prerequisite for social progress, Rizal claimed that only through education could the country be saved from domination. 

Religious Philosophy:

Rizal did not believe in the Catholic dogma that salvation was only for Catholics and that outside Christianity, salvation was not possible even if Catholics composed only a small minority of the world’s religious groups. Nor did he believe in the Catholic observation of fasting as a sacrifice, nor in the sale of such religious items as the cross, medals, rosaries and the like in order to propagate the Faith and raise church funds. He also lambasted the superstitious beliefs propagated by the priests in the church and in the schools. All of these and a lot more are evidences of Rizal’s religious philosophy. 

Political Philosophy:

In Rizal’s political view, a conquered country like the Philippines should not be taken advantage of but rather should be developed, civilized, educated and trained in the science of self-government.

He bitterly assailed and criticized in publications the apparent backwardness of the Spanish ruler’s method of governing the country which resulted in: 

1. the bondage and slavery of the conquered ;

2. the Spanish government’s requirement of forced labor and force military service upon the n natives;

3. the abuse of power by means of exploitation;

4. the government ruling that any complaint against the authorities was criminal; and

5. Making the people ignorant, destitute and fanatic, thus discouraging the formation of a national sentiment.

Rizal’s guiding political philosophy proved to be the study and application of reforms, the extension of human rights, the training for self government and the arousing of spirit of discontent over oppression, brutality, inhumanity, sensitiveness and self love.



Rizal's impact on the Philosophy of the Philippines ended abruptly upon his execution on December 30, 1896. Seen as a threat, and a leader of the Katipunan Revolution, Rizal's life was falsely taken. His legacy, however, lives on, and each year, on December 30, the Philippines recognizes his life and death through the national holiday called Rizal Day. 

1 comment:

  1. You've deeply extended my knowledge of Philippine philosophy, Ian, previously restricted pretty much to Wm James's "Address on the Philippine Question"... he was very disturbed about the cultural arrogance & chauvinism of anglo-americans towards the philippino people. RIghtly so.

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