LOOKING AT THE FILIPINO PAST THE LIFE AND WORKS OF JOSE RIZAL | LESSON 9 PREPARED BY: TJ RIVERA Learning Objectives At the end of this chapter, the students should be able to: o Argue the reasons why Jose Rizal decided to annotate Antonio Morga’s work, Sucesus de las Islas Filipinas; o Relate how Rizal’s annotations conform with the overall aims of the Propaganda Movement; and o Create their own annotations of a sample text. LOOKING AT THE FILIPINO PAST o Antonio Morga was a Spanish administrator who served in the Philippines in the late 16th century. o He was born in Seville in 1559 and began working for the government in 1580. o He served as the Lieutenant-Governor – second most powerful position in the colony – of the Philippines in 1593 and then as a judge of the Audiencia in 1598. LOOKING AT THE FILIPINO PAST o By 1615, he moved to Mexico where he served as the president of the Audiencia. o He was later investigated for corruption and was found guilty. o Before being sent to the gallows, however, he died in 1636. LOOKING AT THE FILIPINO PAST o Morga’s work, Sucesos de las Islas Filipinas, was publish in 1609 in Mexico and consisted of eight chapters. The first seven chapters dealt with the terms of governors-general who had served in the Philippines from the time of Miguel Lopez de Legazpi in 1565 to Pedro de Acuna in 1606. o The last chapter, titled “An account of the Philippine islands,“ provided ample descriptions of early Filipinos upon the arrival of the Spaniards in the 16th century. o LOOKING AT THE FILIPINO PAST o While at the British Museum in late 1889, Rizal found a copy of the first edition of Antonio Morga’s Secesos de las Islas Filipinas and began copying the text by hand. o He annotated the work along the way with the intention of creating a critical work on the history of the Philippines. o By September 1889, Rizal decided to publish the annotations himself in Garnier Hermanos, a printing press based in Paris. LOOKING AT THE FILIPINO PAST o Historian Ambeth Ocampo provides five reasons behind Rizal’s choice. 1. The first reason was the fact that Morga’s work in its original Spanish edition was rare. 2. Second, Morga was a civil administrator and therefore provided a secular view of historical events during the early Spanish colonial period. 3. Third, for Jose Rizal, a secular account was more credible than those written by religious missionaries. LOOKING AT THE FILIPINO PAST o Historian Ambeth Ocampo provides five reasons behind Rizal’s choice. 4. Fourth, it was more sympathetic towards the natives in contrast to the biased accounts written by the friars. 5. Finally, Morga’s work was a fitting choice because he was an eye witness to historical events that occurred in the Philippines during the period of early Spanish colonization. LOOKING AT THE FILIPINO PAST o With the publication of his annotations to Sucesos, Rizal presented an outline of a linear conception of history. o More than an attempt to write the country’s history, however, Rizal’s annotation of Morga’s work must also be seen within the context of the propaganda movement. o At a time when Filipino propagandists were clamoring for reforms in Spain, presenting a critical narrative of the country’s history might be considered as an endeavor to create a sense of national consciousness or identity that was anchored on a glorious past. LOOKING AT THE FILIPINO PAST o Whereas early Spanish chronicles ridiculed the early Filipinos for being barbarians, Rizal’s copious notes of Sucesos revealed early Filipino culture as rich and flourishing. o Thus, Rizal’s annotations may be considered an effort to assert Filipino identity within an oppressive colonial framework.