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BITUIN Critique Paper No-2-Rizal in the Context of 19th Century Philippines

John Clarence S. Bituin
LWR 0009-38
BSEd – Social Studies 2-1
Prof. Lorenz Aric A. Ancheta
Critique Paper #2
Rizal in the Context of 19th Century Philippines
In the context of Rizal in the 19th century of the Philippines, we need to understand and we
need to look in the four different developments. The development that we need to understand is
political, economic, socio-cultural and religion. In these four developments, we have to look back
what happened in the 19th century because it is important that we understand the context of Rizal’s
time. John Schumacher is a naturalized Filipino historian and educator wrote a series of essays
regarding the birth of Filipino Nationalism.
The first development that we’re going to discuss is economic development. If we look
back in the past, Spain colonized us for 333 years and the Spaniards was corrupt and the colonizers
monopolized the economy but there was a change in the 19th century. The economy of the
Philippines shifts from mercantilist economy to free trade economy, one of the reasons why there
is an economic growth is because of opening of world trade. When the ports open to world trade,
people started traders to come in our country and this was the start of shifting of mercantilist
economy to a free trade economy. When we say there is rise in economy it refers to Filipinos can
be able to send products outside the country. With being a free trade country, this led to the Filipino
who is in middle class benefits from the economic growth because they were able to rent the lands
to produce more goods. By benefiting in this economic growth, Filipino who are in the middle
class used this privilege to provide an education for their children.
The second development is political development it happened because of the friction
between liberals and conservative. We all know that the liberals wanted to fight for their
democracy and wanted to vote for their leader. Liberals wanted the freedom of speech and freedom
of the press while the conservative wanted to remain the status quo, they wanted to continue the
royal bloodline, they wanted to continue the government that ruled by the royal family. There was
political struggle between liberals and conservative. It had a negative impact on the Philippines
and it led to inconsistent policies in our country. In this political struggle, the Philippines became
a ground for incompetent leaders because they have no interest in changing the country that suits
them so well because their loyalty is only for the crown and not in the leadership in the country.
Hence, they just used the Philippines to have their own power.
The third is cultural development, we talked about the first and second development which
is economic and political development. Now we are going to reiterate the third development which
is cultural development. The third development is about higher education, the Filipino educated
ones is responsible and they were called the ilustrados or the enlightened ones, they were the
educated class in the Philippines during the Spanish occupation. The rapid spread of higher
education among middle- and lower-class Filipinos accelerated in the Philippine Nationalism. In
the school they were learned the different injustices and abuses done by the Spaniards because of
the Jesuits they created institutions which is Escuela Normal de Maestros and Ateneo De
Municipal. The Jesuits instilled the sense of nationalism or what they called humanistic form of
education. The Jesuits did not intentionally teach the sense of nationalism but they indirectly teach
the sense of nationalism through humanistic form of education. One of the factors in cultural
development is the Filipino students in Spain can experience liberty but can’t experience liberty
in the Philippines. They saw that Spain are progressive in terms of their own political problem
while the Philippines cannot achieve their own political problems under the Spanish rule.
After we discussed the three development which is economic, political and cultural
development we are now going to discuss the last development which is religion development.
During the Spanish rule, the influence of friars is rampant and we call it Frailocracy, the friars
were basically the most influential individuals in the Philippines during the Spanish rule. The friars
used religion to maintain the Spanish rule in the Philippines. In addition, due to injustices and
abuses that the friars committed, because of these injustices the people came out the anti-friar
sentiments especially the Ilustrados. In addition, Father Pedro Pelaez commends for secularization
and after that it was carried by Father Jose Burgos. This secularization fought for equality between
the regulars (mostly Spanish) and seculars (Filipino who handled priests). The fight between them
expanded into a bigger issue which led with the execution of Father Burgos, Father Gomez and
Father Zamora. The assassination of these three priests lead to inspired their propaganda and also
precipitate the Filipino Nationalism.
There was a lot of circumstances happened in the 19th century in the Philippines. In terms
of economics there are a lot of good things happened because they middle class Filipinos
experienced this and Rizal also exposed to higher education. Some of the people who enroll in
higher education taught the sense of nationalism through humanistic form of education which they
learned the injustices, abuses under the Spanish rule.
John Schumacher really detailed the happenings in the 19th century of the Philippines
because Schumacher provided a good and detailed explanation and how movement happened in
the Philippines.