Friday, June 19, 2015

Dr. Jose P. Rizal and Globalization

by Ill. Samuel P. Fernandez, 33°  IGH, KGQR

In January 1889, Dr. Jose P. Rizal wrote : "Escribe el Noli Me Tangere para despertar los sentimentos." - I wrote the Noli Me Tangere to rouse the feelings of my countrymen.

On August 12, 1891, Rizal expressed his mind thus :  "Yo lucho por la nacion, Filipinas." - I fight for a nation, the Philippines.

In October 1891, Rizal defined his direction thus :  "Ang parang na paglalaban ay ang Filipinas: doon tayo dapat magtatagpo." -  The field of battle is the Philippines : that is where we should meet.

Brave words but Rizal made good his promise.  Five years later, he paid the price of his conviction in the killing fields of Bagumbayan on December 30, 1896.

Rizal did not do any physical battle with any Spaniard but his mighty pen toppled an Empire.  What Rizal did not do, Andres Bonifacio did in many encounters with well-armed Spaniards.  So did Gen.  Emilio Aguinaldo.


Rizal's vision was not limited in opening the minds of his people.  He dreamed an impossible dream, that one day his people will be citizens of the world.  "Some centuries hence when mankind shall become enlightened and redeemed, when there shall be no races, when all peoples shall become free, when there shall be no tyrants nor slaves, nor colonies nor metropolis, when justice shall rule, and man shall become a citizen of the world, the cult of science alone shall remain, the word patriotism shall smack of fanatism, and he who would boost of patriotic virtues will undoubtedly be confined as a dangerous sick man, as a perturber of social harmony."  (El Filibusterismo, Ghent, 1891)

One hundred years later, on December 4, 1961, during the international Congress on Jose Rizal, H.R.H. Prince Prem Purachatra of Thailand paid tribute to Rizal : "We think that Rizal no longer belongs to the Filipinos; he belongs to the world whenever people have the will to remain free and to resist oppression in all its forms.  Jose Rizal was at one with the historical figures of the past in our country.  He had the spirit and we respect him for it.  We revere him for that.  And that is I think the message that the people of my country would like to bring to the people of your country, to the people of the Philippines and also to all others who have the same ideals of freedom... carry on in the spirit of Jose Rizal, carry on in the spirit which insists that freedom is a necessity of life and without it death is preferable.

A noted writer, Buddhaveda Rose, a poet from India, said in part in his speech on Rizal's Awakening of the National Consciousness : "It is possible to see Rizal as a fine flower of that romanticism which burst upon Europe in the early years of the 19th century and spread to Asia somewhat later.  Romanticism was not a non-political phenomenon;  its melancholy note went hand in hand with an ardent desire to abolish tyranny and establish a world-order founded on love and justice.  And indeed the poems of Rizal occasionally remind us of Byron and Pushkin... as Pushkin awakened the new national consciousness of Russia, so did Rizal in the Philippines."


Globalism is the "principle of the interdependence of the entire world." (World Book Dictionary)

Globalization is "to make global or worldwide in scope or application." (Google)

The world has become a global village.  With the instantaneous electronic communications, countries have shrunk distances so much so that what happens in Alaska is known in Australia in a matter of seconds.

Rizal in "The Philippines Tomorrow" noted : "Tomorrow we shall be citizens of the Philippines whose destiny will be beautiful because it will be in loving hands.  Oh yes! The future is ours, it is rosy.  I see life stirring in these regions, so long dead and lethargic...  I see towns rising along the railways and factories everywhere  and buildings like that at Mandaluyong.  I hear the ship's whistle, the concussion of trains, the clatter of machineries... I see smoke rising, its potent respirations, and I smell the odor of oil the sweat of the monsters engaged in incessant labor... That port, so laboriously constructed, that river where commerce seems agonizing, we shall see filled with masts and will give us an idea of winter in the forests of Europe... This pure air and those very clean stones shall be covered with coal, of boxes and barrels, the products of human industry, but, it doesn't matter!  We shall move rapidly in comfortable coaches to seek in the interior other airs, other panoramas on other beaches, cooler temperature on the slopes of the mountains... Our armed ships will guard the coasts.  The Spaniards and Filipinos will vie with one another in repelling foreign invasion, in defending our homes, and leave you, women, to laugh and enjoy life in peace, loved and respected.  Freed from the system of exploitation, without displeasures or mistrust, the people will work beause then work will cease to be opprobious, will cease to be servile, as an imposition on the slave;  then the character of the Spaniards, will not be soured with ridiculous despotic pretentions and with their gaze sincere, the heart robust, we shall join hands, and commerce, industry, agriculture,the sciences will develop under the protection of freedom and wise and equitable laws as in prosperous England. (El Filibusterismo, Ghent, 1891)

Cornelius Christian Berg, Professor at the University of Leiden, The Netherlands, in his speech entitled "On Rizal's Awareness of One World," succinctly observed : "It would be an exaggeration if I said that Rizal and the civilization which he so well represented are familiar to the Netherlands.  However, there is a comparatively large group of people in my country who know and appreciate Rizal and his achievements.  It is on their behalf, Mr. Chairman, and also for personal reasons that I congratulate the Government of the Philippines and the organizers of this Congress on the fact that they possess in the person of Rizal a national hero who combined the scientific spirit with sincere patriotism and awareness of a growing world community."

Rizal's genius transcends beyond the borders of his country.  He was not bound to time and space.  He belongs to the world.  pastor Gottlob Weber, Pastor of  Wilhemsfeld, Germany, (where Rizal wrote the concluding chapters of his Noli Me Tangere in the vicarage) holds that : "Above all, Rizal himself is the best representative of the "universutas literatum."  Recently, Thomas L. U. Szenes said :  "The Germans have a felicitous name for it - "Universalgenie," denoting an exceptional type of man who shows superior aptitude in whatever mental activity he chooses to pursue."

"In fact, Rizal was one of the best interpreters of the spirit of the 19th century... He was in an almost incomprehensible way congenial to the highest ideas and ideals of the 19th century, not only Germany but of the world - indeed a Universal Genius."


Of all the Masons in the Propaganda Movement, Bro. Rizal can easily pass as a Mason with international standing.

He joined Acacia Lodge No. 9 in Madrid under the Gran Oriente de España, the Grand Lodge that had prominent liberal membership like Spanish statesmen Prin Pi y Margall, Miguel Morayte, Praxedes, Manuel Ruiz Zorilla and Rafael Labra.

Rizal's Masonic name was Dimasalang.  He was made a Master Mason at Lodge Solidaridad No. 53.  In July 1885, he left for France and became a representative to Le Grand Orient du France in Paris.

Father Luis y Marti, S.J., in a sworn statement executed in Manresa, Spain, declared that Rizal was a fifth degree in the German Lodges.

Austin Craig believed that Dr. Rizal was an 18th degree Mason.  This is confirmed by Rizal when he included in the cover of the Noli Me Tangere the symbol of the 18th degree which is the Cross and Rose.  In Hong Kong, he attended stated memetings of Lodge St. John No. 618 under the Scottish Constitution.  He signed the Tyler's register as member of Temple de L'Honneur at de Union (France).

Dr. Rizal was made Honorary Venerable Master of Nilad Lodge No. 144 (now no. 12), of which your humble author is an honorary member.

Masons all over the world believed in the Brotherhood of Men under the Fatherhood of God.  It represents all religions.  Frank C. Laubach, American biographer on Rizal said in part in his speech "On Rizal's Dream of the Brotherhood of Men" - "Other men are soon forgotten after they die, but Jose Rizal is greater in the eyes of the Philippines and the world than when he died sixty-five years ago (December 16, 1896).  And a thousand years from now his name will be among the immortals whose memories never die.  And if someday this human race rises above nationalism and achieves the brotherhood of man they will say that Jose Rizal was dreaming of that a thousand years before."


Dr. Rizal, at eight years old wrote : "Sa Aking Mga Kababata"  (To May Fellow Children).  Let me quote paragraph three :

"Whoever knows not now to love his native tongue
Is worse than a beast or evil smelling fish,
To make our language richer ought to be our wish
This same as any mother loves to feed her young."

This portion of Rizal's poem is often quoted by so-called nationalists, omitting the succeeding paragraph which states :

"Tagalog and Latin are the same
And English and Castillan and the angel's tongue;
And God, whose watchful care o'er all is flung,
Has given us His blessings on speech we claim."

It is important to get acquainted with the language of our people.  Equally important is learning the lingua franca of the times.  Dr. Rizal at 20 years old had a reading knowledge of 22 languages.  Learning only the language of our country is confining ourselves to our culture.  There are other cultures worthy of study and instruction.  Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo were written in elegant Spanish language.  Dr. Rizal understood the languages of his time because he spoke German, French, English, etc.

Baron Rodolfo de Negri di San Pietro of Italy, speaking on the topic "Rizal's Place in the Literary World" observed :

"Jose Rizal shines before the literary world like a great poet of the Spanish language, and his tongue is a privileged son of the language of Rome, and the Latin of Virgil."

The Philippines is home to 175 ethno-languages.  Many of these ethno-languages are extinct.  During the American occupation, the English and Filipino where the medium of instruction.  Filipinos, which is based on Tagalog, is popular in and around Manila.  If language is the expression of the culture of the people, then we stand to lose the culture of the minority.  Thank God, K+12 preparation was on tract.  English and Filipino as the language of instruction from Kindergarten to Third Grade will be replaced by Tagalog, Capampangan, Pangasinense, Iloko, Bikol, Hiligaynon, Cebuano, Waray, Tausug, Maguindanao, Maranao, and Chavacano.  The twelve languages have the combined base of more than 63 speakers.

When we, as people, understand our culture through the nuances of our language, it is time to explore the possibility of understanding the world where we live and reside.  No country can stay in isolation.  We have become a global village and it is our bounden duty to understand our world before it self-destructs because of ethno-centricism.  We are the world under the canopy of heaven, fellow creatures of One Creator.

(Source : The Far Eastern Freemason, 2nd Quarter - June 2014)

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