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Angelica P.

PI 10 U-4R
On Renato Constantinos Our task: to make Rizal obsolete
Upon reading the assigned essay, an image of Rizal wearing the Guy Fawkes mask fron the film
V for Vendetta popped into my head. Much like the protagonist of the said film, Rizal was a charming,
eloquent and influential character. Both are revered as symbols of change and collective sentiments of the
Constantinos take on the perpetuation of Rizals ideals is the most sensible opinion on the matter.
Rizal is truly a brilliant man; he is well-ahead of his peers in all aspects. His way with words has no
equal; he managed to mobilize the Juan Tamads and the Bahala na si Batmans of his time. However, in
present time, we should not be seeing his literary characters in the flesh. By now, feudalism,
discrimination, frailocracy and other twisted human conditions should just be horrors of ages past.
We should not be looking for ourselves in pages of Rizals writings. We do not (should not) see
ourselves in the depiction of a colonial Philippines. A century after the liberation, we should only not be
limited by the closed-minded views of Padre Damaso, We should not be driven to madness like the poor
Sisa. We are not like the vindictive Elias who, constantly looks for something to rage about. We should
never be like Basilio, we should never be afraid to stand up for what we think is moral and just. Never be
like Basilio. Basilio has no place in the 21st century Philippines.
Rizals supporters and fanatics, instead of completing his legacy by living by his words and
rendering his sentiments obsolete in the modern context, made his works absolute. By immortalizing his
struggles, the societal conditions remain stagnant and comparable to the 19 th century Philippines. His two
novels, while being incredible feats of literary prowess, are treated as instruction manuals of executing
poorly-planned revolutionary movements. To revere is not equal to true understanding and appreciation.
Blind reverence of a mans outdated principles should not apply in contemporary situations.
I admit, when I first read the title of the essay, it seemed blasphemous and offensive. After
reading, however, a final clarity came over me. I am not some pushover who eats everything she is given.
We should really put his (Rizals) fight to rest. It is truly our task, as his countrymen to make his works a
thing of the past.