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Rizal's annotation of Sucesos De Las Islas Filipinas

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Princess Siasit

on 26 September 2013

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Transcript of Rizal's annotation of Sucesos De Las Islas Filipinas

Rizal's annotation of Sucesos De Las Islas Filipinas
What is Sucesos De Las Islas Filipinas?
it is one of the important works on the early history of the Spanish colonization of the Philippines pulished in Mexico in 1609 by Antonio de Morga.
Annotated by Jose Rizal with a prologue by Dr. Ferdinand Blumentritt.
Antonio de Morga

Spanish conquistador, gov't official, and historical anthropologist; author of Sucesos De Las Islas Filipinas (Events in the Philippine Islands).
He wrote the first lay formal history of the Philippines conquest by Spain.
A doctorate in canon law and civil law
Antonio de Morga

His history is valuable in that Morga had access to the survivors of the earliest days of the colony and he, himself, participated in many of the accounts that he rendered.
The book (Sucesos..) narrates the
history of wars, intrigues, diplomacy and evangelization of the Philipinnes
in a somewhat disjointed way.
Modern historians (including Rizal) have noted that Morga has a definite bias and would often distort facts or even rely on invention to fit his defense of the Spanish conquest.
Sucesos De Las Islas Filipinas
Morga's puropose for Writing Sucesos
Morga wrote that the purpose for writing Sucesos was so he could chronicle
"the deeds achieved by our Spaniards i the discovery, conquest, and conversion of the Filipinas Islands - as well as various fortunes that they have from time to time in the great kingdoms and among the pagan peoples surrounding the islands. "
taking issue with the scopes of these claims, Rizal argued that
the conversion and conquest were not as widespread as portrayed because the missionaries were only successful in conquering a portion of the population of certain Islands.
Sucesos De Las Islas Filipinas
CHAPTER 1 : Magellan and Legazpi's seminal expeditions. CHAPTER 2 - 7 : Chronological report on gov't administration under Governor-General. CHAPTER 8 : Philippine Islands, the natives there, their antiquity, custom and gov't.
What leads Jose Rizal to Sucesos De Las Islas Filipinas?
Rizal was an earnest seeker of truth and this marked him as a historian.
He had a burning desire to know exactly the conditions of the Philippines when the Spaniards came ashore to the islands
His theory was that the country was economically self-sufficient and prosperous . Entertained the idea that it had a lively and vigorous community.
He believed the
conquest of the Spaniards contributed in part to the decline of the Philippine's rich tradition and culture.
What leads Jose Rizal to Sucesos De Las Islas Filipinas?
He then decided to undertake the annotation of Antonio de Morga's Sucesos De Las Islas Filipinas.
His personal friendship with Ferdinand Blumentritt provided the inspiration for doing a new edition of Morga's Sucesos.
Devoting four months research and writing and almost a year to get his manuscript published in Paris in January 1890.
Rizal spent his entire stay in the city of London at the British Museum's reading room.
Having found Morga's book, he laboriously hand-copied the whole 351 pages of the Sucesos
Rizal proceeded to annotate every chapter of the Sucesos
Rizal's annotation of Morga's Sucesos
His extensive annotations of Morga's work number "no less than 639 items or almost two annotations for every page."
Rizal also annotated Morga's typographical errors.
He commented on every statement that could be nuanced in Filipino cultural practices. For example, on page 248 Morga describes the culinary art of the ancient Filipinos by recording:
"... they prefer to eat salt fish which begin to decompose and smell."
Rizal's footnotes :
"This is another preoccupation of the Spaniards who, like any other nation in that matter of food, loathe that to which they are not accustomed or is unknown to them... The fish that Morga mentions does not taste better when it is beginning to rot; all on the contrary" it is
,and all those who have eaten it and tasted it know it is not or ought not to be rotten"
1. Rizal commits the error of many historians in appraising the events of the past in the light of present standards.
2. Rizal's attacks on the church were unfair and unjustified because the abuses of the friars should not be construed to mean the Catholicism is bad.
Rizal's annotation of Morga's Sucesos
Ferdianand Blumentritt also wrote a preface emphasizing some salient points:
The Spaniards have to correct their erroneous conception of the filipinos as children of limited intelligence
That there existed three kinds of Spanish delusions about the Philippines:
Filipinos were an inferior race
Filipinos were not ready for parliamentary representation and other reforms
Denial of equal rights can be compensated by strict dispensation of justice
Writing in Spanish, instead of his native German language.
Praised Rizal's work as "scholarly and well-thought out"
He noted that Morga's Sucesos was so rare that "the very few libraries that have it guard it with the same solicitude as if it were the treasure of the Incas"
He criticized Rizal's annotations on two counts:
He first observed that Rizal had committed the mistake of many modern historians who judged events in the past in the context of contemporary ideas and mores.
He perceived as the overreach of Rizal's denunciations of Catholicism. that Rizal should confine his critique to the religious orders in the Philippines who spared no effort to suppress calls for reform
Ferdinand Blumentritt's Prologue
In Jose Rizal's dedication, he explained among other things, the purpose of the new edition of Morga's Sucesos:

"if the book succeeds in awakening in you the consciousness of our past which has been obliterated from memory and in rectifying what has been falsified and calumniated, I shall not have labored in vain, and on such basis, little though it may be, we can all devote ourselves to studying the future"

Rizal's purpose of the Morga's Sucesos
3 Main Propositions in Rizal's New Edition of Morga's Sucesos
The people of the Philippines had a culture on their own, before the coming of the Spaniards
Filipinos were decimated, demoralized, exploited and ruined by the Spanish colonization
The present state of the Philippines was not necessarily superior to its past.

In his historical essay, which includes the narration of Philippine colonial history, punctuated as it was with incidences of agony, tensions, tragedies and prolonged periods of suffering that many of people had been subjected to. He correctly observed that as a colony of Spain,
"The Philippines was depopulated, impoverished and retarded, astounded by metaphor sis, with no confidence in her past, still without faith in her present and without faltering hope in the future."
Rizal's annotation of Morga's Sucesos
To the Filipinos:
"In my "NOLI ME TANGERE" I commenced to sketch the present conditions obtaining in our country. The effect produced by my efforts gave me to understand - before proceeding to develop before your eyes other successive scenes - that is necessary to first lay bare the past, in order the better to judge the present and to survey the road trodden during three centuries. "
Like almost all of you, I was born and brought up in ignorance of our country's past and so, without knowledge or authority to speak of what I neither saw nor have studied, I deem it necessary to quote the testimony of an illustrious Spaniard who in the beginning of the new era controlled the destinies of the Philippines and had personal knowledge of our ancient nationality in its last days.
It is then the shade of our ancestor's civilization which the author will call before you. . . If the work serves to awaken in you a consciousness of our past, and to blot from your memory or to rectify what has been falsified or is calumny, then I shall not have labored in vain. With this preparation, slight though it may be, we can all pass to the study of the future.
He went to say:

"... little by little, they (Filipinos) lost their old traditions, the mementoes of their past; they gave up their writing, their songs, their poems, their laws, in order to learn other doctrines which they did not understand, another morality, another aesthetics, different from those inspired by their climate and their manner of thinking. They declined, degrading themselves in their own eyes. They become ashamed of what was their own; they began to admire and praise whatever was foreign and incomprehensible; their spirit was damaged and it surrendered."
The "SUCESOS" as annotated by Rizal, appeared for the first time
in the Philippines sixty eight years later when a publisher in Manila,
published the new work in 1958, to contribute his bit to the national
effort to honor Rizal. The present work is the sixth volume of the Series
of Writings of Jose Rizal which the Jose Rizal National Centennial Commission has no published in commemoration of his birth.
"To foretell the destiny of a nation, it is necessary to open the books that tell of her past"
Jose Rizal
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