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RIZAL’S ANNOTATIONS ON MORGA’S SUCCESOS DE LAS ISLAS FILIPINAS

ANNOTATING ANTONIO DE MORGA’S SUCESOS DEFLATING THE COLONIAL MYTH


- Filipinos were viewed by the Spaniards as - It was an oft theme in many and varied Spanish
indolent and well as ungrateful. discourses that the pre-Hispanic Filipinos were
- This moved Rizal towards the task of rectifying uncivilized.
errors, in the way the history of the Philippines - Rizal asserted that the culture of the Filipinos
had been presented; he had an itching to prove was much more refined in many ways than
its utter falsity. claimed by the Spaniards.
- The Spaniards believed that without them,
Indios would have remained uncivilized and PABLO FECED
barbaric. - Scorned the Indio for not sporting enough
- Rizal needed credible and reliable sources to “beard, which is a sign of virility of a race”
refute such claims. - Cited Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution since
- Works of the Friars were mostly compilations he poured his scorn on the anthropoid ancestry
and tales of miracles rather than objective notes of the Filipino people.
observed outside the prism of their theological
lenses. BISHOP FRANCISCO GAINZA
- Characterized the Indios as barbaric, uncivilized,
Ferdinand Blumentritt and ignorant.
- Informed Rizal of De Morga’s Sucesos found at - Commented that the pre-Hispanic Filipinos’
British Museum in London religion was a sign of repugnant cynicism
- According to his letter, Pre-Hispanic Filipinos
Antonio De Morga were also deceitful, depraved of customs and
- A layman, and not a Friar had degenerated intellectual facilities.
- Illustrious Sapniard with impressive academics
before he wound up in government service. The picture that was being painted of the Philippines
- Became the Lieutenant-Governor of the was an excuse to the presence of Spaniards in the
Philippines in 1593. country
- Graduated at University of Salamanca, had a
doctorate in Canon Law, and studied Civil Law. Exposicion de Filipinas in Madrid (1886)
- He witnessed the events he described and - Brought alleged less civilized people from the
wrote them objectively without exaggerations. Philippines as evidence to the Spanish public of
- Erred in interpreting some patterns of the the still uncivilized state of the Filipinos.
Filipino culture - A way to discredit the Filipinos and their
demands of reforms
SUCESOS DE LAS ISLAS FILIPINAS - It was also a strike to the Filipino nationalist
- 8 chapters, the first seven being rich accounts of movement.
expeditions and policies of the various Spanish
administrators. SOME MISINTERPETED FILIPINO CULTURE
- The 8th focused on pre-Hispanic Filipinos’ way of 1. Veneration and high regards to parents
life, customs, and values. - True among other Asians, parents were believed
- The last chapter was of value to Rizal as this to be life-givers much like the gods who must be
would be material in his efforts to reconnect the honored.
19th century Filipinos to their past. - Family members were buried within their lots,
cemeteries were not a pattern of the Filipinos.
Chinese Uprising in 1603 2. Marriages
- Believed that element of miraculous friars or - Strongly conservative than liberal or pragmatic
saints saved Intramuros - Divorce was not a common place.
- No accounts of these were found in Morga and 3. Chastity of Filipinas
Argensola’s writings. - Were popularized as weak and gullible
- Although already known to virtue when they
resisted
RIZAL AND HISTORY: ANNOTATIONS OF SUCESSOS
4. Illiteracy - Rizal’s De Morga is heavily tinged with
- Rizal asserted that Filipinos had a well- nationalism
developed system of writing and widespread - To prepare Filipinos for El Filibusterismo, which
literacy had a darker theme, he had to re-educate and
- With Spanish conquest, literature was oriented about the identity of Filipinos.
supplanted by foreigners’ reading material they - Make them feel united as a nation, regardless of
did not understand and were not taught to their linguistic differences.
understand it either. - Rizal made the audacious gesture to wrest the
- Yet Filipinos exhibited high aptitude for learning name Filipino away from the Spanish hands.
Castilian just within 30 years of Spanish o This was deliberate in order to make a
occupation. distinction between the Spaniards and
- Unwillingness of friars to teach contributed to the Filipino.
the illiteracy and ignorance.
*Rizal cross-referenced with the works of Pigafetta,
IMPACT OF SPANISH CONQUEST Chirino, Colin, Aduarte, Argensola, and San Agustin
- Destruction of native culture and the systematic
disappearances of the flourishing trade and RIZAL’S DE MORGA AS A MINOR WRITING
industries which the life of the people - His work on annotating De Morga was not as as
depended. popular as Noli nor El Fili.
- Economic activities were neglected and Indios - De Morga’s works were all banned and copies of
were made to fight wars of Spain. Sucesos were confiscated and destroyed, if not
- Overall impact was not civilization, but burned.
destruction - Sucesos was written in a language most Filipinos
- There was nothing the Filipinos should be were not familiar with.
grateful for the Spaniards. - Burden of tending the pedagogy of history fell
on educated Filipinos, which was already
The Polo or Forced Labor challenging.
- Became the symbol of people’s slavery - Filipinos relied on La Solidaridad
Encomienda System oppression and The Tribute
- Suckled the money and resources of people. RIZAL AS A HISTORIAN
- His love for his country made him a historian.
The mission of the Spaniards to civilize Filipinos was a - Rizal’s was a historiography with a purpose.
hoax, since they were already possessed with a high - He thought of putting up an International
civilization. Association of Filipinologists aimed at studying
The Philippines from the scientific and historical
IMPORTANTCE OF RIZAL’S ANNOTATION OF MORGA point of view. Did not materialize because of the
(1) It is meant to raise the people’s consciousness of French government.
their past that kay buried from memory - According to Ambeth Ocampo, Rizal’s De Morga
(2) See the grandeur and glory of their race snatched was significant because he wrote the Philippine
away by colonial contact and to feel a certain pride history from the viewpoint of a Filipino.
about themselves, and their country - Rizal realized the importance of the past as a
(3) Permits the 19th century Filipinos to assess the state tool to understand the present and eventually
of colonial life in the Philippines and to renew their confront the future.
sense to take back what is rightfully theirs.
(4) For modern-day Filipinos, his work should be more EXCERPTS
relevant in impelling them to learn the history of their A. Footnotes numbered 99-113
country Accounts on pre-Hispanic Filipino government
(5) Had become a definitive apology against all - Filipinos did not have neither kings nor lords,
misinterpretations about the Philippines and the rather they had principals.
Filipinos - Principalias or high station stations were
inherited by succession. Their duty was to
govern and rule.
RIZAL AND HISTORY: ANNOTATIONS OF SUCESSOS
- In Rizal’s annotations, due to lack of rapid beginning to decompose but it was just
communications, it was not wise to have one bagoong and they were not used to the foul
government residing in one place since it would smell.
cause “towns to be greatly paralyzed”. - Their form of alcohol was lambanog. They drink
- Although principal men had wars and this during wedding and feasts, accompanied by
differences, friendly relations were more singing. They generally do this to have a good
common. In fact relations of the islands were time. Their drunkenness was also not
very strong. dangerous.
- Privileges of principalship were also enjoyed by - Although lambanog also has medicinal
women, proving that there was a high components when used moderately.
consideration to women.
- People who happen to saw lady principals C. Footnotes numbered 120 – 130
taking their baths in the river with scant respect - Marriages among natives are generally between
were made slaves. But this is just a testament of those of the same social class, but sometimes
the women for modesty and high regard of her intermarry among different castes.
person. Rizal argued that Spaniards treated - Implied to have a polygamous marriage, but the
Indios much worse than that of becoming a children of the first wife were considered the
slave in pre-Hispanic Filipino civilization. legitimate ones.
- They also formed a kind of confederation since - Groom contributed a dowry and the
some principal men became more outstanding solemnization of marriage consisted in the
that he can govern other people as well as other mutual agreement between the parents.
principle men. - The spouses could separate and dissolve their
- Henchmen, upon committing any slight offense marriage owing to trivial causes and upon
or fault, were either punished, made slaves or proper hearing.
killed. But these slaves were not always in - The dowry was not in any way a payment, but
dismal condition. as compensation to the parents of the bride for
- Laws were following the traditions and customs the care and education of their daughter.
of their ancients in accordance to unwritten - The dowry is kept by the bride’s parents and
statuses. According to Rizal, “this is very simple returned if ever the divorce pushed through.
and crude, but it was more speedy.” The judges This continued the union between parents and
were from the locality which means they were children. Union and not affection since this
more familiar to these customs. sentiment is always taken for granted.
- Laws were not written but customs have more - A character of Filipina women is to help rather
force than a written or printed law, especially be a burden. Marriage was viewed more of a
when these laws are not in harmony with their partnership.
customs and is unstable. - The presence of children prevented parents to
divorce out of love for them.
B. Footnotes numbered 18 – 26 - People could also adopt any person in the
- Pre-Hispanic Filipinos were very hygienic. They presence of the relatives.
commonly used organic products found around. - Adultery was not punished, but the guilty
- They bathe in rivers and streams spouse would pay to the aggrieved spouse such
- Women worked with the needle and tended the indemnity; grievance was thus forgiven and
house, all the while raising chickens and pigs. resumed married life.
- While folk-men engage in work like fishing, - All legitimate children will inherit equally all the
boating, farming, and some work in the fields. property of the parents acquired.
- Men and women were covetous and money - Often, there was no written will since Filipinos
loving. Although their weakness for “pay” is not believe that the spirits of their ancestors still live
just a defect monopolized by Filipinos. Women with them which prevented any violation to the
also resisted the Spaniards and preferred death spoken will. Only since the missionaries
to violence. convinced that there was a purgatory or hell
- Their regular daily food is rice and prefer meat, that they did have a need for notaries and to
fish and saltfish. Spaniards thought saltfish were engage in lawsuits.
RIZAL AND HISTORY: ANNOTATIONS OF SUCESSOS