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The essay was written by Jose Rizal during the writing of La Solidaridad in 1887 in Berlin. The essay itself originally appeared in the Filipino forthrightly review, La Solidaridad, of Madrid, in five installments, running from July 15 to September 15, 1890. According to Mr. Charles Derbyshire, it was a continuation of Rizal’s campaign of education in which he sought by blunt truths to awaken his countrymen to their own faults at the same time that he was arousing the Spaniards to the defects in Spain’s colonial system that caused and continued such shortcomings. Rizal wrote this essay to make us realize that we deserve to be treated equally and that we have to be aware of our rights as a citizen.
II. GENERAL IDEAS
The essay talks about not only to the continuing corruption of the government and the ruthlessness of the friars to the Filipinos but also to the irresponsibility of the Filipino towards work, virtues and credibility. Those fluctuating traits resulted to mental stagnation that hinders not only one but all citizens from achieving social and political justice. He pursues this theme in his discussion of the Filipino’s lack of national sentiment. The absence of any concern for the nation, he says, “breeds another evil, which is the scarcity of any opposition to the measures that are prejudicial to the people and the absence of any initiative that will affect to their welfare.
A man in the Philippines is only an individual; he is not a member of a nation.” Where there is no sense of nation, there can be no collective striving to develop the country. He specifically pointed out the lack of cooperation and awareness of the Filipinos to the current situation of the country and how the government took away the eyes and ears of its people through its deceiving and countless assurance that resulted to the masses’ remorse and destruction.
Through this essay, there are a lot of significant lessons that can be taken. Indeed, Filipinos has this indolence attitude if we shift the focus to the social context. Why do Filipinos hardly follow simple traffic rules? Why do we pursue on arguments even though we know that it isn’t right? Why can’t we fall in line in buying our favorite food? I guess this is what Rizal is trying to address to all of us. In order to attain progress in our country, it should start in simple things before focusing on the complex ones. It made me realize that I too should be responsible of my own actions and make sure that those actions will benefit not only me as an individual but the Filipino citizens in general. This essay should be our guide to lead the country to its full progress and promote common good to our fellow countrymen.
Derbyshire, Charles E., “Indolence of the Filipino”, http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/6885.