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BLAST FROM THE PAST: Dr. Jose Rizal’s El Filibusterismo was published in Ghent, Belgium


On September 18, 1891, the second novel of Dr. Jose Rizal, El Filibusterismo (Reign of Greed), written in Spanish and a sequel to Noli Me Tangere, was published in Ghent, Belgium.

Rizal, who began writing El Filibusterismo in October 1887 in Calamba, Laguna, revised some chapters while he was in London and completed the book on March 29, 1891.

Rizal wrote El Filibusterismo in dedication to the three martyred priests Mariano Gomez, Jose Burgos, and Jacinto Zamora, expressing conviction that their treatment and deaths at the hands of the Spanish authorities was unjust.

Plots are poles apart compared with Noli Me Tangere, where people were encouraged to ask and aspire for change and liberation, in El Filibusterismo, Rizal urged the society to open its eyes to reality and rebel against the Spanish government for its oppression and abuse.

In Noli Me Tangere, there is aspiration, beauty, romance, and mercy. In El Filibusterismo, readers will feel bitterness, hatred, and antipathy. The romance and aspirations are gone. Even the characters’ personalities seem to have undergone radical change.

Source: Philippines News Agency archives