Rizal: A Third World Country’s Hero

The movie Bayaning Third World, for me was very intriguing. The title itself stirs up my imagination. The movie showed two filmmakers planning to do a movie about Rizal but ends up doing a detective story on Rizal’s Retraction Scandal instead. This states that hours before Jose Rizal’s execution, he signed a retraction document and “went back to the catholic church”. It was also said that he and Josephine Bracken got married hours before the execution. The hole in this is that the supposed retraction letter of Jose Rizal appeared only years after the execution. They interviewed various persons to find out the truth behind the said scandal; Rizal’s family vs. the Jesuits. The conflict as they press on, relates to Josephine Bracken – a woman full of lies and a woman whose origin is unknown. She kept insisting that Jose, his Joe, gave in and chose to marry her but there was no signed marriage contract. Then, to make matters worse, Trining, who at first solely believed that Rizal did not retract, changed her statement in the later years. Pepe’s family had varied answers, each believed a different thing. Donya Teodora and Trining both despised Josephine Bracken and are convinced that she was the sole reason for every unfortunate happenings in their lives. Narcisa, on the other hand thanks Josephine Bracken for taking care of their Pepe while in Dapitan.

            I do not know which is true and I do not wish to take a side. But if someone were to tell me that someone as patriotic and as nationalistic as Rizal, would give in just because of a woman, he definitely is a coward. I also do not know why the Jesuits waited years to reveal it. Be it some kind of plan, I believe that those who trusted Rizal from beginning ’til the end will always be there and their testimonies will tell.The movie had a slogan, “Bilib ka ba kang Rizal, o wala kang pakialam.” One part of me says that I idolize Rizal for his valor and witty revolution. Yet, a part of me also says that I do not care. I do not care whether Rizal retracted or not. I do not care whether Rizal or someone else is our national hero. The fact is, he made his contribution and it changed our country. For me, let us all just be thankful that a third world country like the Philippines was able to produce a brave man who took the first step. Dr. Jose Rizal, the hero of a third world country.

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