The Indolence of the Filipino

Jose Rizal
Indolence of the Filipino, The

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Title: The Indolence of the Filipino
Author: Jose Rizal
Release Date: November, 2004 [EBook #6885] [Yes, we are more than
one year ahead of schedule] [This file was first posted on February 7,

Edition: 10
Language: English
Character set encoding: ISO 8859-1

Prepared by Jeroen Hellingman


Mr. Charles Derbyshire, who put Rizal's great novel Noli me tangere
and its sequel El Filibusterismo into English (as The Social Cancer and
The Reign of Greed), besides many minor writings of the "Greatest
Man of the Brown Race", has rendered a similar service for La
Indolencia de los Filipinos in the following pages, and with that same
fidelity and sympathetic comprehension of the author's meaning which
has made possible an understanding of the real Rizal by English readers.
Notes by Dr. James A. Robertson (Librarian of the Philippine Library
and co-editor of the 55-volume series of historical reprints well called
The Philippine Islands 1493-1898, so comprehensive are they) show
the breadth of Rizal's historical scholarship, and that the only error
mentioned is due to using a faulty reprint where the original was not
available indicates the conscientiousness of the pioneer worker.
An appropriate setting has been attempted by page decorations whose

scenes are taken from Philippine textbooks of the World Book
Company and whose borders were made in the Drawing Department of
the Philippine School of Arts and Trades.
The frontispiece shows a hurried pencil sketch of himself which Rizal
made in Berlin in the Spring of 1887 that Prof. Blumentritt, whom then
he knew only through correspondence, might recognize him at the
Leitmeritz railway station when he should arrive for a proposed visit.
The photograph from which the engraving was reproduced came one
year ago with the Christmas greetings of the Austrian professor whose
recent death the Philippine Islands, who knew him as their friend and
Rizal's, is mourning.
The picture perhaps deserves a couple of comments. As a child Rizal
had been trained to rapid work, an expertness kept up by practice, and
the copying of his own countenance from a convenient near-by mirror
was but a moment's task. Yet the incident suggests that he did not keep
photographs of himself about, and that he had the Cromwellian desire
to see himself as he really was, for the Filipino features are more
prominent than in any photograph of his extant.
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. 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
To-day there seems a place in Manila for just suets, missionary work as
The Indolence of the Filipino aimed at. It may help on the present
improving understanding between Continental Americans and their
countrymen of these "Far Off Eden Isles", for the writer submits as his
mature opinion, based on ten years' acquaintance among Filipinos
through studies which enlisted their interest, that the political problem
would have been greatly simplified had it been understood in Dewey's
day that among intelligent Americans the much-talked-of lack of
"capacity" referred to the mass of the people's want of political

experience and not to any alleged racial inferiority. To wounded pride
has the discontent been due rather than to withholding of political
Spanish Philippine history has curiously repeated itself during the
fifteen years of America's administration of this archipelago.
Just as some
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