Rizal, the Philippines’ Shakespeare
For this entry, I wanted to write something different; something that I haven’t encountered as I researched on William Shakespeare. I found it difficult at first because Shakespeare is EVERYWHERE, literally everywhere– in books, as figurines, in commercials and even as lollipops (seriously, shakespeare lollipops? That’s so creative!).
Then it hit me. During our History class, we were talking about Dr. Jose Rizal, the National Hero of the Philippines. Our teacher said that Rizal has been adapted into so many ways. There are even those Rizalista who treat Jose Rizal as a god or a prophet. This reminded me of William Shakespeare. Just as how William Shakespeare is everywhere, Jose Rizal is everywhere as well.
Both Shakespeare and Rizal have famous works. They both wrote poems that are remembered and are so influential up to this very day. Rizal however was more political in a way that all his works centered to what was happening the Philippines during the colonization of the Spaniards in the country. Both of these men have become influential worldwide. Just like William Shakespeare, I guess we can consider Jose Rizal a renaissance man.
Just like Shakespeare, Rizal is very present to us up to this day. In the Philippines, you can find Rizal in T-shirts, figurines and even in coins. Both of them even appeared in 1999 video game Medal of Honor as a secret character in multiplayer as mentioned by Bren Nolasco in his essay, Jose Rizal: The Last Renaissance Man.
Just like how we have made different versions of Shakespeare’s plays, we have also made different versions of Rizal’s famous novels such as Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo. Everyone knows Rizal like how everyone knows Shakespeare.
Shakespeare and Jose Rizal are two different people that have both left a great legacy in the world. They have influenced the world in their own ways. I find it hard to consider one greater than another because they are both great in their own way.
here are some pictures of how Rizal is adapted in the Philippines today just like how Shakespeare has been adapted everywhere and in everything. (Disclaimer: none of these photos belong to me, sadly.)
Rizal being cool with Raybands on.
Rizal in shirts!
Even in key chains!
He even has a Facebook account!
Even the famous, Carlos Celdran dressed up like Rizal.
Dr. Jose Rizal and the great William Shakespeare have both conquered the world, most especially that of pop culture. They are both vital factors in media and they are still very much alive up to this day. We both know them in our own ways and so will the future generations as well.
III- AB IS