Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Rizal Without the Overcoat

Rizal Without the Overcoat book cover
Rizal Without the Overcoat is a fantastic book, even if it's a requirement in your history class.

Summer classes was optional for my course here at my current school, University of San Carlos. Wanting to ease the "pain" that could inflict on me had I stayed true to my program curriculum, I decided to take 3 subjects worth a total of 9 units. The first two, Differential Equations and Physics, are boring as hell (Believe me; I used to like these subjects. But the way they're being taught, I'd rather focus somewhere else). The third was History - Rizal Course. Yes, I know, it seemed like I was in for a tough ride. What happened during the first week of class didn't help either: my teacher didn't even show up, leaving us students wondering if our class had been dissolved.

In addition, hardly anyone has a liking to history since it talks about people who are, well... dead. However mighty their legacy are, in time we will forget them as newer generations cannot feel the importance of historical figures in their own present times. But thanks to this teacher we had in the class (whose superb proficiency in English has definitely wowed me despite a week-long absence) and the book, Rizal Without the Overcoat by Ambeth Ocampo, my interest for the subject went way up. I was eager to learn, something that's hard to come by.

Instead of portraying Rizal as the usual wise and respected hero, the book pulls Rizal's level down to the common people. Don't get me wrong, the purpose is not to destroy Rizal's reputation, but to know who he truly is. We take away his overcoat and see the real Rizal. Who knows, he might just be the real Superman as shown in the book cover. :)

I also tried looking for available articles archived in the Philippine Daily Inquirer website, as Mr. Ocampo is now a columnist there. Sadly, the archive search seems nonfunctional at the moment.