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The indolence of the filipinos by rizal

DOCTOR Sancianco, in his Progreso de Filipinas, 1has taken up this question, agitated, as he calls it, and, relying upon facts and reports furnished by the very same Spanish authorities that rule the Philippines, has demonstrated that such indolence does not exist, and that all said about it does not deserve reply or even passing notice.

Nevertheless, as discussion of it has been continued, not only by government employees who make it responsible for their own shortcomings, not only by the friars who regard it as necessary in order that they may continue to represent, themselves as indispensable, but also by serious and disinterested persons; and as evidence of greater or less weight may be adduced in opposition to that which Dr. Sancianco cites, it seems expedient, to us to study this question thoroughly, without superciliousness or sensitiveness, without prejudice, without pessimism.

And as we can only serve our country by telling the truth, however bit, tee it be, just as a flat and skilful negation cannot refute a real and positive fact, in spite of the brilliance of the arguments; as a mere affirmation is not sufficient to create something impossible, let us calmly examine the facts, using on our part all the impartiality of which a man is capable who is convinced that there is no redemption except upon solid bases of virtue.

The word indolence has been greatly misused in the sense of little love for work and lack of energy, while ridicule has concealed the misuse. This much-discussed question has met with the same fate as certain panaceas and specifies of the quacks who by ascribing to them impossible virtues have discredited them. In the Middle Ages, and even in some Catholic countries now, the devil is blamed for everything that superstitious folk cannot understand or the perversity of mankind is loath to confess.

In the Philippines one's own and another's faults, the shortcomings of one, the misdeeds of another, are attributed to indolence. And just as in the Middle Ages he who sought the explanation of phenomena outside of infernal influences was persecuted, so in the Philippines worse happens to him who seeks the origin of the trouble outside of accepted beliefs. The consequence of this misuse is that there are some who are interested in stating it as a dogma and others in combating it as a ridiculous superstition, if not a punishable delusion.

Yet it is not to be inferred from the misuse of a thing the indolence of the filipinos by rizal it does not exist.

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We think that there must be something behind all this outcry, for it is incredible that so many should err, among whom we have said there are a lot of serious and disinterested persons. Some act in bad faith, through levity, through want of sound judgment, through limitation in reasoning power, ignorance of the past, or other cause. Some repeat what they have heard, without, examination or reflection; others speak through pessimism or are impelled by that human characteristic which paints as perfect everything that belongs to oneself and defective whatever belongs to another.

But it cannot be denied that there are some who worship truth, or if not truth itself at least the semblance thereof, which is truth in the mind of the crowd.

Examining well, then, all the scenes and all the men that we have known from Childhood, the indolence of the filipinos by rizal the life of our country, we believe that indolence does exist there. The Filipinos, who can measure up with the most active peoples in the world, will doubtless not repudiate this admission, for it is true that there one works and struggles against the climate, against nature and against men. But we must not take the exception for the general rule, and should rather seek the good of our country by stating what we believe to be true.

We must confess that indolence does actually and positively exist there; only that, instead of holding it to be the cause of the backwardness and the trouble, we regard it as the effect of the trouble and the backwardness, by fostering the development of a lamentable predisposition. Those who have as yet treated of indolence, with the exception of Dr. Sancianco, have been content to deny or affirm it. We know of no one who has studied its causes.

Nevertheless, those who admit its existence and exaggerate it more or less have not therefore failed to advise remedies taken from here and there, from Java, from India, from other English or Dutch colonies, like the quack who saw a fever cured with a dozen sardines and afterwards always prescribed these fish at every rise in temperature that he discovered in his patients.

We shall proceed otherwise. Before proposing a remedy we shall examine the causes, and even though strictly speaking a predisposition is not a cause, let us, however, study at its true value this predisposition due to nature. A hot, climate requires of the individual quiet and rest, just as cold incites to labor and action. For this reason the Spaniard is more indolent than the Frenchman; the Frenchman more so than the German.

The Europeans themselves who reproach the residents of the colonies so much and I am not now speaking of the Spaniards but of the Germans and English themselveshow do they live in tropical countries? Surrounded by a numerous train of servants, never going afoot but riding in a carriage, needing servants not only to take off their shoes for the indolence of the filipinos by rizal but even to fan them!

And yet they live and eat better, they work for themselves to get rich, with the hope of a future, free and respected, while the poor colonist, the indolent colonist, is badly nourished, has no hope, toils for others, and works under force and compulsion! Perhaps the reply to this will be that white men are not made to stand the severity of the climate. A man can live in any climate, if he will only adapt himself to its requirements and conditions. What kills the European in hot countries is the abuse of liquors, the attempt to live according to the nature of his own country under another sky and another sun.

We inhabitants of hot countries live well in northern Europe whenever we take the precautions the people there do.

Europeans can also stand the torrid zone, if only they would get rid of their prejudices.

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Nature knows this and like a just mother has therefore made the earth more fertile, more productive, as a compensation. An hour's work under that burning sun, in the midst of pernicious influences springing from nature in activity, is equal to a day's work in a temperate climate; it is, then, just that the earth yield a hundred fold! What wonder then that the the indolence of the filipinos by rizal of tropical countries, worm out and with his blood thinned by the continuous and excessive heat, is reduced to inaction?

Who is the indolent one in the Manila offices? Is it the poor clerk who comes in at eight in the morning and leaves at, one in the afternoon with only his parasol, who copies and writes and works for himself and for his chief, or is it the chief, who comes in a carriage at ten o'clock, leaves before twelve, reads his newspaper while smoking and with is feet cocked up on a chair or a table, or gossiping about all his friends?

Which is indolent, the native coadjutor, poorly paid and badly treated, who has to visit all the indigent sick living in the country, or the friar curate who gets fabulously rich, goes about in a carriage, eats and drinks well, and does not put himself to any trouble without collecting excessive fees? With the exception of some porters, an occupation that the natives also follow, he nearly always engages in trade, in commerce; so rarely does he take up agriculture that we do not know of a single case.

The Chinaman who in other colonies cultivates the soil does so only for a certain number of years and then retires.

Man is not a brute, he is not a, machine; his object is not merely to produce, in spite of the pretensions of some Christian whites who would make of the colored Christian a kind of motive power somewhat more intelligent and less costly than steam. Man's object is not to satisfy tile passions of another man, his object is to seek happiness for himself and his kind by traveling along the road of progress and perfection.

The Indolence of the Filipino by José Rizal

The evil is not that indolence exists more or less latently but that it is fostered and magnified. Among men, as well as among nations, there exist not only aptitudes but also tendencies toward good and evil. To foster the good ones and aid them, as well as correct the evil and repress them, would be the duty of society and governments, if less noble thoughts did not occupy their attention. The evil is that the indolence in the Philippines is a magnified indolence, an indolence of the snowball type, if we may be permitted the expression, an evil that increases in direct proportion to the square of the periods of time, an effect of misgovernment and of backwardness, as we said, and not a cause thereof.

Others will hold the contrary opinion, especially those who have a hand in the misgovernment, but we do not care; we have made an assertion and are going to prove it. II When in consequence of a long chronic illness the condition of the patient is examined, the question may arise whether the weakening of the fibers and the debility of the organs are the cause of the malady's continuing or the effect of the bad treatment that prolongs its action.

The attending physician attributes the entire failure of his skill to the poor constitution of the patient, to the climate, to the surroundings, and so on.

On the other hand, the patient attributes the aggravation of the evil to the system of treatment followed. Only the common crowd, the inquisitive populace, shakes its head and cannot reach a decision. Something like this happens in the case of the Philippines. Instead of physician, read government, that is, friars, employees, etc. Instead of patient, Philippines; instead of malady, indolence.

And, just as happens in similar cases then the patient gets worse, everybody loses his head, each one dodges the responsibility to place it upon somebody else, and instead of seeking the causes in order to combat the evil in them, devotes himself at best to attacking the symptoms: Every new arrival proposes a new remedy: The patient is near his finish!

Yes, transfusion of the indolence of the filipinos by rizal, transfusion of blood! New life, new vitality! Yes, the new white corpuscles that you are going to inject into its veins, the new white corpuscles that were a cancer in another organism will withstand all the depravity of the system, will withstand the blood-lettings that it suffers every day, will have more stamina than all the eight million red corpuscles, will cure all the disorders, all the degeneration, all the trouble in the principal organs.

Be thankful if they do not become coagulations and produce gangrene, be thankful if they do not reproduce the cancer! While the patient breathes, we must not lose hope, and however late we be, a judicious examination is never superfluous; at least the cause of death may be known. We are not trying to the indolence of the filipinos by rizal all the blame on the physician, and still less on the patient, for we have already spoken of a predisposition due to the climate, a reasonable and natural predisposition, in the absence of which the race would disappear, sacrificed to excessive labor in a tropical country.

Indolence in the Philippines is a chronic malady, but not a hereditary one. The Filipinos have not always been what they are, witnesses whereto are all the historians of the first years after the discovery of the Islands.

Before the arrival of the Europeans, the Malayan Filipinos carried on an active trade, not only among themselves but also with all the neighboring countries. A Chinese manuscript of the 13th century, translated by Dr. The products which they in exchange exported from the islands were crude wax, cotton, pearls, tortoise-shell, betel-nuts, dry-goods, etc. He describes the silk dresses, the daggers with long gold hilts and scabbards of carved wood, the gold, sets of teeth, etc.

Among cereals and fruits he mentions rice, millet, oranges, lemons, panicum, etc. That the islands maintained relations with neighboring countries and even with distant ones is proven by the ships from Siam, laden with gold and slaves, that Magellan found in Cebu. These ships paid certain duties to the King of the island. In the same year, 1521, the survivors of Magellan's expedition met the son of the Rajah of Luzon, who, as captain-general of the Sultan of Borneo and admiral of his fleet, had conquered for him the great city of Lave Sarawak?

Might this captain, who was greatly feared by all his foes, have been the Rajah Matanda whom the Spaniards afterwards encountered in Tondo in 1570? In 1539 the warriors of Luzon took part in the formidable contests of Sumatra, and under the orders of Angi Siry Timor, Rajah of Batta, conquered and overthrew the terrible Alzadin, Sultan of Atchin, renowned in the historical annals of the Far East.

Pigafetta tells us of the abundance of foodstuffs in Paragua and of its inhabitants, who nearly all tilled their own fields. At this island the survivors of Magellan's expedition were well received and provisioned. A little later, these same survivors captured a vessel, plundered and sacked it, add took prisoner in it the chief of the Island of Paragua!

They let him ransom himself within seven days, demanding 400 measures cavanes? This is the first act of piracy recorded in Philippine history.

The chief of Paragua paid everything, and moreover voluntarily added coconuts, bananas, and sugar-cane jars filled with palm-wine. When Caesar was the indolence of the filipinos by rizal prisoner by the corsairs and required to pay twenty five talents ransom, he replied; "I'll give you fifty, but later I'll have you all crucified!

His conduct, while it may reveal weakness, also demonstrates that the islands were abundantly provisioned. Martin Mendez, Purser of the ship Victoria: A very extraordinary thing, and one that shows the facility with which the natives learned Spanish, is that fifty years before the arrival of the Spaniards in Luzon, in that very year 1521 when they first came to the islands, there were already natives of Luzon who understood Castilian.

In the treaties of peace that the survivors of Magellan's expedition made with the chief of Paragua, when the servant-interpreter died they communicated with one another through a Moro who had been captured in the island of the King of Luzon and who understood some Spanish. Martin Mendez, op, cit Where did this extemporaneous interpreter learn Castilian?

In Malacca, with the Portuguese? Spaniards did not reach Luzon until 1571. Legazpi's expedition met in Butuan various traders of Luzon with their boats laden with iron, wax cloths, porcelain, etc.

  1. Yes, the new white corpuscles that you are going to inject into its veins, the new white corpuscles that were a cancer in another organism will withstand all the depravity of the system, will withstand the blood-lettings that it suffers every day, will have more stamina than all the eight million red corpuscles, will cure all the disorders, all the degeneration, all the trouble in the principal organs. This does not mean that we should ask first for the native the instruction of a sage and all imaginable liberties, in order then to put a hoe in his hand or place him in a workshop; such a pretension would be an absurdity and vain folly.
  2. It is not only the Philippines , but also other countries, that may be called indolent, depending on the criteria upon which such a label is based.
  3. They paid no attention either to cultivating the soil or to fostering industry; and wherefore? We will be met with the objections, as an argument on the other side, that the towns which belong to the friars are comparatively richer than those which do not belong to them.
  4. What is there strange in it, when we see the pious but impotent friars of that time trying to free their poor parishioners from the tyranny of the encomenderos by advising them to stop work in the mines, to abandon their commerce, to break up their looms, pointing out to them heaven for their whole hope, preparing them for death as their only consolation? Among men, as well as among nations, there exist not only aptitudes but also tendencies toward good and evil.
  5. With the exception of some porters, an occupation that the natives also follow, he nearly always engages in trade, in commerce; so rarely does he take up agriculture that we do not know of a single case. With his spirit thus moulded the native falls into the most pernicious of all routines.

Gaspar de San Agustin, plenty of provisions, activity, trade, movement in all the southern islands. The city was taken by force and burned. The fire destroyed the food supplies and naturally famine broke out in that town of a hundred thousand people, 12 as the historians say, and among the members of the expedition, but the neighboring islands quickly relieved the need, thanks to the abundance they enjoyed.

All the histories of those first years, in short, abound in long accounts about the industry and agriculture of the natives: And if this, which is deduction, does not convince any minds imbued with unfair prejudices, perhaps of some avail may be the testimony of the oft-quoted Dr. Morga, who was Lieutenant-Governor of Manila for seven years and after rendering great service in the Archipelago was appointed criminal judge of the Audiencia of Mexico and Counsellor of the Inquisition.