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Discovering Jose Rizal Through Ambeth Ocampo's Rizal Without the Overcoat: A Must-Read for Filipinos


Ambeth Ocampo's Rizal Without the Overcoat: A Review




If you are interested in learning more about Jose Rizal, the national hero of the Philippines, you might have come across a book called Rizal Without the Overcoat by Ambeth Ocampo. This book is a collection of essays that reveal a different side of Rizal, one that is more human and relatable than the usual image of him as a martyr and a genius. In this article, we will review Rizal Without the Overcoat and explore why it is a must-read for anyone who wants to understand Rizal and his legacy better.




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What is Rizal Without the Overcoat?




Rizal Without the Overcoat is a book by Ambeth Ocampo, a historian and professor who specializes in Philippine history and culture. The book was first published in 1990 and has since been reprinted several times with updated editions. The book consists of 94 essays that cover various aspects of Rizal's life, works, and influence. The essays are based on Ocampo's research, lectures, and personal anecdotes. The book's title refers to Ocampo's attempt to strip away the myths and legends that have surrounded Rizal over the years and present him as he really was: a human being with flaws, quirks, passions, and struggles.


Why is it important to read Rizal Without the Overcoat?




Reading Rizal Without the Overcoat is important for several reasons. First, it helps us appreciate Rizal as a person rather than as an icon. By showing us his hobbies, preferences, opinions, relationships, and emotions, Ocampo makes us feel closer to Rizal and understand him better. Second, it helps us learn more about Philippine history and culture through Rizal's eyes. By exploring his writings, travels, influences, and experiences, Ocampo gives us a glimpse of how Rizal saw and shaped his country and his people. Third, it helps us reflect on our own identity and values as Filipinos. By challenging some of the stereotypes and assumptions about Rizal and his role in Philippine society, Ocampo invites us to question and rethink what it means to be a Filipino today.


The Author: Ambeth Ocampo




Who is Ambeth Ocampo?




Ambeth Ocampo is one of the most respected and popular historians in the Philippines. He was born in 1961 in Manila and studied at Ateneo de Manila University, De La Salle University, University of Santo Tomas, University of London, and University of Oxford. He has taught history at various universities in the Philippines and abroad, and has served as the chairman of the National Historical Commission of the Philippines and the National Commission for Culture and the Arts. He is also a columnist, editor, curator, and author of several books on Philippine history and culture, such as Looking Back, Bones of Contention, Meaning and History, and Agoncillo: The Scholar and the Hero.


What are his credentials and achievements?




Ambeth Ocampo has received numerous awards and recognitions for his contributions to Philippine history and culture. Some of these include the Fukuoka Asian Culture Prize, the Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, the Gawad Balagtas, the Gawad Rizal, the National Book Award, and the Outstanding Young Men Award. He is also a member of various academic and professional organizations, such as the Philippine Historical Association, the Philippine Studies Association, the Southeast Asian Studies Association, and the Royal Historical Society. He is widely regarded as one of the leading experts on Rizal and his works, and has been invited to speak at various local and international conferences and events on Rizal and Philippine history.


How did he approach writing Rizal Without the Overcoat?




Ambeth Ocampo's approach to writing Rizal Without the Overcoat was based on his personal interest and curiosity about Rizal. He said that he wrote the book not as a historian but as a fan of Rizal. He wanted to share his discoveries and insights about Rizal with other fans and enthusiasts. He also wanted to make Rizal more accessible and appealing to a wider audience, especially to young readers who might find traditional history books boring or intimidating. He used a simple and conversational style of writing, with humor, anecdotes, and trivia to spice up his essays. He also used various sources of information, such as primary documents, secondary literature, oral history, photographs, artifacts, and even rumors and gossip, to paint a more vivid and nuanced picture of Rizal.


The Book: Rizal Without the Overcoat




What are the main themes and topics of Rizal Without the Overcoat?




Rizal Without the Overcoat covers a wide range of themes and topics related to Rizal's life, works, and influence. Some of these include:


  • Rizal's family background, childhood, education, and travels



  • Rizal's writings, such as his novels Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo, his essays The Indolence of the Filipinos and The Philippines a Century Hence, his poems To the Flowers of Heidelberg and Mi Ultimo Adios, and his letters to his family, friends, colleagues, and enemies



  • Rizal's love life, such as his relationships with Leonor Rivera, Josephine Bracken, Segunda Katigbak, Nellie Boustead, Consuelo Ortiga y Rey, Gertrude Beckett, Suzanne Jacoby, O-Sei San, among others



  • Rizal's hobbies and interests, such as painting, sculpting, reading, collecting books and stamps, playing chess and billiards, fencing and shooting, gardening and farming, cooking and eating



  • Rizal's achievements and contributions to Philippine history and society, such as his role in the Propaganda Movement, the La Liga Filipina, the Katipunan, and the Philippine Revolution



  • Rizal's death and legacy, such as his trial and execution, his monuments and memorials, his commemoration and celebration, his influence and relevance



How is Rizal Without the Overcoat different from other books on Rizal?




Rizal Without the Overcoat is different from other books on Rizal in several ways. First, it is not a biography or a history book, but a collection of essays that focus on specific aspects of Rizal's life and works. Second, it is not a scholarly or academic book, but a popular and accessible book that appeals to a general audience. Third, it is not a reverential or idolatrous book, but a critical and realistic book that shows both the strengths and weaknesses of Rizal. Fourth, it is not a boring or dry book, but an engaging and entertaining book that uses humor, anecdotes, and trivia to make Rizal more interesting and relatable.


What are some of the highlights and insights of Rizal Without the Overcoat?




Rizal Without the Overcoat has many highlights and insights that make it a valuable and enjoyable read. Some of these include:


  • The essay "Rizal's Teeth, Bonifacio's Bones" that compares the different ways that Rizal and Bonifacio, the two heroes of the Philippine Revolution, were treated after their deaths



  • The essay "Rizal in Love" that reveals the romantic side of Rizal and his many affairs with different women from different countries



  • The essay "Rizal's Morga" that explains how Rizal annotated an old book by Antonio de Morga, a Spanish historian who wrote about the Philippines in the 17th century



  • The essay "Rizal's Greatest Misfortune: Josephine Bracken" that criticizes Rizal's relationship with Josephine Bracken, his last and controversial lover



  • The essay "The Trial of Rizal" that reconstructs the events and arguments of Rizal's trial before his execution



  • The essay "The Many-Sided Personality of Rizal" that summarizes the various talents and skills of Rizal as a writer, artist, scientist, linguist, educator, reformer, and patriot



The Impact: Rizal Without the Overcoat




How did Rizal Without the Overcoat influence the public perception of Rizal?




Rizal Without the Overcoat had a significant impact on how the public perceived Rizal. It helped to demystify and humanize Rizal by showing him as he really was: a human being with flaws, quirks, passions, and struggles. It also helped to diversify and enrich Rizal by showing him as he really was: a multifaceted and dynamic person with various talents, skills, interests, and opinions. It also helped to challenge and question some of the myths and legends that have surrounded Rizal over the years and present him in a more balanced and realistic way.


How did Rizal Without the Overcoat inspire new research and scholarship on Rizal?




Rizal Without the Overcoat also had a significant impact on how scholars and researchers studied Rizal. It inspired new research and scholarship on Rizal by opening up new avenues and perspectives for exploring his life and works. It also encouraged more critical and creative thinking about Rizal by inviting more debate and discussion on his role and relevance in Philippine history and society. It also stimulated more interest and curiosity about Rizal by providing more sources and resources for learning more about him.


How did Rizal Without the Overcoat challenge and enrich the Filipino identity and culture?




Rizal Without the Overcoat also had a significant impact on how Filipinos understood their identity and culture. It challenged and enriched the Filipino identity and culture by showing how Rizal embodied both the diversity and unity of the Filipino people. It also showed how Rizal contributed to both the development and preservation of the Filipino culture. It also showed how Rizal inspired and influenced both the past and present generations of Filipinos.


Conclusion




Rizal Without the Overcoat is a book that every Filipino should read. It is a book that reveals a different side of Rizal, one that is more human and relatable than the usual image of him as a martyr and a genius. It is a book that teaches us more about Philippine history and culture through Rizal's eyes. It is a book that makes us reflect on our own identity and values as Filipinos. It is a book that shows us why Rizal is still relevant and important today.


If you want to learn more about Rizal, you can also read his original works, such as his novels, essays, poems, and letters. You can also visit his monuments and memorials, such as his house in Calamba, his shrine in Dapitan, his statue in Luneta, and his tomb in Fort Santiago. You can also watch movies and documentaries about him, such as Jose Rizal, Rizal sa Dapitan, Bonifacio: Ang Unang Pangulo, and Heneral Luna. You can also join organizations and activities that promote Rizal's legacy, such as the Knights of Rizal, the Order of the Knights of Rizal, the Rizal Day, and the Rizal Course.


But most importantly, you can live by Rizal's example and ideals. You can be a good citizen, a good student, a good friend, a good family member, a good leader, a good follower, a good Filipino. You can be like Rizal without the overcoat.


FAQs




  • What is the main message of Rizal Without the Overcoat?



The main message of Rizal Without the Overcoat is to show Rizal as he really was: a human being with flaws, quirks, passions, and struggles.


  • Who wrote Rizal Without the Overcoat?



Rizal Without the Overcoat was written by Ambeth Ocampo, a historian and professor who specializes in Philippine history and culture.


  • When was Rizal Without the Overcoat published?



Rizal Without the Overcoat was first published in 1990 and has since been reprinted several times with updated editions.


  • How many essays are in Rizal Without the Overcoat?



Rizal Without the Overcoat consists of 94 essays that cover various aspects of Rizal's life, works, and influence.


  • Where can I buy or read Rizal Without the Overcoat?



You can buy or read Rizal Without the Overcoat from various bookstores, libraries, online platforms, or websites.


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