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This is done through a close reading of three broad topics treated by Rizal: first, the notion of a “confederation” of chiefs and the complexity of polities; second, the character of precolonial law and enforcement; and third, the engagement of pre-Hispanic polities in international trade. Finally the role of indigenously produced goods in the dynamics of chiefly rulership and foreign trade is discussed.In the chapter 8 of Rizal’s annotation of the book of Morga the Sucesos Islas Filipinas , he wanted to convey to all of us especially the Filipino people that our country really existed on earth even before the coming of the Spaniards . Our ancestors the natives had their antiquity, customs and Government, both during their gentility (non-conversation) and after the Spaniards had conquered them; and other peculiarities.The paragraph I wanted to react with could be found on page272 of Morga’s which states that “Throughout the Islands, writing is well developed through certain characters or signs resembling the Greek or Arabic, numbering fifteen signs in all, three of which are vowels. The consonants are twelve. With these and certain points or signs and commas, everything one desires to say can be expressed and spoken fully and easily, just like with our own Spanish alphabet.”Then Jose Rizal annotated that “ the same thing can’t be said today. The government in print and in wordstries to educate the Filipinos but in deed and at the bottom, it foments ignorance , placing education in thehands of the friars who are accused by Spaniards, Filipinos, and foreigners of wanting the brutalization of the country and by themselves prove it with their behavior and writings”.Jose Rizal’s annotation could be classified socio-political in the sense that education and the system of our government at the time was his subject. With his annotation I could vividly felt the message Rizal wanted to emphasize. In my own point of view his true feelings of the brutality of the friars he himself experienced and with his family members, his friends and to all the Filipino people during the Spanish regime is really expressed in this annotation. Rizal had written this annotation long after he completed already his studies in CentralYesterday I received an email from Veronica Pedrosa who now lives in London. She said that she was writing a book and was at the British Museum for her research.
I texted her back that one of the less known books of Jose Rizal, “Annotations on Antonio Morga’s Sucesos de las Islas Pilipinas” was researched and written there.It was by way of reply on just who and what Filipinos were before the Spanish colonialists came. I have excerpted from a translation by Austin Craig of the introduction to the book.