“Not Just Another Rizaliana”

Today I went to Las Pinas to retrieve a package sent by Sra. Elizabeth Medina from Chile that I was expecting for weeks. Why it ended up in Las Pinas’ post office is something no one can seem to explain.


I can’t thank Sra. Medina enough, she has always been supportive and kind to this young aficionado of Filipino history. This time going out of her way to send me a copy of a book she wrote in 1998 for the centennial celebration.

The cover of Sra. Medina's obra

Her book, “Rizal According to Retana: Portrait of a Hero and a Revolution” was published in 1998 for the centennial celebration. Although NCCA agreed to publish the book, she went ahead and published the book herself. “Because of institutional bureacracy, NCCA would never have it out by June (centennial month)… the centennial has to be greeted by this book”.

It was in her own words, “a small gift to Inang Bayan” . I believe it is a valuable contribution to our Rizaliana that must be made available to Filipinos everywhere because while Retana’s work was significant (the first and most cited Rizal biography), he could not be read by our generation because he wrote for his generation – the Spanish Filipinos of his time.. Ms. Alaras, head of Centennial celebration for NCCA said, “Medina was doing what Rizal did to Morga’s”. And I absolutely agree. I’m done reading a couple of chapter and I’m really impressed with her book, she made Retana’s work easy to digest.

More on this major Rizaliana book after I’m done reading… ^_^


7 responses to ““Not Just Another Rizaliana”

  • Virgilio Reyes

    I knew Liz Medina in Chile in 1998-2000 and hope she is safe after the big quake. Liz, estas biel? Escribeme si tienes tiempo. Virgilio

  • De AnDA

    his situation was incredibly unique because he was writing as the events unfolded. Being a Spanish official [with a Filipino family] he was a participant observer. like when he described how he felt when ‘noli’ first reached manila, he was there, which was the advantage of his works in regards to rizal.

  • Pepe

    @The Showroom Manager — Yes. You are correct. Retana was a staunch critic of Rizal. Up until the very end.

    It was only when Rizal died when Retana suddenly had a 360-degree turn on how he looked at the national hero. The reasons are unclear to me, too. Shortly, he wrote the first ever Rizal biography.

    Sometimes, I’d like to think that Retana just rode on the Filipinos’ fervor for Rizal (especially when Emilio Aguinaldo declared that December 30th of each year should be declared as a national day of mourning). I hope that I’m mistaken.

  • the showroom manager

    i’m interested reading that book to know his point of view. i just finished leon ma. guerrero’s first filipino and i immensely enjoyed it. i keep coming back to it to refresh my knowledge.

    correct me if i’m wrong but all i know about w. retana is that he used to be rizal’s enemy but somewhere along the way his stand changed (reasons that i don’t know so probably i might discover it through that book which is now on my list of must-reads).

    anyway, enjoy his work and i do hope you can share it with us.

    maraming salamat.

  • Pepe

    Retana’s face on the cover looks so much like Pepe Alas’ (without the moustache), LOL!

  • De AnDA

    Its unfortunate that we are separated from not only Retana’s work but all the other great literature of our Spanish past . I wonder how rizal and the writers of his day would react if they find out that their works cannot be read by their beloved Filipino in its original ^^

  • levisoledad

    This is one great treasure brotha..

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