I commiserate and understand the feeling of lack of interest among Filipino youth on Rizal’s books (Noli and Fili). Maybe because it was written in Spanish or maybe not really promoted aggressively for reading in schools. Or maybe because the church was not really presented in an amiable way or it connotes an idea of resistance against establishment or whatever. I read the books in my school days but did not really digest the importance of the message and its relevance in my existence as a Filipino. Could be I was not guided properly. I simply didn’t get it. I mean, yes, it was explained to us and we got to know the details of the stories, etc. but the mind didn’t really absorb its very essence.
Unlike the Bible which has several versions and attracted a lot of “geniuses” in interpreting it as well as “teaching” it, Rizal’s books had a difficult time crossing over into the mainstream, at least, that’s my summation. It’s very seldom you will find Filipino students quoting passages, lessons or ideas, etc. from the books. They rather read the Harry Potter books and be entertain by the magic, sorcery and witchcraft than be inspired by Crisostomo Ibarra or admire Maria Clara or even be provoked by Padre Damaso’s notoriety.
I just hope that something could be done with it, like coming out with a version or edition that will encourage the youth without removing or sacrificing the important details of the story. It is also necessary that government leaders, private and popular personalities endorse and promote it. Vigorously. And Free.
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