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Jose Rizal's Future Forecast of a Philippines in 1990 (1890)

Not all people know (especially Filipinos) that national hero Jose Rizal was a future visionary who think ahead of his time. In a serie...

Not all people know (especially Filipinos) that national hero Jose Rizal was a future visionary who think ahead of his time. In a series of articles for "La Solidaridad," Rizal wrote a four-part socio-political essay "Filipinas dentro de cien años" (Philippines, A Century Hence) where discusses the future prospect of the Filipino nation under Spanish rule.

Although he still believed that the Philippines should not separate from mother Spain, he always believed in the birth of the Filipino spirit of a nation. Influenced by the French Revolution a century before him, he always seen the spread of libertarian views would have an immediate impact on the Philippines. His essay has been viewed as an ultimatum to Spain: reform or independence.

He basically enumerated the causes of the misery and social inequality caused by the Spanish colonial rule in the Philippines:

(1) Heavy-handed rule: the Filipino population has decreased dramatically. There is widespread poverty. By this time, Spain has ruled the Philippines directly after the independence of its American colonies from Mexico to Argentina.

(2) Death of Filipino indigenous culture: Spain has divided the archipelago with the sword and the cross so that it gradually eradicated the indigenous culture. The Filipinos has lost its cultural heritage and identity. Eventually, they lose hope in the future and the preservation of their race.

(3) Cultural cringe: Spanish domination has made Filipinos submissive thereby perpetuating a culture of silence.

Despite the effort to hinder political and economic progress of their colony, Rizal believed that Spain can't prevent it.

Well, to a certain degree his work may have been a self-fulfilling prophecy. People would always break free from a tyrannical regime that tramples human rights. In this case, he may have predicted that and we can associate it to the 1986 People Power Revolution that toppled strongman Ferdinand Marcos.

Rizal predicted on the possible political intervention of Western colonial powers Great Britain, France and even the United States should the Philippines declare itself independent from Spain. However, he dismisses that possibility even with the more enticing economic prospects of a new colonial power. He remained idealistic and over-trusting that he failed to see the emergence of the United States and Japan, who under the pretext of the Manifest Destiny and Co-Prosperity Sphere occupied the Philippines within a century, respectively in 1899 and in 1941.

Will Rizal's prediction resonate to our current political, economic and social issues? How about China's current territorial bullying?

This is what Rizal has to say: "Very likely the Philippines will defend with inexpressible valor the liberty secured at the price of so much blood and sacrifice. With the new men that will spring from their soil and with the recollection of their past, they will perhaps strife to enter freely upon the wide road of progress, and all will labor together to strengthen their fatherland, both internally and externally, with the same enthusiasm, with which a youth falls again to tilling the land of his ancestors who long wasted and abandoned through the neglect of those who have withheld it from him. Then the mines will be made to give up their gold for relieving distress, iron for weapons, copper, lead, and coal. Perhaps the country will revive the maritime and mercantile life for which the islanders are fitted by their nature, ability and instincts, and once more free, like the bird that leaves its cage, like the flower that unfolds to the air, will recover the pristine virtues that are gradually dying out and will again become addicted to peace -- cheerful, happy, joyous, hospitable and daring."

Will the Philippines become a federal republic and consider the benefits of that political system? 

"Absence of any great preponderance of one race over the others will free their imagination from all mad ambitions of domination, and as they tendency of countries that have been tyrannized over, when they once shake off the yoke, is to adopt the freest government, like a boy leaving school, like the beat of the pendulum or by a law of reaction, the Islands will probably declare themselves a federal republic."

Are we destined for greatness? Only time will tell...

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