La indolencia de los filipinos (y de los estudiantes tambien) 1. What was the effect of conviction of “inferiority? ” -The child or youth who tries to be anything else is blamed with vanity and presumption; the curate ridicules him with cruel sarcasm, his relatives look upon him with fear, strangers regard him with great compassion. No forward movement — Get back in the ranks and keep in line! With his spirit thus molded the native falls into the most pernicious of all routines: routine not planned but imposed and forced.
Note that the native himself is not naturally inclined to routine but his mind is disposed to accept all truth, just as his house is open to all strangers. The good and the beautiful attract him, seduce and captivate him although like the the Japanese he often exchanges the good for the evil, if it appears to him garnished and gilded. What he lacks is in the first place liberty to allow expansion to his adventuresome spirit, and good examples, beautiful prospects for the future.
It is necessary that his spirit, although it may be dismayed and cowed by the elements and the fearful manifestation of their mighty forces, store up energy, seek high purposes, in order to struggle against obstacles in the midst of unfavorable natural conditions. In order that he may progress it is necessary that a revolutionary spirit, so to speak, should boil in his veins, since progress necessarily requires the present; the victory of new ideas over the ancient and accepted one.
It will not be sufficient to speak to his fancy, to talk nicely to him, nor that the light illuminate him like the ignis fatuus that leads travelers astray at night: all the flattering promises of the fairest hopes will not suffice, so long as his spirit is not free, his intelligence is not respected. 2. What is the meaning of the statement, tila ka kastila? The pernicious example of the dominators in surrounding themselves with servants and despising manual or corporal labor as a thing unbecoming the nobility and chivalrous pride of the heroes of so many centuries; those lordly airs, which the natives have translated into tila ka castila, and the desire of the dominated to be the equal of the dominators, if not essentially, at least in their manners; all this had naturally to produce aversion to activity and fear or hatred of work. 3. What does Rizal mean by saying that indolence in the Philippines is a chronic but not an inherited disease? When in consequence of a long chronic illness the condition of the patient is examined, the question may arise whether the weakening of the fibers and the debility of the organs are the cause of the malady’s continuing or the effect of the bad treatment that prolongs its action. The attending physician attributes the entire failure of his skill to the poor constitution of the patient, to the climate, to the surroundings, and so on. On the other hand, the patient attributes the aggravation of the evil to the system of treatment followed.
Only the common crowd, the inquisitive populace, shakes its head and cannot reach a decision. Something like this happens in the case of the Philippines. Instead of a physician, read government, that is friars, employees, etc. Instead of patient, Philippines; instead of malady, indolence. 4. What proofs did Rizal give to show that pre-Spanish Malayans were not indolent? -Before the arrival of the Europeans, the Malayan Filipinos carried on an active trade, no only among themselves but also with all the neighboring countries.
All the histories of those first years, in short, abound in long accounts about the industry and agriculture of the natives; mines, gold-washings, looms, farms, barter, naval construction, raising of poultry and stock, weaving of silk and cotton, distilleries, manufactures of arms, pearl fisheries, the civet industry, the horn and hide industry, etc. , are things encountered at every step, and considering the time and the conditions in the islands, prove that there was life, there was activity, there was movement. 5.
How did it happen that the industrious pagan culture was transformed into that of an indolent Christian culture? -We have already spoken of the more or less latent predisposition which exists in the Philippines toward indolence, and which must exist everywhere, in the whole world, in all men, because we all hate work more or less, as it may be more or less hard, more ore less unproductive. The dolce far niente of the Italian, the rascarse la barriga of the Spaniard, the supreme aspiration of the bourgeois to live on his income in peace and tranquility, attest this.
It seems that there are causes more than sufficient to breed indolence in the midst of a beehive. Thus is explained why, after thirty-two years of the system, the circumspect and prudent Morga said that the natives have forgotten much about farming, raising poultry, stock and cotton and weaving cloth, as they used to do in their paganism and for a long time after the country had been conquered! ” 6. Why does the city of Hong Kong have more commercial and trade activities than the whole of the Philippines? It has more commercial movement than all the islands together, because it is free and is well governed. The great difficulty that every enterprise encountered with the administration contributed not a little to kill off all commercial and industrial movement. All the Filipinos, as well as all those who have tried to engage in business in the Philippines, know how many documents, what comings, how many stamped papers, how much patience is needed to secure from the government a permit for an enterprise.
One must count upon the good will of this one, on the influence of that one, on a good bribe to another in order that the application be not pigeon-holed, a present to the one further on so that it may pass it on to his chief; one must pray to God to give him good humor and time to see and examine it; to another, talent to recognize its expediency; to one further on sufficient stupidity not to scent behind the enterprise an insurrectionary purpose land that they may not all spend the time taking baths, hunting or playing cards with the reverend friars in their convents or country houses.
And above all, great patience, great knowledge of how to get along, plenty of money, a great deal of politics, many salutations, great influence, plenty of presents and complete resignation! 7. Was there gambling in the country before the coming of the Spaniards? -Yes, we do not mean to say that before the coming of the Spaniards the natives did not gamble: the passion for gambling is innate in adventuresome and excitable races, and such is the Malay, Pigafetta tells us of cockfights and of bets in the Island of Paragua.
Cock-fighting must also have existed in Luzon and in all the islands, for in the terminology of the game are two Tagalog words: sabong and tari (cockpit and gaff). But there is not the least doubt that the fostering of this game is due to the government, as well as the perfecting of it. 8. What are the effects of too many religious festivals on the country? Remember, that lack of capital and absence of means paralyze all movement, and you will see how the native was perforce to be indolent for if any money might remain to him from the trials, imposts and exactions, he would have to give it to the curate for bulls, scapularies, candles, novenaries, etc.
And if this does not suffice to form an indolent character, if the climate and nature are not enough in themselves to daze him and deprive him of all energy, recall then that the doctrine of his religion teach him to irrigate his fields in the dry season, not by means of canals but with amasses and prayers; to preserve his stock during an epidemic with holy water, exorcisms and benedictions that cost five dollars an animal, to drive away the locusts by a procession with the image of St. Augustine, etc.
It is well, undoubtedly, to trust greatly in God; but it is better to do what one can not trouble the Creator every moment, even when these appeals redound to the benefit of His ministers. We have noticed that the countries which believe most in miracles are the laziest, just as spoiled children are the most ill-mannered. Whether they believe in miracles to palliate their laziness or they are lazy because they believe in miracles, we cannot say; but he fact is the Filipinos were much less lazy before the word miracle was introduced into their language. 9.
What other evidence may be pointed out to show the lack of national sentiment? -The very limited training in the home, the tyrannical and sterile education of the rare centers of learning that blind subordination of the youth to one of greater age, influence the mind so that a man may not aspire to excel those who preceded him but must merely be content to go along with a march behind them. Stagnation forcibly results from this, and as he who devotes himself merely to copying divests himself of other qualities suited to his own nature, he naturally becomes sterile; hence decadence.
Indolence is a corollary derived from the lack of stimulus and of vitality. That modesty infused into the convictions of everyone, or, to speak more clearly, that insinuated inferiority, a sort of daily and constant depreciation of the mind so that it may not be raised to the regions of life, deadens the energies, paralyzes all tendencies toward advancement, and of the least struggle a man gives up without fighting. If by one of those rare incidents, some wild spirit, that is some active one, excels, instead of his example stimulating, it only causes others to persist in their inaction. There’s one who will work for us; let’s sleep on! ” say his relatives and friends. True it is that the spirit of rivalry is sometimes awakened, only that then it awakens with bad humor in the guise of envy, and instead of being a lever for helping, it is an obstacle that produces discouragement. 10. How do we know there was no national sentiment? -Absence of all opposition to measures prejudicial to the people and the absence of any initiative in whatever may redound to its good. A man in the Philippines is only an individual, he is not a member of a nation.
He is forbidden and denied the right of association, and is, therefore, weak and sluggish. The Philippines is an organism whose cells seem to have no arterial system to irrigate it or nervous system to communicate its impressions; these cells must, nevertheless, yield their product, get it where they can; if they perish, let them perish. In the view of some this is expedient so that a colony may be a colony; perhaps they are right, but not the effect that a colony may flourish. -Dennis A. Cea BSM3-1