Noli Me Tangere by Jose Rizal

Noli Me TángereNoli Me Tángere by José Rizal
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Noli Me Tangere Review

As a ninth-grade student, when I first heard we were supposed to read Noli Me Tangere for Filipino class, I took it as a challenge mainly because: (1) the book I thought I would be reading would be in Filipino (which I find challenging) and (2) I expected it to be, at the very most, tedious.

It wasn’t.

Noli Me Tangere is art. Even having read it in English, the art was still there (though I would have recognized this art more if I had read the original text, which I couldn’t since it’s in Spanish). At first I read it as a task, but sooner or later I read it also for mere pleasure. Jose Rizal’s writing was fantastic, so was Harold Augenbraum’s translation. His words were vivid and characters real. The plot was free-flowing and each had its own uniqueness. Moreover, the shift from innocent love to suspense was impressive. No wonder why this book caused a variety of reader-responses.

Noli Me Tangere is culture. If it wasn’t for the culture presented here, this book would never have been Noli Me Tangere. I loved how Rizal was able to showcase culture not just by inserting it, but by integrating it! As a Filipino I felt Rizal’s hand grasped to my Filipino pride, pulling it gradually, aiming for it to be shown.

Noli Me Tangere is real. It’s real in two ways: first, the storyline could be as truthful as a memoir. It was one of the most realistic work of fiction I ever read; the sequence of events that happened, the emotions that wanted to be delivered, and the cancer of the country used to have. The other part of it being real was its intention. Noli Me Tangere’s aim was to bring a message to all the FIlipino readers, and what it brought was a revolution.

“I die without seeing dawn’s light shining on my country… You, who will see it, welcome it for me… don’t forget those who fell during the nighttime.”

The power of words!

Nevertheless, the only thing that made me not want to give this a full 5 was the length. Although all chapters were as important as the intention, there were just too many fillers. Some scenes were unnecessary, and some go round and round. It’s a 443-paged book with a tiny font having more than 60 chapters, so sometimes I found myself putting it away. But I understand its intention, so I still appreciate it.

All in all, I’m proud to say that Jose Rizal is the pambansang bayani of the Philippines.

4/5

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