Rizal and His Dragon: Man of Science or Scientist?

I just recently watched Mike De Leon’s film Bayaning 3rd World. It was just a few days after his birthday and to be honest it is one of the films I like to watch and in my opinion better than the Heneral Luna film, but then that is just my opinion. If I were to describe De Leon’s Bayani in a sentence it would a thought provoking iconoclastic film about what is Rizal to us and who we are as Filipinos.

Now here is something I wrote sometime back about Rizal. What do you think is Rizal a man of science or a scientist?

Most of us grew up being spoon fed on Rizal. Only later did we know that a commission selected Rizal over Bonifacio. Like most history our story goes beyond the official account of historians and spiced up with tales of love, past times and foibles of our heroes, friends and villains. I still remember the picture of Taft

One of the most common vandalism done during high school was to place an infamous mustouche on Rizal. This was because one of the most popular gossip about Rizal was that he was the father of an Austrian who would later on become Der Furher of the Third Reich, Adolph Hitler. Who had started this rumor no one can tell but it was there. Almost as persistent as the portrait Rizal in an overcoat. There are probably more people know about it than people who knew about the retraction controversy or Rizal’s essay on the laziness of Filipinos or his prediction about the country a century after his time.

For most of us Rizal is the National Hero. But do we know Rizal beyond Noli Me Tangere, El Filibusterisimo and Mi Ultimo Adios ? Or do we just accept him as the National Hero who was shot in Bagumbayan?

If he was not shot that fateful day would we know him? Do we know him now?
If Rizal had lived beyond Bagumbayan one of the people in Filipino Society and The world would probably know him because of dragons.

During Rizal’s exile in Dapitan, he was able to do a number of things that he probably would be unable to do one because he had the time and two because he was in Mindanao.

Rizal became a school master and he started a school where he developed his own curriculum his own O.B. Rizal. And with his students, Rizal the naturalist began collecting the several specimens of flora and fauna or plants and animals of Mindanao.

At that time he had one of the largest private collection of sea shells in the country. His collection had around 340 shells composed of more than 200 species.

Rizal and his students collected a big number of birds, insects, butterflies, shells, snakes, and plants, most of which he sent to Europe, mostly to Director A.B. Meyer of the Anthropological and Ethnographic Museum of Dresden in Germany.

For instance, in October 1893 , Rizal sent Meyer the following : twelve snakes; one sea horse; two scorpions ; and a number of butterflies.

In exchange Meyer paid Rizal in kind : Meyer sent back scientific books and journals; artificial eyes; microscopes and surgical equipment.

And Rizal kept on sending specimens to Europe. But it was not only volume or amount of specimens he and his boys sent that mattered. Mindanao was not yet fully explored at that time and there were several scientific gems found in the treasure Rizal and his students to Europe. Naturalists and biologist praised the rare specimens discovered by Rizal and company. Now one way naturalist and biologist honored people was by adding their names to the scientific name among them can be found the following:

The Beetle Apogonia rizali HELLER 1897;
The Fungus Beetle Spatholmes rizali;
The rare frog Rhacophorus rizali Boettger,1899;

And the Dragon: the flying Dragon : the Draco Lizard or Draco Rizali. Here is a specimen and picture of the dragon collected by Dr. Edward Harrison Taylor on March 11, 1923,

Link to see the Draco Lizard

The flying dragon are tree lizards that only come down from the trees to lay their eggs. And they got their name from their ability to glide. This is because they can extend their ribs and skin flaps to form wings.

Rizal being Rizal a Renaissance Man was not limited to teaching and biology. His interest in geography and archeology were also important since he was able to make contributions to that body of knowledge about the Philippines.

In a letter (written in Spanish by Rizal and translated by scholars into English for us ) to his Austrian friend Ferdinand Blumentritt, Rizal speaks of his life in Dapitan. Buying land and becoming farmer naming the trees he has on his land. He also mentions the weather how it is more personally more agreable than Manila; his inability to practice medicine ; and how he missed civilized life :

“I am very far from the incessant and indefatigable life of civilized Europe where everything is discussed, where everything is placed in doubt, and nothing is accepted without previous examination, previous analysis – the life of the societies of linguistics, ethnography, geography, medicine, and archaeology… ”

He does mention though Nature
“…But on the other hand, I am nearer nature, I hear constantly the song of the sea, the murmur of the leaves, and I see the continuous fluttering of the palms stirred by the breeze.”

I would like to think that based on what Rizal and his students have done that in fact Rizal had found a way to appreciate the Nature and Culture of Dapitan and Mindanao and at the same satisfy his thirst for knowledge and discovery … Becoming the Rizal without the overcoat or Rizal and the Dragons of Dapitan.

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29 Responses to Rizal and His Dragon: Man of Science or Scientist?

  1. Since being a man of science and a scientist are not mutually exclusive identities, I would say that Rizal is both. In his systematic observation of the natural world during his exile in Dapitan and in constructing the town’s first water system, existing historical data suggest that Rizal thought, worked and solved problems like a scientist. During his time, however, many native-born intellectuals can be called scientists but not all of them can claim to be a man/woman of science. In Mike De Leon’s film Bayaning 3rd World, Rizal had said that he would not accept “truth” if it did not come from the mind. This positivist attitude, desire for enlightenment and logical way of thinking is what makes Rizal a man of science in a society of submission and ignorance.

  2. Marc Go says:

    For me, Rizal is neither. Throughout his life, Rizal valued education and attaining knowledge. In my PI 100 class, our professor even said that when Rizal was in Europe, Rizal would rather spend his money on books than spend them on taking a bath. Also, he spent his life practicing and honing his skills in the field of medicine. He performed surgeries and treated people using his knowledge in medicine. He also contributed to our body of knowledge by his discovery of some species in Dapitan. Indeed, Rizal has the characteristics of both a scientist and man of science. But his last and final act made me say that he not a person whose passion is not science. Science functions on the basis of logic, scientific process, cause and effect, and critical thinking. I do believe that martyrdom is not a part of science.

  3. I believe that Rizal is both a scientist and a man of science. During his exile in Dapitan, Rizal was able to develop an irrigation system mainly for the production of crops which helped communities in Dapitan in terms of food. I also believe that with his knowledge in medicine, it made him more curious with the natural world therefore seeking knowledge to what is yet unknown, experimenting and observing natural phenomena as it happens. This makes Rizal a scientist. But his broad knowledge not just in the hard sciences makes him a man of science. He has knowledge when it comes to geography and archaeology and more importantly in social sciences which ultimately lead to him writing two famous novels Noli and El Fili and the drive when it comes to having or getting that much needed freedom from the Spaniards. His retraction may or may not be verified but in the film, I believe that there is truth on Rizal’s reasoning in the film that his retraction would mean so much to the Filipino people and needs to be thoroughly thought of before making any move.

  4. Daniel Abraham says:

    After watching the film, my view of Rizal was permanently changed. Most of the things that i have had accepted blindly as a child as about our natural hero all went down the drain. Its uncanny how the educational system can actually make students believe without question the feats of particular individuals. I have always thought of Rizal as this superhero or messiah that has come to deliver us from the dreadful spaniards but upon watching the film and also through addtional research, I´ve come across some truths about Rizal that would shatter the beliefs of 12 y/o me. To elaborate on these would only cause me more discomfort due to the fact that one of the people that contributed to the building of my identity as a filipino citizen has been nothing but a carefully selected character of whos history has been altered and not fully disclosed. I still see Rizal as our country´s national hero but no longer the Rizal that i knew him to be.

  5. Russel Corcino says:

    I believe Rizal is both a man of science and a scientist. In being a scientist, he is very observant and patient in studying, and even in times when his life is in a critical stage, he still continued to be curious of things and study them with all that he can do (e.g. sending specimens abroad, reading science books sent from Europe).

    On the other hand, Rizal has been able to deal with different fields in science. To be specific, it is difficult to be a master of one field in Biology (I know because I’m one) and yet he is a doctor, a taxonomist, and he even excels in fields outside Biology. Rizal being very, very excellent in many fields in science and being able to make use of his expertise for the sake of other people, I believe, is why I can see him as a man of science.

    I also believe Rizal is pretty lucky to be able to reach the “other side” of his life, one that is far beyond his “civilized” life. Being able to know that side made him reflect that there is so much to discover in this world, that there are still a lot of things in the world left unexplained, and he is lucky to be able to grab a chance to answer those questions in his exile in Dapitan.

  6. Anna Bote says:

    Honestly, before watching the film Bayaning 3rd World, like what most Filipinos fail to know, I wasn’t aware that Rizal had made various discoveries during his exile in Dapitan. And reading this blog had somehow illuminated me. Being a doctor, I’d think that Rizal is a scientist who is an expert in his chosen field, who “engages in a systematic activity” of collecting, processing, and producing informed data. However, Rizal didn’t just live his life as a scientist. Aside from it, being an activist, a hero, and etc, Rizal, one can argue, is also a man of science. If by science we mean the search and attainment of truth and which makes our lives easier. Firstly, truth, in philosophy, would require an entire semester to study; attaining it would entail epistemological duties and obligations this proves that truth attainment can’t be done simply and hastily. But Rizal’s dedication in his discoveries and being a scientist himself would be a proof for us to think that he really is a man of science. Second, making fruitful his supposed-to-be unfortunate exile in Dapitan by contributing more discoveries to his field, and consequently benefiting not only his colleagues but also us (since his discoveries involved species that can be found here in our country), he had made our lives easier — he even made us knowledgeable. And proud.

    Being a scientist isn’t a necessary condition for being a man of science. However, our Rizal is both a scientist and a man of science. His knowledge in his field, his passion towards his craft and applying it to benefit others, to name a few, could be our proofs.

  7. Edzhel Valverde says:

    In my opinion, (and in agreement with the above comment of Stephanie Ann Lopez) Rizal is both a scientist and a man of science. He is a scientist based on the fact that his discoveries are most likely done in a scientific method and are followed in the realms of Biology. On the other hand, his curiosity and drive for discoveries and search for knowledge makes him a man of science.

  8. From how I understand, the term ‘man/woman of science’ serves a greater purpose, calling, and discipline over ‘scientist,’ which refers to one engaged in the profession, processes, and methods. In this respect, Rizal was definitely a man of science.

    The University of the Philippines held several fora during Rizal’s sesquicentennial birth anniversary. At a conference titled “Rizal @ 150: Rizal in the 21st Century”, Dr. Perry Ong would remark that in spite his brilliance in the natural sciences, Rizal still prioritized the nation over science. Rizal never produced publications in the sciences, not because it was not important, but because it wasn’t his priority.

    Still, throughout his life, we know of many manifestations of Rizal’s sharp mind. In addition to those already mentioned in the comments, Dr. Ong cited how Rizal described Simoun in his El Filibusterismo – “…sporting enormous azure eyeglasses (keeping even parts of his cheeks hidden), a tinsin helmet, a strange accent, an air of indomitable superiority…” The concept of tinted eyeglasses to shield the Sun’s UV rays was a concept thoroughly explored only in the 20th century, far into the future from Rizal’s time. This concretizes Rizal’s aptitude not only in the current sciences, but also in predicting future technologies.

    More than sticking to the rigid rules and laws of science, our national hero always tied such learnings to the nation. More than fluency in scientific theory, he interacted with people, animals, plants, societies – the natural world, in short – in pursuit of a cause far greater than himself.

  9. Loren Cruz says:

    I think that Rizal is both a scientist and a man of science. Of course, as a doctor, he is trained in medicine, particularly in opthalmology. This makes him a scientist by default. Also, the discoveries and observations he made while he was in Dapitan are his contributions to the scientific community as a scientist. However, his drive to learn more as illustrated by his asking for scientific books, journals, and equipment, and his appreciation of the simple but unexplored Dapitan shows that he is not just a scientist, but a man of science.

  10. Ryan Yu says:

    Based on the above text, I would have to say that Rizal did make significant contributions in the field of taxonomy, especially in Philippines taxonomy, which means that he is a scientist. In addition to this, his thirst for knowledge, as seen from the journals and scientific books he asks for in return of his samples, and his curiosity shows that he is also an exemplary man of science.

    The Filipinos have always regarded Rizal as a god. Being labeled “pambansang bayani” always gave him this aura of pure goodness and heroism, something I always questioned. I just can’t seem to understand how one man can be regarded in such high esteem, as if he were not even a human being that commits mistakes. This shared opinion with the movie “Bayaning Third World” made me appreciate the movie in a different way. I feel that after that movie, it really showed how the Filipino society is so easily blinded by highlighting a man’s achievements in science and literature. We often forget about the dirty deeds that these men also commit, such as when Rizal turned his back on the Filipinos to marry the woman he loved.

    Antonio Luna, also a scientist and a man of science, showed even greater intellect and nationalism than Rizal, yet he is not adorned in such a high esteem. His work on /Plasmodium falciparum/, showing its stages of development, and all the other lost files may have paved the way to where malaria research is now, and this life cycle of /P. falciparum/ is really crucial to understanding the disease. The sad thing about the Philippine society is that we often forget, and that we often smart shame, which may be why science and technology is not as widely accepted here in the Philippines, as compared to other countries. Just take a look at BT Talong and all the other GMO crops. This does not mean that we’re hopeless, though. I feel that it is the responsibility of students who have gone through the STS class to propagate the culture scientific appreciation hoping that one day, titino rin ang ating mapipili na pambansang bayani.

  11. Sophia Hernandez says:

    History tells us that Rizal studied medicine abroad and became an established optometrist, this in my opinion, by the very definition of the word, makes him a scientist. However, his extension and application of logical and critical thinking to the other aspects of his life, is for me what makes him a man of science. Rizal built a hospital, he wrote journals, he tried to better the lives of Dapitan settlers through fishing nets and irrigation systems to mention a few. His curiosity and application of critical thinking extended from the natural sciences to the social sciences and I think this is what makes him both a scientist and a man of science. The film, however, really made me question my thoughts on Rizal, particularly the latter part wherein the protagonists dissected his retraction letter. Honestly, it really made me question his sincerity with respect to his subversive ideas and whether he fully swore by the ideals he presented in his writing. While it is commendable that Rizal studied and questioned all that was happening around him and further translated his thoughts on the state of the Filipino people during the Spanish period into writing, retracting his statements, to a certain extent, invalidated all his heroic thoughts and actions for me. I don’t think it makes him any less of a critical thinker or scientist, it could have been the best option for him given the circumstances, however it does make one wonder whether or not he does deserve to be our country’s national hero.

  12. Keren Cordero says:

    It is no doubt that Rizal was very much involved in the field of science, both in the natural and social sciences. In the aspect of natural sciences, his educational background equipped him with sufficient knowledge to carry out experiments as a scientist. Indeed, he has made many contributions in the scientific world, therefore making him worthy of being called a “man of science.” However, in the field of natural sciences, I think that Rizal was more of just a scientist rather than a man of science. Rizal is popularly known as our national hero, not because of his scientific breakthroughs, rather, because of his seditious books against the Spaniards, which eventually led to his martyrdom. I bet Filipinos who do not know Rizal so well are not even aware of his scientific discoveries. I think one of the factors for one to be considered a man of science is that he should be commonly and widely known for his contributions to science, for example, Charles Darwin and his theory of evolution.

    On the other hand, in the field of social sciences, Rizal’s European education definitely made him a “man of science” in this aspect. Rizal is known for opening the eyes of the Filipinos to the oppressive society brought about by the Spanish colonizers. He enlightened the people, sought justice and fought for his countrymen.

    It all boils down to one thing– Rizal was hungry for knowledge, more importantly, he was able to attain a great amount of it– and this I think is what makes him a notable scientist. It just depends on which science or perspective one would like to examine him in order to determine whether is he is more dominant as a man of science or a scientist.

  13. Mary Anne Balane says:

    I think that Rizal is more a man of science than he is a scientist. For me, a scientist is someone who is immersed in the process, who has devoted himself– his time, his research, his life — to science. While he did make a lot of interesting and useful discoveries during his time in Dapitan, Rizal can be criticized for really focusing on science only when he had the leisure to do so. Thus, for me, Rizal is a man of science. He may exhibit excellent knowledge and he may boast of his findings but he is primarily a Renaissance man whose passion for science was only another entry on his long list of achievements.

  14. Darvy Ong says:

    Before we can tag Rizal as either a scientist or a man of science, or both, we must first identify what makes a scientist? What makes a man of science? To do so, we look at how the two differ from each other.

    A man of science is one who chooses to be involved in science, despite the circumstance presented and possible consequences. A scientist, on the other hand, is any person who does science, who contributes to scientific growth. To put it simply, a man of science is also a scientist, but being a scientist does not necessarily mean one is a man of science. One is a subset of the other, and the two are not mutually inclusive of each other.

    From this definition, It can be concluded that Rizal is both a man of science and a scientist. Given his contributions to the various fields of science, especially in medicine, he is clearly a scientist. But what is it about him that makes him a man of science? It was his decision to be a part of the scientific community despite having been exiled to Dapitan. If you were to think about it, when he was exiled, Rizal knew that his time in our world was limited, that there was a clock slowly ticking towards his last breath, but still, instead of spending his last days doing things a man with an expiration date would normally do (like spending more time with family, adventuring, enjoying life), he put his time to good use in practice of medicine and in research about the diversity of the Philippines, or mainly Dapitans’ ecosystem.

    This is what makes Rizal not only a scientist, but also a man of science.

  15. Julie Dela Paz says:

    In the text above it was stated that during Rizal’s exile in Dapitan he was able to establish a school that was based on his own curriculum. There, he collected and studied different life forms. Also, some of the items that he gathered were sent to his friends in exchange for books, microscopes, and other tools that can help him expand further his knowledge. Through this, I can say that he can be considered as a scientist because his curiosity never ends. Even if his resources were limited that didn’t hinder him in acquiring new ideas. It was also mentioned that Rizal’s knowledge was not only limited in biology since he made a lot contributions in the field of geography and archaeology. Through that, plus the fact that Rizal is the type of person who questions everything, convinced me that he is also a man of science.

  16. Insofar as the terms “man of science” and scientist” to designate Rizal are concerned, I think the terms expose a linguistic bearing. Yet I believe that Rizal is both a man of science and a scientist. As a History major, much has been said in any popular accounts about Rizal as being a reformist and a writer, but there were relatively few mentions to highlight the contributions of Rizal to the field of science.

    The outpouring of inclination to science by our national hero had been profoundly expressed following his arbitrary deportation to Dapitan, a remote town in Mindanao. As we commonly grasp, Rizal was a known physician (ophthalmic surgeon), but to diverse the approach and widen his range, he also engaged in collecting specimens of animals and plants, and engaging himself in various community projects in Dapitan such as its water system. For these exceptional works, it certainly made him a scientist who possessed vast knowledge vis-à-vis physical and natural realms. In fact, one of my favorite books written about Rizal has the word “scientist”. The book is entitled “Jose Rizal: Life, Works, and Writings of a Genius, Writer, Scientist, and National Hero”.

    On the other hand, his critical thinking and flexibility in various domains in science made him a man of science. In our PI 100 class, our professor emphasized that during the four-year stay of Rizal in Dapitan, almost everyone tended to be contingent on Rizal’s ideas and blueprint for the place. As a man of science, Rizal also engaged as a surveyor, cartographer and geographer, thus only showing how flexible he was in absorbing numerous sciences. From his early practice until he became a town doctor in Calamba, with an exceptional ability to grasp things backed by scientific process and critical thinking definitely made him a scientist and a man of science.

    Given his sound achievements in letters and sciences, there were still gray areas in the life of national hero. This became perhaps the primary inducement of the film, “Bayaning Third World”. The film had attempted to revisit the retraction issue of Rizal, and the question being raised was all about its authenticity. What I realized after watching the film was to expand further the questions regarding the authenticity insofar as the life and works of Rizal are concerned. What is clear and authentic for me right now suggests that Rizal really practiced what may have been written to his first essay, “El Amor Patrio” (The Love of Country), and of course, it is also clear and authentic that Rizal certainly made significant contributions to science.

  17. Faye Ragos says:

    In my opinion, Rizal is both a scientist and a man of science (I agree with the majority). Given that he is already a doctor specializing in Opthalmology, means that he is well qualified to be so called a scientist. Soon after he was exiled to Dapitan, he then immersed himself in the study of nature. Driven by curiosity and an eagerness to contribute to the pool of scientific knowledge, he discovered a lot of species of birds, insects, plants as well as giving scientific name to these. He not only settled to being an opthalmologist but he also engaged himself in the different fields – physics, anthropology, geogrpahy and in engineering. His keen interest for science makes him a man of science (he even tried his experiment on himself; it was so bold and brave of him, i admire!).

    But I think what makes him both a scientist and a man of science is not all his achievements but all his characteristics that made him equipped for these. His passion for what he’s doing, his eagerness to learn, love in science and exploration, hard work and serendipity yielding good results, being patient and detail-oriented (in examining the species he had found), and his being open to failure. Becoming a great scientist takes time – a lifetime for most, that’s why I can see Rizal as a person who value practice and the element of time.

    We all know Rizal as a man full of talents, skills and it’s important not to miss that he’s very intelligent in all sorts of field. To say Rizal is intelligent is an understatement; he’s not just a scientist, but he’s a man of science as well.

  18. In my opinion, Rizal is both a scientist and a man of science (I agree with the majority). Given that he is already a doctor specializing in Opthalmology, means that he is well qualified to be so called a scientist. Soon after he was exiled to Dapitan, he then immersed himself in the study of nature. Driven by curiosity and an eagerness to contribute to the pool of scientific knowledge, he discovered a lot of species of birds, insects, plants as well as giving scientific name to these. He not only settled to being an opthalmologist but he also engaged himself in the different fields – physics, anthropology, geogrpahy and in engineering. His keen interest for science makes him a man of science (he even tried his experiment on himself; it was so bold and brave of him, i admire!).

    But I think what makes him both a scientist and a man of science is not all his achievements but all his characteristics that made him equipped for these. His passion for what he’s doing, his eagerness to learn, love in science and exploration, hard work and serendipity yielding good results, being patient and detail-oriented (in examining the species he had found), and his being open to failure. Becoming a great scientist takes time – a lifetime for most, that’s why I can see Rizal as a person who value practice and the element of time.

    We all know Rizal as a man full of talents, skills and it’s important not to miss that he’s very intelligent in all sorts of field. To say Rizal is intelligent is an understatement; he’s not just a scientist, but he’s a man of science as well.

  19. Armaine Pauline Nagaño says:

    According to Thomas Huxley, a linguistic unity to those studying various branches of sciences are provided by a “scientist”, that is why the term is also said to be an analogue to “artist”. While a “man of science” is simply an analogue for “man of letters”, and often has the benefit of being “gendered” (Baldwin 2014).

    After watching the film, I have realized that Rizal is more of a man of science than a scientist, considering that although he was an ophthalmologist by profession, he eventually became a writer and it made sense that he belonged to the group who had been “gendered” since we all know that the opportunities given to men during the Spanish regime was not the same as what’s been given to women, “clearly conveying that science was a repectable intellectual endeavor pursued only by the more serious and intelligent sex”.

    As for not being a scientist, Rizal failed to make me believe that he had woven something beautiful the way an artist might have. For instance, I don’t think his novels such as Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo had been influenced by his being an ophthalmologist, failed to connect two different aspects of who he was into a blinding masterpiece. He had treated his sciences as not just different, but mutually exclusive of one another—therefore creating different parts of a whole that never got be patched together.

  20. Ben Santos says:

    The way I see it, Rizal is more of a man of science than a scientist. The scientific discoveries he made during his stay in Dapitan were a product of sheer curiosity and desire to better understand the world presented before him, which I believe are the very foundations of science. Apart from that, Rizal’s commitment to uplifting the lives of Filipinos through science and his art is a manifestation of a greater purpose that enabled him to advance the living conditions of the people in Dapitan. Rather than confining himself to just learning and doing science, he actually made use of his knowledge of it to contribute to the community. Being a man of science involves qualities other than the technical skills required to practice science. At the end of the day, ever advancement triumphed in the field of science will be measured against how much positive impact such an advancement will be able to leave in the society. Men of science ought to not just concern themselves about scientific progress, but rather they are expected to make use of science in ways that would pave the way for greater societal developments. In this respect, Rizal clearly is a man of science.

  21. Joana Camille Sanchez says:

    As evidenced by his life and works, Rizal was both a scientist and a man of science. Rizal, the naturalist, was able to make many contributions in the field of taxonomy, create a water irrigation system in Dapitan, and modify some opthalmological procedures he learned in his travels. Rizal, however, was not limited to the natural sciences as he also contributed to the social sciences. He wrote extensively for La Solidaridad, a reformist paper, and introduced ideas that were unknown to the Philippines at that time such as the formation of a national consciousness and looking back to the past for answers to the present. He is a scientist for his contributions to the natural and social sciences.

    Rizal was a man of science because he was rational and scientific. Two characters, Pilosopo Tasio from the Noli and Padre Florentino from El Fili, are products of his rational and scientific mind. Pilosopo Tasio continually questioned the use of anting-anting, the persistence of superstitions, and the spiritual authority of friars. Padre Florentino, on the other hand, propagated the importance of knowledge. From these two characters, we can see how Rizal criticized those who did not believe in reason and merely followed the Spaniards because of religion and “God’s will”. Rizal even opened his own school to propagate his ideas of rationalism.

    Rizal is both a scientist and a man of science, not only because of his solutions to problems but also because of the questions he asked.

  22. Joana Camille Sanchez says:

    As evidenced by his life and works, Rizal was both a scientist and a man of science. Rizal, the naturalist, was able to make many contributions in the field of taxonomy, create a water irrigation system, and modify some opthalmological procedures he learned in his travels. Rizal, however, was not limited to the natural sciences as he also contributed to the social sciences. He wrote extensively for La Solidaridad, a reformist paper, and introduced ideas that were unknown to the Philippines at that time such as the formation of a national consciousness and looking back to the past for answers to the present. He is a scientist for his contributions to the natural and social sciences.

    Rizal was a man of science because he was rational and scientific. Two characters, Pilosopo Tasio from the Noli and Padre Florentino from El Fili, are products of his rational and scientific mind. Pilosopo Tasio continually questioned the use of anting-anting, the persistence of superstitions, and the spiritual authority of friars. Padre Florentino, on the other hand, propagated the importance of knowledge. From these two characters, we can see how Rizal criticized those who did not believe in reason and merely followed the Spaniards because of religion and “God’s will”. Rizal even opened his own school to propagate his ideas of rationalism.

    Rizal is both a scientist and a man of science, not only because of his solutions to problems but also because of the questions he asked.

  23. Charmaine Ycasas says:

    I believe that Rizal is both a man of science and a scientist. He develop a system of irrigation in Dapitan, used his knowledge in medicine to cure sick people. And his love for knowledge is beyond exception , for he would first buy a book to quench his hunger for knowledge rather than his physical needs. He also named plants he planted and is clearly interested in the flora and fauna. But actually if we are to look at Rizal as a whole, for me is simply a man in service of another man. And for me, I think that is the more important subject matter. His intelligence and abilities would have gone to waste if it it is only himself that benefited from its fruits . As said by Jonathan Swift in Guillerver’s Travel “whoever could make two ears of corn or two blades of grass to grow upon a spot of ground where only one grew before, would deserve better of mankind, and do more essential service to his country than the whole race of politicians put together”

  24. Charmaine Ycasas says:

    I think Rizal is both a man of science and a scientist. He was a able to develop a system of irrigation in Dapitan for the production of crops for the community there. His love for knowledge is also beyond expectation, for he first quench his hunger for knowledge by buying a book, rather than satisfying his physical hunger despite scarcity in finances way back when he was in Europe. His love for the flora and fauna is undoubtable as seen in his collection up to the point that scientist honoured his discoveries by putting rizali at the end. His skills for medicine has indeed help a lot of sick people. This is the reason i think that Rizal being a scientist or a man of science is not really important. The more important subject matter is that Rizal, an ordinary man, not really a scientist per say, but he used his skills and knowledge in benefit of the people around him. And that is how science must work. As said by Jonathan Swift in Gullever’s Travel “whoever could make two ears of corn or two blades of grass to grow upon a spot of ground where only one grew before, would deserve better of mankind, and do more essential service to his country than the whole race of politicians put together.”

  25. I think Rizal is both a man of science and a scientist. He was a able to develop a system of irrigation in Dapitan for the production of crops for the community there. His love for knowledge is also beyond expectation, for he first quench his hunger for knowledge by buying a book, rather than satisfying his physical hunger despite scarcity in finances way back when he was in Europe. His love for the flora and fauna is undoubtable as seen in his collection up to the point that scientist honoured his discoveries by putting rizali at the end. His skills for medicine has indeed help a lot of sick people. This is the reason i think that Rizal being a scientist or a man of science is not really important. The more important subject matter is that Rizal, an ordinary man, not really a scientist per say, but he used his skills and knowledge in benefit of the people around him. And that is how science must work. As said by Jonathan Swift in Gullever’s Travel “whoever could make two ears of corn or two blades of grass to grow upon a spot of ground where only one grew before, would deserve better of mankind, and do more essential service to his country than the whole race of politicians put together.” – charmaine ycasas

  26. Andrea Garcia says:

    Based from his writings and deeds, it can be said that Rizal is both a scientist and a man of science. Rizal was recognized for his scientific work in zoology, botany, ethnology, and many more. As what we can clearly infer from the text above, Rizal focused on his scientific expertise while in exile in Dapitan. In his four years in Dapitan, Rizal was able to make numerous contributions to agriculture, public health, and such. To name a few– he started a school and taught the local children, built a hospital, and collaborated with other European scientists. Rizal’s pure dedication to his role as a scientist, his sincere devotion of pursuing the nation’s freedom and independence, his unselfish patriotism– these are just few things that made me believe that other than being a social and natural scientist, Rizal deserves to be called a “man of science”. In fact, in 1980, Rizal wrote the following text to Blumentritt: I have a big library; I shall have a house built on a hill. Then I shall dedicate myself to the sciences.

  27. Andrea Garcia says:

    Based on his writings and deeds, it can be said that Rizal is both a scientist and a man of science. Rizal was recognized for his scientific work in zoology, botany, ethnology, and many more. As what we can clearly infer from the text above, Rizal focused on his scientific expertise while in exile in Dapitan. In his four years in Dapitan, Rizal was able to make numerous contributions to agriculture, public health, and such. To name a few– he started a school and taught the local children, built a hospital, and collaborated with other European scientists. Rizal’s pure dedication to his role as a scientist, his sincere devotion of pursuing the nation’s freedom and independence, his unselfish patriotism– these are just few things that made me believe that other than being a social and natural scientist, Rizal deserves to be called a “man of science”. In fact, in 1980, Rizal wrote the following text to Blumentritt: I have a big library; I shall have a house built on a hill. Then I shall dedicate myself to the sciences.

  28. Maxine Therese Peralta says:

    I agree with the majority that Rizal is both a man of science and a scientist.Having knowledge that Rizal has contributed to the field of science with his various studies such as his discovery of the species (lizard, frog, beetle and more) makes him a scientist. On the other hand, Rizal as a man of science can be seen in a sense that his field of interest is not only focused in one specific field of science. He has a wide range of interest not just in biological sciences but also in physical and psychological sciences.

  29. I can’t help but connect the piece written by Renato Constantino to the film Bayaning Third World.
    The text Veneration without Understanding delimited who a hero can be and what he/she should possess– qualities and characteristics that according to him, Rizal did not possess. However, I think that Rizal both as a scientist and a man of science used his knowledge to improve the lives of the people around him– as in the case of his exile in Dapitan where he used his knowledge to cure the sick and teach the young. These are hero-like qualities which make Rizal admirable not only because of his brave writings but also because of his brilliant scientific abilities.

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