Manusya, Journal of Humanities


Raquel Reyes

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This essay focuses on the work of the Filipino ilustrado, Jose Rizal, and his interest in the prevailing debate over whether the sexual behaviour of a culture reflects its level of civilisation. Spanish apologists for colonial rule had persistently argued that the Filipinos remained in many ways a backward and primitive people and delighted in alleging in support of their case that lasciviousness and promiscuity were widespread in the Philippines. These allegations caused deep offence to Rizal and his fellow propagandistas, who wanted, as a matter of patriotic honour, to repudiate such colonialist slurs. Through an examination of a selected sample of Rizal?€?s annotations to Antonio de Morga?€?s Sucesos de las Islas Filipinas, the author explores the ways in which Rizal sought to prove the civilized nature of his people through the assertion of female sexual chastity and sexual honour.

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