Discurso del Dr. Rizal en el Banquete dado en honor de los pintores filipinos
To read this article in Filipino, see this.
Brindis is the speech delivered by the Philippine national hero, Jose Rizal congratulating his peers, fellow reformists Juan Luna and Felix Resurreccion Hidalgo for their victories in the field of the arts.
To honor the victory of Juan Luna and Felix Hidalgo in the National Exposition of Fine Arts in Madrid in June 25, 1884, Jose Rizal delivered a toast together with his speech “The Brindis.” Luna won first prize for his El Spoliarium, while Hidalgo won the second prize for his painting Virgenes Cristianas Expuestas al Populacho.
Around 60 people attended this gathering, most of which are paisanos (compatriot) of the painters. The occasion was held at Restaurante Inglés and started at 9 p.m. until the time Rizal describes himself as “hungry and without money.”
Rizal started his speech by using flowery terms such as being surrounded by “men of heart.” He also described the atmosphere during that time as a place “…where noble emotions dwell” and where “…the air is full of empathetic good feeling.” During that period, since the Philippines was oppressed by the Spaniards, talking about those kinds of things would result to being termed as a filibuster. Hence, Rizal’s speech commanded the attention of lots of those who went to the dinner.
Summary of the Brindis Speech
In his speech, Rizal stresses the reason of their gathering – which is to indicate an achievement which enlightened what really is a dark society such as that which the painting of Luna shows. He likewise commends Hidalgo for shedding light to the various parts of the world and that he truly respects them.
Rizal states that change shall take place through a figure of speech such as the “illustrious achievements of [Philippines’] children are no longer consummated within the home.” Thus, to the community of Filipinos in Madrid, this serves as a clear nod. Meanwhile, he also praises the Filipino youth who brought laurels to the Philippines.
Then, as he talks regarding the Spoliarium, he claims that the canvass “is not mute” amidst the shadow and darkness. That shadow portrays the slavery, oppression, horror, and mystery going on as orphans faced their fate. Likewise, during those times, the friars who enslave the Filipinos persecute those who take legal action – this, Rizal claims.
On the other hand, he still proclaimed gratitude to Spain by telling that “Spain as a mother also teaches her language to Filipinos”; however, he still does not approve of the “midgets” who acquire their posts. This clearly shows how the elite does whatever they can to prevent Filipinos from taking a notch in their education so that the lower classes will not be able to defend themselves.
Rizal the Speaker
According to Wenceslao Retana, the first to write Rizal’s biography, Rizal spoke briefly and easily. As he spoke, he appeared to contemplate upon every word he utters; with his pleasant look and thoughtful look, he caught the attention of people easily.
Gagelonia, Pedro A. Rizal’s Life, Works, and Writings. Navotas, Rizal: Navotas Press, 1974.
- “Homage to Luna and Hidalgo.” Jaysee Blabs. http://jayseeblabs.blogspot.com/2009/11/reaction-to-rizals-brindis-speech-his.html (Accessed on August 14, 2011).
- “Rizal Begins Public Life: The Toast in Restaurante Ingles.” The Life and Writings of Jose Rizal. http://joserizal.info/Writings/Speeches/speeches.htm (Accessed on August 14, 2011).
- “Things that Were, Things that Are: Revisiting the Questions that Challenged Rizal in his Lifetime.” Mabuhay Radio. http://www.mabuhayradio.com/drrizal-com/things-that-were-things-that-are-revisiting-the-questions-that-challenged-rizal-in-his-lifetime (Accessed on August 14, 2011).