This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.
MANILA, Philippines – Rappler columnist and award-winning journalist John Nery released his book Radical: Readings in Rizal and History on Thursday, August 19, at the Gateway Gallery in Cubao, Quezon City.
Published by San Anselmo Publications, Inc., this compelling book features a collection of 55 thought-provoking columns, speeches, lectures, and papers centered around the life and legacy of Philipine national hero Jose Rizal.
Nery, known for his insightful commentary and analysis, said that Radical focuses on shedding light on particular letters written by Rizal, with special emphasis on those penned for his family.
Through meticulous exploration, the book delves into the nuances of Rizal’s written expressions, providing readers with a unique perspective on his character and ideals.
During the book launch, Nery recalled one of the lines written by Rizal to Marcelo del Pilar in a letter dated May 28, 1890. The line talks about how we should prove ourselves superior to our misfortune.
Through this line, Nery pointed out the strong similarity between Rizal’s life and the experiences of former senator Leila De Lima.
“I quoted in the preface this ringing line, which is one of the most resonant, the most memorable, of Rizal’s: We should prove ourselves superior to our misfortune. And I said that’s what Senator Leila is doing on a daily basis. She proves superior to our collective and individual misfortunes,” he said.
Like Rizal, De Lima was also sent to jail. De Lima has been acquitted in two of her three drug-related charges in February 2021 and in May 2023. Her motion for bail in her third case was denied by the Muntinlupa City Regional Trial Court Branch 256 June 7.
De Lima is also one of the fiercest critics of Duterte’s war on drugs. Based on government data, at least 6,252 people were killed in police operations alone. If the victims of extrajudicial killings are taken into account, the estimated death toll ranges from 27,000 to 30,000.
Nery noted that the senator consistently rises above collective and individual misfortunes, embodying the spirit of radicalism.
Nery concluded his speech by sharing a translation of Rizal’s letter, encapsulating the essence of both De Lima’s and Rizal’s ideals: “Nais kong gisingin ang pagkamakabayan ng tanang Pilipino. Patunayan natin sa bayang Kastila na higit tayong dakila sa ating kasawiang palad. Higit tayong dakila.”
(I appeal to the patriotism of all Filipinos to provide the Spanish people with evidence that we are superior to our misfortune.)
“That is Leila. That is Rizal. That is radical,” Nery said.
Back in 2011, Nery authored another book about Rizal titled Revolutionary Spirit: Jose Rizal in Southeast Asia. – Rappler.com