Po-on A Novel is a novel written by Francisco Sionil Jose, a Filipino English-language writer. This is the original title when it was first published in the Philippines in the English language. In the United States, it was published under the title Dusk: A Novel. For this novel’s translation into Tagalog, the title Po-on Isang Nobela – a direct translation of Po-on A Novel – was adopted. Po-on A Novel is the beginning of the so-called Rosales Saga of F. Sionil Jose – a series of novels about Rosales, Pangasinan in the Philippines.
TheRosales Saga has five parts, all of them individual but interrelated novels, composed namely of the following titles in terms of historical chronology: Po-on, Tree, My Brother, My Executioner, The Pretenders, and Mass. Among Jose’s five-part novel series, the Rosales Saga, it was the last to be written and published but the first in terms of story-telling chronology. In Po-on begins the narration of the experiences of one generation of the Samson family, through Eustaqio “Istak” Samson, a farmer who joined the rebel forces.
The peasant family reluctantly left their original hometown to escape further oppression from a corrupt Spanish priest and from the persecution of other colonial authorities. Their journey lead them to a new place at Rosales, Pangasinan. The novelist discusses the life and the origins of this family while embellished with the historical background of the Philippines during the late 1880s. Alive in the novel were the concepts and the events that emanated during peacetime and wartime; even the status of the poor and the affluent, of the privileged and the powerful, and of those who have privileges, freedoms and rights.
During Istak’s time during the final days of the 1900s, the bliss in Istak’s heart when the Philippine Republic finally achieved independence was just for a brief moment. Because that liberation was only short-lived: the ruling Spaniards were only replaced by a new group of strangers from a continent called the United States of America. This colonial transition occurred after the Spaniards were defeated by the Americans] during the Spanish–American War.
In Po-on A Novel, Jose revisited these mutual chapters in both American and Philippine histories, together with the presentation of their social and psychological effects to the Philippine citizenry who had been under foreign occupiers from one time followed by another’ The events in Poon A Novel happened from 1880 to 1889, when an Ilocano family abandoned their beloved barrio in order to overcome the challenges to their survival in southern Pangasinan in the Philippines, and also to flee from the cruelty they received from the Spaniards.
One of the principal characters of the novel is Istak, a Filipino from the Ilocano stock who was fluent in Spanish and Latin, a talent he inherited from the teachings of an old parish priest in Cabugao. He was an acolyte aspiring to become a priest. He was also knowledgeable in the arts of traditional medicine. The only hindrance to his goal of becoming a full-pledged priest was his racial origins.
He lived in a period in Philippine history when it a possible Filipino uprising against the Spanish government was about to erupt, a time after the execution of three mestizos, namely Mariano Gomez, Jose Apolonio Burgos, and Jacinto Zamora (or theGomburza, an acronym for the three) at Bagumbayan (now known as Rizal Park) in February, 1872. There were signs that a revolution will happen, despite of the lack of unity among the inhabitants of the Philippines islands at the time.
Another approaching occurrence was the help the Filipinos would be receiving from the Americans in finally removing the governing Spaniards from the archipelago after three hundred years. The novel recreates the societal struggles in which the characters of Po-on were situated in, which includes the protagonist Istak ‘s personal search for life’s meaning and for the true face of his beliefs at principles.
Throughout this personal journey, he was accompanied by a dignity that is his alone Istak was assigned the task of delivering a message to General Emilio Aguinaldo, the leader of the Philippine revolutionaries, but died at the hands of American soldiers, on his way to delivering the message. Po-on the novel is only one part of F. Sionil Jose’s Rosales Saga, the historical epic narrative composed of four other novels considered by the Filipino poet and literary critic Ricaredo Demetillo as “the first great Filipino novels written in English.
” Specifically, Po-on had been described by Random House as a work of fiction which is “more than” the character of a “historical novel”, a book with “extraordinary scope and passion” that is “meaningful to Philippine literature. ” a book as meaningful to Philippine literature as One Hundred Years of Solitude is to Latin American literature.  One Hundred Years of Solitude is the masterpiece of Latin America’s Colombian novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez.  Frank Gibney of The New York Times described the story-telling in Jose’s Rosales Saga as being similar to the tradition and style found in the U.S. A. trilogy by the American novelist John Dos Passos Jamie Lynn R. SalasRizal’s Life’s, Works & Writings III-A PsychProf. Erlinda B. Dizon Bayaning 3rd World It was all about making a film about Dr. Jose Rizal as our National Hero where the film makers Ricky Davao and Cris Villanueva were thinking what would be the title of the film they will make. And they come up with a detective story wherein they will investigate if Rizal is really a Hero, which implies that they were in doubt of Rizal being our Hero.
Moreover, they have many questions on their mind that needs an answer. First, who is Rizal? National Hero, the great Malayan, the first Filipino Indio bravo and the pride of Malay race. What is Rizal? One peso coin, even though always devalued always number one. Small but Terrible. In the year 1904 Gregorio Aglipay, monopoly of Catholic Church, built his own church and made Rizal as their saint. Similarly, group of Filipinos specifically cult praised him and made him as their lord. Second, did Rizal marry Josephine Bracken?
They say that Rizal marries Josephine but there was no documentary evidence that will proved that they were really married. The Friars said that Rizal can marry Josephine only if he will write a retraction paper. Jose Rizal did write a retraction while he was in Dapitan but there was no signature of him. So, Rizal did not marry Josephine. However, they really love each other and both live in Dapitan and have a child but unfortunately died. Third, did Rizal sign a retraction paper? This was the most controversial issue.
There was a retraction paper made but the text and signature of Rizal were not genuine. Maybe, The Jesuits imitates it. In the interview of Father Balaguer, he said that Rizal retract and confess. If Rizal really retracts and declares himself as catholic, it means that he retract with all his heart whatever in his words, writings, publications and conduct has been contrary to his character as son of the Catholic Church. The film follows two filmmakers (played by Ricky Davao and Cris Villanueva) as they attempt to do pre-production research on a film on Rizal.
The two get into endless, impassioned debates; they propose all sorts of absurdities (Rizal Underarm Spray), and make witty observations (Rizal on a devalued one-peso coin is still Number One). They interview people from Rizal’s life–his brother Paciano (Joonee Gamboa), his sisters Trining (Rio Locsin) and Narcisa (Cherry Pie Picache), his mother, Dona Lolay (Daria Ramirez), his (reputed) confessor, Father Balaguer (a hilariously villainous Ed Rocha), and his (reputed) wife, Josephine Bracken (Lara Fabregas). Their conclusion (people who wish to stay surprised may want to skip to the next paragraph…though doing so may ultimately prove pointless) after much hemming and hawing basically boils down to this: Rizal’s life is unfilmable. It’s the long, shapeless and rather inactive life of an intellectual bum (something I concluded myself long ago, when I was involved in writing the screenplay of Rizal sa Dapitan). De Leon (with his scriptwriter and co-director, Clodualdo Del Mundo) go so far as to allow that many interpretations can be made from Rizal’s life–“sari-sariling Rizal” or, roughly translated, “to each his own Rizal. “
Significantly, the film lacks certain basic elements of traditional narrative film: a dramatic story, recognizable dramatic characters–no one is changed or transformed during the course of the film (the two filmmakers, who enjoy star billing, are named “filmmakers 1 and 2”). The last shot has filmmakers 1 and 2 (stand-ins for De Leon and Del Mundo? ) throwing up their hands and walking away from the project (as De Leon did, years ago). This is a Rizal movie about the impossibility of making a Rizal movie; in short, not a Rizal movie.
Possibly the single most brilliant director of the Philippines (alive or dead) and his closest and best scriptwriter have played a joke on the long-expectant–three years in the making, not to mention waiting–Philippine public. And what a joke! It’s long, multi-layered, elaborate; it’s richly allusive–drawing not just on practically everything we know about Philippine history and our national hero, but also everything Mike De Leon knows (which is considerable) about film and filmmaking.
And the punchline works like a time bomb: you may find yourself laughing your head off hours after seeing the film, or–some days later–finding yourself thinking about it and chuckling. Or you may not laugh at all–to each his own reaction to the film. The film is stuffed with jokes and references. The structure is modeled on Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane, the first twenty or so minutes a fast and funny recapitulation of Rizal’s life and significance (a la Kane’s life, recapitulated in The March of Time sequence); later we have interviews of the different people who knew Kane–sorry, Rizal.
One shot, of a Filipino declaiming in front of a huge banner, recalls a similar one in Welles’ film, where Kane is at a political rally; several times we catch the filmmakers poring over a huge blow-up of Rizal’s execution–a direct quote from Michaelangelo Antonioni’s film Blow Up. De Leon’s favorite German Shepherd makes several appearances–gently mocking Alfred Hitchcock’s tendency to make personal appearances in his pictures. Other jokes: Cris Villanueva, talking to different people and concluding that their life’s story would make a better film than Rizal’s.
Father Balaguer’s testimony of Rizal’s last days in prison, which De Leon mercilessly lampoons in all kinds of ways (having read part of Balaguer’s testimony, I would say De Leon manages to make fun of him without once exaggerating him). My personal favorite, however, is the moment when the filmmakers finally confront Rizal himself (Joel Torre): his replies to their questions prevaricate hilariously, as befits a true student of Jesuits (“What did you do the night before your execution? ” “The Spaniards did what they had to do; I did what I had to do.”). Some reservations: despite the astonishingly wide range covered by this relatively short film, De Leon fails to bring up the matter of money–the difficulty of funding a Rizal film, or any film for that matter (De Leon in the years after his GMA debacle should be more than familiar with the subject). Lara Fabregas ruins the fascinatingly unreliable character of Josephine Bracken (did she marry Rizal, or didn’t she? ) with a cartoon English accent straight out of Repertory Philippines–I mean, nawbody tawks loyk that!
And De Leon blunts the sharpened point of his joke with a voiceover statement at the very end of the film–to sit through all that ambivalence and ambiguity, only to have everything cleared up at the very last second! Del Mundo admits, though, that that final voiceover is still tentative, and may be removed during the film’s final sound remixing (here’s to hoping they do (note: they didn’t which is a pity)). Where does De Leon’s film stand in comparison with other recent Rizal flicks? I can’t comment regarding Rizal sa Dapitan for obvious reasons; I do think Bayaning Third World is superior to the monumental Jose Rizal.
The first in its eighty short minutes covers more of Rizal’s life than the second does in three hours, with more clarity and historical accuracy. The film gives proper–that is, primal–importance to the question of Rizal’s alleged retraction, framing the issue thus: if Rizal didn’t retract, then he stuck to his principles and died a hero (and heretic). If Rizal did retract and returned to the Church, then he went against everything he had written and said and died a coward (or, as I would put it, a recognizably human being).
Jose Rizal’s implication that Rizal retracted and is still somehow a hero is, as De Leon’s film so eloquently points out (without once directly pointing it out), a complete contradiction. I can’t quite call De Leon’s film superior to O’Hara’s Sisa (1998); both recognize the difficulty of filming the life of Rizal, both use diametrically opposite approaches–Bayaning Third World filling up the gaps with wit and intellectual speculation, Sisa with imagination and heart.
Bayaning Third World displays remarkable ingenuity in trying to make what should have been a dry historical debate lively and involving; Sisa displays equally remarkable ingenuity in trying to make a coherent and even moving historical drama out of an impossibly small P2. 5 million ($25,000) budget, shot in ten days (Bayaning Third World, though I can’t be sure, must cost at least P5 million or more, shot for over a year). Calling one better than theother is probably a matter of taste (personally–and I think you can see this coming a mile away–I plunk down in favor of imagination and heart). Both films, however, should be a matter of modest pride for all involved: Rizal finally, brilliantly deconstructed on film–twice. This may not be a Rizal film, but it’s a remarkable Rizal film nevertheless. Jamie Lynn R. SalasRizal’s Life’s, Works & Writings III-A PsychProf. Erlinda B. Dizon “MAKAMISA” BY: Dr. Jose P. Rizal Nanghinayang ako na hindi natapos ni Jose Rizal ang kanyang ikatlong nobela.
Maganda ang konsepto na kanyang naisip, ang magsulat ng aklat na ang pokus ay ang kultura ng mga tao sa isang pamayanang Tagalog. Ang mga nauna kasi niyang aklat ay hindi nakasentro sa iisang pamayanan; mas nakapalibot ang mga ito sa ilang tauhan. Ang Makamisa ay mararamdaman mong mas nalalapit sa karaniwang mamamayan ang pokus; ang mga pangunahing tauhang Pilipino na hindi man lang nakatapak sa labas ng bansa. Naisip ko rin na sayang at hindi ito naisulat ni Rizal sa Tagalog, kahit ginusto sana niya itong gawin, dahil sa kalikasan ng paksa nito.Isa itong kwentong mas maiintindihan ng pangkaraniwang Pilipino, na madalas hindi nakaiintindi ng wikang Espanyol, kaysa sa mga dayuhan at ibang mga ilustradong nasanay na sa kulturang Europeo. Ayon nga sa Paunang Salita ng tagasalin, mayroon ngang paniniwala si Jose Rizal tungkol sa kahalagahan ng katutubong wika, na makikita sa kanyang mga akda. Sabi rin dito na nasanay na masyado si Jose Rizal sa pagsulat sa wikang Espanyol kaya nahirapan siyang isulat ito sa wikang Tagalog. Isa itong dahilan na madaling paniwalaan, dahil nararanasan ko rin ang penomenong ito.
Madalas, wikang Ingles ang ginagamit ko sa pagsulat, at kapag wikang Tagalog na ang aking gagamitin, nahihirapan na akong ilagay sa tamang pag-iisip ang utak ko. May nagsabi sa akin dati na nakaiiba talaga ng pag-iisip ang paggamit ng partikular na wika dahil maraming aspeto ng isang kultura ang nakakabit na sa wikang ginagamit nito. Nabanggit ang saloobin ni Rizal tungkol dito sa Paunang Salita ng libro na salin ni Dr. Nilo Ocampo (Etikang Tagalog), na kaya nga ginagamit ito ng mga dayuhan ay upang padaliin ang kanilang pananakop sa bansa.