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Jose Rizal: Touch Me Not

Updated on March 7, 2010

In hard times, men are tested how could they cope up and survive. Anybody may lose his worldly possessions, power, money and influence what remains in us is only character. Jose Rizal lost his dignity in Germany when he experienced poverty because of the delay of his allowance. He was penniless and what remained in him was only his character even his dignity was at stake but not for long. Through

Endurance and persistence to survive, “ Noli Me Tangere” was born.

One of his favorite novels, Harriet Beecher Stowe’s “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” influenced him in writing “Noli Me Tangere”. Uncle Tom’s Cabin was depiction of abuses of America slave-owners and the pathetic condition of Negro slaves. It was appropriate to write a novel conjuring up the miseries of the Filipino people under the rule of Spain. The idea of writing a novel had been hammering at the bottom of his brain. On January 2, 1884, Jose Rizal consulted group of Filipinos about his idea that was unanimously approved by everyone. Unfortunately, it did not come into realization. People whom he expected to contribute something were busy gambling or playing around with Spanish women. He decided to go solo.

As if his determination to finish his novel was put into test. During the winter days of February 1886, Jose Rizal made the final revisions on the manuscript of the Noli. Sick, miserable, and penniless, he was hopeless of having it published. He almost threw it into the flames.

He was in such adversity, when he received a telegram from Dr. Maximo Viola, who was planning to pay him a visit. This friend of Jose Rizal was a known rich man in Bulacan. Few days before Christmas day, Viola arrived, and was dumbfounded to see his friend leading a life of poverty.

Viola who had a heart of gold or an angel send by heaven to Jose Rizal, gladly agreed to save his friend from his affliction and financed the printing cost of the Noli. He also loaned an amount for Jose Rizal’s personal expenditures. It was truly a Merry Christmas for Jose Rizal.

After Christmas, Jose Rizal put the finishing touches on his novel. To lessen the expenses, he did not include some of the passages in his manuscript, including the whole chapter, “Elias and Salome”.

On February 21, 1887, the Noli was finally finished. It was printed at Berliner Buchdruckrei-Action-Gesseschaft for 300 hundred pesos at 20000 copies.

On March 21, 1887, “Noli Me Tangere” came off the press. He send copies to his friends including Blumentritt, Dr. Antonio Ma. Regidor, Graciano Lopez Jaena, Mariano Ponce, and Felix Hidalgo.

He sent the galley proofs of the Noli carefully rolled around the pen he used in writing it to his savior and friend. As a token of deep gratitude. Together with it, was a complimentary copy with an inscription “To my dear friend”, Maximo Viola, the first to read and appreciate my work. – Jose Rizal.



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      hafsa 6 years ago

      its really nice...

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      gramarophile 6 years ago

      so many grammar errors. pls recheck

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      GREENvaN10 6 years ago