Rizal, The Social Portraitist

  • Emmanuel Jeric A. Albela The Graduate School, University of Santo Tomas, Manila, Philippines https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0023-7951
  • Antonio C. Hila The Graduate School, University of Santo Tomas, Manila, Philippines
Keywords: Rizal, Noli Me Tangere, El Filibusterismo, Portraitist, Novelist, Philippines


This paper attempts to direct on how to understand the two famous novels of Rizal – Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo – within the context of Rizal's intent to expose the social ills of his time. With the use of Charles Derbyshire's translations of The Social Cancer and The Reign of Greed, the researchers explain and show the essential details of the novels and how they reflect historical, social realities as exposed in literary terms – using allegory as synthesis. It includes a re-assessment of the characters in both novels, the key places in the story, conflicts, and how these conflicts are resolved towards the end. The study conveys how Rizal expressed his reflections on and critique of the Philippine society through character and institutional symbolisms. Using historical hermeneutics as a method of the study, the researcher will keep an eye on the available sources and collections of literature, thereby putting the novels in their proper contexts, which properly define Rizal as a novelist and a social critic.

Author Biographies

Emmanuel Jeric A. Albela, The Graduate School, University of Santo Tomas, Manila, Philippines

Emmanuel Jeric A. Albela is a Licensed Professional Teacher who has experienced handling students from Elementary to College level. He obtained his Bachelor of Secondary Education Major in History (2006) and Master in History, cum laude (2008), from the University of Santo Tomas, and is currently taking his Ph.D. in History from the same university. Assistant Professor Albela is also a lifetime member of the Philippine Historical Association and Philippine National Historical Society and worked as a consultant on depoliticizing the barangay government officiated by the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Plans and Programs of the Department of Interior and Local Government. Currently, he is engaging as consultant for Youth Education and Non-Formal Education Module Development of the Youth for Sustainable Development Assembly (YSDA), a non-government organization based in Quezon City. He has published historical studies and delivered papers in local and international conferences on education, food culture, economic history, and Asian history. He is the founder, publisher, and Editor-in-Chief of TALA: An Online Journal of History.

Assistant Professor Albela is also serving the University as a student affairs practitioner being the Student Welfare and Development Coordinator of the UST Conservatory of Music since 2012.

Antonio C. Hila, The Graduate School, University of Santo Tomas, Manila, Philippines

Dr. Antonio C. Hila is a retired professor of history at De La Salle University-Manila, where he was Chair of the History Department from 1990 to 1998. Dr. Hila obtained his B.A. in History from the University of the Philippines Diliman, Quezon City, and his M.A. and Ph.D. in the same discipline from the University of Santo Tomas, with honors of meritissimus and summa cum laude respectively. He was the Chair of the National Committee on Historical Research of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts from 1998 to 2004. He was a member of the Board of Trustees of the Philippines National Historical Society and the Sorsogon Heritage Society. At present, he is a professorial lecturer in History at the UST Graduate School.

How to Cite
Albela, E. J. A., & Hila, A. C. (2020). Rizal, The Social Portraitist. Philippine Social Science Journal, 3(1), 155-172. https://doi.org/10.52006/main.v3i1.117