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If Jose Rizal Were a Millennial Today, He Would be a Frontliner and a Plantito

Historian Ambeth Ocampo says Rizal would be a foodie, too.
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ILLUSTRATOR Bianca Papa
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If Jose Rizal were alive today, what would he have been up to in these uncertain times?

In an entertaining video released this week, Alon Philippines asked historian Ambeth Ocampo, “What if Jose Rizal were alive in lockdown 2020?”

READ MORE ABOUT JOSE RIZAL:

Jose Rizal Monuments All Over the World

25 Rare Photos of Rizal Through the Years

Well, since Rizal was a physician, he would probably be a frontliner. Ocampo says during Rizal's time, the Philippines went through one of the biggest cholera epidemics, but Rizal was in Europe at the time. 

Ocampo says a millennial Rizal would likely be a plantito.

“He knew all the plants in their backyard, and there are plants we don’t know of anymore,” says Ocampo. “Would he be a plantito? He probably will.” 

Ocampo says Rizal would also be a foodie.

“In Rizal’s notes, we have notes for food. If you read the Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterisimo, there are no recipes, but there are many references to food,” says Ocampo. In the novels, for instance, there are references to tinola, tsokolate-eh, sinigang, Chinese lumpia, and crab omelet.

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Rizal probably would be writing all his experiences in a blog, says Ocampo.

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“He was basically a communicator. A diary is like a blog, or it’s like your Instagram/Facebook page, di ba?” says Ocampo. “In the past, they would write and then they would hide the notebook, or lock it up somewhere. But today we write and expose ourselves to the universe! So I think Rizal was in a sense like that.

“The only thing I’m sure of is that if he were alive today, they would probably shoot him in Luneta all over again,” says Ocampo. “Probably because he would speak out against things he did not think were right.”

Rizal died at the age of 35, the age of a millennial today. 

READ MORE ABOUT JOSE RIZAL:

Jose Rizal Monuments All Over the World

25 Rare Photos of Rizal Through the Years

Here’s the video by Alon Philippines.

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About The Author
Yvette Fernandez
Yvette Fernandez is the editor in chief of Esquire Philippines.
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