Lighting a Dark Society: Rizal's Brindis Speech Reaction

Read Brindis Speech here.

The speech was Rizal’s toast to the triumph of D. Juan Luna’s Spolarium painting and it seems to me that the whole monologue was said in great meditation and in my opinion, he has commanded the attention of those who came for the dinner.

In the first few parts, he described the surroundings with much romanticism like he is surrounded by “men of heart” and ” where noble emotions dwell” and “the air is full of empathetic good feeling.” At the time, the Philippines was under so much oppression by the Spanish friars that is impossible to talk about it in public unless you would want to be incarcerated as a filibuster. 

In a true heroic fashion, his words was enough to give us an imprint of how well he enunciated these forbidden things, and how big an impression he makes to everyone who witnesses his formal address.

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But in the Speech, Rizal fearlessly exclaims the reason why they are gathered and that is to signify a milestone that had shed light into what has turned out to be a dark society visualized in the painting. He also gives praise to Hidalgo for illuminating the different ends of the globe and how high a respect he has for them. The speech made effective use of signposting, internal summaries, and transitions. He was able to present a logical progression of ideas as well.

He claims change is coming as he used the metaphors such as the “illustrious achievements of [Philippines’] children are no longer consummated within the home.” This is a clear nod to the Filipino community in Madrid who organized the event. His faith on the youth at that time is derived from the inner passion and how their actions have started to create a great difference and contributed to the glory of the uprising.

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When he starts to talk about the Spolarium itself, Rizal takes us deep on the reality that the canvass “is not mute” despite all the darkness and shadow laid the mystery and horror of the slaves, orphans and the sobs of the oppressed. And apparently the friars at the time persecute anyone who threatens them with legal action. He was also able to give focus to the key ideas and tied everything together with ease with words that pride of precision and vividness.

He also acknowledges that the Philippines owes Spain in some way saying “Spain as a mother also teaches her language to Filipinos” but then frowns bitter on the “midgets who secure their position.” 

Apparently he is making a jab at the elite who does everything they can in their power to stop the education of Filipinos in fears that they may learn to defend themselves, which apparently still rings true nowadays. This attitude, as we know it, backfired against them big time.

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In conclusion, the innuendos in between lines he spoke so deep, takes you into a roller coaster ride of emotions starting from joy, anger, grief and all ending up with the people who were there, and generations after, inspired.


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