Book: Rizal Without the Overcoat – Chapter 1: Many Rizals

Sa Aking Mga Kabata If Rizal stayed in Hong Kong and never returned to the Philippines in 1892, he wouldn’t have died on December 30, 1896. But he did.

Ambeth Ocampo describes Jose Rizal as a “conscious hero” because Rizal planned his entire life in details based on his letters, diaries, and writings (9).

In June 1892, Rizal wrote a letter that shows his love for his country and his fellow Filipinos.

The step that I have taken, or am about to take, is undoubtedly very risky, and it is unnecessary to say that I have pondered on it a great deal. I know that everyone is opposed to it but I realize also that no one knows what goes on in my heart. I cannot live knowing that many are suffering unjust persecution because of me; I cannot live seeing my brothers [hermanos] and their large families persecuted like criminals. I prefer to face death and gladly give my life to free so many innocent persons from this unjust persecution.

I know that, at present, the future of my country gravitates in part around me; that with my death, many would rejoice, and that, consequently, many are longing for my end. But what am I to do? I have duties of conscience toward my aged parents whose sighs pierce my heart; I know that I alone, even my death, can make them happy by returning them to their country and the tranquility of their home. My parents are all that I have, but my country has many sons still who can take it to advantage.

Moreover, I wish to show those who deny us patriotism that we know how to die for our duty and for our convictions. What matters death if one dies for what one loves, for one’s country and for those whom he loves?

If I know that I were the only pillar of Philippine politics and if I were convinced that my countrymen were going to make me use of my services, perhaps I would hesitate to take this step, but there are still others who can take my place, who can take my place to advantage. Furthermore, there are those who find me superfluous and in no need of my services, thus they reduce me to inaction.

I have always loved my poor country and I am sure that I shall lover her until my last moment. Perhaps some people will be unjust to me; well, my future, my life, my joys, everything, I have sacrificed for love of her. Whatever fate my be, I shall die blessing my country and wishing her the dawn of her redemption.

But let’s not forget; even though he loved the Philippines, he was only human.

Even though he graduated with sobresaliente (excellent) marks in Ateneo De Manila University, eighth of his other classmates (out of the 12 students) graduated sobresaliente as well (14).

Even though the Americans sponsored him as a national hero, Rizal thought the country didn’t have “real civil liberty” when he travelled in United States from April to May 1888 (17).

And even though Filipino students are taught with Rizal’s first poem, “Sa Aking Mga Kabata”, he didn’t write it at all. Ocampo refuted this notion and provided examples. He said that while “Rizal spoke and wrote Tagalog fluently”, Rizal couldn’t write a novel in his native tongue. There was no existing manuscript of the original poem, and Rizal never published it when he was alive. (5) 

As smart as he was, there was no way that Rizal wrote the poem when he was eight years old. He was still a child.

How would you describe Rizal? What are his other ‘identities’ that you’ve heard of?


Ocampo, Ambeth R. Rizal Without the Overcoat. Mandaluyong: Anvil Publishing, Inc. 2012. Print.


This is Part 1 of a 9-Part Rizal series of Ambeth Ocampo’s Rizal Without the Overcoat.

Lamtoc, Negros Oriental

A few months ago, my family and extended family went to Lamtoc, Negros Oriental  Philippines. These are some of the photos I took during our vacation.

I’m Voting Because …

WPG by Lora

I’m voting for the first time as a Canadian citizen.

I became a Canadian citizen March this year. I renounced my Filipino citizenship and swore to Her Majesty and sang “Oh Canada”. It was a surreal experience, and it hasn’t sunk in to me yet that I’m now a Canadian citizen.

I’m voting because I want to experience a Canadian election.

I’ve only voted once in my life. I was 18 and there was a municipal election for city councilors and district representatives in Pasay City, Philippines. I was excited because I was voting for the first time. I was also uninterested because I wasn’t familiar with the candidates. When I went to the voting location, I didn’t expect it to be loud, crowded, and chaotic. The process was slow and confusing. It was disappointing and discouraging for first-time voters like me. Nevertheless, I’m still looking forward to voting—whether in the Philippines or here in Canada.

I’m voting because I want to vote.

I want to know what it feels like to vote and how it feels like a year after the elections.

I’m not political, despite what some of my friends think. I still have a lot to learn and understand in politics. I don’t know all the political spectrum, party politics, and ideologies. I don’t read the news everyday. And I certainly I don’t know all the Canadian officials, cabinet members, MPs, and MLAs.

But I was born and raised in a country where government officials do atrocious acts for power and money. These people who were elected to serve the country steal the citizens’ hard-earned money and live in extravagant lifestyles as they watch the poor suffer the consequences.

I’ve been disappointed far too many times with Philippine politicians. But that’s why I’m voting—because I have hopes for the City of Winnipeg. This city is now my second home—I want it to prosper, I want it to become livable, and I want it to be included on lists with all the big cities in the world. Voting gives me hope that I could make a difference because I now live in Canada.

Now, if only I could figure out who to vote at the 2014 Winnipeg Civic Elections on October 22nd.

Book: Rizal Without the Overcoat – Intro

I’m currently reading Rizal Without the Overcoat, a collection of essays and articles about Jose P. Rizal, the national hero of the Philippines. Rizal was also famous for writing Noli Me Tangere (1887) and El Filibusterismo (1891), the two novels that exposed the Spanish colonization and the Catholic Church in the Philippines.

The anthology is written and compiled by Ambeth Ocampo. The articles are collected from his column, “Looking Back”, published bi-weekly in the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

Ambeth Ocampo is a renowned public historian in the country focusing on the 19th Century Philippines and an associate professor at De La Salle University, Manila, Philippines.


When I was a high school student, I read Rizals’ novels because it was part of the curriculum. Years later, I realized that I wanted to read them again–I wanted to know more about Rizal and why he was a hero. I wanted to know more than what I’ve learned in high school. That’s why I bought this book.

And that’s why I’m writing about the book.

I wouldn’t exactly call this series of posts a book review; rather, it’s a series of posts where I analyse each chapter in the book.

I will summarize each chapter by taking out important points and highlighting historical facts that either validate or refute people’s opinion or knowledge about Rizal. I will quote Rizal and Ocampo to provide proof and to support my analysis.

In short, this ‘Rizal’ series is like writing an academic paper but on a website. The anthology has 9 chapters–I’ll make it a personal goal to finish it before December 30th, to commemorate Rizal’s 118th death anniversary.


History is a living and lively account of what we were and are; it could and should be as real to each of us as stories about family or about recent and past events, as anecdotes about people known and unknown, as fiction read in books. If all of that makes us understand humanity better, so does history make us understand ourselves and our country infinitely better, in the context of our culture and society.

Foreword by Doreen G. Fernandez in Rizal Without the Overcoat

Album: Fog – Tommy P

Fog Tommy P.

It’s appropriate for Tommy P. to name his debut album Fog when the record is inspired by San Francisco City.

The singer and songwriter started playing music since he was 16 years old. Due to his love of music, he and his friends founded 11th Avenue Records, an independent pop/folk/rock record label that supports and promotes independent artists.

Tommy P. grew up in Milpitas, California where he learned to play the drums, guitar, keyboard, and bass. He moved to San Francisco and started collaborating and performing with other artists in the community.

Before his debut album, he released an EP and a compilation album.

His first EP, Nowhere Now, was released in February 2013. In April 2013, he and a few friends released There Is A Light, a compilation album for Sing Out of Darkness Benefit, a benefit concert for the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention (AFSP) in San Francisco.

Tommy P. at the Sunday Night Mic at Saint Lukes Episcopal Church | photo by Mario Di Sandro

Tommy P. at the Sunday Night Mic at Saint Lukes Episcopal Church | photo by Mario Di Sandro

Nowhere Now is indie, acoustic, and homey. I can imagine myself listening to this song while driving on a Sunday or going on a roadtrip. It’s like watching a montage on a movie and the record plays in the background. It’s comfortable and it’s feel-good music.

Fog brings out emotions of being in San Francisco even if you’ve never been there. It starts off quietly, setting the mood with Tommy’s deep voice and an acoustic guitar. Then it becomes grander, like you’re being transported to a new world. The lovely violin piece doesn’t hurt and complements the dream-like music. It dies down gradually, and then catchy “Gravity” plays next. “Farallon Island” is the only track named after an actual place in San Francisco. “Farallon Island” sounds festive and makes you feel like you’re actually in Farallon Island, when he’s really reminiscing about the island.

The acoustic, drums, violin, and trumpet really set the mood in the entire album. It’s cliché, but I see this record playing as the rain heavily pours down and you can see raindrops on the glass on a dark and cold night. Tommy P. was able to portray the feelings of living in San Francisco through his sincere lyrics and honest emotions.

In this debut, Tommy P. has shown that he tries different things. After listening to Nowhere Now and Fog, I know he’ll continue to surprise the audience with new sounds and keep his sincerity.

Tommy P


Catch Tommy P. live! If you’re in San Francisco he’s performing September 20th in Bazaar Cafe with The Not Marys. You can also visit his website and Facebook page for updates, and follow him in soundcloud for new music.


(all photos are from Tommy P.’s Facebook page)


I sincerely apologize for the lack of updates. I’ve been out of the loop too long. The only excuse I can think of is my lack of focus. But here I am, hoping to make a fresh start.

My name is Lora Quitane, and welcome to my website.

This is the place where I upload articles, videos, and photographs that I have done. I don’t talk about my personal life often but when I do, I’ll let you know.

As this is a fresh start, this site (and myself) are in the transitioning period so please bear with me as these changes take place.

As always, you’re more than welcome to stay here.

Slow and Steady

I apologize for the lack of updates.

It’s just that I’ve been doing a lot of thinking, and it’s taking me a while to think about things. But, I’m finally getting back to the grind. Slowly, but surely. And it doesn’t matter if it’s slow and steady — I’ll do things at my own pace because I know that that’s when I’m making and doing the right decisions.

I’ve made a lot of mistakes on this journey, but now that I’m slowly (and finally!) getting back on my feet, the path is getting clearer for me. Things are beginning to make sense.