Rizal Without the Overcoat talks about Philippine national hero Jose Rizal and presents him in a way that’s often not seen in history classes. It is written by public historian and history professor Ambeth Ocampo. The book won the National Book Award for the Essay in 1990. Despite this and the book’s popularity, other historians criticize Ocampo and his writings, accusing his works of trivializing history by exploring unimportant things that go as far as Rizal’s having halitosis.
In his interview with Inquirer columnist and sociologist Randy David, Ocampo talks about why he zeroes in on topics that are usually viewed as irrelevant to understanding history.
Read Ambeth Ocampo’s Rizal Without the Overcoat to find funny and interesting things about Dr. Jose Rizal that you wouldn’t find in any other history book out there.
Whether you find them enjoyable or a waste of time, you’ll understand why Ocampo thinks these topics are important to talk about, especially when teaching history classes when you listen to PumaPodcast’s Conversations with Randy David Episode 7. You’ll also learn more about Rizal that will help you realize that he shares a lot of similarities with regular Filipinos, and hear more interesting stories about other Philippine historical figures and Ocampo’s experiences in teaching, researching, and writing about history. While you’re at it, you can also listen to Episode 8 where David and Ocampo continue their conversation.
Listen to Episode 7 below:
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Patriz Biliran and Regina Peñarroyo co-run The Ampersand and write blog articles in their free time.