Library to receive two works by Filipino hero José Rizal

Philippine Consul General Leo M. Herrera-Lim will present the University of Chicago Library with two works by the famed leader José P. Rizal at an April 28 ceremony.

Rizal’s great grandnephew, Ramon G. Lopez, will attend the 1 p.m. ceremony along with Willi Buhay, another of Rizal’s descendents.

This year marks the 150th anniversary of the birth of Rizal, a national hero whose death helped advance the cause of independence in the Philippines. While studying medicine in Europe, Rizal began writing essays and novels that explored the corruption of Spanish colonial rule. Throughout his life, Rizal advocated for reforms in the Philippines, including legal equality for Spaniards and Filipinos. Rizal was arrested in 1896 following an insurrection against Spain; although he had no association with or involvement in the uprising, he was found guilty of sedition and executed. His death angered many Filipinos, who began to rebel against Spanish rule.

Herrera-Lim will present the Library with copies of the original manuscripts of two of Rizal’s best-known works, Noli Me Tangere (translated as The Social Cancer or Touch Me Not) and its sequel, El Filibusterismo (The Reign of Greed). Both offer an unflinching portrayal of the abuse suffered by Filipinos under Spanish rule, and are widely considered classic works of Filipino literature.

Martha Roth, Dean of the Division of the Humanities, will accept the books on behalf of the University. Library Director Judith Nadler will deliver opening remarks at the public event, which will be held in Regenstein 523.

”We are honored by the Consul General’s gift of two of Dr. José Rizal’s masterworks, and especially delighted to accept them in the presence of two of his family members,” Nadler said of the event. “We are grateful to have this opportunity to celebrate and honor his important legacy.”

During the ceremony, the donated books will be added to a display of materials about Rizal, which will be on exhibit at the Library through June 11.

For more information on events celebrating Rizal’s sesquicentennial, visit