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Rizal Without the Overcoat

4.25 of 5 stars 4.25  ·  rating details  ·  1,525 ratings  ·  67 reviews
An updated and expanded edition of the best-selling title that offers fresh insights on the life and times of our National Hero. Here, Ocampo has succeeded where other historians have failed-- and that is in making the study and reading of Rizal not a burden, but a joy.
Paperback, expanded, 272 pages
Published 2003 by Anvil Publishing (first published 1990)
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K.D. Absolutely
This book is a compilation of 94 articles that Ambeth Ocampo wrote for his column “Looking Back” in the newspaper Philippine Daily Globe from October 1987 to July 1990. By “removing the overcoat” Ocampo meant that he wanted the Filipinos to learn the “more human” side of Dr. Jose Rizal (1861-1896), our county’s national hero. You see, Dr. Rizal’s monuments all over the country are normally based on those pictures of him while he was in cold countries of Europe so he wore an overcoat which is som ...more
"Jose Rizal Mercado y Alonso (1861-96) is the Philippine national hero because an American governor gave him that recognition. President Taft did not choose Aguinaldo because he was too militaristic; Rizal fitted the ideal of national leader for the Filipinos. (Arcilla 1984:88)"

Jose Rizal is touchy subject for most Filipino scholars. It is worth emphasizing that unlike the designation of the Narra as the National tree, or the Mango as the National fruit, ejusdem generis, there is no law design
Jr Bacdayan
Finally! My semester has just ended. I'm getting about two weeks off from the university before another one starts. I'm going to catch up on my reading list, I've fallen way behind schedule. Haha! Anyway, one of my courses this semester was PI 100 or the "Rizal" course. As one of our final requirements, we were required to submit an essay on Ambeth Ocampo's renowned book Rizal Without the Overcoat. Here's what I wrote (crammed might be a better word choice) Heh heh:

My Perception of Jose Rizal a
RE de Leon
This collected edition of columns by the distinguished (some say infamous) historian Ambeth Ocampo is now among the most popular books on Rizal there are in today's market. Which is good, because 'Overcoat' introduces you to a very human, very relateable Rizal. Most Filipinos know the basic story anyway, so if you're an average Pinoy, this is a pretty good book.

If, on the other hand, you're looking for a more extensive examination of Rizal's life, you're beat off with Austin Coates' "Rizal, Phi
Nicolo Yu
The Philippine educational system almost did purge my love for Rizal and his works. His two novels, Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo were force fed to me in high school in a dialect I have no love for. The Tagalog translations would have been approved by Rizal enthusiastically, since he wrote these books for his people and wished it would have been readable to a larger audience. The books were originally written in Spanish, the language of the Philippine elite and colonial masters, but it w ...more
The first time I ever heard about Ambeth Ocampo was when we attended the 2011 PEN Conference. I got to share an elevator with him and had him sign my copy of Looking Back #4. He gave a lecture about the history of Philippine money and it was easily one of the best lectures of the the two days. The lecture was both funny and informative, if you can believe a study of history can be funny. He also also uses the same technique with his writings. Ambeth Ocampo keeps a column in the Opinions page of ...more
Since I was on an Ambeth Ocampo roll already, I thought I'd also pick up one of his works on the Philippine national hero Jose Rizal. Without failure, he stunned me once again by showcasing his in-depth knowledge about Rizal in the most reachable and understandable presentation. The only book about Rizal that I ever did acknowledge to be "outstanding" was Austin Coates' biography, and what a delight for me to say that FINALLY a Filipino historian has surged up to that level, too. I read a lot of ...more
Eron Salazar
I was and is always an admirer of Rizal. I was just in HS when Ocampo wrote his Inquirer series. And as he has fervently mentioned, schoolers and university students don't pay much attention to history lessons, more so to a "cliche" subject such as Rizal.

Before I left for abroad, my brother gave this book to me reassuring me that it is a good read. Only, I read it a year later but all it gave me is a smile in my heart towards our history, and our pride as a people.

Here is a book that reassures u
Emily Dy
Between the covers of this book, Jose Rizal suddenly comes alive. You will not hear the usual textbook stories of the moth and the flame, or that old tale of Rizal throwing his remaining slipper into the river after the first one was swept away by the currents, so that whoever finds them will have the complete pair.

This is a book that will tell you that Rizal was kind of funny looking, with a small frame and a rather large head, that he had a lot of girlfriends, and that he even tried hashish '
We were forced to read this book for our book review in "Buhay, Gawin at Sinulat ni Rizal" subject during college. However, reading this book made me appreciate Jose Rizal more. I learned his humbleness and the challenges he faced.

Mel Vincent
It made me laugh a lot and I learned a side of Rizal that I never knew existed. It was refreshing to know the minute details and the events that happened during the course of his life and the other aspects that included it from his career,academics,even to his kinky side and the impact that he has generated in the country and around the world. He was a genius and very idealistic and opinionated and everything that he touched was thus harnessed and I was amazed to know that he knew a lot about ot ...more
After reading Rizal: Without The Overcoat, I was amazed by how our National Hero Jose Rizal survived in the 18th-19th century, it was as if he know everything that will happen. I bought this book because we are asked to make a book review about Jose Rizal in our P.I. 100 Life and Works of Jose Rizal. I wasn't concern about buying the book which will give me interest in reading about our hero, I was more concern in buying the cheapest one (the small blue book also by Ambeth Ocampo). But then I sa ...more
Jerome Baladad
i like all the historical essays included in this book!! what the author Ocampo has been doing to make Rizal more human to present-day readers is laudable. remember that Rizal's venerated as a saint by certain groups of people in Luzon (I refuse to call them 'sects' as it's condescending), so I can imagine some of them could be in disbelief if they get to read this book. as it seems to me, the basic premise, really, of this book, is that national heroes are just like anyone of us---human beings, ...more
Michael Gerald Dealino
This is the second book of Ambeth Ocampo that I have read, and arguably his best. His essays about Dr. Jose P. Rizal, one of the Philippines' national heroes, are superb and inspiring. They do not make Rizal a superman, but present the hero as a man with some faults (as we all are), but a great man all the same, as seen in his education, poems, novels, essays, works, actions, and martyrdom. The best essay in the book is the one about why Rizal deserves to be called one of our national heroes, wi ...more
Learned that Rizal is also an ordinary mortal like all of us. Thought he was a superhero or something. I admire Ambeth Ocampo's writing! I already liked him when I was reading the prologue. This book is not only educational but also very entertaining. You get to know Rizal beyond the usual novels he wrote. There were a lot of trivia about him.
This book is Good resource material for those interested in re-learning Rizal the non-traditional way.

But do understand that there are better sources of information for Rizal's life and works like those stated in the book's bibliography.

Nonetheless, this book is a pretty neat thing to keep in your shelves.
Jing Xin
This book is a good read! A take on Rizal's life with humor and trivias that most of us Filipinos doesn't know.It depicts Rizal's ordinary yet colorful life.It only shows that no matter how ordinary our lives are anyone can be a hero.
Jun 16, 2010 Maycee added it
i didn't know yet :D i should read first :D hehe!
How do you review a book on history?
Ivee Reyes
Jul 10, 2013 Ivee Reyes marked it as to-read
Mr. Ocampo's books prove that reading history isn't boring, and this book is one of those. :D I was not even halfway done when I realized I've read too much. This book provided a lot of information I, personally, have not encountered during our Rizal course in college. There are things we have yet to unlearn and to discover about our national hero's life.

The book is a must-read for students, that instead of the usual memorization and academic approach in teaching, they can read Mr. Ocampo's book
Heroes are immortalized for the good deeds that they have done. What most people tend to forget are that heroes were once living, breathing people--humans--too. Rizal Without The Overcoat is a collection of articles humanizing national hero Jose Rizal--from telling us what he had for breakfast, his life, to reading between the lines of his revolutionary novels, this book is both an enjoyable and educational read.
I read this ages ago for P.I. 100.

Historical chismis has never been more entertaining. Great book, it gave me insight on the mundane details of Rizal's life. It humanized him and made him relatable instead of being a superparagon of Filipino achievements.

I remember being amused by his list-making and wanting to eat his meals. :-)
first book i've finished this year. it was entertaining. as i've always been fascinated by Rizal since college when it was a prerequisite in school, didn't feel like a prerequisite at all. :D now, im looking for the part which was discarded from the volume i've read - the personal relationships of rizal. :D
the much unappreciated history of my country was made a laugh after having read Ambeth Ocampo. He writes so well, given me information I could not possibly be patient enough when reading a different history book.
Pam Guerra
very interesting facts from our national hero with some controversies about him. for very light reading. for those who are taking up rizal subject meaning all college students. :D
Ann Louise De Leon
I could read this book in one sitting! This book will entertain you at the same time will feed your mind with Rizal's life.
A lot of new perspectives about Rizal. Some parts were quite repetitive though.
Dec 05, 2009 Gian added it
Ambeth ocampo was brilliant in writing this book. He made rizal human again.
Denise Lopez
Aug 10, 2007 Denise Lopez rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Rizalians
Shelves: non-fiction
"Gave a very human depiction of Jose Rizal and that he is no Jesus Christ."
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Ambeth R. Ocampo (b. 1961) is a multi-awarded Filipino historian, academic, journalist, and author best known for his writings about Philippines' national hero José Rizal, and for his bi-weekly editorial page column in the Philippine Daily Inquirer, "Looking Back." He became the chair of the Philippines' National Historical Institute in 2002 and of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts ...more
More about Ambeth R. Ocampo...
Meaning and History: The Rizal Lectures Looking Back Looking Back Makamisa: The Search for Rizal's Third Novel Bones of Contention: The Andres Bonifacio Lectures

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“It is ironic that many Filipinos learn to love the Philippines while abroad, not at home.” 30 likes
“As you can see, there are quite a number of things taught in school that one has to unlearn or at least correct.” 29 likes
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