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Rizal Without the Overcoat

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  1,920 Ratings  ·  94 Reviews
This book is a collection of essays from Ambeth R. Ocampo’s newspaper column “Looking Back” that began in the Philippine Daily Globe and later moved to the Philippine Daily Inquirer. He presents a readable and painless introduction to Jose Rizal and offers fascinating insights, lively anecdotes, academic intrigue, and little-known facts about the hero as human. Investigati ...more
Paperback, Expanded Edition, 272 pages
Published 2003 by Anvil Publishing, Inc. (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
Jr Bacdayan
Oct 16, 2013 rated it liked it
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
Apr 05, 2013 rated it liked it
"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
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
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
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
Eron Salazar
Oct 02, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
Jul 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This showcases Ambeth Ocampo's in-depth knowledge about national hero Jose Rizal in the most reachable and understandable presentation. I read a lot of things about Rizal in this book that I have never encountered before, such as what he usually ate for breakfast, how he cope with his financial constraints during his stay in Europe, why he thought learning English shouldn't be a priority of his, among others.
Emily Dy
Apr 16, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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 '
Nov 23, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
Jun 27, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: essay
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
Jul 09, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Sep 08, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 23, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 05, 2011 rated it liked it
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.
Nov 15, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
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
Feb 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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 added it
i didn't know yet :D i should read first :D hehe!
Ivee Reyes
Jul 10, 2013 marked it as to-read
Apr 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
How do you review a book on history?
Dec 25, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 26, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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.
Sep 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Dec 13, 2007 rated it liked it
Shelves: filipino, non-fiction
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. :-)
May 24, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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.
i learned about the facts and posibilities
i need to read this.
Maria Ella
[ I remembered I was ninja reading this in a bookstore and got through with three days of reading in the shelf ]
Sep 05, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ann Louise De Leon
Nov 17, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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.
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Lamberto R. Ocampo better known as Ambeth R. Ocampo (b. 1961) is Filipino historian, academic, journalist, cultural administrator 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 Chairman of the National Historical Commission of the Philippines in 2002 unti ...more
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“It is ironic that many Filipinos learn to love the Philippines while abroad, not at home.” 36 likes
“As you can see, there are quite a number of things taught in school that one has to unlearn or at least correct.” 31 likes
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