The hardbound edition of the book that deals with the integration of astronomy in the Rizal Course, with larger photographs and added historical accounts related to astronomy in the Philippines. The book investigates why Rizal appeared not to have constructed any telescope when he had the know-how and materials to do so. His Jesuit teacher, Padre Faura, may have been a first-rate scientist, but why didn't he motivate Rizal enough? Who was Rizal alluding to in Chapter 59 of his first novel, who burned Copernicus' book in fear, anger and ignorance? Backcasting and scenario techniques are employed to picture the bright future of astronomy in the Philippines and other Asian countries. It took a Galileo to complete Copernicus' Revolution. Perhaps, it will take a Torres, a Celebre, a Ty, an Esguerra, or an Ong to complete Rizal's.
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By Marcelino Catahan
Oct 15, 2009
"Un Cielo tan Claro como el Zafiro" This is the same as Un Cielo tan Claro como el Zafiro. I was curious why Dr. Fadul chose a Spanish title for the other edition when in fact the content is also in English, until I realized that the title was taken from Chapter LIX of Noli Me Tangere (Chapter title: "Patriotism and Self Interests) when Maria Clara observes "a sky as clear as sapphire". Beautiful. Maganda po. Dr.Fadul has a take in History and Science. The book's pacing is fast and pictures fascinating. I never had a dull moment reading the book. Old pictures of Manila bring tears to my eyes. Though Dr. Fadul is very much younger that I can be his father, we are peers. When I was still connected with the De La Salle University, College of Saint Benilde we used to passionately discuss Philippine History and our national hero, Jose Protasio Rizal. I am not surprised at all that he will come up with this book that will benefit not only the Filipino teachers in... More > their homeland but also those overseas teachers who need to maintain connection with their country, and continually find ways to teach history subjects in better perspectives. Marcelino G. Catahan, D.Sc. formerly with UNESCO and UNICEF http://www.pitt.edu/~ginie/peer/pdf/copred.pdf< Less
Professor Jose A. Fadul of De La Salle University, in line with the observance of the International Year of Astronomy 2009, presents to us the astronomical foundation in which Rizal experienced. He brings us back to the time of Rizal by integrating the subject astronomy into the timeline covered under the Rizal course. Despite Rizal’s not being an astronomer, Prof. Fadul presents to us the background of Rizal in astronomy; such as the naming of planets and their mythological association with gods that they took up in Ateneo, Dr. A. B. Meyer, & T. Pardo de Tavera; his reading of the Historia Universal; and even the mention of items in his novels Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo which may pertain to the context of astronomy, such as the burning of Copernicus’ work in the Noli. Also, Prof. Fadul describes the account of Rizal with the Great September Comet of 1882 (C/1882 R1). He also mentions the naming of tektites in honor of Rizal - rizalites. In Rizal’s letter to his sister... More > from Madrid, he mentions the sighting of the comet on their way home from Don Pablo’s. It was then believed, by superstitious Filipinos, to have caused cholera. Likewise, Rizal’s visits to some observatories are also mentioned. The book, The Integration of Astronomy in the Rizal Course, is a creative astronomy text in which Filipino history (specifically Rizal’s history) provides the flow of discussion. It is amazing how Professor Jose Fadul brings up discussions in astronomy from the context of Rizal’s history and works – such as Blumentritt’s comparison of Rizal to a comet. The book is very informative, providing basic facts in astronomy while relating it to the Philippine context. Works such as this like Dr. Ambrosio’s Mamahi (ethnoastronomy), are quite interesting since we get to experience astronomy through our heritage and unique experiences as Filipinos. His explanations are supported with clear images, presenting facts from the timeframe of Rizal and supporting it with the current context. Personally, I would have loved to have had this book incorporated to my History 41 (Rizal) class last semester. A lot of my classmates and some friends who took the Rizal subject are interested in astronomy. As a matter of fact, some of us sat down the beach of Dakak, during our field trip to Dipolog, and observed the unobstructed view of the night sky. Relating the lessons of the course to astronomy would have been very interesting. This book will certainly come recommended to Filipinos interested in having a background in astronomy. Reuel Norman A. Marigza, Jr. BS Physics, Silliman University< Less
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