2 Rebels Who Made ‘Filibuster’ Famous

WP Writers Group

Latina: Initium autographi.
Filibuster simply means ‘to obstruct or delay’. The Philippine national hero Dr. Jose Rizal wrote El Filibusterismo as a protest against the Spanish Occupation of his country. He told his friend Ferdinand Blumentritt that the word “filibustero” is very little known in the Philippine masses. That was way back in 1891.

This week, Texas Sen. Wendy Davis made the word famous again when she went on a filibuster marathon in the Texas Senate to protest against an abortion bill. It went viral in the whole US.

Back to ‘El Filibusterismo’
‘Jose Alejandro, one of the new Filipinos who had been quite intimate with Rizal, said, “in writing the Noli Rizal signed his own death warrant.” Subsequent events, after the fate of the Noli was sealed by the Spanish authorities, prompted Rizal to write the continuation of his first novel. He confessed, however, that regretted very much having killed Elias instead…

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About DigitalPlato

Poch is a Bookrix author and a freelance writer. He is a frequent contributor to TED Conversations.
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4 Responses to 2 Rebels Who Made ‘Filibuster’ Famous

  1. pochp says:

    ‘I noticed the term filibuster being used in a way I hadn’t heard before.’

    Probably what triggered my curiosity too hence the post. But I should have mentioned why Rizal titled book ‘El Filibusterimo’ which you explained by citing Wikipedia’s definition.

    Although I think ‘filibuster’ shouldn’t have been used in the abortion issue, I’m grateful it gave me something to think and write about. Thank you for your insightful feedback Mr. Steele.


    • Benjamin David Steele says:

      It is an interesting word. It never occurred to me before to think how it originated and what it originally meant. It was a lovely coincidence that you wrote this post just days after my having come across the word in one of my books… or rather a coincidence that I was reading those books when Wendy Davis did her filibuster which inspired you to write this post.


      • pochp says:

        Serendipity at its best! 🙂 In fact if I didn’t get confused with Davis Filibuster use of the word, I wouldn’t have written about it.


  2. Benjamin David Steele says:

    I’ve been reading about Texas history. I noticed the term filibuster being used in a way I hadn’t heard before.

    There were several individuals and groups who were constantly challenging the governments of the area, the Spanish Empire first and the Mexican state later. One author kept referring to the various organized efforts of land-grabbers, rabble-rousers and would-be revolutionaries by calling them ‘filibusters’. It was being used in the military sense of, as stated in Wikipedia, “someone who engages in an unauthorized military expedition into a foreign country to foment or support a revolution.”.

    It is typically used in relation to Anglo-Americans invading territory in Latin America. However, that history began much earlier as you point out when native populations protested, fought or otherwise resisted Spanish occupation. It was only later with the Tejanos/Nortenos fighting against the Mexican state that Anglo-Americans joined in the rebellious foment and co-opted it.

    It’s interesting that this somehow became a word used to describe a strategy in American politics.


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