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Sequel to Noli Me Tangere .. Noli 2 by Roger P. Olivares

I was researching for a student project regarding the Philippine Constitution when I stumble across this link and I was surprised that there is indeed a sequel to Rizal's world class novel, Noli Me Tangere. The author of this book has a lot of guts and courage to write a sequel to the novel considering the eloquence of the Rizal novel and of course the superb intelligence and writing capability of our national here. Now we are seeing a sequel, 118 years after the original.

Olivares shares how his book came into being one day in Baguio City, "I was in Baguio market last year.I saw something that really bothered me.

A group of peasant vendors laid their vegetables for sale (maybe grown from their backyard) on a banig right on the street. Maybe they could not afford a market stall.A man in a t-shirt uniform came around and started sweeping the muddy gutter off the sidewalk....and continuously swept the dirt right into the faces of the vendors and the vegetables.The vendors just cowered and covered their faces, but he didn’t care. As the man bent down, I saw a gun sticking out from his back pocket.

This scene burned into my consciousness what is happening in the country - the strong intimidating, stepping on the weak and the poor, with no regard for their dignity."

After that he told it to a group of Carmelite sisters, and they told him, “Don’t you think it’s time for another Noli?”

This is the third published novel of Rogelio (Roger) P. Olivares. His first two are historical novels, Teresa of Avila and How Granada Was Won,and are on sale in Spain. A fourth novel, Odyssey in Crete, is awaiting publication.

He is well remembered for writing the first travel guidebook in the Philippines, "Roger's Do-It-Yourself Tours".

Here are some of the critiques about his book:

"Roger Olivares writes with anger about the degradation of the Filipino people who must export one million persons every year, because the leaders have neglected to develop the agricultural and the industrial resources which might have provided them with decent jobs at home. A total of eight million Filipinos are now abroad, most of them in menial jobs. On his return trip to the Philippines Cris stops over at Hong Kong and sees a shocking sight. In an open space among the skyscrapers, “hundreds of men and women squatted side by side, like modern slaves for sale without the chains.” It is the Filipino domestic servants enjoying their day off, not spending their money on themselves in order to send it to their families back home. But the worst thing is not what happens to them abroad, but what happens to their families left behind who “get dollars but not love”. Growing up without their parents they are exposed to moral dangers." - Book Review by Father Miguel A. Bernad, SJ at Philippine Star, Jan. 23, 2006

"Written with admirable skill, Roger Olivares has seen much and felt the tragedy of the human predicament even more—the pathetic conditions of the OFW’s in the Middle East, in Europe, and Asia; the shameful, godforsaken misery of those who live and work and die in Payatas; the horrible poverty of squatters along the railroad tracks; the despicable corruption in government, the insatiable greed and hypocrisy of the Filipino elite, and the redeeming patriotism of a limited few – all these show that Philippine society has not really changed much since the days of Rizal and Andres Bonifacio." - Senator Jovito Salonga

"Roger P. Olivares ingeniously succeeds in provoking us to realize that nothing truly changes in the lives of our society’s underclass, whether under foreign rule or Filipino. You are up if you are up. You are down if you are down. Rizal’s angst in his novel, “Noli Me Tangere,” resonates in Olivares’ “Noli” a century hence." - Senator Joker Arroyo

"Taking off from some of Rizal's fictional characters, Olivares paints a portrait--as Rizal did--of real people doing real things. Although he follows Rizal's style of offering ideas through the speeches of characters, Olivares uses a modern genre -- the cops and robbers story. The cops and the robbers, however, belong to the same family -- and that is how the tragic plot thickens." - Senator Sonny Alvarez