Love, Passion and Patriotism is an intimate account of the lives and experiences of a renowned group of young Filipino patriots whose propaganda campaign was a catalyst for the country's revolt against Spain. José Rizal, Marcelo H. del Pilar, Graciano López Jaena, and the brothers Juan and Antonio Luna were talented writers, artists and scientists who resided in Europe during the 1880s and 1890s. As expatriates, they lived outside the social constraints of their own society and were eager to explore all that Europe had to offer. Provoked by racism and allegations of effeminacy and childishness, they displayed their manliness and urbanity through fashionable European dress, careful grooming and deportment, and demonstrated their courage and virility through fencing, pistol-shooting and dueling.
Their studies exposed them to scientific discourses on the body and novel categorizations of pathology and disease, ideas they used to challenge the religious obscurantism and folk superstition they saw in their country. However, their experiences also radically shaped their ideas of sex and sexual nature of Filipino women. Raquel A. G. Reyes explores the paintings, photographs, political writings, novels and letters in their passionate patriotism, and their struggle to come to terms with the relative sexual freedom of European women, which they found both alluring and sordid.