(Redirected from Jose Rizal
José Protacio Rizal Mercado y Alonzo Realonda (June 19, 1861 - December 30, 1896) is the national hero of the Philippines. He was a doctor, a painter, a sculptor, a poet, a dramatist, and a novelist. He was in fact a polyglot, who was able to speak several languages.
A famous patriot, the anniversary of Rizal's death, December 30, is now celebrated as a holiday in the Philippines, called Rizal Day.
The seventh of eleven children of Francisco Mercado and Teodora Alonzo , he was born into a prosperous Chinese-mestizo family in Calamba, Laguna Province. A wealthy fifth generation Chinese-mestizo, Rizal is a direct male descendant of Domingo Lam-co, a full-blooded Chinese who sailed to the Philippines from Amoy, China in the latter part of the 17th century. Lam-co married a Chinese-mestiza by the name of Inez de la Rosa. To free his descendants from the racist anti-Chinese policies of the Spanish authorities, Lam-co changed the family surname to the Spanish surname "Mercado" (market) so that they would not forget their Chinese merchant roots. The surname was again changed by José himself, from Mercado to "Rizal", after he received advice from his older brother, Paciano Mercado, to do so to avoid bringing the family into problems that he was embroiled in with the authorities.
Aside from Chinese and Malay ancestors, recent genealogical research has found that José had traces of Japanese, Spanish and Negrito ancestry. His maternal great-great-grandfather (Teodora's great-grandfather) is Eugenio Ursua, a descendant of Japanese settlers, who married a Filipina named Benigna, with her surname anonymous. These latter two gave birth to their daughter Regina Ursua who married a Chinese-mestizo from Pangasinán named Atty. Manuel de Quintos, Teodora's grandfather. Their daughter Brígida de Quintos married a Spanish-mestizo named Lorenzo Alberto Alonso, the father of Teodora.
He first studied under Justiniano Cruz in Laguna. He went to Manila to study at the Ateneo Municipal de Manila (now Ateneo de Manila University) where he received his bachelor of arts in 1877. He continued his education in the Ateneo Municipal to obtain a degree in land surveying and assessor, and at the same time in the University of Santo Tomas where he studied Philosophy and Letters. Upon learning that his mother was going blind, he then decided to study medicine (ophthalmology) in the University of Santo Tomas, but did not complete it because he felt that Filipinos were being discriminated by the Dominicans who operated the University.
He then went to Madrid, Spain, against the wishes of his father, to study medicine at the Universidad Central de Madrid where he earned the degree of Licentiate in Medicine.
He continued his studies at Paris, France and Heidelberg, Germany where he earned a second doctorate.
José Rizal was quite well known for writing two novels, Noli Me Tangere (1887) and El Filibusterismo (1891), which are social commentaries of the Philippines under Spanish colonial rule. These two books are responsible for the development of a unified Filipino consciousness and identity, which paved way for the Philippine Revolution of 1896.
Rizal was a reformer for a more open society, rather than a revolutionary for political independence; as a leader of the Propaganda Movement of Filipino students in Spain, he contributed newspaper articles to La Solidaridad in Barcelona with the following agenda:
- That the Philippines be a province of Spain
- Representation in the Cortes (Parliament)
- Filipino priests rather than the Spanish Augustinians, Dominicans, or Franciscans
- Freedom of assembly and speech
- Equal rights before the law (for both Filipino and Spanish plaintiffs)
Had these reforms had been accepted, Rizal's books would have been legal. But, the authorities in the Philippines could not brook this nonviolent agenda, as the social reforms threatened the status quo; thus upon his return to Manila in 1892 he was exiled, being accused of subversion for forming a civic movement called La Liga Filipina. While exiled in Dapitan , Mindanao, he founded a school and a hospital.
However, in 1896 the Katipunan national secret society launched a revolution. At that time he accepted the offer to serve as a doctor in Cuba but was subsequently arrested on board and was sent back to stand trial. He was implicated by association, arrested, tried for sedition, condemned, and executed by firing squad in Bagumbayan (now Rizal Park ) in Manila. On the eve of his execution, he wrote his last poem, "Mi Último Adiós" (My Last Farewell). He belongs to the greatest generation of Asian nationalist leaders -- Jose Rizal and his fellow countrymen Andres Bonifacio and Emilio Aguinaldo along with Mohandas Gandhi and Rabindranath Tagore of India, and Sun Yat-sen of China, all were born in the decade of the 1860s.