Rizal was an individual liberty activist. His legacy is at the bottom of this article. You might be surprised what he pioneered in his lifetime.
Rizal is secular whether he was a Catholic or a Freemason.
Rizal’s aliases are Pepe, Dimasalang, Laong Laan & P. Jacinto. Rizal’s complete name is José Protacio Mercado Rizal Alonso y Realonda.
One of his two famous novels, Noli Me Tangere (published 1887), have a character named Pedro, the abusive husband of Sisa who loves cockfighting. These two novels of Rizal are what Uncle Tom’s Cabin, an anti-slavery 1852 Novel which paved the way for the American Civil War, to Americans.
Rizal’s last writing, the poem Mi último adiós is truly about LIBERTY for MANKIND.
Rizal’s childhood sweetheart and “lover by correspondence” was his first cousin, Leonor Rivera.
He was executed 115 years ago by firing squad by the Spanish invaders who are catholic and oppressive.
Wealth and greed through religion and war.
We, cockfighters, have to fight for individual liberty of all mankind. The system and the oppressive laws are against LIBERTY.
Legalize Liberty. Vote Choice.
The year 2011 started with Arab Spring Revolution. Follow by Revolutions in most countries especially European countries. These revolutions are ongoing.
OCCUPY is the new term for these revolutions. OCCUPY is an anti-capitalist idea. This idea cannot be stopped. And will eventually crash the systems that control the world. The elites of the world manipulating the sheeple with their mind controls on different levels:
How about MANKIND? LIBERTY? PEACE? How about sharing the wealth of this world – its natural resources. No more wars. Of any kind.
Do not forget to read his Legacy at the bottom. His legacy to this world.
– Gameness til the End
Jose Rizal The Movie
José Protacio Mercado Rizal Alonso y Realonda (June 19, 1861 – December 30, 1896, Bagumbayan), was a Filipino polymath, patriot and the most prominent advocate for reform in the Philippines during the Spanish colonial era. He is regarded as the foremost Filipino patriot and is listed as one of the national heroes of the Philippines by National Heroes Committee. His execution by the Spanish in 1896, a date marked annually as Rizal Day, a Philippine national holiday, was one of the causes of the Philippine Revolution.
Rizal was born to a rich family in Calamba, Laguna and was the seventh of eleven children. He attended the Ateneo Municipal de Manila, earning a Bachelor of Arts, and enrolled in medicine at the University of Santo Tomas. He continued his studies at the Universidad Central de Madrid in Madrid, Spain, earning the degree of Licentiate in Medicine. He also attended the University of Paris and earned a second doctorate at the University of Heidelberg.
Rizal was a polyglot conversant in twenty-two languages. He was a prolific poet, essayist, diarist, correspondent, and novelist whose most famous works were his two novels, Noli me Tangere and El filibusterismo. These social commentaries on Spanish rule formed the nucleus of literature that inspired peaceful reformists and armed revolutionaries alike.
As a political figure, José Rizal was the founder of La Liga Filipina, a civic organization that subsequently gave birth to the Katipunan led by Andrés Bonifacio and Emilio Aguinaldo. He was a proponent of achieving Philippine self-government peacefully through institutional reform rather than through violent revolution, although he would support “violent means” as a last resort. Rizal believed that the only justification for national liberation and self-government is the restoration of the dignity of the people, saying “Why independence, if the slaves of today will be the tyrants of tomorrow?” The general consensus among Rizal scholars is that his execution by the Spanish helped to bring about the Philippine Revolution.
José Rizal was a very prolific author from a young age. Among his earliest writings are El Consejo de los Dioses, A la juventud filipina, Canto del viajero, Canto de María Clara, Me piden versos, Por la educación, Junto al Pasig, A Las Flores de Heidelberg, El Cautiverio y el Triunfo: Batalla de Lucena y Prision de Boadbil, Alianza Intima Entre la Religion y la Buena Educacion, La Entrada Triunfal de los reyes Catolice en Granada, Sobre la Nueva Ortografia de la Lengua de Tagala, etc. On his early writings he frequently depicted renowned Spanish explorers, kings and generals, and pictured Education (the Philippines enjoyed a free public system of education established by the Spaniards) as “the breath of life instilling charming virtue”. He had even written of one of his Spanish teachers as having brought “the light of the eternal splendor”.
While in Berlin, Rizal published an essay in French, Dimanche des Rameaux, mentioning the “entry [of Jesus into Jerusalem] decided the fate of the jealous priests, the Pharisees, of all those who believed themselves the only ones who had the right to speak in the name of God, of those who would not admit the truths said by others because they have not been said by them” and alluded to those in authorities in colonial countries. This made the German police suspect that he was a French spy.
The content of Rizal’s writings changed considerably in his two most famous novels, Noli me Tangere and El Filibusterismo. These writings angered both the Spaniards colonial elite and some of the hispanized Filipinos due to their insulting symbolism. They are highly critical of Spanish friars and the atrocities committed in the name of the Church. Rizal’s friend Ferdinand Blumentritt, an Austria-Hungary born professor and historian wrote that the novel’s characters were drawn from real life and that every episode can be repeated on any day in the Philippines. Blumentritt was the grandson of the Imperial Treasurer at Vienna in the former Austro-Hungarian Empire and a staunch defender of the Catholic faith. This did not dissuade him however from writing the preface of El filibusterismo after he had translated Noli me Tangere into German. Noli was published in Berlin (1887) and Fili in Ghent (1891) with funds borrowed largely from Rizal’s friends. As Blumentritt had warned, these led to Rizal’s prosecution as the inciter of revolution and eventually, to a military trial and execution. The intended consequence of teaching the natives where they stood brought about an adverse reaction, as the Philippine Revolution of 1896 took off virulently thereafter.
As leader of the reform movement of Filipino students in Spain, he contributed essays, allegories, poems, and editorials to the Spanish newspaper La Solidaridad in Barcelona(in this case Rizal used a pen name, Dimasalang). The core of his writings centers on liberal and progressive ideas of individual rights and freedom; specifically, rights for the Filipino people. He shared the same sentiments with members of the movement: that the Philippines is battling, in Rizal’s own words, “a double-faced Goliath”–corrupt friars and bad government. His commentaries reiterate the following agenda:
- That the Philippines be a province of Spain
- Representation in the Cortes
- Filipino priests instead of Spanish friars–Augustinians, Dominicans, and Franciscans–in parishes and remote sitios
- Freedom of assembly and speech
- Equal rights before the law (for both Filipino and Spanish plaintiffs)
The colonial authorities in the Philippines did not favor these reforms even if they were more openly endorsed by Spanish intellectuals like Morayta, Unamuno, Pi y Margall, and others.
Moments before his execution by a squad of Filipino soldiers of the Spanish Army, a backup force of regular Spanish Army troops stood ready to shoot the executioners should they fail to obey orders. The Spanish Army Surgeon General requested to take his pulse: it was normal. Aware of this the Sergeant commanding the backup force hushed his men to silence when they began raising “vivas” with the highly partisan crowd of Peninsular and Mestizo Spaniards. His last words were those of Jesus Christ: “consummatum est”,–it is finished.
He was secretly buried in Pacò Cemetery in Manila with no identification on his grave. His sister Narcisa toured all possible gravesites and found freshly turned earth at the cemetery with guards posted at the gate. Assuming this could be the most likely spot, there never having any ground burials, she made a gift to the caretaker to mark the site “RPJ”, Rizal’s initials in reverse.
Several historians report that Rizal retracted his anti-Catholic ideas through a document which stated: “I retract with all my heart whatever in my words, writings, publications and conduct have been contrary to my character as a son of the Catholic Church.” However, there are doubts of its authenticity given that there is no certificate of Rizal’s Catholic marriage to Josephine Bracken. Anti-retractionists also point to “Adiós”: “I go where…faith does not kill,” which they refer to the Catholic religion. Also there is an allegation that the retraction document was a forgery. After analyzing 6 major documents of Rizal, Ricardo Pascual concluded that the retraction document, said to have been discovered in 1935, was not in Rizal’s handwriting. Senator Rafael Palma, a former President of the University of the Philippines and a prominent Mason, argued that a retraction is not in keeping with Rizal’s character and mature beliefs. He called the retraction story a “pious fraud.” Others who deny the retraction are Frank Laubach, a Protestant minister, Austin Coates, a British writer, and Ricardo Manapat, director of the National Archives.
On the other side are prominent Philippine historians such as Nick Joaquin, Nicolas Zafra of UP Gregorio Zaide, Ambeth Ocampo, Leon Maria Guerrero III, Paul Dumol and Austin Craig. They take the retraction document as authentic, having been judged as such by Rizal expert and historian, Teodoro Kalaw (a 33rd degree Mason) and “handwriting experts…known and recognized in our courts of justice,” H. Otley Beyer and Dr. José I. Del Rosario, both of UP. Historians also refer to 11 eyewitnesses when Rizal wrote his retraction, signed a Catholic prayer book, and recited Catholic prayers, and the multitude who saw him kiss the crucifix before his execution. A great grand nephew of Rizal, Fr. Marciano Guzman, cites that Rizal’s 4 confessions were certified by 5 eyewitnesses, 10 qualified witnesses, 7 newspapers, and 12 historians and writers including Aglipayan bishops, Masons and anti-clericals. One witness was the head of the Spanish Supreme Court at the time of his notarized declaration and was highly esteemed by Rizal for his integrity. One of his last letters to his family gave instructions for his burial: “Place a stone and a cross over it.” Because of what he sees as the strength these direct evidence have in the light of the historical method, in contrast with merely circumstantial evidence, UP professor emeritus of history Nicolas Zafra called the retraction “a plain unadorned fact of history.” Guzmán attributes the denial of retraction to “the blatant disbelief and stubbornness” of some Masons.
Supporters see in the retraction Rizal’s “moral courage…to recognize his mistakes,” his reversion to the “true faith,” and thus his “unfading glory,” and a return to the “ideals of his fathers” which brings his stature as a patriot to the level of greatness.” On the other hand, senator Jose Diokno stated: “Surely whether Rizal died as a Catholic or an apostate adds or detracts nothing from his greatness as a Filipino… Catholic or Mason, Rizal is still Rizal: the hero who courted death ‘to prove to those who deny our patriotism that we know how to die for our duty and our beliefs’.”
Attempts to debunk legends surrounding Rizal, and the tug of war between free thinker and Catholic, have kept his legacy controversial. In one recorded fall from grace he succumbed to the temptation of a ‘lady of the camellias.’ The writer, Maximo Viola, a friend of Rizal’s, was alluding to Dumas’s 1848 novel, La dame aux camelias, about a man who fell in love with a courtesan. While the affair was on record, there was no account in Viola’s letter whether it was more than one-night and if it was more a business transaction than an amorous affair.
Others present him as a man of contradictions. Miguel de Unamuno in “Rizal: the Tagalog Hamlet”, said of him, “a soul that dreads the revolution although deep down desires it. He pivots between fear and hope, between faith and despair.” His critics assert this character flaw is translated into his two novels where he opposes violence in Noli and appears to advocate it in Fili, contrasting Ibarra’s idealism to Simoun’s cynicism. His defenders insist this ambivalence is trounced when Simoun is struck down in the sequel’s final chapters, reaffirming the author’s resolute stance, Pure and spotless must the victim be if the sacrifice is to be acceptable.
In the same tenor, Rizal condemned the uprising when Bonifacio asked for his support. Bonifacio, in turn, openly denounced him as a coward for his refusal, although he was obviously missing his mark, as Rizal had proved in numerous occasions throughout his life, such as when he challenged Wenceslao Retana or Antonio Luna to duel, to be a very brave man.
Rizal believed that an armed struggle for independence was premature and ill-conceived, as embodied by Bonifacio’s Katipunan, which Rizal knew needed a more capable general and organized military able to inflict severe damage on the enemy. Here Rizal is speaking through Father Florentino: …our liberty will (not) be secured at the sword’s point…we must secure it by making ourselves worthy of it. And when a people reaches that height God will provide a weapon, the idols will be shattered, tyranny will crumble like a house of cards and liberty will shine out like the first dawn.
The fact that Rizal never fought in the battlefield and that he ultimately disowned Bonifacio’s Katipunan; which misled some to believe as the entire Philippine Revolution itself, points to the sometimes bitter question of his ranking as the nation’s premier hero. There are those who believe in the beatification of Bonifacio in his stead, even if Bonifacio failed to bequeath a single military victory to the Philippine Revolution. It has been argued that it is odd that the Philippines, along with India, are the only two countries with a non-military leader as its foremost national hero.
Teodoro Agoncillo opines that the Philippine national hero, unlike those of other countries, is not “the leader of its liberation forces”. He gives the opinion that Bonifacio not replace Rizal as national hero but that be honored alongside him. Renato Constantino writes Rizal is a “United States-sponsored hero” who was promoted as the greatest Filipino hero during the American colonial period of the Philippines – after Aguinaldo lost the Philippine-American War. The United States promoted Rizal, who represented peaceful political advocacy (in fact, repudiation of violent means in general) instead of more radical figures whose ideas could inspire resistance against American rule. Rizal was selected over Bonifacio who was viewed “too radical” and Apolinario Mabini who was considered “unregenerate.” Constantino’s analysis has been criticised for its polemicism and inaccuracies. Milagros Guerrero reveres Bonifacio for founding and organizing the Katipunan, “the first anticolonial revolution in Asia” and “the first Filipino national government. In his defense, the historian, Rafael Palma, contends that the revolution of Bonifacio is a consequence wrought by the writings of Rizal and that although the Bonifacio’s revolver produced an immediate outcome, the pen of Rizal generated a more lasting achievement. Rizal disowned Bonifacio’s Katipunan (and not the Philippine Revolution of 1896 per se), calling it “highly absurd.”
Despite the lack of any official declaration explicitly proclaiming them as national heroes, Rizal, along with Bonifacio, remains admired and revered for his role in Philippine history. Heroes, according to historians, should not be legislated. Their appreciation should be better left to academics. Acclamation for heroes, they felt, would be recognition enough.
Some writers have noted that, despite his Chinese ancestry, Rizal’s writings show an anti-Sinicism almost bordering on anti-Chinese racism. Commenting on the scene in the El filibusterismo where a Chinese vendor is bullied by students (Chapter 14), Benedict Anderson notes that “one cannot miss the strong whiff of racism.”
Rizal’s advocacy of liberty through peaceful means rather than by violent revolution makes him Asia’s first modern non-violent proponent of freedom. Forerunner of Gandhi and contemporary of Tagore and Sun Yat Sen, all four created a new climate of thought throughout Asia, leading to the attrition of colonialism and the emergence of new Asiatic nations by the end of World War II. Rizal was active when European colonial power was growing, mostly motivated by trade, some for the purpose of bringing Western forms of government and education to peoples regarded as backward. Coinciding with the appearance of those other leaders, Rizal from an early age had been enunciating in poems, tracts and plays, ideas all his own of modern nationhood as a practical possibility in Asia. In the Noli he stated that if European civilization had nothing better to offer, colonialism in Asia was doomed. Such was recognized by Gandhi who regarded him as a forerunner in the cause of freedom. Jawaharlal Nehru, in his prison letters to his daughter Indira, acknowledged Rizal’s significant contributions in the Asian freedom movement. These leaders regarded these contributions as keystones and acknowledged Rizal’s role in the movement as foundation layer.
Rizal, through his reading of Morga and other western historians, knew of the genial image of Spain’s early relations with his people. In his writings, he showed the disparity between the early colonialists and those of his day, with the latter’s atrocities giving rise to Gomburza and the Philippine Revolution of 1896. His biographer, Austin Coates, and writer, Benedict Anderson, believe that Rizal gave the Philippine revolution a genuinely national character; and that Rizal’s patriotism and his standing as one of Asia’s first intellectuals have inspired others of the importance of a national identity to nation-building.
Although his field of action lay in politics, Rizal’s real interests lay in the arts and sciences, in literature and in his profession as an ophthalmologist. Shortly after his death, the Anthropological Society of Berlin met to honor him with a reading of a German translation of his farewell poem and Dr. Rudolf Virchow delivering the eulogy.
The Taft Commission in June 1901 approved AcT 137 renaming the District of Morong into the Province of Rizal, and Act 346 authorizing a government subscription for the erection of a national monument in Rizal’s honor. Republic Act 1425 was passed in 1956 by the Philippine legislature that would include in all high school and college curricula a course in the study of his life, works and writings. The wide acceptance of Rizal is partly evidenced by the countless towns, streets, and numerous parks in the Philippines named in his honor. Monuments in his honor were erected in Madrid, Tokyo, Wilhelmsfeld, Germany, Jinjiang, Fujian, China, Chicago, Cherry Hill Township, New Jersey, Honolulu, San Diego, Seattle, U.S.A., Mexico City, Mexico, Lima, Peru, and Litomerice, Czech Republic, and Toronto, Ontario,and Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Several titles were bestowed on him: “the First Filipino”, “Greatest Man of the Brown Race,” among others. The Order of the Knights of Rizal, a civic and patriotic organization, boasts of dozens of chapters all over the globe. There are some remote-area religious sects who claim him as a sublimation of Christ.
A two-sided marker bearing a painting of Rizal by Fabian de la Rosa on one side and a bronze bust relief of him by Philippine artist Guillermo Tolentino stands at the Asian Civilisations Museum Green. This marks his visits to Singapore (1882, 1887, 1891,1896).
A Rizal bronze bust was erected at La Molina district, Lima, Peru, designed by Czech sculptor Hanstroff, mounted atop a pedestal base with 4 inaugural plaque markers with the following inscription on one: “Dr. José P. Rizal, Héroe Nacional de Filipinas, Nacionalista, Reformador Political, Escritor, Lingüistica y Poeta, 1861–1896.”
Likewise, a monument in honor of Rizal is being planned in Rome. In the City of Philadelphia, the world-acclaimed ‘City of Murals’ the 1st Filipino mural in the US east coast honoring José Rizal will be unveiled to the public in time for Rizal’s Sesquicentennial year-long celebration.