|Born||José Protasio Rizal Mercado y Alonso Realonda
June 19, 1861
|Died||December 30, 1896
|Cause of death||execution by firing squad|
|Monuments||Rizal Park, Manila
|Alma mater||Ateneo Municipal de Manila, University of Santo Tomas, Universidad Central de Madrid|
|Organization||La Solidaridad, La Liga Filipina|
|Influenced by||Paciano Rizal|
|Spouse(s)||Josephine Bracken (1896)
|Children||Francísco Rizal y Bracken (who died after birth)|
|Parents||Francisco Mercado (father)
Teodora Alonso (mother)
José Protasio Rizal Mercado y Alonso Realonda (June 19, 1861 – December 30, 1896), was a Filipino nationalist and reformist. He is considered one of the national heroes of the Philippines, together with Andrés Bonifacio. Studying in Europe, he was the most prominent advocate for reform in the Philippines during the Spanish colonial era. He was wrongly implicated as the leader of the Katipunan Revolution, and that led to his execution on December 30, 1896, now celebrated as Rizal Day, a national holiday in the country.
Rizal was born to a wealthy family in Calamba, Laguna and was the seventh of eleven children. He attended the Ateneo Municipal de Manila, earning a Bachelor of Arts diploma and studied medicine at the University of Santo Tomas in Manila. He continued his studies at the Universidad Central de Madrid in Madrid, Spain, earning the degree of Licentiate in Medicine, making him eligible to practice medicine. He also attended lectures at the University of Paris and the University of Heidelberg.
Rizal was a polymath; besides medicine, he was also an artist who dabbled in painting, sketching, sculpting and woodcarving. He was a prolific poet, essayist, and novelist whose most famous works were his two novels, Noli Me Tángere and its sequel, El filibusterismo.[note 1] These social commentaries during the Spanish colonization of the country formed the nucleus of literature that inspired peaceful reformists and armed revolutionaries alike. Rizal was also a polyglot, conversant in twenty-two languages.[note 2][note 3]
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,[note 4], a secret society which would start the Philippine Revolution against Spain that eventually laid the foundation of the First Philippine Republic under Emilio Aguinaldo. He was a proponent of achieving Philippine self-government peacefully through institutional reform rather than through violent revolution, and would only 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,[note 5] 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 government ignited the Philippine Revolution.
The family of José Rizal
He was born to Francisco Engracio Rizal Mercado de Alejandro (1818–1897) and Teodora Morales Alonzo Realonda de Quintos, who were both prosperous farmers that were granted lease of a hacienda and an accompanying rice farm by the Dominicans. Rizal was the seventh child of their eleven children namely: Saturina (Neneng) (1850–1913), Paciano (1851–1930), Narcisa (Sisa) (1852–1939), Olympia (1855-1887), Lucia (1857–1919), María (Biang) (1859–1945), José Protasio (1861–1896), Concepción (Concha) (1862–1865), Josefa (Panggoy) (1865–1945), Trinidad (Trining) (1868–1951) and Soledad (Choleng) (1870–1929).
Rizal was a 5th-generation patrilineal descendant of Domingo Lam-co traditional Chinese: 柯儀南; simplified Chinese: 柯仪南; pinyin: Kē Yínán; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Kho Gî-lâm, a Chinese immigrant entrepreneur who sailed to the Philippines from Jinjiang, Quanzhou in the mid-17th century. Lam-co married Inez de la Rosa, a Sangley of Luzon.
José Rizal also had Spanish and Japanese ancestors. His grandfather and father of Teodora was a half Spaniard engineer named Lorenzo Alberto Alonzo. His maternal great-great-grandfather was Eugenio Ursua, a descendant of Japanese settlers.
In 1849, then Governor-General of the Philippines Narciso Clavería, issued a Decree by which native Filipino and immigrant families were to adopt Spanish surnames from a list of Spanish family names. Although the Chino Mestizos were allowed to hold on to their Chinese surnames, Lam-co changed his surname to the Spanish "Mercado" (market), possibly to indicate their Chinese merchant roots. José's father Francisco adopted the surname "Rizal" (originally Ricial,the green of young growth or green fields), which was suggested to him by a provincial governor, or as José had described him, "a friend of the family". However, the name change caused confusion in the business affairs of Francisco, most of which were begun under the old name. After a few years, he settled on the name "Rizal Mercado" as a compromise, but usually just used the original surname "Mercado".
Upon enrolling at the Ateneo Municipal de Manila, José dropped the last three names that make up his full name, on the advice of his brother, Paciano Rizal, and the Rizal Mercado family, thus rendering his name as "José Protasio Rizal". Of this, Rizal writes: "My family never paid much attention [to our second surname Rizal], but now I had to use it, thus giving me the appearance of an illegitimate child!" This was to enable him to travel freely and disassociate him from his brother, who had gained notoriety with his earlier links to Gomburza. From early childhood, José and Paciano were already advancing unheard-of political ideas of freedom and individual rights which infuriated the authorities.[note 6][note 7] Despite the name change, José, as "Rizal" soon distinguished himself in poetry writing contests, impressing his professors with his facility with Castilian and other foreign languages, and later, in writing essays that were critical of the Spanish historical accounts of the pre-colonial Philippine societies. Indeed, by 1891, the year he finished his El filibusterismo, this second surname had become so well known that, as he writes to another friend, "All my family now carry the name Rizal instead of Mercado because the name Rizal means persecution! Good! I too want to join them and be worthy of this family name...".
Rizal first studied under Justiniano Aquino Cruz in Biñan, Laguna before he was sent to Manila. As to his father's request, he took the entrance examination in Colegio de San Juan de Letran and studied there for almost three months. The Dominican friars asked him to transfer to another school due to his radical and bold questions.
He then enrolled at the Ateneo Municipal de Manila and graduated as one of the nine students in his class declared sobresaliente or outstanding. He continued his education at the Ateneo Municipal de Manila to obtain a land surveyor and assessor's degree, and at the same time at the University of Santo Tomas where he did take up a preparatory course in law. Upon learning that his mother was going blind, he decided to switch to medicine at the medical school of Santo Tomas specializing later in ophthalmology.
Without his parents' knowledge and consent, but secretly supported by his brother Paciano, he traveled alone to Madrid, Spain in May 1882 and studied medicine at the Universidad Central de Madrid where he earned the degree, Licentiate in Medicine. Also, he also attended medical lectures at the University of Paris and the University of Heidelberg. In Berlin he was inducted as a member of the Berlin Ethnological Society and the Berlin Anthropological Society under the patronage of the famous pathologist Rudolf Virchow. Following custom, he delivered an address in German in April 1887 before the Anthropological Society on the orthography and structure of the Tagalog language. He left Heidelberg a poem, "A las flores del Heidelberg", which was both an evocation and a prayer for the welfare of his native land and the unification of common values between East and West.
At Heidelberg, the 25-year-old Rizal, completed in 1887 his eye specialization under the renowned professor, Otto Becker. There he used the newly invented ophthalmoscope (invented by Hermann von Helmholtz) to later operate on his own mother's eye. From Heidelberg, Rizal wrote his parents: "I spend half of the day in the study of German and the other half, in the diseases of the eye. Twice a week, I go to the bierbrauerie, or beerhall, to speak German with my student friends." He lived in a Karlstraße boarding house then moved to Ludwigsplatz. There, he met Reverend Karl Ullmer and stayed with them in Wilhelmsfeld, where he wrote the last few chapters of Noli Me Tángere.
Rizal's multifacetedness was described by his German friend, Dr. Adolf Meyer, as "stupendous."[note 8] Documented studies show him to be a polymath with the ability to master various skills and subjects. He was an ophthalmologist, sculptor, painter, educator, farmer, historian, playwright and journalist. Besides poetry and creative writing, he dabbled, with varying degrees of expertise, in architecture, cartography, economics, ethnology, anthropology, sociology, dramatics, martial arts, fencing and pistol shooting. He was also a Freemason, joining Acacia Lodge No. 9 during his time in Spain and becoming a Master Mason in 1884.
Early relationships and ventures
José Rizal's life is one of the most documented of the 19th century due to the vast and extensive records written by and about him. Almost everything in his short life is recorded somewhere, being himself a regular diarist and prolific letter writer, much of the material having survived. His biographers, however, have faced difficulty in translating his writings because of Rizal's habit of switching from one language to another.
They drew largely from his travel diaries with their insights of a young Asian encountering the West for the first time. They included his later trips, home and back again to Europe through Japan and the United States, and, finally, through his self-imposed exile in Hong Kong. During December 1891 to June 1892, Rizal lived with his family in Number 2 of Rednaxela Terrace, Mid-levels, Hong Kong Island. Rizal used 5 D'Aguilar Street, Central district, Hong Kong Island as his ophthalmologist clinic from 2 pm to 6 pm.
This period of his education and his frenetic pursuit of life included his recorded affections of which nine were identified. They were Gertrude Becket of Chalcot Crescent (London), wealthy and high-minded Nelly Boustead of the English and Iberian merchant family, last descendant of a noble Japanese family Seiko Usui (affectionately called O-Sei-san), his earlier friendship with Segunda Katigbak, Leonor Valenzuela, and eight-year romantic relationship with a distant cousin, Leonor Rivera.
Shortly after he graduated from the Ateneo Municipal de Manila (now Ateneo de Manila University), Rizal (who was then 16 years old) and a friend, Mariano Katigbak, came to visit Rizal's maternal grandmother in Tondo, Manila. Mariano brought along his sister, Segunda Katigbak, a 14-year old Batangueña from Lipa, Batangas. It was the first time they met and Rizal described Segunda as "rather short, with eyes that were eloquent and ardent at times and languid at others, rosy–cheeked, with an enchanting and provocative smile that revealed very beautiful teeth, and the air of a sylph; her entire self diffused a mysterious charm." His grandmother's guests were mostly college students and they knew that Rizal had skills in painting. They suggested that Rizal should make a portrait of Segunda. He complied reluctantly and made a pencil sketch of her. Unfortunately, Katigbak was engaged to Manuel Luz.
Leonor Rivera is thought to be the inspiration for the character of Maria Clara in Noli Me Tángere and El Filibusterismo. Rivera and Rizal first met in Manila when Rivera was only 14 years old. When Rizal left for Europe on May 3, 1882, Rivera was 16 years of age. Their correspondence began when Rizal left a poem for Rivera saying farewell.
The correspondence between Rivera and Rizal kept Rizal focused on his studies in Europe. They employed codes in their letters because Rivera's mother did not favor Rizal. A letter from Mariano Katigbak dated June 27, 1884 referred to Rivera as Rizal's "betrothed". Katigbak described Rivera as having been greatly affected by Rizal's departure, frequently sick because of insomnia.
When Rizal returned to the Philippines on August 5, 1887, Rivera and her family had moved back to Dagupan, Pangasinan. Rizal was forbidden by his father Francisco Mercado to see Rivera in order to avoid putting the Rivera family in danger because at the time Rizal was already labeled by the Spaniards as a filibustero or subversive because his novel Noli Me Tángere. Rizal wanted to marry Rivera while he was still in the Philippines because of Rivera's uncomplaining fidelity. Rizal asked permission from his father one more time before his second departure from the Philippines. The meeting never happened. In 1888, Rizal stopped receiving letters from Rivera for a year, although Rizal kept sending letters to Rivera. The reason for Rivera's year of silence was the connivance between Rivera's mother and the Englishman named Henry Kipping, a railway engineer who fell in love with Rivera and was favored by Rivera's mother. The news of Leonor Rivera's marriage to Kipping devastated Rizal.
His European friends kept almost everything he gave them, including doodlings on pieces of paper. In the home of a Spanish liberal, Pedro Ortiga y Pérez, he left an impression that was to be remembered by his daughter, Consuelo. In her diary, she wrote of a day Rizal spent there and regaled them with his wit, social graces, and sleight-of-hand tricks. In London, during his research on Morga's writings, he became a regular guest in the home of Dr. Reinhold Rost of the British Museum who referred to him as "a gem of a man."[note 9] The family of Karl Ullmer, pastor of Wilhelmsfeld, and the Blumentritts saved even buttonholes and napkins with sketches and notes. They were ultimately bequeathed to the Rizal family to form a treasure trove of memorabilia.
In 1890, Rizal, 29, left Paris for Brussels as he was preparing for the publication of his annotations of Antonio de Morga's "Sucesos de las Islas Filipinas." There, he lived in the boarding house of the two Jacoby sisters, Catherina and Suzanna who had a niece also named Suzanna ("Thil"), 16. Historian Gregorio F. Zaide states that Rizal had "his romance with Suzanne Jacoby, 45, the petite niece of his landladies." Belgian Pros Slachmuylders, however, believed that Rizal had a romance with the niece, Suzanna Thil, in 1890.
Rizal's Brussels stay was short-lived, as he moved to Madrid, leaving the young Suzanna a box of chocolates. Suzanna replied in French: "After your departure, I did not take the chocolate. The box is still intact as on the day of your parting. Don’t delay too long writing us because I wear out the soles of my for running to the mailbox to see if there is a letter from you. There will never be any home in which you are so loved as in that in Brussels, so, you little bad boy, hurry up and come back…" (Oct. 1, 1890 letter). Slachmuylders’ group in 2007 unveiled a historical marker commemorating Rizal's stay in Brussels in 1890.
The content of Rizal's writings changed considerably in his two most famous novels, Noli Me Tángere, published in Berlin in 1887, and El Filibusterismo, published in Ghent in 1891 with funds borrowed largely from Rizal's friends. These writings angered both the Spanish colonial elite and many educated Filipinos due to their insulting symbolism. They are critical of Spanish friars and the power 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 Tángere into German. 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:[note 10]
- 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)
Wenceslao Retana, a political commentator in Spain, had slighted Rizal by writing an insulting article in "La Epoca", a newspaper in Madrid, in which he insinuated that the family and friends of Rizal were ejected from their lands in Calamba for not having paid their due rents. The incident (when Rizal was ten) stemmed from an accusation that Rizal's mother, Teodora, tried to poison the wife of a cousin when she claimed she only intervened to help. With the approval of the Church prelates, and without a hearing, she was ordered to prison in Santa Cruz in 1871. She was made to walk the ten miles (16 km) from Calamba. She was released after two-and-a-half years of appeals to the highest court. In 1887, Rizal wrote a petition on behalf of the tenants of Calamba, and later that year led them to speak out against the friars' attempts to raise rent. They initiated a litigation which resulted in the Dominicans evicting them from their homes, including the Rizal family. General Valeriano Weyler had the buildings on the farm torn down.
Upon reading the article, Rizal sent immediately a representative to challenge Retana to a duel. The painful memories of his mother's treatment at the hands of the civil authorities explain his reaction. Retana published a public apology and later became one of Rizal's biggest admirers, writing Rizal's most important biography - Vida y Escritos del José Rizal.[note 11]
Exile in Dapitan
Upon his return to Manila in 1892, he formed a civic movement called La Liga Filipina. The league advocated these moderate social reforms through legal means, but was disbanded by the governor. At that time, he had already been declared an enemy of the state by the Spanish authorities because of the publication of his novel.
Rizal was implicated in the activities of the nascent rebellion and in July 1892, was deported to Dapitan in the province of Zamboanga, a peninsula of Mindanao. There he built a school, a hospital and a water supply system, and taught and engaged in farming and horticulture.Abaca, then the vital raw material for cordage and which Rizal and his students planted in the thousands, was a memorial.
The boys' school, which taught in Spanish, and included English as a foreign language (considered a prescient if unusual option then) was conceived by Rizal and antedated Gordonstoun with its aims of inculcating resourcefulness and self-sufficiency in young men. They would later enjoy successful lives as farmers and honest government officials. One, a Muslim, became a datu, and another, José Aseniero, who was with Rizal throughout the life of the school, became Governor of Zamboanga.
In Dapitan, the Jesuits mounted a great effort to secure his return to the fold led by Fray Sánchez, his former professor, who failed in his mission. The task was resumed by Fray Pastells, a prominent member of the Order. In a letter to Pastells, Rizal sails close to the ecumenism familiar to us today.
– "We are entirely in accord in admitting the existence of God. How can I doubt his when I am convinced of mine. Who so recognizes the effect recognizes the cause. To doubt God is to doubt one's own conscience, and in consequence, it would be to doubt everything; and then what is life for? Now then, my faith in God, if the result of a ratiocination may be called faith, is blind, blind in the sense of knowing nothing. I neither believe nor disbelieve the qualities which many attribute to him; before theologians' and philosophers' definitions and lucubrations of this ineffable and inscrutable being I find myself smiling. Faced with the conviction of seeing myself confronting the supreme Problem, which confused voices seek to explain to me, I cannot but reply: 'It could be; but the God that I foreknow is far more grand, far more good: Plus Supra!...I believe in (revelation); but not in revelation or revelations which each religion or religions claim to possess. Examining them impartially, comparing them and scrutinizing them, one cannot avoid discerning the human 'fingernail' and the stamp of the time in which they were written... No, let us not make God in our image, poor inhabitants that we are of a distant planet lost in infinite space. However, brilliant and sublime our intelligence may be, it is scarcely more than a small spark which shines and in an instant is extinguished, and it alone can give us no idea of that blaze, that conflagration, that ocean of light. I believe in revelation, but in that living revelation which surrounds us on every side, in that voice, mighty, eternal, unceasing, incorruptible, clear, distinct, universal as is the being from whom it proceeds, in that revelation which speaks to us and penetrates us from the moment we are born until we die. What books can better reveal to us the goodness of God, his love, his providence, his eternity, his glory, his wisdom? 'The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament showeth his handiwork'."
His best friend, professor Ferdinand Blumentritt, kept him in touch with European friends and fellow-scientists who wrote a stream of letters which arrived in Dutch, French, German and English and which baffled the censors, delaying their transmittal. Those four years of his exile coincided with the development of the Philippine Revolution from inception and to its final breakout, which, from the viewpoint of the court which was to try him, suggested his complicity in it. He condemned the uprising, although all the members of the Katipunan had made him their honorary president and had used his name as a cry for war, unity, and liberty.
In February 1895, Rizal, 33, became acquainted with an Irish woman from Hong Kong named Josephine Bracken when she accompanied her blind adoptive father, George Taufer, to have his eye checked by Rizal. After frequent visits, Rizal and Bracken soon fell in love with each other and later applied for marriage, but because of his bad reputation from his own writings and political stance, the local priest Father Obach, only agreed to the hold the ceremony if Rizal could get a permission from the Bishop of Cebu. He was unable to obtain an ecclesiastical marriage because he would not return to Catholicism.
After accompanying her father to Manila on her return to Hong Kong and before heading back to Dapitan to live with Rizal, she introduced herself to members of his family in Manila. His mother suggested a civil marriage who believed it as a lesser sacrament, and would be less sinful to Rizal's conscience than making any sort of political retraction in order to gain permission from the Bishop. He, nonetheless, considered Josephine to be his wife and the couple lived together in Talisay in Dapitan. The couple had a child who was born prematurely, Francísco Rizal y Bracken, who died after only a few hours.
Arrest and trial
By 1896, the rebellion fomented by the Katipunan, a militant secret society, had become a full-blown revolution, proving to be a nationwide uprising. To dissociate himself from the rebellion, Rizal volunteered his services as a doctor in Cuba and was given leave by Governor-General Ramón Blanco to serve in Cuba to minister to victims of yellow fever. Rizal and Josephine left Dapitan on August 1, 1896 with letter of recommendation from Blanco.
Rizal was arrested en route to Cuba via Spain and was imprisoned in Barcelona on October 6, 1896. He was sent back the same day to Manila to stand trial as he was implicated in the revolution through his association with members of the Katipunan. During the entire passage, he was unchained, no Spaniard laid a hand on him, and had many opportunities to escape but refused to do so.
While imprisoned in Fort Santiago, he issued a manifesto disavowing the current revolution in its present state and declaring that the education of Filipinos and their achievement of a national identity were prerequisites to freedom.
Rizal was tried before a court-martial for rebellion, sedition, and conspiracy, was convicted on all three charges, and sentenced to death. Blanco, who was sympathetic to Rizal, had been forced out of office. The friars, led by then Archbishop of Manila Bernardino Nozaleda, had 'intercalated' Camilo de Polavieja in his stead, as the new Spanish Governor-General of the Philippines after pressuring Queen-Regent Maria Cristina of Spain, thus sealing Rizal's fate.
Moments before his execution on December 30, 1896 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.[note 12]
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.
His undated poem, Mi último adiós believed to be written on the day before his execution, was hidden in an alcohol stove, which was later handed to his family with his few remaining possessions, including the final letters and his last bequests. During their visit, Rizal reminded his sisters in English, "There is something inside it", referring to the alcohol stove given by the Pardo de Taveras which was to be returned after his execution, thereby emphasizing the importance of the poem. This instruction was followed by another, "Look in my shoes", in which another item was secreted. Exhumation of his remains in August 1898, under American rule, revealed he had been uncoffined, his burial not on sanctified ground granted the 'confessed' faithful, and whatever was in his shoes had disintegrated.
In his letter to his family he wrote: "Treat our aged parents as you would wish to be treated...Love them greatly in memory of me...December 30, 1896." He gave his family instructions for his burial: "Bury me in the ground. Place a stone and a cross over it. My name, the date of my birth and of my death. Nothing more. If later you wish to surround my grave with a fence, you can do it. No anniversaries."
In his final letter, to Blumentritt – Tomorrow at 7, I shall be shot; but I am innocent of the crime of rebellion. I am going to die with a tranquil conscience. Indeed, Rizal is perhaps the first revolutionary whose death is attributed entirely to his work as a writer; and through dissent and civil disobedience enabled him to successfully destroy Spain's moral primacy to rule. He also bequeathed a book personally bound by him in Dapitan to his 'best and dearest friend.' When Blumentritt received it in his hometown Litoměřice (Leitmeritz) he broke down and wept.
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."[note 13] 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 believe refers to the Catholic religion. Also there is an allegation that the retraction document was a forgery.
After analyzing six 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,[note 14]Nicolas Zafra of UPLeón María Guerrero III,[note 15]Gregorio Zaide,Guillermo Gómez Rivera, Ambeth Ocampo, John Schumacher, Antonio Molina,Paul Dumol and Austin Craig. They take the retraction document as authentic, having been judged as such by a foremost expert on the writings of Rizal, 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.
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,"[note 16] his reversion to the "true faith", and thus his "unfading glory," and a return to the "ideals of his fathers" which "did not diminish his stature as a great patriot; on the contrary, it increased that stature to 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'."
"Mi último adiós"
The poem is more aptly titled, "Adiós, Patria Adorada" (literally "Farewell, Beloved Fatherland"), by virtue of logic and literary tradition, the words coming from the first line of the poem itself. It first appeared in print not in Manila but in Hong Kong in 1897, when a copy of the poem and an accompanying photograph came to J. P. Braga who decided to publish it in a monthly journal he edited. There was a delay when Braga, who greatly admired Rizal, wanted a good job of the photograph and sent it to be engraved in London, a process taking well over two months. It finally appeared under 'Mi último pensamiento,' a title he supplied and by which it was known for a few years. Thus, when the Jesuit Balaguer's anonymous account of the retraction and the marriage to Josephine was appearing in Barcelona, no word of the poem's existence reached him in time to revise what he had written. His account was too elaborate that Rizal would have had no time to write "Adiós."
Six years after his death, when the Philippine Organic Act of 1902 was being debated in the United States Congress, Representative Henry Cooper of Wisconsin rendered an English translation of Rizal's valedictory poem capped by the peroration, "Under what clime or what skies has tyranny claimed a nobler victim?" Subsequently, the US Congress passed the bill into law which is now known as the Philippine Organic Act of 1902.
This was a major breakthrough for a US Congress that had yet to grant equal rights to African Americans guaranteed to them in the US Constitution and the Chinese Exclusion Act was still in effect. It created the Philippine legislature, appointed two Filipino delegates to the US Congress, extended the US Bill of Rights to Filipinos, and laid the foundation for an autonomous government. The colony was on its way to independence. The Americans, however, would not sign the bill into law until 1916 and did not recognize Philippine Independence until the Treaty of Manila in 1946—fifty years after Rizal's death.This same poem which has inspired liberty-loving peoples across the region and beyond was recited (in its Bahasa Indonesia translation by Rosihan Anwar) by Indonesian soldiers of independence before going into battle.
Bracken, whom Rizal addressed as his wife on his last day, promptly joined the revolutionary forces in Cavite province,making her way through thicket and mud across enemy lines, and helped reloading spent cartridges at the arsenal in Imus under the revolutionary General Pantaleón García. Imus came under threat of recapture that the operation was moved, with Bracken, to Maragondon, the mountain redoubt in Cavite.
She witnessed the Tejeros Convention prior to returning to Manila and was summoned by the Governor-General, but owing to her stepfather's American citizenship she could not be forcibly deported. She left voluntarily returning to Hong Kong. She later married another Filipino, Vicente Abad, a mestizo acting as agent for the Tabacalera firm in the Philippines. She died of tubercolosis in Hong Kong in March 15, 1902 and was buried at the Happy Valley Cemetery. She was immortalized by Rizal in the last stanza of Mi Ultimo Adios: "Farewell, sweet stranger, my friend, my joy...".
Polavieja and Blanco
Polavieja faced condemnation by his countrymen after his return to Spain. While visiting Girona, in Catalonia, circulars were distributed among the crowd bearing Rizal's last verses, his portrait, and the charge that Polavieja was responsible for the loss of the Philippines to Spain. Ramon Blanco later presented his sash and sword to the Rizal family as an apology.
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.[note 17]
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 El Filibusterismo, Rizal had Father Florentino say: "...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." Rizal's attitude to the Philippine Revolution is also debated, not only based on his own writings, but also due to the varying eyewitness accounts of Pío Valenzuela, a doctor who in 1895 had consulted Rizal in Dapitan on behalf of Bonifacio and the Katipunan.
Upon the outbreak of the Philippine Revolution in 1896, Valenzuela surrendered to the Spanish authorities and testified in military court that Rizal had strongly condemned an armed struggle for independence when Valenzuela asked for his support. Rizal had even refused him entry to his house. Bonifacio, in turn, had openly denounced him as a coward for his refusal.[note 18]
But years later, Valenzuela testified that Rizal had been favorable to an uprising as long as the Filipinos were well-prepared, and well-supplied with arms. Rizal had suggested that the Katipunan get wealthy and influential Filipino members of society on their side, or at least ensure they would stay neutral. Rizal had even suggested his friend Antonio Luna to lead the revolutionary forces since he had studied military science.[note 19] In the event that the Katipunan was discovered prematurely, they should fight rather than allow themselves to be killed. Valenzuela said to historian Teodoro Agoncillo that he had lied to the Spanish military authorities about Rizal's true stance toward a revolution in an attempt to exculpate him.
Before his execution, Rizal wrote a proclamation denouncing the revolution. But as noted by historian Floro Quibuyen, his final poem Mi ultimo adios contains a stanza which equates his coming execution and the rebels then dying in battle as fundamentally the same, as both are dying for their country.
The confusion over Rizal's real stance on the Philippine Revolution leads to the sometimes bitter question of his ranking as the nation's premier 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 Andrés Bonifacio not replace Rizal as national hero, like some have suggested, 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. 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.
Despite the lack of any official declaration explicitly proclaiming them as national heroes, Rizal, along with Bonifacio, remains admired and revered for their 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.
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. Rizal was active when the power of other European nations was growing in Asia, mostly motivated by trade, some for the purpose of bringing Western forms of government and education to Asian peoples. 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.[note 20]
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 injustices giving rise to Gomburza and the Philippine Revolution of 1896. The English 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.[note 21]
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. In September 1903, he was canonised as a saint in the Iglesia Filipina Independiente, however it was revoked in the 1950s.
During his exile, he became a noted biologist, having discovered rare animal species, notably the Philippine Gliding Lizard. He sent specimens secretly to Europe and even proposed a binomial name for the creature (which is still used today).
- 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 Rizal Monument now stands near the place where he fell at the Luneta in Bagumbayan, which is now called Rizal Park, a national park in Manila. The monument, which also contains his remains, was designed by the Swiss Richard Kissling of the William Tel sculpture in Altdorf, Uri.[note 22] The monument carries the inscription "I want to show to those who deprive people the right to love of country, that when we know how to sacrifice ourselves for our duties and convictions, death does not matter if one dies for those one loves – for his country and for others dear to him."
- The Taft Commission in June 1901 approved Act 137 renaming the District of Morong into the Province of Rizal. Today, the wide acceptance of Rizal is evidenced by the countless towns, streets, and numerous parks in the Philippines named in his honor.
- Republic Act 1425 was passed in 1956 by the Philippine legislature requiring all high school and college curricula a course in the study of his life, works and writings.
- Monuments erected in his honor can be found in Madrid; Tokyo; Wilhelmsfeld, Germany; Jinjiang, Fujian, China; Chicago;Cherry Hill Township, New Jersey; Honolulu; San Diego; Mexico City, Mexico;Lima, Peru;Litomerice, Czech Republic; Toronto;and Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
- The USS Rizal (DD-174) was a Wickes-class destroyer named after Rizal by the United States Navy and launched on September 21, 1918.
- The José Rizal Bridge and Rizal Park in the city of Seattle are dedicated to Rizal.
- A two-sided marker bearing a painting of Rizal by Fabián 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 marking his visits to Singapore in 1882, 1887, 1891 and 1896.
- A Rizal bronze bust was erected at La Molina district, Lima, Peru, designed by Czech sculptor Hanstroff, mounted atop a pedestal base with four 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."
- A plaque marks the Heidelberg building where he trained with Professor Becker while in Wilhemsfeld. There is a small Rizal Park in that city where a bronze statue of Rizal stands. The street where he lived was also renamed after him. A sandstone fountain in Pastor Ullmer's house garden where Rizal lived in Wilhelmsfeld, was given to the Philippine government and is now located at Rizal Park in Manila.
- Throughout 2011, the National Historical Institute and other institutions organized several activities commemorating the 150th birth anniversary of Rizal, which took place on June 19 of that year.
Rizal also tried his hand at painting and sculpture. His most famous sculptural work was "The Triumph of Science over Death", a clay sculpture of a naked young woman with overflowing hair, standing on a skull while bearing a torch held high. The woman symbolized the ignorance of humankind during the Dark Ages, while the torch she bore symbolized the enlightenment science brings over the whole world. He sent the sculpture as a gift to his dear friend Ferdinand Blumentritt, together with another one named "The Triumph of Death over Life".
The woman is shown trampling the skull, a symbol of death, to signify the victory the humankind achieved by conquering the bane of death through their scientific advancements. The original sculpture is now displayed at the Rizal Shrine Museum at Fort Santiago in Intramuros, Manila. A large replica, made of concrete, stands in front of Fernando Calderón Hall, the building which houses the College of Medicine of the University of the Philippines Manila along Pedro Gil Street in Ermita, Manila.
Rizal in popular culture
Adaptation of his works
The cinematic depiction of Rizal's literary works won two film industry awards more than a century after his birth. In the 10th FAMAS Awards, he was honored in the Best Story category for Gerardo de León's adaptation of his book Noli Me Tángere. The recognition was repeated the following year with his movie version of El Filibusterismo, making him the only person to win back-to-back FAMAS Awards posthumously.
Both novels were translated into opera by the composer-librettist Felipe Padilla de León: Noli me tangere in 1957 and El filibusterismo in 1970; and his 1939 overture, Mariang Makiling, was inspired by Rizal's tale of the same name.
Several films were produced narrating Rizal's life. The most successful was José Rizal, produced by GMA Films and released in 1998. Cesar Montano played the title role.. A year before it was shown another movie was made portraying his life while in exile in the island of Dapitan. Titled Rizal sa Dapitan produced by Viva Films it stars Albert Martínez as Rizal and Amanda Page as Josephine Bracken. The film was the top grosser of the 1997 Manila Film Festival and won the best actor and actress trophies.. Another film that tackled particularly on the heroism of Rizal was the 2000 film Bayaning 3rd World, directed by Mike de Leon and starring Joel Torre as José Rizal.
Rizal also appeared in the 1999 video game Medal of Honor as a secret character in multiplayer, alongside other historical figures such as William Shakespeare and Winston Churchill. He can be unlocked by completing the single-player mode, or through cheat codes.
|Ancestors of José Rizal|
Notes and references
- His novel Noli was one of the first novels in Asia written outside Japan and China and was one of the first novels of anti-colonial rebellion. Read Benedict Anderson's commentary: .
- He was conversant in Spanish, French, Latin, Greek, German, Portuguese, Italian, English, Dutch, and Japanese. Rizal also made translations from Arabic, Swedish, Russian, Chinese, Greek, Hebrew and Sanskrit. He translated the poetry of Schiller into his native Tagalog. In addition he had at least some knowledge of Malay, Chavacano, Cebuano, Ilocano, and Subanun.
- In his essay, "Reflections of a Filipino", (La Solidaridad, c.1888), he wrote: "Man is multiplied by the number of languages he possesses and speaks."
- Bonifacio was a member of La Liga Filipina. After Rizal's arrest and exile, it was disbanded and the group splintered into two factions; the more radical group formed into the Katipunan, the militant arm of the insurrection.
- Rizal's annotations of Morga's Sucesos de las islas Filipinas (1609), which he copied word for word from the British Museum and had published, called attention to an antiquated book, a testimony to the well-advanced civilization in the Philippines during pre-Spanish era. In his essay "The Indolence of the Filipino" Rizal stated that three centuries of Spanish rule did not do much for the advancement of his countryman; in fact there was a 'retrogression', and the Spanish colonialists have transformed him into a 'half-way brute.' The absence of moral stimulus, the lack of material inducement, the demoralization--'the indio should not be separated from his carabao', the endless wars, the lack of a national sentiment, the Chinese piracy—all these factors, according to Rizal, helped the colonial rulers succeed in placing the indio 'on a level with the beast'. (Read English translation by Charles Derbyshire at Project Gutenberg.)
- When José was baptized, the record showed his parents as Francisco Rizal Mercado and Teodora Realonda."José Rizal’s Lineage"
- At age 8 (in 1869) he was reputed to have written the poem Sa aking mga Kabata and had for its theme the love of one's native language.
- Adolf Bernard Meyer (1840–1911) was a German ornithologist and anthropologist, and author of the book Philippinen-typen (Dresden, 1888)
- Dr. Reinhold Rost was the head of the India Office at the British Museum and a renowned 19th century philologist.
- In his letter "Manifesto to Certain Filipinos" (Manila, 1896), he states: Reforms, if they are to bear fruit, must come from above; for reforms that come from below are upheavals both violent and transitory.(Epistolario Rizalino, op cit)
- According to Laubach it was Retana more than any other who 'saved Rizal for posterity'. (Laubach, op.cit., p. 383)
- Rizal's trial was regarded a travesty even by prominent Spaniards of his day. Soon after his execution, the philosopher Miguel de Unamuno in an impassioned utterance recognized Rizal as a "Spaniard", "...profoundly and intimately Spanish, far more Spanish than those wretched men—forgive them, Lord, for they knew not what they did—those wretched men, who over his still warm body hurled like an insult heavenward that blasphemous cry, 'Viva Espana!'"Miguel de Unamuno, epilogue to Wenceslao Retana's Vida y Escritos del Dr. José Rizal.(Retana, op. cit.)
- Me retracto de todo corazon de cuanto en mis palabras, escritos, impresos y conducta ha habido contrario á mi cualidad de hijo de la Iglesia Católica: Jesus Cavanna, Rizal's Unfading Glory: A Documentary History of the Conversion of Dr. José Rizal (Manila: 1983)
- Joaquin, Nick, Rizal in Saga, Philippine National Centennial Commission, 1996:""It seems clear now that he did retract, that he went to confession, heard mass, received communion, and was married to Josephine, on the eve of his death".
- "That is a matter for handwriting experts, and the weight of expert opinion is in favor of authenticity. It is nonsense to say that the retraction does not prove Rizal's conversion; the language of the document is unmistakable."
- The retraction, Javier de Pedro contends, is the end of a process which started with a personal crisis as Rizal finished the Fili.
- Rizal's third novel Makamisa was rescued from oblivion by Ocampo.
- Bonifacio later mobilized his men to attempt to liberate Rizal while in Fort Santiago. (Laubach, op.cit., chap. 15)
- Antonio Luna denounced the Katipunan, but became a general under Emilio Aguinaldo's First Republic and fought in the Philippine–American War.
- Also stated in Rizal's essay, "The Philippines: A Century Hence", The batteries are gradually becoming charged and if the prudence of the government does not provide an outlet for the currents that are accumulating, someday the sparks will be generated. (read etext at Project Gutenberg)
- According to Anderson, Rizal is one of the best exemplars of nationalist thinking. (See also (subscription required))
- Rizal himself translated Schiller's William Tell into Tagalog in 1886.
- Valdez, Valdez & Et Al 2007, p. 59.
- Valdez, Valdez & Et Al 2007, p. 7.
- Nery, John (2011). "Revolutionary Spirit: Jose Rizal in Southeast Asia", pg. 240. Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore. ISBN 978-981-4345-06-4.
- Fadul 2008, pg. 31.
- Fadul 2008, p.21.
- "Rizal y Alonso, José Protasio, 1861-1896". Virtual International Authority File (VIAF). Retrieved 18 May 2013.
- José Rizal; José Rizal National Centennial Commission (1961). El filibusterismo (in Spanish). Linkgua digital. pp. 9. ISBN 978-84-9953-093-2.
- "Selection and Proclamation of National Heroes and Laws Honoring Filipino Historical Figures". Reference and Research Bureau Legislative Research Service, House of Congress. Retrieved 8 September 2009.
- Noli Me Tángere, translated by Soledad Locsin (Manila: Ateneo de Manila, 1996) ISBN 971-569-188-9.
- Frank Laubach, Rizal: Man and Martyr (Manila: Community Publishers, 1936)
- Witmer, Christoper (2001-06-02). "Noli Me Tangere (Touch Me Not)". LewRockwell.com. Retrieved on 2012-09-29.
- . Retrieved January 10, 2007.
- Trillana III, Dr. Pablo S. "2 historical events led to birth of modern RP". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved June 11, 2007.
- José Rizal (2007). The Reign of Greed. Echo Library. pp. 231. ISBN 978-1-4068-3936-4.
- National Historical Institute "...Angelo Ivan Mendoza added “Rizal” to the family surname..."(registration required)
- National Historical Institute "...Francisco Engracio Mercado added “Rizal” to the family surname..."(registration required)
- Rizal's rags-to-riches ancestor from South China. Retrieved February 18, 2007.
- Craig 1914, pg. 31.
- F. Zaide, Gregorio (1957). José Rizal: life, works, and writings. Villanueva. p. 5.
- Diccionario de la lengua española – Vigésima segunda edición
- Vicente L. Rafael On Rizal's El Filibusterismo, University of Washington, Dep. of History
- Montemayor, Teofilo H. (2004). "Jose Rizal: A Biographical Sketch". José Rizal University. Retrieved 2007-01-10.
- de Tangle, Edith Perez. "Don Daniel Maramba". Philippine folio. Philippine folio. Retrieved 2005.
- Parco de Castro, M.E.G. "Jose Rizal: A birthday wish list". The Varsitarian. Retrieved June 27, 2011.
- The Many-Sided Personality. José Rizal University. Retrieved January 10, 2007.
- Austin Craig, Lineage, Life and Labors of Rizal. Google Books. Retrieved on 2007-01-10.
- Kalaw, Teodoro."Epistolario Rizalino: 4 volumes, 1400 letters to and from Rizal". Bureau of Printing, Manila.
- Zaide, Gregorio (1957). Rizal's Life, Works and Writings. Manila, Philippines: Villanueva Book Store. pp. 43–44.
- Martinez-Clemente, Jo (200-06-20) Keeping up with legacy of Rizal’s ‘true love’ Inquirer Central Luzon at inquirer.net. Retrieved on 2011-12-03.
- Leonor Rivera, José Rizal University, joserizal.ph
- Coates, Austin. "Leonor Rivera", Rizal: Philippine Nationalist and Martyr, Oxford University Press (Hong Kong), pages 52–54, 60, 84, 124, 134–136, 143, 169, 185–188, and 258.
- Cuizon, Ahmed (2008-06-21). "Rizal’s affair with 'la petite Suzanne'". Inquirer.net. Retrieved on 2012-09-20.
- Harry Sichrovsky (1987). Ferdinand Blumentritt: an Austrian life for the Philippines : the story of José Rizal's closest friend and companion. p. 39. ISBN 978-971-13-6024-5.
- Retana, Wenceslao. Vida y Escritos del José Rizal. Libreria General de Victoriano Suarez, Madrid 1907.
- "Appendix II: Decree Banishing Rizal. Governor-General Eulogio Despujol, Manila, July 7, 1892." In Miscellaneous Correspondence of Dr. José Rizal / translated by Encarnacion Alzona. (Manila: National Historical Institute.)
- Raul J. Bonoan, S.J., The Rizal-Pastells Correspondence (Manila: Ateneo de Manila University Press, 1996)
- Epistolario Rizalino: 4 volumes, 1400 letters to and from Rizal, edited by Teodoro Kalaw (Manila: Bureau of Printing,1930–38)
- Fadul 2008, p. 17.
- Craig 1914, p.215
- Fadul 2008, p. 38.
- Russell, Charles Edward; Rodriguez, Eulogio Balan (1923). The hero of the Filipinos: the story of José Rizal, poet, patriot and martyr. The Century co. p. 308.
- Austin Coates, Rizal: Philippine Nationalist and Martyr (London: Oxford University Press, 1968) ISBN 0-19-581519-X
- "Letters Between Rizal and his Family, #223". The Life and Writings of José Rizal. Retrieved on 2012-09-29
- Ricardo Roque Pascual, José Rizal Beyond the Grave (Manila: P. Ayuda & Co., 1962)
- Mi Ultimo Adios, stanza 13
- Ildefonso T. Runes and Mameto R. Buenafe, The Forgery of the Rizal "Retraction" and Josephine's "Autobiography" (Manila: BR Book Col, 1962)
- "Rizal's Retraction: A Note on the Debate, Silliman Journal (Vol. 12, No. 2, April, May, June 1965), pages 168–183". Life and Writings of José Rizal. Retrieved September 9, 2009.
- Rafael Palma, Pride of the Malay Race (New York: Prentice Hall, 1949)
- Ambeth Ocampo (2008). Rizal Without the Overcoat. Anvil Publishing.
- Nicolas Zafra (1961). Historicity of Rizal's Retraction. Bookmark.
- Guerrero, León Maria III (1963). "The First Filipino: A Biography of José Rizal". National Historical Institute of The Philippines, Manila.
- Gregorio Zaide (2003). Jose Rizal: Life, Works and Writings of a Genius, Writer, Scientist and National Hero. National Bookstore.
- Schumacher, John. "The Making of a Nation: Essays on Nineteenth-Century Nationalism".
- Molina, Antonio M. (1998). "Yo, José Rizal". Ediciones de Cultura Hispánica, Madrid.
- "Uncovering Controversial Facts about José Rizal" (mariaronabeltran.com)
- Marciano Guzman (1988). The Hard Facts About Rizal's Conversion. Sinagtala Publishers.
- Jesus Cavanna (1983). Rizal's Unfading Glory: A Documentary History of the Conversion of Dr. Jose Rizal.
- Javier de Pedro (2005) Rizal Through a Glass Darkly, University of Asia and the Pacific
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- (1950-01-06). "Joint Statement of the Catholic Hierarchy of the Philippines on the Book 'The Pride of the Malay Race'". CBCP (Catholic Bishop's Conference of the Philippines) Documents. Retrieved on 2012-09-30.
- Garcia, Ricardo P. (1964). "The Great Debate: The Rizal Retraction - Preface". R.P. Garcia Publishing Co., Quezon City.
- Esteban de Ocampo, "Why is Rizal the Greatest Filipino Hero?" National Historical Institute. ISBN 971-538-053-0
- Pacis, Vicente Albano. "RIZAL IN THE AMERICAN CONGRESS". The Philippines Free Press Online. Retrieved December 27, 1952.
- "Mi Ultimo Adios by Jose Rizal". Philippine American Literary House.
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- Fadul 2008, pg. 18.
- Craig 1914, pp. 259-260
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- Miguel de Unamuno, "The Tagalog Hamlet" in Rizal: Contrary Essays, edited by D. Feria and P. Daroy (Manila: National Book Store, 1968).
- José Rizal, El Filibusterismo (Ghent: 1891) chap.39, translated by Andrea Tablan and Salud Enriquez (Manila: Marian Publishing House, 2001) ISBN 971-686-154-0. (online text at Project Gutenberg)
- Agoncillo, Teodoro. The Revolt of the Masses.
- Quibuyen, A Nation Aborted: Rizal, American Hegemony, And Philippine Nationalism
- Agoncillo, Teodoro (1990) , "History of the Filipino People (8th ed.)". Garotech Publishing Inc., Quezon City. ISBN 971-8711-06-6
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- Mari Arquiza (1992-12-02). ":: Felipe De Leon ::". Philmusicregistry.net. Retrieved December 30, 2009.
- Medal of Honor 2 cheats for PS1
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- Craig, Austin (1914). Lineage, Life and Labors of Jose Rizal, Philippine Patriot. Yonker-on-Hudson World Book Company.
- Fadul, Jose (ed.) (2008). Encyclopedia Rizaliana. Morrisville, North Carolina: Lulu Press. ISBN 978-1-4303-1142-3
- Valdez, Maria Stella S.; Valdez; Et Al (2007). Doctor Jose Rizal and the Writing of His Story. Rex Bookstore, Inc. ISBN 978-971-23-4868-6.
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- Hessel, Dr. Eugene A. (1965) Rizal's Retraction: A Note on the Debate. Silliman University
- Mapa, Christian Angelo A.(1993) The Poem Of the Famous Young Elder José Rizal
- Catchillar, Chryzelle P. (1994) The Twilight in the Philippines
- Venzon, Jahleel Areli A. (1994) The Doorway to hell, Rizal's Biography
- Tomas, Jindřich (1998) José Rizal, Ferdinand Blumentritt and the Philippines in the New Age. The City of Litomerice: Czech Republic. Publishing House Oswald Praha (Prague).
- The Dapitan Correspondence of Dr.José Rizal and Dr. Ferdinand Blumentritt. Compiled by Romeo G. Jalosjos. The City Government Dapitan City: Philippines, 2007. ISBN 978-971-93553-0-4.
- Fadul, Jose (2002/2008). A Workbook for a Course in Rizal. Manila: De La Salle University Press. ISBN 971-555-426-1 /C&E Publishing. ISBN 978-971-584-648-6
- Guerrero, Leon Ma. (2007) The First Filipino. Manila: National Historical Institute of The Philippines (1962); Guerrero Publishing. ISBN 971-93418-2-3
- Joaquin, Nick (1977). A Question of Heroes: Essays and criticisms on ten key figures of Philippine History. Manila: Ayala Museum.
- Ocampo, Ambeth R.(2008).Rizal Without the Overcoat. Pasig: Anvil Publishing.
- Ocampo, Ambeth R.(2001).Meaning and history: The Rizal Lectures. Pasig: Anvil Publishing.
- Ocampo, Ambeth R.(1993). Calendar of Rizaliana in the vault of the National Library.Pasig: Anvil Publishing.
- Ocampo, Ambeth R.(1992).Makamisa: The Search for Rizal's Third Novel. Pasig: Anvil Publishing.
- Quirino, Carlos (1997). The Great Malayan. Makati City: Tahanan Books. ISBN 971-630-085-9
- Medina, Elizabeth (1998). Rizal According to Retana: Portrait of a Hero and a Revolution. Santiago, Chile: Virtual Multimedia. ISBN 956-7483-09-4
- Rizal, Jose. (1889)."Sa mga Kababayang Dalaga ng Malolos" in Escritos Politicos y Historicos de José Rizal (1961). Manila: National Centennial Commission.
- Runes, Ildefonso (1962). The Forgery of the Rizal Retraction'. Manila: Community Publishing Co.
- Thomas, Megan C. Orientalists, Propagandists, and "Ilustrados": Filipino Scholarship and the End of Spanish Colonialism (University of Minnesota Press; 2012) 277 pages; Explores Orientalist and racialist discourse in the writings of José Rizal and five other ilustrados.
- Zaide, Gregorio F. (2003) José Rizal: Life, Works and Writings of a Genius, Writer, Scientist and National Hero. Manila: National Bookstore. ISBN 971-08-0520-7
- Blumenstihl D. (2005) — José Rizal, une oeuvre, une vie. (French) José Rizal's connection with Don Quixote and Cervantes. 380 p. Ed. Delarose ISBN 2-9522261-2-1
- Blumenstihl D. (2011)— José Rizal, kabbaliste. (French) Jose Rizal, portrait of a kabbalist. 384 p. Ed. Peleman.
- Interesting Facts About Dr. Jose P. Rizal
- The Complete Jose Rizal at Filipiniana.net
- Talambuhay ni Jose Rizal
- The Life and Writings of Jose Rizal
- "José Mercado Rizal". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 1913.
- Works by José Rizal at Project Gutenberg
- Jose Rizal Website
- Rizal's Little Odyssey
- Review of Dimasalang: The Masonic Life Of Dr. Jose P. Rizal
- Jose Rizal, a revolutionary friend of Don Quixote (French)
- Comparison between Jose Rizal and Jose Marti (Spanish)
- Extensive annotated list of Rizaliana materials on the Internet
- Chevaliers de Rizal (French)
- Poems written by Dr. José Rizal
- Philippine Literature and José Rizal, articles by José Tlatelpas, Edmundo Farolán and others. Published in Spanish by La Guirnalda Polar, webzine, Canada, 1997.
- Songs written by Dr. José Rizal
- Works by José Rizal on Open Library at the Internet Archive
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