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’s parents: Francisco Mercado and Teodora Quinto
Rizal during his childhood
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.
(left)Rizal’s address card while working as a doctor. (Right) The Rednazela terrace (as stated in the address card)
Thisperiod of his education and his frenetic pursuit of life included his recorded affections. Historians write of Rizals "dozen women", even if only 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.
(Fromleft) Leonor Rivera and Josephine Bracken
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.
Novel: The Social Cancer (Noli Me Tangere) Noli me tángere (Spanish) Noli me tángere (Italian) Novel: The Reign of Greed (El Filibusterismo) El Filibusterismo (Spanish) El Filibusterismo (Italian) Rizals Annotations to Morgas 1609 Philippine History Sa Mga Kababaihang Taga Malolos To the Young Women of Malolos The Indolence of the Filipino Filipinas dentro de cien años The Philippines A Century Hence English translation of Filipinas dentro de cien años Le Filippine entro cento anni (Italian version) Cóme se gobiernan las Filipinas Come si governano le Filippine (Italian translation) Cóme se gobiernan las Filipinas (English translation)
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", Rizals initials in reverse. Jose Rizals original grave at Paco Park in Manila. Slightly renovated and date repainted in English. 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