Name Jose Protacio Rizal Mercado y Alonso Riodonda.
Born: 19 June 1861, Calamba, Laguna, Spanish Philippines.
Father: Francisco Mercado Rizal.
Mother: Teodora Alonso Realonda.
Wife / Husband: Josephine Bracken.
Jose Rizal Biography:
Jose Rizal was born in 1861 in the city of Calamba in Laguna province, Francisco Rizal Mercado y Alejandro and Teodora Alonso Realonda y Quintos. He had nine sisters and a brother. His parents were leaseholders of a hacienda and a rice farm together with Dominicans.
Both of their families adopted additional surnames of Rizal and Realonda in 1849, after deciding to adopt Spanish surnames among Filipinos for census purposes.
Like many families in the Philippines, the Riesels were of mixed origin. Jose’s ancestral lineage could be traced back to Fujian in China through his father’s ancestor Lam-Ko, a Chinese businessman living in the Philippines in the late 17th century.
Lam-Sah traveled to Manila from Amay, China, possibly to avoid famine or plague in his home district, and possibly to avoid the Manchu invasion during the transition from Ming to Qing. He eventually decided to live on the islands as a farmer.
In 1697, to avoid the anti-Chinese prejudice present in the Philippines, he converted to Catholicism, changed his name to Domingo Mercado, and married the daughter of Chinese friend Augustin Chin-co.
While in Europe, Jose Rizal became part of the propaganda movement, joining with other Filipinos who wanted reform. He wrote his first novel, Noli Me Tangier (Touch Me Not / The Social Cancer), a work that detailed the black aspects of Spain’s colonial rule in the Philippines, with particular attention to the role of Catholic fibers. The book was banned in the Philippines, although copies were smuggled. Because of this novel, Rizal’s return to the Philippines was curtailed in 1887, when he was targeted by police.
Rizal returned to Europe and continued writing in 1891, releasing his follow-up novel, El Filibusterismo (The Rewind of Grad). He also published an article in La Solidaridad, a paper associated with the Propaganda Movement. The reforms Rizal advocated did not include independence – he called for equal treatment of Filipinos, limiting the power of the Spanish Frager, and limiting representation for the Philippines in the Spanish Cortes (Parliament of Spain).
Rizal returned to the Philippines in 1892. He founded Liga Filipina, a non-violent-reformist society in Manila, and was deported to Dapitan in northwestern Mindanao. He remained in exile for the next four years. In 1896, Katipunan of a Filipino nationalist secret society revolted against Spain. Although he had no connection with that organization and had no part in the rebellion, Rizal was arrested and tried by the army for treason.
Convicted, he was publicly executed by a firing squad in Manila. His martyrdom convinced Filipinos that there was no alternative to independence from Spain. While confined at Fort Santiago, on the eve of his hanging, Rizal wrote: “Último adiós” (“Last Farewell”), a masterpiece of 19th-century Spanish poetry.
The Philippine Revolution began in 1896. Rizal condemned the violence and in return for his freedom, the yellow fever victims received permission to travel to Cuba. Bonifacio and two allies left the ship for Cuba, trying to convince Rizal before he left the Philippines, but Rizal refused.
He was arrested on the way by the Spanish, taken to Barcelona, and then extradited to Manila for trial. Jose Rizal was charged with conspiracy, treason, and rebellion by court-martial. Despite the lack of any evidence of his complicity in the revolution, Rizal was convicted in all cases and sentenced to death
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