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Life and Works of Rizal

Life and Works
S.Y. 2020-2021
Lesson 1-5
Introduction to The Study of
Learning outcomes
At the end of this lesson, students shall be able to:
• Define and know the scope of history;
• Identify the sources and dimensions of history in general; and
• Discuss the concept of historical documentation and historical imagination
Welcome to the “New Normal” form in teaching and learning process. In this lesson, you will be
introduced to the scope of history, its sources, historical documentation, methodology, various dimensions,
and its relevance. This will only take up few minutes of your time. Hereafter is an activity that will tickle your
mind about you and your role in history.
Instruction: Select at least 2 items from the list that can be found inside your house (the oldest issue) and take
a selfie with it. Kindly attach the photos of the chosen item in a separate page.
Old Clock
Old Coin or paper money
Old jewelry
Letter since 5-10 years ago
5. Old calendar
• Provide some of your thoughts on History and of it as branch of social science.
• Enumerate the two sources of History.
• Explicate each of the following: Historical Documentation, Methodology, Imagination, Dimensions,
and Relevance.
Meaning and Scope of History
The word history comes from the Latin word, “historia” which means an “inquiry” or “investigation”.
Historians tend to study history based on the past where they are looking for the evidence of an event or even
civilization. The study of history became one of the oldest disciplines in liberal arts. History is defined as “the
branch of social science which deals with the study of the past in relation to the present and the future”. Based
on this definition, there are 3 important elements of history: a.) as branch of social
science, b.) study of the past, c.) relation to the present and future. It is very important to examine the 3, as
1. Branch of Social Science – Science is defined as “the study of facts based on observation and
experimentation”. Sciences are divided into 3: physical, natural and social sciences. Our main concern
is on social sciences where history belongs.
2. Study of the past – peoples, event, places and even civilizations are one of the main concerns in the
studying history. Therefore, we will study the past, regarding Rizal’s Life, works and writings that all
happened in the 19th century Philippines.
3. Relation to the present and the future – History is the study of the past in relation to
the present and the future. For instance, even if Rizal belonged to the 19 th century, his life,
works and even his thoughts are relevant until today. His first novel, Noli Me Tangere talks
about the “social cancer” like corruption, vices, and wrong beliefs that are still existing up to this time.
Sources of History:
1. Primary Sources – these are the physical evidence in history such as artifacts, relics, remains, fossils
and even oral tradition.
2. Secondary Sources:
a.) Published Materials – such as newspapers, magazines, journals, encyclopedia, pamphlets,
handouts, books, circulars and other materials which are published either in hard and soft copies;
b.) Unpublished materials – such as letters, biographies, autobiography, theses and dissertations and
other papers written by a scholar.
Historical Documentation
According to Teodoro Agoncillo (the late nationalist historian), “no documents, no history…” which
had given the “documentary evidences” more weight rather than “sabi-sabi” or hearsays. Historical
documentation is very important for biography in the sense that the person was existing during his time.
Records like letters, birth and death certificates, voice recordings, paintings and even court records show the
“primary evidence” in writing history.
Historical Methodology
The process of writing historical details is called “historiography.” It narrates history in a proper way
according to the time, space and depth. Writing history depends on the scope of the writer’s research and his
critical analysis in using the available sources and references.
What is “historical imagination”?
The concept of historical imagination is when the reader puts himself in the picture or writing history
using one’s imagination. For example, reading biographies puts you in the same person in order for that person
to come alive. Using historical imagination is also a part of learning history in which “internal and external
criticism” should be applied. Furthermore, by employing historical imagination, we make the story come alive.
Dimensions of History
1. Place/Geographical Dimension – the location of event(s) is really important. For example, in the
battle of Waterloo which Napoleon fought against the Perussian, he missed to consider the climate of
the country which was winter. Most likely, the climate was the biggest factor why he lost the historic,
Napoleonic War.
2. Time/Chronological Dimension – in history, time element is very important. It is the barometer of
historical events. Dating might be considered as a great factor to distinguish time such as the period
when Rizal was born. Generally speaking, in history, there are 3 important datings: Ancient, Medieval
and the Modern Period. The Ancient Period is described as the geological time scale up to man’s
existence and its civilization. The Medieval Period or Age of Faith was when man learned how to
value faith and education. The Modern Period is described as the period when man discovered and
learned the essence of technology as well as to harmonize his works with environment.
Relevance in Studying History
The study of history has a great significance and relevance to the modern era since this is the foundation
of the nation’s national identity. The study of Philippine History gives more emphasis in how Filipinos fought
during those times of struggles such as the Propaganda Movement (1892 – 1896) which
influenced by several “paisanos” in Europe (Rizal, Del Pilar and Lopez – Jaena).
Trace the history where Rizal experience quarantine in an epidemic or pandemic.
CONGRATULATIONS! You finished the lesson 1! I hope you enjoyed and learned in this lesson.
Kindly proceed to Lesson 2.
Rizal Law and Rizal’s Early
Learning outcomes
At the end of the lesson, the students shall be able to:
Discuss the concept of historical documentation and historical imagination;
• Identify the issues on Rizal Law which can be a dissertational course for the students
who are not aware of the relevance of the course in relation to their field of expertise;
• Expand the relevance of the law in the nation building of a true Filipino;
• Identify “who’s who” in Rizal’s life especially in his biography;
• Discuss how the writing of history can change the image of the country; and
• Explain the relevance of the course in general to the daily life of the Filipinos nowadays.
Welcome to the 2nd lesson of this module! In this lesson, you will be introduced to the Rizal law and
its analysis, the K-12 law, biography and autobiography, and writing historical accounts. This will only take
up few minutes of your time. Hereafter is an activity that will tickle your mind about you and your role in
Instruction: Make a “blog” or account regarding the history of life in the 19th century. You will start
with the description of those times from political, economic and social events. Make a report regarding this
• Provide your ideas about the congruence of Rizal Law and K-12 Law.
• Explain the importance of biography and autobiography.
The Rizal Law (R.A No. 1425)
One of the important legislation to boost Filipino nationalism is the Rizal Law or Republic Act No. 1425
which highlights the following:
1. The study of Rizal’s Life, Works and Writings can support and foster the cause of nationalism for
Filipinos especially the youths;
2. The inclusion of the works of Rizal in the College Curriculum particularly the study of his novelsNoli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo are necessary to have a better understanding of 19th century
3. The inclusion also of other works of Rizal such as his letters, paintings, travels can promote the cause
of nationalism;
4. Funding of the law in order to give supplemental copies of the novels to public libraries; and
5. The implementation of the law. Although this law is not declaring that Rizal is a national hero, it can
be a positive step towards enshrining him and other national heroes of the country.
Analysis on Rizal Law
Students often wonder why they have to study Rizal course. What is its relevance to their course or their
field of expertise? There are several answers to this question:
1. The adoption and implementation of R.A No. 1425 which clearly states that the study
of Jose Rizal’s Life Works and Writings must be taught in all public and private Schools,
Colleges and Universities;
2. The study of Rizal’s work particularly his two important novels- Noli Me Tangere and El
Filibusterismo and other works (poems, diaries, essays) as well as their translations in Filipino and
English should be implemented and funded by the government as provided for in the law;
3. The law also mandates the study of Rizal’s life, works and writings in the secondary levels specifically
the Noli Me Tangere on the 3rd year level and El Filibusterismo in 4th year level. This forms part of the
Filipino curriculum where the medium of instruction is Filipino;
4. The Rizal course offers a wide range of thoughts on how Rizal and other heroes (Marcelo H. Del Pilar,
Andres Bonifacio and Apolinario Mabini and others) fought for freedom for the sake of the country’s
survival against the “evil emperialism” of foreign invaders.
Rizal Law and the K-12 Law
The study of Rizal is still part of the K-12 Law and the new General Education Curriculum in the sense
that Rizal course is mandatory to college students with a view to develop their historical thinking and national
awareness. The study of Rizal may also give reflections on the events of the past that formed part of the
Philippine History and to awaken the minds of the modern Filipinos who are popularly called “millennials”.
Biography and Autobiography
The words “biography” and “autobiography” are sometimes used by readers interchangeably. When
somebody writes your life from challenges to triumphs that is called, biography. Therefore, the writings on
Rizal’s life are divided into two-those that were written by others and those that were penned by Rizal himself.
The biographies of Rizal are one of the main secondary sources of Rizalian History, Rizal’s autobiography
was written on his “epistolario Rizalinos” which was compiled by Teodoro Kalaw.
Writing Historical Accounts
Writing historical accounts is considered as one of the prime tasks of a historian. The coined word is
PEP for people, event, places which means that the story must have these three important components. In
Rizal’s biography for example, the people (noted personalities) became the characters of his novel, Noli Me
Tangere. The events that took place at that time as well as the 1872 mutiny became one of the root causes of
Rizal’s nationalism which led him to write his second novel, El Filibusterismo. He dedicated El Fili to
Gomburza, the martyrs of Filipino secularization. Rizal also noted in his travels the notable places that he
clearly and poetically described.
Early Biographers of Dr. Jose Rizal
There are several biographers who attempted to write the life and works of Jose Rizal; several of them
considered as authentic as well as very fluent in terms of historical details and analysis. Though there are
several textbook writers who wrote the life history of Rizal, below are prominent writers who wrote about the
life of the great Filipino national hero.
Account of Wenceslao Retana
Wenceslao Retana is known to be one of Rizal’s contemporaries who was critical of Rizal’s
nationalistic fervor. Retana, in the newspaper “La Epoca”, attacked Rizal and the latter challenged Retana to
a fist fight. On the other hand, Retana apologized to Rizal and the two became friends. Retana admired Rizal
for being a gentleman. In the eyes of Retana then, Spain was “wrong” when they executed Rizal (Medina,
1998). Retana believed that Rizal’s execution was proof of the injustices committed by Spain towards
Filipinos. That fateful event led to the 1896 Philippine revolution.
The writer, Medina states why Retana’s accounts about Rizal must be read: “In my opinion, what
makes Retana most deserving of being read today is as a creditable witness of the historical moment that has
had the greatest impact on the Filipino consciousness, and how Rizal transformed himself into its symbol. He
gives witness as one who embodied and was able to clearly state the meanings that the mentality of those
times ascribed to those events. Thus, I believe, he is able to transmit to Filipinos a hundred
years hence a vision that is both moving and explicative in a culturally accurate mannerhe succeeds in transporting us to that compelling time, so that we may gain insights that a
conventional academic approach cannot give. Given the distancing that our North American colonization
produced in the Filipinol psyche vis a vis the mythical figure of Rizal and the legendary time he lived and died
in, the Retana biography’s availability today, translated and explained with cultural sensitivity, after the long
forgetting of both work and its creator’s fascinating figure, is an important cultural event during our Centennial
year.” Therefore, observation at par really helped wherein Retana’s personality became one of the main figures
in Philippine history.
Account of Carlos Quirino
One of the great biographers of Dr. Jose Rizal wrote Rizal’s biography because of a “writing contest”.
He answered to the invitation to several writers at that time to write about Rizal’s life. The work of Carlos
Quirino entitled, “The Great Malayan” won the 3rd prize. However, President Manuel Quezon awarded the
monetary reward which was equivalent to the 1st prize of the contest. It was one of the classical best in Rizal’s
biography- in pocketbook size. Based on that work, Quirino described Rizal as an “ordinary person” with a
great love for his country, his compatriots and for the search of truth. His analysis of Rizal then was the
“product of his times”.
Account of Rafael Palma
One of the important biographers of Rizal was Rafael Palma. His work, Biografia de Rizal (Biography
of Rizal) was one of the greatest and finest biographies of the national hero. Compared with Quirino’s writing,
Palma’s writing can be considered as the primary source in history as it is more serious and academic.
Account of Austin Coates
Austin Coates (1922-1997) is known for his detailed work on Rizal’s biography entitled, Rizal,
Philippine Nationalist and Martyr which was published in 1968 by Oxford University Press. Though it is
lacking in academic standards, Coates discussed Jose Rizal as one of the greatest patriot ever generated in his
times which is no other than 19th century. Also, he wrote Rizal’s biography from the eyes of a foreigner whose
details and authenticity cannot be found in the local college textbooks.
Account of Leon Maria Guerrero
One of the most readable biographies of Rizal was the work of Leon Ma. Guerrero which is entitled,
The First Filipino. Leon Ma. Guerrero (1853-1935) was one of the popular writers of Rizal’s biography. In
his introductory statements, he described the 2 types of Spain; one was great and the other was evil. The evil
side of Spain was where Rizal moulded his nationalism. Guerrero also described other events of the 19th
century that may not be appreciated by the individual who does not know or has not read the history of Spain
in the Philippines. Furthermore, his book is one of the best source and rich in Rizaliana historiography, one of
the finest after Palma’s work.
Account of Ambeth Ocampo
One of the modern historians is no other than Ambeth Ocampo who discussed history in a “telling to
a friend” approach. His journalistic pattern of writing earned him the title of the best modern historian in our
time. His work on Rizal’s biography is entitled, “Rizal Without an Overcoat”. With the same style of Quirino’s
writings, he makes or even remakes Rizal as an ordinary Filipino. He exposed Rizal as person with big
ambitions for his countrymen. He believed that education was the best weapon to expel the evil Spanish
tyranny. Ambeth Ocampo,being one of the contemporary historians shares his thoughts regarding the most
“updated” details in history-from the physical evidences to historical analyses, being trained as a scholar.
Reading Ambeth’s works as well as listening to his several lectures in Ateneo and Ayala Museum can be a
great historical experience.
1. Why should we study the Life and Works of Rizal? Expand the relevance of the
law in the nation building of a true Filipino. Explain the relevance of the course
in general to the daily life of the Filipinos nowadays
2. Choose one biographer that could discuss the life of Rizal and how his/her
writing of history can change the image of the country.
CONGRATULATIONS! You finished the lesson 2! I hope you enjoyed and learned in this lesson.
Kindly proceed to Lesson 3.
The Philippines in the 19th
Learning outcomes
At the end of the lesson, the students shall be able to:
• Describe what was the political, economic and social life of the Philippines during the
19th century;
• Discuss why Rizal was the product of his times;
• What were the institutions being imposed by Spain in the Philippines during the 19 th
• Elaborate on the life of the Filipinos during that time; and
• Give the importance and relevance of how nationalism was molded in the heart and
mind of our national hero.
Welcome to the third lesson of this module! You will be scholarly introduced on the situation of the
World in the 19th Century, how the Philippines is doing during the 19th century, and the qualities on why Jose
Rizal was considered as a cardinal product of his time. Hereafter is an activity that will help you discover Dr.
Jose Rizal’s qualities, and how these qualities correlate to yours.
To appreciate and understand the life of Dr. Jose Rizal, it necessary to know the historical background
of the world and of the Philippines during his times. The 19th century when he lived was a century of ferment
caused by the blowing winds of history. In Asia, Europe, and the Americas, events surged inexorably like sea
tides, significantly affecting the lives and fortunes of mankind
Make a tabulation of the qualities of Rizal into: Divine Intervention, Family Orientation,
Environmental Factor and Education. Describe also your own personality using the same tabulation.
• Describe the situation of the World during the 19th Century.
• Describe the situation of the Philippines During the 19th Century.
• Why do Filipinos consider Rizal as a product of his time?
The World during the 19th Century
The 19th century is known to be the Age of Enlighten in
Philippine history which can be described as a colorful part
of our history. There were several events that took shape
that had impact in the Philippine soil. Among these were
the ff.:
a.) United States of America - according to the diary of
Rizal was too impressive in the sense of their rapid
industrialization that time and Rizal commented that
America will be the next superpower after Spain. The racial
issue hampered its racial discrimination in the mainland as
described in the book, Uncle Tom’s Cabin written by
Harriet Beecher Stowe where negroes are subject to slavery by the “whites”. When
President Lincoln became the president, several reforms took pace such as the
“emancipation of slaves” in response to the racial issue and enfranchising them as well as
awarding them either American citizenship. When Rizal was born on June 19, 1861, the American
Civil War (1861-65) was raging furiously in the US over the issue of Negro Slavery. This titanic
conflict, which erupted on April 12, 1861, compelled President Abraham Lincoln to issue his famous
Emancipation Proclamation on September 22, 1863 freeing negro slaves.
b.) England – One of the most powerful nations that colonized America was England. Under the reign of
Queen Victoria (1873 – 1901), England was transformed into a conqueror and the continent of Africa was
their main target. Several reforms were the Reform Bill of 18677 where voting rights to the labors were
extended, the Education Act of 1870 where free education was awarded to all British and in 1871 Unions
were organized as part of the worker’s rights and privileges.
c.) Italy – Italy is known for its magnificent churches and plazas became one of the tourism spots until
now. The reign of King Victor Immanuel II worked for the unification of Italy. Before its unification the
country was ruled by several kingdoms. For example, Giuseppe Garibaldi commanded his troops to
subjugate other kingdom thus, making Italy into one sovereign country. However, one city was separated,
the Vatican City which became a state within the sovereign territory in Italy that was proclaimed under
Lateran Treaty 1929.
d.) Germany – Germany was known as Prussia then which was led by the military General Otto von
Bismarck. In 1870 Germany attacked France resulting to the military domination of Germany in the region.
In 1871 William I was crowned the Emperor of Germany.
e.) France – After the French Revolution of 1789, the empire continued its rise to power under Emperor
Napoleon III. It was later defeated by Germany in 1871 led by Otto von Bismarck.
f.) India – At that time India was governed by the Mogul empire where Sepoy soldiers staged a mutiny
and murdered some British commanders of the army. After the mutiny, British authorities hired loyal
Indian soldiers to quell the Modul Empire and re-establish once again British colonialism in India.
g.) China – is known to be one of the oldest trading partners of the Philippines. In the 19 th century, China
was ruled by a dynasty that was led by the family rulers. Manchu Dynasty ruled China when the Taiping
Rebellion happened between 1852 up to 1864. China was also fragmented into pieces by the foreign
powers particularly managed in whole or in part by Italy, France and Great Britain. Russia also took
advantage of China by taking some of the islands after the Sino-Russian War in the early 1900’s or latter
part of the 19th century. There were some conflicts also with Mongolia in northern part of Chinese
Mainland. The Opium War (1856-1860) became one of the economic and political turmoil of that time
where Hong Kong was surrendered to the British under several treaties and agreements.
h.) Japan – In 1853 (8 years before Rizal was born), the American Naval Force headed by Matthew Perry
wanted to established ports for American ships. Japan signed several treaties with other European countries
particularly France, Russia, Holland and Great Britain. This was the first time the westerners entered Japan
which has established its Shogunate for a long time.
i.) Singapore – Singapore was known for its ports at that time where merchant and passenger ships loaded
and unloaded from place to place. It was founded by British Sir Stamford Raffles in 1819 and its complete
independence was established after its separation from the Federation of Malaya 1965.
The Philippines During the 19th Century
As stated in the chapter about the Rizaliana batch of biographers, the history of the
Philippines during the 19th century, was divided into three institutions namely:
Political Institutions
The Political set-up of the Philippines during those
times was headed by the Governor-General. He was
appointed by the King of Spain for an “indefinite” period
of time as loyalty was one of the major qualifications of
the government officials. It was during the time of
Adelantado Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, then appointed by
King Philip II of Spain that proportions of Land were
awarded. The governor-general performs dual functions –
political and ecclesiastical. His political powers include
being the chief executive head of the colony – managing
the internal affairs of the state as well as the executer of
the laws of the land. He was also the chief of Real
Audiencia or the Spanish Supreme Court in the
Philippines where cases were elevated after the failure of cases in local courts. He was also the
commanding officer of the armed forces particularly the navy and army. His ecclesiastical power then
was to settle Church matter because there was Union of Church and State. In the 19th century
Philippines then the office of the governor-general was the most powerful position in the land next to
the King of Spain and the Ministry of the Indies.
In order to check the powers of the Gov-Gen. then there were officials being sent by the Kingthe residencia and visitadores. The Residencia are permanent officials who will scrutinize the
performance of the out-going Gov-Gen. The incoming Gov.Gen. would be probably coming from the
residencia. Visitadores on the other hand will check the performance of the Gov.-Gen and they were
temporary and different from the residencia.
In the local set-up then, local government was divided into provinces, cities and barangays.
The provinces were led by the alcalde-mayor who was the executive of the provinces. Cities were
called, Ayuntamiento that were headed by a petty governor known as the “governadorcillo.” The little
towns were called pueblos. During the 19th century the barangays were headed by a chief known as
the cabeza de barangay and they served as tax collectorsof their constituents.
b. Economic Institutions – the encomienda system or the leasehold system became one of the main
economic programs of Spain in the Philippines. This system however, was abused by the Spaniards.
The 70-30 percentage crop sharing became the most abused practice to uneducated farmers because it
was usurious. Anaother form of abuse was the monopoly system or known as bandala system where
the Spaniards monopolized the buying and selling of raw materials and middlemen sold them at a
higher cost. The Galleon Trade was another economic activity at that time where “boletas” or tickets
were used to purchase goods from the ships though there were instances when ships never returned
due to typhoons or man-made accidents at sea.
c. Social Institution – the social institution which was imposed by Spain in the Philippines was divided
into social strata wit;
Social Strata in the Philippines during Spanish Period
(Source from Choose Philippines Archives)
The figure above shows the social strata which puts the principalia (the rich and opulent class) or the
peninsulares and insulares at the apex of the triangle. The lower portion of the apex is composed of mixed
races (Spaniard, Chinese and Austronesian ancestry). The rising middle class or the ilustrados (composed of
the educated class) including Rizal’s family and other propagandists are not presented in the figure. Almost
60% of the population is “indio” which belongs to the lower class and uneducated Filipinos. Religious
impositions were very strong that time where Filipinos are subjects under the Spanish friars. Marcelo H. Del
Pilar known to be one of the main propagandists coined the term, “frailocracy” which prevailed in the
Rizal as product of his times
Rizal was the product of his times and he was also
one of the eyewitnesses of the execution of the
triumvirate priests, Gomez, Burgos and Zamora who
were executed on February 17, 1872 after the Cavite
Mutiny on January 20, 1872 which was led by Sergeant
La Madrid. Rizal, being an eyewitness of the execution,
reckoned his historical thoughts in his letters as revealed
by his early biographers. On the other hand, some points
to be considered, to wit;
Divine Intervention
Rizal’s vast knowledge and social consciousness
are God’s gifts to him. As a reformer, he was-versed in
letters and language. It is a fact that Jose Rizal
possessed a lot of talents and he used his literary and
writing ability to fight the Spanish tyranny. He believed that “the pen is mightier than the
2. Environmental Awareness
The 19th century was the Age of Enlightenment and Rizal was the product of that time. His
environment might be one of the very reason why he fought the Spanish authorities as he was surrounded by
several names who became his advisers and mentors. He witnessed the execution of the triumvirate priests
(GomBurZa) at a young age of 11 which awakened his awareness of the social injustices of the Spanish
authorities. He believed that “tyranny” has no room in a free society which he envisioned for the country.
3. Educational Factors
Rizal became a young professional who gained his expertise in Ateneo (as surveyor), University of
Santo Tomas (as a medical student) and in Universidad Central de Madrid (continuing his medical studies).
His expertise became in demand as a barrio doctor serving his less privileged compatriots. His literary
knowledge and observations in the Philippines and his travels abroad were his inspirations when he wrote his
two novels- Noli Me Tengere and El Filibusterismo.
4. Family Orientation
The Mercado family along with other “middle class families” were Rizal’s first teachers. Belonging to
the ilustrado class, Rizal was sent abroad to continue his medical studies though there were some objections
from his mother. His family was his source of strength in his flight for social justice from evil society of that
time. Paciano, his brother was his closest adviser and supporter during his stay in Europe. Rizal’s family has
influenced him a lot in inculcating and developing nationalism in hi consciousness.
Below are political, economic, social life, and institution of the Philippines during the 19th century that
were imposed by Spain. Elaborate the lives of the Filipinos during that time and give a conclusion about the
importance and relevance of how nationalism was molded in the heart and mind of our national hero and to
1. Instability of Colonial Administration
2. Corrupt officialdom
3. No Philippine representation in the Spanish Cortes
4. Human rights are denied to Filipinos
5. No equality before the law
6. Maladministration of justice
7. Racial discrimination
8. Frailocracy
9. Forced Labor
10. Haciendas owned by the friars
11. Guardia Civil
CONGRATULATIONS! You finished the lesson 3! Kabalo ko gihangak ka ani nga lesson but I
hope you enjoyed and learned in this lesson. Kindly proceed to Lesson 4. Isa pa, laban lang!
Rizal’s Life: Family, Childhood
and Early Education
At the end of the lesson, the students shall be able to:
• Analyze Rizal’s family, childhood and early education.
• Evaluate the people and events and their influence on Rizal’s early life.
Welcome to the 4th lesson of this module! In this lesson, you will be introduced to the Mercado clan
(family tree), part of Jose Rizal’s ancestry, the national hero is born, justifications for being a national hero,
his early childhood and education, and the story of the moth. This will only take up few minutes of your time.
Hereafter is an activity that will tickle your mind about you and your role in history.
Make a short diary about your childhood memories. You may choose family pictures in support of
your memoir. BE CREATIVE.
• Compare and contrast the childhood life during those times with our times. Describe those differences
as well as the relevance of ones’ childhood to ones’ adulthood.
• Describe the Rizal family and compare it with the modern Filipino family.
The Mercado Clan (Family Tree)
Families during those times were big as compared to families nowadays. The advent of birth control as well
as the reproductive health law will consequently control the population for the sake of the future of the next
generation. This one of the major priorities of government. Geographically, the Mercado’s house then was
located at the foot of Mt. Makiling
(known to be an inactive volcano). Their
house was simple but maybe elegant
during those times. The house was
surrounded by fruit bearing trees or
“punong kahoy” in Tagalog that are
almost gone at present where only
modern houses and condominiums are
visible. The Mercado family was big,
comprises of their parents and their
eleven childrens, as illustrated in the
family tree below.
The National Hero is Born
It was on June 19, 1861 when the
7 child of the Mercados was born.
Based on the reckonings of Zaide,
Rizal’s mother almost died when she
delivered her seventh child. There was a full moon which brings several “omens” or
“kasabihan” in Tagalog. Some stories were either invented or documented about certain
premonitions on Jose’s birth.
Justifications for being a National Hero
There are several questions regarding Rizal’s heroism. According to the report made by the National Heroes
Committee (under the Executive Order no. 75), these are the elements to qualify as a national hero in verbatim;
1. Heroes are those who have a concept of nation and thereafter aspire and struggle for the nation’s
2. Heroes are those who define and contribute to a system or life of freedom and order for a nation.
3. Heroes are those who contribute to the quality of life and destiny of a nation.
4. A hero is part of the people’s expression.
5. A hero thinks of the future, especially the future generations.
6. The choice of a hero involves not only the recounting of an episode or events in history, but of the
entire process that made this particular person a hero.
These qualities are present in Rizal’s life and works as well as his endeavor to free the country against the
evil Spanish tyranny. Republic Act No. 1425 was a very convincing proof that Rizal deserves to be the national
hero; therefore, his ideas and works shall be included in the High School and College Curriculum.
There are some challenges to Rizal’s title stating that Bonifacio was better deserving to be the national
hero and perhaps the “first president”. However, without doubt, Bonifacio was the hero of the “Revolution of
1892-1898”. Despite that, certain arguments can be considered in the following statements:
1. Andres Bonifacio can be a national hero but it is highly questionable that he could have been the “First
2. There is no clear recognition coming from the Filipinos at that time as well as from the “Americans”
that the government of the Katipunan was the government of “all” Philippine Islands;
3. That “Bayang Katagalugan” which insist that the scope was the whole islands in the Philippines or the
“8 Tagalog speaking provinces” rose arms against Spain;
4. There are no clear election results showing that Aguinaldo overwhelmingly won during the Tejeros
Convention; where Andres Bonifacio was elected as the “Director of Interior”. Due to the insults hurled
at Bonifacio by Daniel Tirona, then he (Bonifacio) nullified the convention; and
5. The death of Andres Bonifacio in the hands of Aguinaldo was a shame in the history of the Filipino
people. His death showed that he was a victim in the hands of fellow Filipinos while Rizal’s death was
a clamor against the Spanish evil justice system.
Below, is the diagram of Rizal’s family:
The accounts by Zaide (1999) and Lopez and Paras (2010) discussed the members of the Rizal’s family.
Francisco Mercado (1818-1898)
Father of Jose Rizal who was the youngest of 13 offsprings of Juan and Cirila
Mercado. Born in Biñan, Laguna on April 18, 1818; studied in San Jose
College, Manila; and died in Manila. He was one of the tenants of Dominican
lands in Kalamba.
2. Teodora Alonso (1827-1913)
She was the first mentor and the teacher of young Jose Rizal. Mother of Jose Rizal who
was the second child of Lorenzo Alonso and Brijida de Quintos.
She studied at the Colegio de Santa Rosa. She was a businessminded woman, corteous, religious, hard-working and wellread. She was born in Santa Cruz, Manila on November 14, 1827
and died in 1913 in Manila.
Saturnina Rizal (1850-1913)
Eldest child of the Rizal-Alonso marriage. Married Manuel
Timoteo Hidalgo of Tanauan, Batangas. One of the
correspondents of Rizal when he was in Europe was Saturnina’s
Paciano Rizal (1851-1930)
Only brother of Jose Rizal and the second child. Studies at San
Jose College in Manila; became a farmer and later a general of
the Philippine Revolution after his brother was executed at the
Bagumbayan (1896). An avid supporter of his younger brother
when he (Jose) was abroad.
5. Narcisa Rizal (1852-1939)
The third child of Mercado’s family who became a teacher and
musician. She married Antonio Lopez, a teacher from Morong,
6. Olympia Rizal (1855-1887)
The fourth child who married Silvestre Ubaldo with whom she bore
children. She died when Jose Rizal was in Europe.
7. Lucia Rizal (1857-1919)
The fifth child who married Mariano Herbosa. Her husband was
denied a Christian burial because he was associated with Rizal and
was believed to have anti-friar sentiments.
Maria Rizal (1859-1945)
The sixth child who got married to Daniel Faustino of Binyang, Laguna
with whom she bore 5 children.
Jose Rizal (1861-1896)
The second son and the seventh child. The foremost national hero and
martyr recognized by most Filipinos up to present. He died as a martyr
by Spanish firing squad on December 30, 1896 at 7:03 a.m.
10. Concepcion Rizal (1862-1865)
the eighth child. Died at the age of three. She was the first sorrow of
Rizal according to accounts of Zaide.
Josefa Rizal (1865-1945)
The ninth child who was nicknamed “Panggoy”. Died at the age of 80.
Trinidad Rizal (1868-1951)
The 10th child who died last in Rizal’s family. She was entrusted by Rizal
with his untitled poem (maybe on a piece of paper) inside the alcohol
13. Soledad Rizal (1870-1929)
The youngest child who got married to Pantaleon Quinter and the
couple had 5 children.
His Early Childhood and Education
Jose was a young boy with a “thirst for knowledge”. He was first taught at home. Then he
was sent to Binyang in June 1869 at a young age of 8. His maestro there was Justiniano
Aquino Cruz who developed his knowledge of the Spanish language. An excerpt from Rizal’s diary read as
Maestro: Do you know Spanish?
Jose: A little senyor.
Maestro: Do you know Latin?
Jose: A little sir.
With that pronouncement, the teacher admired Rizal’s humility as a student. His motivation was to
give Rizal a lot of oppurtunities to learn more subject areas. Juancho, was another maestro who taught Rizal
in painting and the very reason why Rizal excelled also in drawing as well as sketches.
His learning experience in Binyang was very
productive. He was also involved in a duel with Pedro where he
won in the fist-fight though he was smaller than pedro. This
maybe was a mere symbolical image of Rizal (as an Indio) who
challenged the Spanish authorities later in his life. His accounts
described himself as a simple and faithful Catholic.
The Story of the Moth
The first education of young Jose was at home. Having
Donya Teodora as his “first teacher”, the young Jose was being
prepared for his formal schooling. One night, young Jose’s
mother read him the Story of the Moth. According to the story:
One night, all the family, except my mother and myself,
went to bed early. Why, I do not know, but we two remained
sitting alone. The candles had already been put out. They had
been blown out in their globes by means of a curved tube of tin.
That tube seemed to me the finest and most wonderful plaything
Figure 1. Rizal’s sketch when he was still
a young boy.
in the world. The room was dimly lighted by a single light of coconut oil.
In all Filipino homes such a light burns through the night. It goes out just
a day-break to awaken people by its spluttering.
My mother was teaching me to read in a Spanish reader called “The Children’s Friend” (El Amigo
de los Ninos). This was quite a rare book and an old copy. It had lost its cover and my sister had cleverly
made a new one. She had fastened a sheet of thick blue paper over the back and then covered it with a piece
of cloth.
This night my mother became impatient with hearing me read so poorly. I did not understand Spanish
and so I could not read with expression. She took the book from me. First she scolded me for drawing funny
pictures on its pages. Then she told me to listen and she began to read. When her sight was good, she read
very well. She could recite well, and she understood verse-making, too. Many times during Christmas
vacations, my mother corrected my poetical compositions, and she always made valuable criticisms.
I listened to her; full of childish enthusiasm. I marveled at the nice-sounding phrases which she read
from those some pages. The phrases she read so easily stopped me at every breath. Perhaps I grew tired of
listening to sounds that had no meaning for me. Perhaps I lacked self-control. Anyway, I paid little attention
to reading. I was watching the cheerful flame. About it, some little moths were circling in playful fights. By
chance, too, I yawned. My mother soon noticed that I was not interested. She stopped
reading. Then she said to me: “I am going to read you a very pretty story. Now pay
On hearing the word “story” I at once opened my eyes wide. The word “story” promised something
new and wonderful. I watched my mother while she turned the leaves of the book, as if she were looking for
something. Then I settled down to listen. I was full of curiosity and wonder. I had never dreamed that there
were stories in the old book which I read without understanding. My mother began to read me the fable of the
young moth and the old one. She translated it into Tagalog a little at a time.
My attention increased from the first sentence. I looked toward the light and fixed my gaze on the
moths which were circling around it. The story could not have been better timed. My mother repeated the
warning of the old moth. She dwelt upon it and directed it to me. I heard her, but it is a curious thing that the
light seemed to me each time more beautiful, the flame more attractive. I really envied the fortune of the
insects. They frolicked so joyously in its enchanting splendor that the ones which had fallen and been drowned
in the oil did not cause me and my dread.
My mother kept on reading and I listened breathlessly. The fate of the two insects interested me greatly.
The flame rolled its golden tongue to one side and a moth which this movement had singed fell into the oil,
fluttered for a time and then became quiet. That became for me a great event. A curious change came over me
which I have always noticed in myself whenever anything has stirred my feelings. The flame and the moth
seemed to go further away and my mother’s words sounded strange and uncanny. I did not when she ended
the fable. All my attention was fixed on the face of the insect. I watched it with my whole soul… It had died a
martyr to its illusions.
As she put me to bed, my mother said: “See that you do not behave like the young moth. Don’t be
disobedient, or you may get burnt as it did.” I do not know whether I answered or not… The story revealed to
me things until then unknown. Moths no longer were, for me, insignificant insects. Moths talked; they know
to warn. They advised just like my mother. The light seemed to me more beautiful. It had grown more dazzling
and more attractive. I knew why the moths circled the flame.
The Story of the Moth is in Rizal’s diary describing his childhood study under the tutorship of his
mother. In hindsight, the story is significant as it was like a prophecy of what can happen to Rizal when he
gets near the “light”. The young moth symbolizes Rizal as a youth and the old moth was his mother and the
light signifying “education”. Later in Rizal’s life, as he was nearing his death, he realized that “if you know
more… then they will cut your head.”
1. How will you describe the family, childhood, and early education of Rizal?
2. Research about the relationship and influence of Rizal’s brothers and sisters to him.
CONGRATULATIONS! You finished the lesson 4! I hope you enjoyed and learned in this
lesson. Kindly proceed to the last lesson of Module 1! Isa na lang gyud.
Rizal’s Life: Higher Education
and Life Abroad
At the end of the lesson, the students shall be able to:
• Explain the principle of assimilation advocated by the Propaganda Movement.
• Appraise Rizal’s relationship with other Propagandists.
Welcome to the 5th and final lesson in this module! In this lesson, you will be introduced to Rizal’s
formal schooling at Ateneo, the Atenean education system, how Rizal became “Sobresaliente, Rizal and the
Cavite mutiny of 1872, the execution of the triumvirate priests, injustices to Rizal’s mother and Rizal’s
“disillusionment”. This will only take up few minutes of your time. Hereafter is an activity that will tickle
your mind about you and your role in history.
Conduct an interview with any of your family member (preferably your grandmother/father) and ask if
what they know about Rizal’s life. Summarize and form it into paragraphs.
• Discuss why Rizal changed his surname from Mercado to Rizal. What is the meaning of his surname
as well as its relevance to his personality?
• Explicate the symbolism of GomBurZa’s execution.
His Formal Schooling at Ateneo
His formal schooling begun on June 10, 1872 when he passed the entrance exams in Colegio de San
Juan de Letran. Though he passed with flying colors, his family already decided to send him to the Ateneo
Municipal (formerly Escuela Pia- a charity school for boys) for the obvious reason of avoiding a confrontation
of young Jose with the Dominicans who were much hated because of their land lease policies as well as the
tragic incident where Donya Teodora was accused of a crime that she never committed. When Rizal was in
Ateneo, he was very much interested in reading and some of his readings inspired Rizal to write his first novel,
Noli Me Tangere. Some of the notable books he read were;
a. The Count of Monte Cristo- was written by Alexander Dumas where he tackled the social justice of
the society at that time. Its main character, Edmond Dantes led the struggle for his people which
consequently made him the Count of Monte Cristo, which may be a destiny for those who are good to
b. Universal History- was written by Cesar Cantu, an Italian historian of World History. Rizal voraciously
read the book which opened his awareness world history and the world around him.
c. Travels in the Philippines- was written by Feodor Jagor who traveled to the Philippines from 18591860. After reading the works of Jagor, Rizal realized the weaknesses of Spain and he predicted that
Filipinos will raise arms against them thereafter.
Atenean Education System
The Atenean educational system was one of the best training for boys second to Letran that time.
Moreover, the educational system of Ateneo was quite competitive. Based on the reckonings then, the students
were divided into two groups;
• Roman Empire- consisting of internos (boarders); red banner
Carthaginian Empire- composed of the externos (non-boarders); blue banner
The levels of the 2 groups were divided into 5, namely;
Emperor- the best student in each “empire”
Tribune-the second best
Decurion-the third best
Centurion-the fourth best
Stand-bearer-the fifth best
After a couple of months, Rizal showed that he excelled in philosophy, arts and sciences which was the “core
curriculum” of Ateneo at that time.
Rizal became “Sobresaliente”
After his stint in Ateneo, Jose Rizal was honored as “sobresaliente” or an “excellent” student. Aside
from his academic studies, young Jose was very active in “extra-curricular activities” such as being a member
of the Marian Congregation, cultivating his masterpieces under Father Sanchez, painting classes under Agustin
Saez, sculpture under Romualdo de Jesus and Father Lleonart who was impressed with Rizal’s achievements.
Jose gave him an image of the Virgin Mary (which was sculpted in “batikuling” wood for his masterpiece).
His grades are based on the following entries, to wit;
Bachillerato En Artes (Bachelor of Arts)
Latin 1 (Excellent)
Spanish 1 (Excellent)
Greek 1 (Excellent)
Spanish 2 (Excellent)
Greek 2 (Excellent)
Universal Geography (Excellent)
Latin 3 (Excellent)
Spanish 3 (Excellent)
Universal History (Excellent)
History of Spain and the Philippines (Excellent)
Arithmetic and Algebra (Excellent)
Rhetoric and Poetry (Excellent)
French (Excellent)
Geometry and Trigonometry (Excellent)
Philosophy 1 (Excellent)
Philosophy 2 (Excellent)
Mineralogy and Chemistry (Excellent)
Physics (Excellent)
Botany and Zoology (Excellent)
Rizal was successful in gaining excellent ratings in Ateneo. He won several awards aside
from “sobresaliente”. Moreover, aside from the academics, young Jose wrote his
masterpieces. Among them was the poem below:
Un Recuerdo a Mi Pueblo (In Memory of my Town)
This poem was written by Rizal when he was 15 in 1876 where he reminisced his provincial life in Binyang).
When I remember the days
That saw my early childhood
Spent on the green shores
Of a murmurous lagoon;
When I remember the coolness,
Delicious and refreshing,
That on my face I felt
As I heard Favonious croon;
When I behold the white lily
Swell to the wind’s impulsion,
And that tempestuous element
Meekly asleep on the sand;
When I inhale the dear
Intoxicating essence
The flowers exude when dawn
Is smiling on the land;
Sadly, sadly I recall
Your visage, precious childhood,
Which an affectionate mother
Made beautiful and bright;
I recall a simple town,
My comfort, joy and cradle,
Beside a balmy lake,
The seat of my delight.
Ah, yes, my awkward foot
Explored your somber woodlands,
And on the banks of your rivers
In frolic I took part.
I prayed in your rustic temple,
A child, with a child’s devotion;
And your unsullied breeze
Exhilarated my heart.
The Creator I saw in the grandeur
Of your age-old forests;
Upon your bosom, sorrows
Were ever unknown to me;
While at your azure skies
I gazed, neither love nor tenderness
Failed me, for in nature
Lay my felicity.
Tender childhood, beautiful town,
Rich fountain of rejoicing
And of harmonious music
That drove away all pain:
Return to this heart of mine,
Return my gracious hours,
Return as the birds return,
When flowers spring again!
But O goodbye! May the Spirit
Of God, a loving gift-giver,
Keep watch eternally over
Your peace, your joy, your sleep!
For you, my fervent prayers;
For you, my constant desire
To learn; and I pray heaven
Your innocence to keep!
Rizal and the Cavite Mutiny of 1872
It was on January 20, 1872, when a group of mutineers rose arms in one of the shipyards in Kabite
(believed to be in Fort San Felipe) wherein they instigated the beginning of a rising revolution which was led
by Sgt. La Madrid. The main cause of mutiny probably was due to “polo y servicios” or forced labor and
“buiz” or taxes. In the latter days, all 200 soldiers were tried, executed and some were banished to Mindanao
island. Some of the supporters were also tried and executed by the Spanish authorities. The event was to
suppress “secularization” which was voiced out by the Filipino priests at that time.
The Execution of the Triumvirate Priests
The Cavite Mutiny is best described by the
execution of the three priests- Mariano Gomez, Jose
Burgos and Jacinto Zamora. They were responsible for
the “Filipinization of parishes” or simply called,
Secularization. The execution of the 3 priests on February
17, 1872 became the catalyst for the Filipinos to raise
arms. Rizal was 11 years old that time and was one of the
“eyewitnesses” of the execution of the 3 priests by
“garrote” in Luneta. According to the late
historian,Teodoro Agoncillo the year 1872 was the
“beginning of Philippine History, that the real history was
written by nationalists. On the other hand, Schumacher
(1997) described the manipulation of the Spaniards of the
parishes that were fighting for Filipinization by some
Filipino priests; among them were GomBurZa.
Injustices to Rizal’s Mother
Another challenge for Rizal was when his mother, Donya
Teodora together with Senyor Alberto, were accused by
the latter’s wife of connivance to poison her. As a result of the “hearsay” from Senyor Alberto’s wife, Donya
Teodora was arrested. Though the mayor forced her to admit her guilt, she did not do so and so she was
imprisoned for almost 2 years. After reaching the Real Audiencia (the Spanish Supreme Court), the ease was
dismissed so Donya Teodora was released from prison. Unfortunately, the Rizal family
were deeply hurt and the damage done was very hard to accept.
Rizal and his “Disillusionment”
The events of 1872 where the triumvirate martyrs were executed in Luneta by “garrote” have opened
the eyes of many leading to a “political turmoil”. Rizal was 11 years of age when he saw the clamor of his
countrymen for justice and truth from the evil Castillan Empire. The events that took place as stated- the death
of GomBurZa, the persecution of his mother and the injustices committed by the friars in Kalamba’s tenancy
were the trigger points of young Jose to fight the Spaniards up to his last breath which ended at the Luneta
1. After the Cavite Mutiny and The Execution of the 3 martyrdom priests, what did Rizal and
scholars do?
2. Who are the members of the Propaganda Movement? What is their relationship with Rizal?
3. Explain the principle of assimilation advocated by the Propaganda Movement.
CONGRATULATIONS! You made it until the end of this module! ☺ We hope you learned a lot
and you’ll be more eager to learn new lessons for the next lessons! Keep up the good work! Aim
high! God bless!
TEST I. Identify at least 1 person who has made some remarkable contributions to your
community. List down his/her qualities and major contributions. In a Venn Diagram, plot the qualities of Dr.
Jose Rizal and the person you have identified. On the non-intersecting circles plot his/her unique qualities and
plot the qualities they have in common with Rizal on the middle.
TEST II. Reflection:
Do you want to be Dr. Jose Rizal in this Modern World? Why or Why not.
This module tackles History as the study of the past and how it is very much related to the present and
the future events. History can also be repeated in the same person, event and place. Documents are one of the
reliable sources of history according to Teodoro Agoncillo. Therefore, the sources of history are primary and
secondary. History has two dimensions namely: Geographical and Chronological. Therefore, the study of
history gives a wide range of thoughts wherein the past links the present and the future sequence of events.
Discussed in this module is the relevance of RA No. 1425 or the Rizal Law which emphasizes the relevance
of the law to foster Filipino Nationalism.
The module also described the 19th Century Philippines. In politics, the centralized government was
introduced where the Governor-General had the sole power to executive, legislative, and judicial power. In
economics, the Philippines adopted the ‘encomienda system’ as its economic policy. Moreover, friar
corporations enriched themselves especially the landlords. The social atmosphere was based on the social
stratification from the principals to the lowest indios.
We also discussed the early childhood of Rizal, his first education from his mother. Rizal’s childhood
is the same as that of ordinary children. His education in Binan as well as his tutorial education prepared him
for his studies at the Ateneo Municipal.
Rizal excelled his formal schooling at the Ateneo Municipal. He also observed well the ateneans
treated Filipino students that time which was a lot better than the Thomasian training. While schooling in
Ateneo, he was beset by problems and agonies like the injustice done to his mother and
the 1872 execution of the famous GomBurZa because they were accused of conspiracy in
the Cavite Mutiny. Rizal’s success in Ateneo became one of the main achievement of his
1. Galicia, R.D., Solmerano, E.T.M. & Palencia, M.M. (2018). The life and works of Jose Rizal.
Manila: Fastbooks Educational Supply.
2. Jaime-Francisco, V. (2015). Jose P. Rizal: A college textbook on Jose Rizal’s life and writing.
Manila: Mindshapers Co., Inc.
3. Valenzuela, E. &Calayag, E. (2019). Rizal’s Life and Works: Towards Social Awareness and
4. Zaide, G.F. &Zaide, S.M. (1999). Jose Rizal: Life, Works and Writings of a Genius, Writer,
Scientist and National hero. Quezon City: All-Nations Pub. Co., Inc.
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