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1. Qualities & Characteristics of Jose Rizal


Rizal always practiced self-discipline wherever he is. When he was in Bian, waking up
at four oclock to hear mass if there was any is a part of his daily life, otherwise he study his
lessons at that hour and went to mass afterwards. Having self-discipline makes Jose Rizal as a
best student. While he was out of the country, he kept himself in physical trim by daily exercises
and practiced speaking German, French, and Italian. Aside from perfecting his academic
studies, he performed daily exercises in Berlin gymnasium to develop his body.

Keen observant

Rizal was a keen observer of people and place. He also observed the life and culture,
languages and customs, industries and commerce, and governments and laws of the European
nations. He spent his leisure moments touring the countryside, observing keenly the customs,
dresses, homes and occupations of the peasants. He made sketches of the things he saw.


One of the many characteristics of Rizal is friendly. He had and made friends every time
he travels and wherever he goes. He even befriended Professor Ferdinand Blumentritt though
they havent seen each other at first. Their friendship started when Rizals letter from Heidelberg
impressed Blumentritt, who reciprocated by sending Rizal a gift of two books. This event
marked as the beginning of their long and frequent correspondence friendship that lasted all
their lives.

Health Conscious

When Rizal was sick and sad during the crossing of the choppy China Sea, he did not
get off his ship when it made a stopover at Amoy for three reasons. He is not feeling well, it was
raining hard, and he heard that the city was dirty. Maybe Rizal is conscious of his health that if
he will get off the ship, these reasons might worsen his feeling.

Rizal is diligent because he still continues his task despite of difficulties. After Rizals
departure for Spain, things turned from bad to worse in Calamba. Due to hard times in
Calamba, the monthly allowances of Rizal in Madrid were late in arrival and there were times
when they never arrived, causing much suffering to him. There was also a time when his health
broke down due to lack of proper nourishment. Other bad news from home reached Rizal in
London. Of the bad news, were the injustices committed by the Spanish authorities on the
Filipino people and the Rizal family. With his diligence, he survived and continued his mission to
redeem his oppressed people.

Book lover

Since early childhood, Rizal liked to read. Rizal economized on his living expenses, and
with the money he saved, he purchased books from a second-hand book store. He was able to
build a fair-sized private library. The first favorite novel of Rizal was The Count of Monte Cristo.
On time, he persuaded his father to buy him a costly set of Cesar Cantus historical work
entitled Universal History. He also read Travels in the Philippines.


Every time Rizal travels, he used to check-in famous hotels. Some of the hotels were
Hotel de la Paz in Singapore, Hotel de Paris and Latin Quarter in Paris, Hotel Krebs in Bohemia,
Victoria Hotel in Hong Kong, Grand Hotel and Tokyo Hotel in Japan, and Palace Hotel in San


During his first day in Tokyo, Rizal was embarrassed because he did not know the
Japanese language. He looked like Japanese, but could not talk Japanese. He had hard time
shopping, for he could not understand and the Japanese children laughed at him. To avoid
further embarrassment, he studied Japanese language. Being an enthusiast, he also studied
the Japanese drama (kabuki), arts, music, and judo.


An incident of Rizals schooldays in the Ateneo which reveals the heros resignation to
forgiveness. One day, many Ateneans, including Rizal, were studying their lessons at the study
hall. Two Ateneans, Manzano and Lesaca, quarreled and violently hurled books at each other.
Rizal, who was busy at his desk poring over his lessons, was hit in the face by one of the thrown
books. He did not raise a cry or protest, although his wounded face was bleeding. After the
incident, he continued to attend his classes, feeling neither bitterness nor rancor towards the
guilty party.


An anecdote related by Manuel Xeres Burgos illustrates Rizals predilection to help the
helpless at the risk of his own life. One Thursday afternoon, being vacation day, the boys flew
their kites from the azotea. Young Rizal then was busy reading a Spanish book of fables at the
window. After a while he heard Julio Meliza from Iloilo, one of the smallest boarders, crying
because his kite, was caught by the vines growing on the belfry of the Manila cathedral which
was near the boarding house-house. The bigger boys were laughing, making fun of Julios
misfortune. Rizal closed the book he was reading and told Julio not to cry, for he would try to
retrieve the kite. True to his promise he courageously climbed the high cathedral tower and
successfully recovered the kite.


Rizal led a methodical and frugal life. By day in Berlin, he worked as an assistant in the
clinic of Dr. Schweigger, eminent German ophthalmologist. At night, he attended lectures in the
University of Berlin.


Japan enchanted Rizal. The life, customs, and culture of the people favorably impressed
him. However, there is one thing which he did not like in Japan, and that was the popular mode
of transportation by means of rickshaws drawn by men. His sensitive soul recoiled at seeing
human beings working like horses, pulling the carts called rickshaws. He felt disgusted at the
way a human being was employed like a horse.


Unlike many successful medical practitioners, Rizal did not selfishly devote all his time to
enriching himself. His professional fees were also reasonable, even gratis to the poor. When he
was in Calamba during his first homecoming, he opened a gymnasium for young folks, where
he introduced European sports. He tried to interest his town mates in gymnastics, fencing and
shooting so as to discourage the cockfights and gambling.

Rizal came in close contact with Spanish liberal and republican Spaniards in Spain
where he became Master Mason. He also befriended some known persons in Paris, Germany,
Japan, London, and other countries. He always joined associations and brotherhood, for
improvement. He even established organizations such as Kidlat Club, Indios Bravos, and

Man of Dignity

Rizal resents exhibition of Igorots in Madrid Exposition. Primitive Igorots were exhibited
in this exposition, some of whom died, and whose scanty clothing (G-strings) and crude
weapons were objects of mockery and laughter by the Spanish people and press. Being a
champion of human dignity, Rizal was outraged by this degradation of his fellow countrymen the
Igorots of Northern Luzon.

2. How Rizal became a product of mixture of races?

Running in Rizals blood were mixtures of different races. Austin Craig accounted that Rizal had
a trace of chinese ancestry that came from a businessman named Domingo Lam-Co, the
ancestor of Rizals father, who was born in Chinchew, China. From Amoy, China where he was
residing then, Lam-Co migrated to and invested in the Philippines in the late 17th century and
married a half-breed Chinese-Filipina named Ines dela Rosa.

Rizal apparently came from a Chinese-Filipino descent Francisco Mercado Y Chinco.

Francisco Mercado was born in Bian, Laguna on May 11, 1818. He took up Philosophy and
Latin in the Colegio de San Jose in Manila. After his parents death, he moved to Calamba.
There he became a tenant farmer of the Dominican-owned hacienda and later became one of
the towns wealthiest men. He was able to establish a private library and kept carriage. The
name Francisco was in high honor in Laguna for it had belonged to a famous sea captain who
had been given the ENCOMIENDA of BAY for his services.

Rizals mother Teodora Alonso came from the clan of Lakan Dula, known as the last Malay king
of Tondo. She was also traced to Eugenio Ursua whose ancestors came from Japan. She was
the second daughter of Lorenzo Alberto Alonso who was a former representative of Spanish
Cortes and Brigida de Quintos whose parents were Manuel de Quintos, of a well-known family
in Pangasinan and Regina Ursua who was the daughter of Benigna and Eugene Ursua.

As already noted, Teodora Alonso had a trace of Japanese ancestry. Moreover, she was of
Ilocano-Tagalog-Chinese-Spanish descent. Combining the paternal and maternal ancestry,
therefore Jose Rizal was born with Malay, Chinese, Japanese and Spanish lineages in his
blood. Teodora Alonzo died on August 16, 1911 at the age of 84.
3. The home of Rizals family & hometown of Rizal

Dr. Jose Rizals home town is Calamba, Laguna. His home is located just beside the towns
church, the Church of San Juan Bautista or Saint John the Baptist Church.

The house is called the Rizal Shrine. It is also known to locals as Bahay ni Rizal. Rizal Shrine
is a very popular educational fieldtrip destination in the Philippines. It is also one of the most
popular tourist spots in Laguna. There are no entrance fee inside the Rizal Shrine but there are
donation boxes and the money collected here are used as funds for keeping the house and its
grounds clean.