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Jose Rizal Controversies

Dr. Jose Rizal, the well-loved Philippine national hero, and the brave known genius was
famous and will remain famous worldwide. I don’t know if you’ve heard bout him, but of
course if you’re a Filipino, you surely know him well because he’s a big part of the Philippine
history. Jose Rizal is a star and like I’ve said genius and every star and genius is famous. And
every famous is controversial.

Before I go direct to Jose Rizal’s controversies, have a brief information about who he was…

Bits of facts about the genius Jose Rizal

Dr. Jose Rizal was a philosopher, painter, poet, architect, artists, businessman,cartoonist,
educator, economist, ethnologist, scientific farmer, historian,inventor, journalist,
linguist, musician, mythologist, nationalist, naturalist, novelist,opthalmic surgeon,
propagandist, psychologist, scientist, sculptor, sociologist,swordsman, , theologian hmm
seems never-ending. In short Rizal was a versatile genius.

Amazing Facts about Jose Rizal

Jose Rizal has mastered 22 languages. These include Arabic, Catalan, Chinese, English,
French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Latin, Malayan, Portuguese, Russian,
Sanskrit, Spanish, Tagalog, and other native dialects. Whoa, how many do you speak?

His real name

His complete name was Dr. José Rizal Protasio Mercado y Alonso Realonda.Many
wonder why he used “Rizal” while his father was Francisco Mercado. He should have
been Jose Mercado right? So why did Rizal’s surname become Rizalinstead of Mercado?

Some of the explanations with this are:

Jose’s real last name, Mercado, during those times was a hot name, targeted by the
Spaniards. He changed his surname to protect his identity. So he just used his middle
name, Rizal, instead, which was considered as illustrado during the Spanish time and entails
the benefits a Spaniard can get.

Second, there was Spanish law to change the last name of Filipinos those times.Mercado

sounded a common name and there were lots of people having that surname already who
were not really relatives of Rizal.

And so, why why? A big why.

Mi Ultimo Adios
Mi Ultimo Adios (My Last Farewell)– this was one of the last notes written by Jose Rizal
before the day of his execution. Read again… “one of his last notes.” On the eve of his
execution, on December 30, 1896, he wrote this 14 five-line stanzas poem. This poem
was unsigned, untitled and undated. Perhaps unfinished? Perhaps, it really was
unfinished. I mean, it was a farewell letter, one who would be executed wouldn’t have enough
time writing everything he needs to say especially someone like Rizal.

Here is a copy of news story taken from The Inquirer dated December 30, 2002:

On the afternoon of Dec. 29, 1896, a day before his execution, Dr. Jose Rizal was visited by
his mother, Teodora Alonzo, sisters Lucia, Josefa, Trinidad, Maria and Narcisa, and two
nephews. When they took their leave, Rizal told Trinidad in English that there was something
in the small alcohol stove (cocinilla), not alcohol lamp (lamparilla). The stove was given to
Narcisa by the guard when the party was about to board their carriage in the courtyard. At
home, the Rizal ladies recovered from the stove a folded paper. On it was written an unsigned,
untitled and undated poem of 14 five-line stanzas. The Rizals reproduced copies of the poem
and sent them to Rizal's friends in the country and abroad. In 1897, Mariano Ponce in Hong
Kong had the poem printed with the title "Mi Ultimo Pensamiento." Fr. Mariano Dacanay, who
received a copy of the poem while a prisoner in Bilibid(jail), published it in the first issue of La
Independencia on Sept. 25, 1898 with the title "Ultimo Adios." N.B. The stove was not
delivered until after the execution. Rizal needed it to light the room and to be able to write the
poem and his other parting words. VGPas 10/21/08.

Noli me Tangere

Jose Rizal’s first novel, Noli me Tangere, means “don't touch me” or “touch me not” is
the Latin version of words spoken, according to John 20:17, by Jesus to Mary
Magdalenewhen she recognizes him after his resurrection. The book was first published in
1887 in Berlin, Germany, originally written in Spanish but later been translated to different
languages and made copies distributed around the world.

The title was controversial, and the novel itself created so much controversy that only a few
days after his arrival in the Philippines, Jose Rizal was summoned the greatest enemy of the
state in the 19th century. They even called him, afreemason, a sorcerer, a damned soul
and evil. The novel depicted the Spanish abuse government to the Philippines.

Many characters in the Noli personify Rizal. Like Ibarra, Pilosopong Tasyo andElias. But
the last part portrays Rizal execution as if he already knew he’d be executed…

Elias helped Basilio bury his mother and while he lay dying, he instructed Basilio to continue
dreaming about freedom for his motherland with the words: "I shall die without seeing
the dawn break upon my homeland. You, who shall see it, salute it! Do not forget
those who have fallen during the night." He died thereafter.
El Filibusterismo

The second novel of Rizal, the continuation of Noli me Tangere, It was first published in
1891 in Ghent, Belgium, also written in Spanish, and soon been translated. El
Filibusterismo has an English alternate title, The Reign of Greed, is a deeper depiction of
what the first novel has symbolized and is about revenge and revolution. This novel was
dedicated to the three-martyr-priest, GOMBURZA. Rizal however has written his dedication in
memory of the three priests with their age and the date of their execution all wrongly.

This has been the greatest controversy and most talked about and most debated about Rizal.
Below is Rizal’s retraction letter originally written in Spanish translated into English. However
the said retraction has some sorts of copy issues…quote issues and formula issues. Whether
Jose Rizal has retracted or not, that’s still not proven.

I declare myself a catholic and in this Religion in which I was born and educated I wish to live
and die.

I retract with all my heart whatever in my words, writings, publications and conduct has been
contrary to my character as son of the Catholic Church. I believe and I confess whatever she
teaches and I submit to whatever she demands. I abominate Masonry, as the enemy which is
of the Church, and as a Society prohibited by the Church. The Diocesan Prelate may, as the
Superior Ecclesiastical Authority, make public this spontaneous manifestation of mine in order
to repair the scandal which my acts may have caused and so that God and people may pardon
Manila 29 of December of 1896

Jose Rizal

Josephine Bracken

Did Jose Rizal really marry Josephine Bracken? Scholars say that there were no written
accounts of the marriage between Rizal and Josephine, but Josephine claims that Rizal actually
married him a day before his execution.

Some even says Josephine was a spy of the Spanish government.

One thing is for sure, Jose Rizal loved Josephine. He wrote some poems about her and his
love for her. I think these controversies about Josephine Bracken are unreasonable. Every
hero deserves a lover that is without a question.

Jose Rizal's Girlfriends

Do you believe Jose Rizal had a real child?
 Yes, maybe they just hid it to protect him
 No, I believe his only son died

Jose Rizal’s Son

Did Jose Rizal have a son? Did the genius hero have an heir? Dr. Jose Rizal was a
freaking genius; he must have an heir so that his special genes and thousand of talents will
continue from generation to generation.

“Unfortunately, Rizal and Josephine were not destined to have a child. One day in early March
1896, Rizal played a practical joke on Josephine, which frightened her terribly. As a result of
her great fright, she gave birth prematurely to an eight-month baby boy.

The baby was very weak and was gasping for breath. Seeing the baby’s condition, Rizal
immediately baptized him Francisco in honor of his father. He did everything he could to save
the life of his infant son, but in vain. All his knowledge and skill as a physician could not save
little Francisco. Sorrowfully, Rizal saw his child die three hours after birth.

With a heavy heart, he drew a sketch of his dead son. Then he buried him under a shady tree
near his home. He prayed": "Oh, God, I give you another tiny angel. Please bless his soul." –
from Jose RizalUniversity

Was Adolf Hitler the Son of Jose Rizal?

When Jose Rizal was in Europe, it was noted out that he found a pretty European girlfriend
somewhere in the border of Germany and Austria. So rumored has spread that Adolf
Hitler was the son of Jose Rizal. LOLOL This controversy is NOT true. I can’t see any
characteristic of Hitler associated with Rizal. Ok, that was really funny.

Rizal a Prophet?

During his execution, a doctor tried to read Rizal’s heartbeat and blood pressure, the result
was normal! Did he not feel afraid or frightened?! Or has he really been preparing for that a
long time.

Following Rizal’s life and writings, it seems Jose Rizal really knew where his fate would end. He
was really an architect, he has drawn where he was going, He was really an eye-doctor, he
kinda saw what was happening.
Rizal, ever since a little child had already dreamed being a martyr for his country.

His anecdote about the time when his mother narrated him a story about a firefly who go
nearer to a flame and killed, Rizal quoted “The firefly must be a martyr for dying for his

Another one was when he was teased by his older sister, Rizal said, “one day I will die for this
country and you would see my monument.”

Rizalista, a religion who believes Rizal will return…

Due to the interesting and moving life of Jose Rizal, there came a sect of people who have a
strong belief in Jose Rizal.

Rizalists - any of numerous ethnic religious groups in the Philippines that believe in the
divinity of José Rizal, the national hero martyred by the Spanish in 1896. Among many
peasant cults it is commonly believed that he is still alive and will return to deliver his followers
from poverty and oppression. Rizal has been identified as God, as the second, or Filipino,
Christ, and as the god of the pre-Spanish Malay religion. Rizalist cults, such as the Iglesia
Sagrada ni Lahi (HolyChurch of the Race) and the Banner of the Race Church (the largest
group), synthesize Roman Catholic rituals –

Ang Iglesia Watawat ng Lahi

isinulat ni Ronald O. Redito

Una naming pinuntahan ang Iglesia Watawat ng Lahi sa Calamba, Laguna. Ayon sa aming
napag-alaman. Ang organisasyong ito ay itinatag noong 1940 sa pulo ng Masbate. Noong ika-
25 ng Disyembre, 1946, ito ay umabot sa Laguna. Ayon sa mga naunang miyembro, mayroon
daw mga tintawag na banal na tinig na nag-uugnay sa Diyos at mga tao. Naniniwala sila sa
iisang diyos na tagapaglikha ngunit hindi kay Kristo bilang diyos kundi bilang isa lamang sugo
katulad ni Rizal. Ayon sa kanila naghabilin ang ga banal sa tinig na "magbalik-aral sa mga sulat
ni Dr. Jose Rizal" bago ito nawala. Ang Kanilang tatlong basehan ng katotohanan ay ang
Bibliya, mga sulat ni Rizal at mga sulat ng kanilang mga master.
Rizal Worship: The Rizalistas
The Rizalistas are a group of people who worship Jose Rizal, the national hero of the
Philippines, as a divine being and deity. Similar to other religious groups, the Rizalistas have
different sects whose beliefs may vary, but nonetheless share the same faith in Jose
Rizal. These sects have different founders, founded on different dates, and are scattered in
different parts of the archipelago. Some of the registered groups of Rizalistas today include:

 Espiritual Pilipino Catholic Church

 Samahan ng Tatlong Persona Solo Dios
 Iglesia Sagrada Filipina
 Ciudad Mistica de Dios
 Watawat ng Lahi
 Adamista
 Bathalismo
 And many others…

These individual sects each have their own chapters all over the country and even
abroad. Some of them are found primarily in Laguna, in the town of Calamba, and in Quezon
Province at the foot of Mount Banahaw.
Parallels: Jesus Christ and Jose Rizal
Rizalistas believe that there are apparent parallels in the lives and persons of both Jose Rizal,
and Jesus Christ. Some of them even believe that Rizal was Christ himself,
reincarnated. These parallel traits and characteristics include:

 Jose Rizal is the messiah of the Philippines, just as Jesus Christ is the messiah of Israel.
 Both Jesus Christ and Jose Rizal were good and upright men who pursued their ideals
with purest methods and intentions.
 Both Jesus Christ and Jose Rizal were Asians.
 Both Jesus Christ and Jose Rizal were born into a country that was under colonial rule.
 Both Jesus Christ and Jose Rizal paid no attention to human differences in status,
education, race, etc. and believed in equal and peaceful coexistence of all human beings.
 Both Jesus Christ and Jose Rizal were healers.
 Both Jesus Christ and Jose Rizal underwent mockery and trial for unjust charges.
 Both Jesus Christ and Jose Rizal were executed by their enemies.
 Both Jesus Christ and Jose Rizal died for what they believed in.

The Rizal Law, also known as RA 1425, mandates the study of Rizal’s life and works, as shown
in section 1. This Republic Act calls for an increased sense of nationalism from the Filipinos
during a time of a dwindling Filipino identity. According to the judicial system, a republic act is
a law that has already been passed and implemented. In contrast to this, a bill is merely a
proposed law, in other words it may or may not be passed by the Congress.

The Republic Act was signed by the President on June 12, 1956. From the notes preceding the
body of the document, one may infer that the bill was originally proposed in the Legislative
arm of the Philippine Republic, in the Senate and House of Representatives. According to the
Official Gazette, the law was made effective thirty days after its implementation. The mere fact
that the Act was passed on the date of our independence seeks to stir up a greater sense of
fervor in the Filipino, to believe in their own country and national identity—who we are as a
nation. It was this time when the Philippines was heavily dependent on the American
government for support and guidance. Also, based on the fact that Jose Rizal is honored by
the Philippines as the Philippine national hero, it is but appropriate that the document written
to commemorate his accomplishments is written here, in the land of his birth.

It is Senator Claro M. Recto who authored the Rizal Bill. While Senator Jose P. Laurel, Sr., who
was then the Chairman of the Committee on Education, sponsored the bill in the Senate. Both
of them were known for their great sense of nationalism. This nationalism served as the
foundation to come up with this republic act, to set our country free from the hands of others
and stand up on our own—exactly the ideals and values that Rizal strove to fight for. It was
written for the Filipino people, specifically the Filipino youth, who may have lost their sense of
nationalism. The writers endeavored to rekindle a lost spark in each Filipino’s belief in their
country. A republic act as drastic as the Rizal Law, which requires the study of Rizal’s life and
works—something that does not need to be required in the first place—can only be born out of
the fact that Rizal and his works were not given a high priority in the educational system of
the country prior to the release of this act. It is clear that the government had to make drastic
changes to resolve the issue. This is evident in section 3 of the act, legalizing all forms of
translations for Rizal’s works, as well as section 2, obligating all schools, colleges and
universities to keep an adequate number of copies of Rizal’s works. This makes them more
accessible to a greater audience.

It is hard to make out any form of emotion from any legal document; however, the choice of
words is still able to convey a fiery passion. To highlight this, they also use words or concepts
that can easily relate to the common Filipino man. Such passion is vital, as the audience is
presumably of dwindling nationalism. In this regard, the writer attempts to show the audience
the identity they have slowly been losing, and show them how they can undo this.

There are important points that the author cited in this republic act that is worth noticing.
First, “Whereas, today, more than other period of our history, there is a need for a re-
dedication to the ideals of freedom and nationalism for which our heroes lived and died.” This
document was written in the year 1956 during Magsasyay’s regime when the country was still
recovering from the Japanese occupation and still very dependent on US governance. Ideals of
freedom and nationalism were very essential during those times since the Philippines was still
struggling for independence, and the country was still gradually developing its national identity
and integrity. During those times havoc also existed within the Filipinos since there were
numerous uprisings against the Philippine government. Moreover, even though this document
was written decades ago, it is still striking because this clause is very timely for this present
generation when our culture is being overpowered by foreign influence and Filipino diaspora is
Another important point from RA 1425 is “Whereas, all educational institutions are under the
supervision of, and subject to regulation by the State, and all schools are enjoined to develop
moral character, personal discipline, civic conscience, and to teach the duties of citizenship.” It
is very important to use our educational institutions to instill these values to the children who
are at their prime years of growing and learning. During one’s educational years especially the
college level is when individuals formulate their priorities and career tracks in life, and it is
essential that institutions make students realize that the country should be a part of their
priorities and serving one’s country is an innate and inborn duty for all. Also, embedding a
profound and authentic moral character and a strong sense of personal discipline in the youth
would yield proficient, genuine, and selfless Filipinos of the future who would turn the
Philippines from an impoverished country to a globally competitive nation.

Lastly, “The Board of National education shall cause the translation of the Noli Me Tangere and
El Filibusterismo, as well as other writings of Jose Rizal into English, Tagalog and the principal
Philippine dialects; cause them to be printed in cheap, popular editions; and cause them to be
distributed, free of charge, to persons desiring to read them, through the Purok organizations
and the Barrio Councils throughout the country.” To provide a specific way to carry out this act
is very helpful. It makes the goal very SMART – specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and
time-bound. It is also important that the effects of this act would be experienced by all
students even those who are financially troubled. It is commendable that in the context of this
act, the poor is well represented and that it is attainable regardless of ethnicity, social stature,
and language barriers.

This document was obviously written during a time when patriotism and nationalism was lost
and needed, and a time when people were inspired by the initiative of the authors of this act.
It was during this time when the Philippines and its’ citizens relied on the United States for
guidance, support and welfare. It was written in order to seek aide from the same brilliant
mind that drove the Filipinos of the past to fight for freedom from colonists entails another
need for another meaningful revolution in spite of the absence of invaders; the country may
have needed a slow-paced revolution driven by patriotism against dormancy, apathy and