Jose Rizal, Filipino humanist, Philippine national hero

Jose Rizal, Filipino humanest and 
 Philippine national hero.

Jose Rizal was born José Protasio Rizal Mercado y Alonso Realonda, in Calamba, Laguna, Philippines on June 19, 1861. He was a foremost Filipino propagandist, nationalist and patriot and the most prominent advocate for reforms in the Philippines during the Spanish colonial period.

Rizal received his Licentiate in Medicine in Universidad Central de Madrid, attended Unversity of Paris and earned a doctorate at the University of Heidelberg, Germany.


In 1896, he was tried and executed in Bagumbayan field in what is now the Rizal Park. His execution made him a marytr. His death anniversary - December 30 - is a Philippine holiday called Rizal Day.

Dr. Jose Rizal was a gifted Filipino. He was a prolific poet, essayist, correspondent and author of two highly influential and controversial books namely, Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo. These two novels inspired Filipino revolutionaries to fight for Philippine independence from Spain.

Considered as the national hero of the Philippines, he is an interesting and much admired Filipino not only for his martyrdom but also for his abilities. He was fluent in 10 languages: Spanish, English, French, German, Japanese among others. He was an artist - a sculptor, painter, and cartoonist. He was also a scientist, an engineer, farmer and a world traveller.

Jose Rizal's travels are well recorded. He kept a diary of his sojourns, making notes of his impressions of countries and places he visited which spanned the globe. Most of his adult life were spent in Europe, notably in Spain, France and Germany where he studied.

Today, he remains deeply ingrained in Filipino consciousness and popular culture. Until now his impact is still being debated, spoken and written about. Next year 2011 will mark the 150th anniversary of his birth and considering his status as an imminent Filipino humanist and hero, he will without doubt, continue to affect any and/or almost every aspect of Filipino life.

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