Lineage, Life And Labors Of José Rizal, Philippine Patriot
By Austin Craig

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17 chapters

5 hour read


1 minute read

To the Philippine Youth The subject of Doctor Rizal’s first prize-winning poem was The Philippine Youth, and its theme was “Growth.” The study of the growth of free ideas, as illustrated in this book of his lineage, life and labors, may therefore fittingly be dedicated to the “fair hope of the fatherland.” Except in the case of some few men of great genius, those who are accustomed to absolutism cannot comprehend democracy. Therefore our nation is relying on its young men and young women; on the rising, instructed generation, for the secure establishment of popular self-government in the Philippines. This was Rizal’s own idea, for he said, through the old philosopher in “Noli me Tangere,” that he was not writing for his own generation but for a coming, instructed generation that would understand his hidden meaning. Your public school education gives you the democratic view-point, which the genius of Rizal...


9 minute read

In writing a biography, the author, if he be discriminating, selects, with great care, the salient features of the life story of the one whom he deems worthy of being portrayed as a person possessed of preëminent qualities that make for a character and greatness. Indeed to write biography at all, one should have that nice sense of proportion that makes him instinctively seize upon only those points that do advance his theme. Boswell has given the world an example of biography that is often wearisome in the extreme, although he wrote about a man who occupied in his time a commanding position. Because Johnson was Johnson the world accepts Boswell, and loves to talk of the minuteness of Boswell’s portrayal, yet how many read him, or if they do read him, have the patience to read him to the end? In writing the life of the greatest of the...

Chapter I

28 minute read

The lineage of a hero who made the history of his country during its most critical period, and whose labors constitute its hope for the future, must be more than a simple list of an ascending line. The blood which flowed in his veins must be traced generation by generation, the better to understand the man, but at the same time the causes leading to the conditions of his times must be noted, step by step, in order to give a better understanding of the environment in which he lived and labored. The study of the growth of free ideas is now in the days of our democracy the most important feature of Philippine history; hitherto this history has consisted of little more than lists of governors, their term of office, and of the recital of such incidents as were considered to redound to the glory of Spain, or could...

Chapter II

16 minute read

Clustered around the walls of Manila in the latter half of the seventeenth century were little villages the names of which, in some instances slightly changed, are the names of present districts. A fashionable drive then was through the settlement of Filipinos in Bagumbayan—the “new town” to which Lakandola’s subjects had migrated when Legaspi dispossessed them of their own “Maynila.” With the building of the moat this village disappeared, but the name remained, and it is often used to denote the older Luneta, as well as the drive leading to it. Within the walls lived the Spanish rulers and the few other persons that the fear and jealousy of the Spaniard allowed to come in. Some were Filipinos who ministered to the needs of the Spaniards, but the greater number were Sangleyes, or Chinese, “the mechanics in all trades and excellent workmen,” as an old Spanish chronicle says, continuing: “It...

Chapter III

36 minute read

The hope of the Biñan landlords that by changing from Filipino to Chinese tenantry they could avoid further litigation seems to have been disappointed. A family tradition of Francisco Mercado tells of a tedious and costly lawsuit with the Order. Its details and merits are no longer remembered, and they are not important. History has recorded enough agrarian trouble, in all ages and in all countries, to prove the economic mistake of large holdings of land by those who do not cultivate it. Human nature is alike the world over, it does not change with the centuries, and just as the Filipinos had done, the Chinese at last objected to paying increased rent for improvements which they made themselves. A Spanish judge required the landlords to produce their deeds, and, after measuring the land, he decided that they were then taking rent for considerably more than they had originally bought...

Chapter IV

26 minute read

José Protasio Rizal Mercado y Alonzo Realonda , the seventh child of Francisco Engracio Rizal Mercado y Alejandro and his wife, Teodora Morales Alonzo Realonda y Quintos, was born in Kalamba, June 19, 1861. He was a typical Filipino, for few persons in this land of mixed blood could boast a greater mixture than his. Practically all the ethnic elements, perhaps even the Negrito in the far past, combined in his blood. All his ancestors, except the doubtful strain of the Negrito, had been immigrants to the Philippines, early Malays, and later Sumatrans, Chinese of prehistoric times and the refugees from the Tartar dominion, and Spaniards of old Castile and Valencia—representatives of all the various peoples who have blended to make the strength of the Philippine race. Shortly before José’s birth his family had built a pretentious new home in the center of Kalamba on a lot which Francisco Mercado...

Jagor’s Prophecy

33 minute read

Rizal’s first home in Manila was in a nipa house with Manuel Hidalgo, later to be his brother-in-law, in Calle Espeleta, a street named for a former Filipino priest who had risen to be bishop and governor-general. This spot is now marked with a tablet which gives the date of his coming as the latter part of February, 1872. Rizal’s own recollections speak of June as being the date of the formal beginning of his studies in Manila. First he went to San Juan de Letran and took an examination in the Catechism. Then he went back to Kalamba and in July passed into the Ateneo, possibly because of the more favorable conditions under which the pupils were admitted, receiving credit for work in arithmetic, which in the other school, it is said, he would have had to restudy. This perhaps accounts for the credit shown in the scholastic year...

The Period of Preparation

6 minute read

Rizal disembarked at Marseilles, saw a little of that famous port, and then went by rail to Barcelona, crossing the Pyrenees, the desolate ruggedness of which contrasted with the picturesque luxuriance of his tropical home, and remained a day at the frontier town of Port-Bou. The customary Spanish disregard of tourists compared very unfavorably with the courteous attention which he had remarked on his arrival at Marseilles, for the custom house officers on the Spanish frontier rather reminded him of the class of employes found in Manila. At Barcelona he met many who had been his schoolmates in the Ateneo and others to whom he was known by name. It was the custom of the Filipino students there to hold reunions every other Sunday at the café, for their limited resources did not permit the daily visits which were the Spanish custom. In honor of the new arrival a special...

“You Ask Me for Verses”

14 minute read

In Madrid a number of young Filipinos were intense enthusiasts over political agitation, and with the recklessness of youth, were careless of what they said or how they said it, so long as it brought no danger to them. A sort of Philippine social club had been organized by older Filipinos and Spaniards interested in the Philippines, with the idea of quietly assisting toward improved insular conditions, but it became so radical under the influence of this younger majority, that its conservative members were compelled to drop out and the club broke up. The young men were constantly holding meetings to revive it, but never arrived at any effective conclusions. Rizal was present at some of these meetings and suggested that a good means of propaganda would be a book telling the truth about Philippine conditions and illustrated by Filipino artists. At first the project was severely criticised; later a...

The Period of Propaganda

16 minute read

The city had not altered much during Rizal’s seven years of absence. The condition of the Binondo pavement, with the same holes in the road which Rizal claimed he remembered as a schoolboy, was unchanged, and this recalls the experience of Ybarra in “Noli Me Tangere” on his homecoming after a like period of absence. Doctor Rizal at once went to his home in Kalamba. His first operation in the Philippines relieved the blindness of his mother, by the removal of a double cataract, and thus the object of his special study in Paris was accomplished. This and other like successes gave the young oculist a fame which brought patients from all parts of Luzon; and, though his charges were moderate, during his seven months’ stay in the Islands Doctor Rizal accumulated over five thousand pesos, besides a number of diamonds which he had bought as a secure way of...

Proverbial Sayings

49 minute read

Page 153 Ang naglalakad ng maráhan, matinik may mababaw , He who walks slowly, though he may put his foot on a thorn, will not be hurt very much (Tagals mostly go barefooted). Ang maniwalã sa sabi ’y walang bait na sarili , He who believes in tales has no own mind. Ang may isinuksok sa dingding, ay may titingalain , He who has put something between the wall may afterwards look on (the saving man may afterwards be cheerful).—The wall of a Tagal house is made of palm-leaves and bamboo, so that it can be used as a cupboard. Walang mahirap gisingin na paris nang nagtutulogtulugan , The most difficult to rouse from sleep is the man who pretends to be asleep. Labis sa salitã, kapus sa gawã , Too many words, too little work. Hipong tulog ay nadadalá ng ánod , The sleeping shrimp is carried away by...


17 minute read

Isang butil na palay sikip sa buony bahay , One rice-corn fills up all the house.—The light. The rice-corn with the husk is yellowish. Matapang akó so dalawá, duag akó sa isá , I am brave against two, coward against one.—The bamboo bridge. When the bridge is made of one bamboo only, it is difficult to pass over; but when it is made of two or more, it is very easy. Dalá akó niya, dalá ko siya , He carries me, I carry him.—The shoes. Isang balong malalim puna ng patalím , A deep well filled with steel blades.—The mouth. Page 154 The Filipino colony in Spain had established a fortnightly review, published first in Barcelona and later in Madrid, to enlighten Spaniards on their distant colony, and Rizal wrote for it from the start. Its name, La Solidaridad , perhaps may be translated Equal Rights, as it aimed at...

Despujol’s Duplicity

24 minute read

As soon as he had set in motion what influence he possessed in Europe for the relief of his relatives, Rizal hurried to Hongkong and from there wrote to his parents asking their permission to join them. Some time before, his brother-in-law, Manuel Hidalgo, had been deported upon the recommendation of the governor of La Laguna, “to prove to the Filipinos that they were mistaken in thinking that the new Civil Code gave them any rights” in cases where the governor-general agreed with his subordinate’s reason for asking for the deportation as well as in its desirability. The offense was having buried a child, who had died of cholera, without church ceremonies. The law prescribed and public health demanded it. But the law was a dead letter and the public health was never considered when these cut into church revenues, as Hidalgo ought to have known. Upon Rizal’s arrival in...

Chapter IX

6 minute read

Ethnographical material collected by Rizal for the Royal Zoölogical Museum in Dresden, Saxony. A plan for his transfer to the North, in the Ilokano country, had been deferred and had met with obstacles Page 224 which Rizal believed were placed in its way through some of his own countrymen in the Peninsula who feared his influence upon the revenue with which politics was furnishing them. Another proposal was to appoint Rizal district health officer for Dapitan, but this was merely a covert government bribe. While the exile expressed his willingness to accept the position, he did not make the “unequivocally Spanish” professions that were needed to secure this appointment. Yet the government could have been satisfied of Rizal’s innocence of any treasonable designs against Spain’s sovereignty in the Islands had it known how the exile had declined an opportunity to head the movement which had been initiated on the eve...

“Consummatum Est”

27 minute read

Notice of the granting of his request came to Rizal just when repeated disappointments had caused him to prepare for staying in Dapitan. Immediately he disposed of his salable possessions, including a Japanese tea set and large mirror now among the Rizal relics preserved by the government, and a piece of outlying land, the deed for which is also among the Rizalana in the Philippines library. Some half-finished busts were thrown into the pool behind the dam. Despite the short notice all was ready for the trip in time, and, attended by some of his schoolboys as well as by Josefina and Rizal’s niece, the daughter of his youngest sister, Soledad, whom Josefina wished to adopt, the party set out for Manila. The journey was not an uneventful one; at Dumaguete Rizal was the guest of a Spanish judge at dinner; in Cebu he operated successfully upon the eyes of...

The After-Life in Memory

15 minute read

An hour or so after the shooting a dead-wagon from San Juan de Diós Hospital took Rizal’s body to Paco Cemetery. The civil governor of Manila was in charge and there also were present the members of a Church society whose duty it was to attend executions. Rizal had been wearing a black suit which he had obtained for his European trip, and a derby hat, not only appropriate for a funeral occasion because of their somber color, but also more desirable than white both for the full day’s wear, since they had to be put on before the twenty-four hours in the chapel, and for the lying on the ground which would follow the execution of the sentence. A plain box inclosed the remains thus dressed, for even the hat was picked up and encoffined. No visitors were admitted to the cemetery while the interment was going on, and...

The Tagalog Story of the Monkey and the Tortoise Illustrated by José Rizal

1 minute read

Note An English version of this story entitled “The foolish monkey and the wise turtle” is found in The First Year Book published by The World Book Company of New York and Manila. Page 269 Page 271 Page 273 Page 275 Page 277 Page 279 Page 281 By Charles Derbyshire The Social Cancer (Noli me Tangere) Price 3.00 Pesos The Reign of Greed (El Filibusterismo) Price 2.75 Pesos “A complete picture of the Philippines under the old regime. Their appearance is noteworthy as a literary event and as an important fact in the history of the American people in their world relations.”— American Review of Reviews . “Here are two books that every American should read: not simply because a Malay novelist is a great curiosity, but because these romances contain a serious exposition of the conditions which prevailed in the Philippines before the American occupation.”— New York Nation...