Short Biography Of Jose P. Rizal Essay

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José Protasio Rizal Mercado y Alonso Realonda
(June 19, 1861 – December 30, 1896)

Character Trait: Patriotism (Love of Country)

Jose Rizal was born on June 19, 1861 in Calamba, Laguna. His parents were Francisco Mercado and Teodora Alonzo. He was the seventh child of their eleven children.  

His mother taught him how to read and write. At the age of eight, Rizal wrote his first poem entitled "Sa Aking Mga Kabata." The poem was written in Tagalog and its theme was "Love of One’s Language." Rizal started formal schooling in Biñan at 9 years old. There he learned Latin and Spanish. Rizal was a brilliant student. He surpassed them all in Spanish, Latin, and other subjects.

He was sent to Manila to study. He enrolled at the Ateneo Municipal. There, he received his Bachelor of Arts in 1877. He graduated as one of the nine outstanding students.   Then he moved to the University of Santo Thomas and took medicine when he learned that his mother was going to be blind. Rizal decided to travel to Europe to continue his study of medicine.
He had traveled throughout Spain, France and Germany. While abroad, Rizal started writing Noli Me Tangere. It’s a novel that shows the sad conditions of his countrymen under the Spaniards. The Spanish friars didn’t like the novel. He also wrote his second novel the El Filibusterismo. It pictured a society that is about to start a revolution.

He was the leader of the reform movement of Filipino students in Spain. He contributed essays, poems, and editorials to the Spanish newspaper La Solidaridad in Barcelona. He wrote about liberal and progressive ideas of individual rights and freedom - rights for the Filipino people.

Rizal was also the founder of La Liga Filipina, an organization that gave birth to the Katipunan led by Bonifacio and Aguinaldo. He was a promoter of institutional reforms by peaceful means rather than by violent revolution. He was against rebellion. He believed that “pen is mightier than sword.”
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