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Welcome to Speak Your Art Blog Hub. This blog combines posts from seven of my other blogs: In the Flow Studios Arts, In the Flow Studios Body, I Love Shelter Dogs, Mana Keepers, PaaMano Eskrima & Performing Arts, Self-Actualization thru Women's Empowerment and Speak Your Art Poetry. It brings my organizations together and offers my readers an easier way to follow new posts in one convenient location.

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Saturday, July 28, 2012

José Rizal

Jose Rizal was born José Protacio Rizal Mercado y Alonso Realonda on June 19, 1861 in Calamba City, Laguna, Philippines. 

Jose Rizal was the most prominent advocate for reform in the Philippines during the Spanish colonial era. He is regarded as the foremost Filipino patriot and is listed as one of the national heroes of the Philippines by National Heroes Committee. His execution by the Spanish in 1896 was one of the causes of the Philippine Revolution. 

He attended the Ateneo Municipal de Manila, earning a Bachelor of Arts, and enrolled in medicine at the University of Santo Tomas. He continued his studies at the Universidad Central de Madrid in Madrid, Spain, earning the degree of Licentiate in Medicine. He also attended the University of Paris and earned a second doctorate at the University of Heidelberg.

Rizal spoke twenty-two languages. He was a prolific poet, essayist, diarist, correspondent, and novelist. Wrote two novels, Noli me Tangere and El filibusterismo. These novels were social commentaries on Spanish rule and inspired peaceful reformists and armed revolutionaries for a change in the politics of the Philippines.

He formed La Liga Filipina, a civic organization that gave birth to the Katipunan led by Andrés Bonifacio and Emilio Aguinaldo. He was a proponent of achieving Philippine self-government peacefully through institutional reform rather than through violent revolution, although he would support "violent means" as a last option.

The general consensus among Rizal scholars is that his execution by the Spanish helped to bring about the Philippine Revolution.

Rizal’s translations and annotation of Sucesos de las Islas Filipinas (Historical Events of the Philippine Islands), the Spanish official Antonio de Morga’s seventeenth-century account of the conditions obtaining in the country before and during the Spanish conquest. Although not familiar – even among present-day Filipinos – as Rizal’s Noli and Fili, his edition of Morga was no less important.

While his Noli revealed the decline of the fatherland under the destructive effect and exploitation by Spanish colonization, in contrast Rizal’s edition of the Morga sought to awaken among his countrymen the consciousness of their past and the advanced state of the Filipinos prior to the coming of the Spaniards, their early accomplishments as well as their ethnic and cultural links to other Malay peoples.

Rizal was at pain to show that the pre-Hispanic Filipinos had a system of writing, bodies of costumes, traditions and usages. Filipino artisans, like Panday Pira, had forged cannons and built seagoing vessels as few others did in Southeast Asis. Agriculture and industry – like the growing of cottons, the weaving of cloth, the mining of gold and other metals, even the export of silk to Japan where today the best silk comes from – existed prior to the Spanish colonial conquest. Pre-Hispanic Philippines appeared to be at one of the crossroads of Asian trade, and its products reached other countries of Asia.

Rizal’s preface to his edition of the Morga closed with the following words to his countrymen:

“If the book succeeds to awaken your consciousness of our past, already effaced from your memory, and to rectify what has been falsified and slandered, then I have not worked in vain, and with this as a basis, however small it may be, we shall be able to study the future.”

Jose Rizal was implicated in an 1892 rebellion and sent into exile in Dapitan in rural Mindanao, where he proceeded to build a school, a hospital and a water supply system.

When Independence was declared by the Katipunan movement in 1896, Rizal decided to go to Cuba as the Cuban Revolutionaries were also in rebellion against Madrid. He was arrested by Spanish authorities en route to Cuba and sent back to Manila for trial. He was convicted of sedition, rebellion and conspiracy and sentenced to death.

His execution was carried out by firing squad on December 30, 1896. He was 35 years old.

The day before his execution he wrote an untitled poem and hid it in an alcohol stove and later handed it to his family with his few remaining possessions, including the final letters and his last bequests. The poem was later titled “Mi Ultimo Adios” or “My Last Farewell”.

When the United States was debating the Philippine Organic Act of 1902, which was to lead to some limited self-governing, Representative Henry Cooper of Wisconsin read an English translation of Rizal’s poem known as “Mi Ultimo Adios”. After the speech, the US Congress passed the bill into law which is now known as the Philippine Organic Act of 1902. It created the Philippine legislature, appointed two Filipino delegates to the US Congress, extended the US Bill of Rights to Filipinos, and laid the foundation for an autonomous government.

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