Biography of José Rizal

Jose Rizal is considered to be an icon of the nationalist movement.

Born: June 19, 1861
Calamba, Laguna Province, Philippines
Journalist, Poet, Activist, Doctor

He bravely stood up against the colonial rule of Spain in the Philippines and did not have fear of death. After he called for global reform, he became a hero. Although Rizal supported peaceful changes, he was convicted of rebellion and executed on December 30, 1896 at the age of 35.

José Rizal

Jose Rizal was born on June 19, 1861 in Calamba, the Philippines. A brilliant student who mastered several languages, Jose Rizal studied medicine in Manila. In 1882 he went to Spain to complete his medical degree. While living in Europe Rizal constantly wrote about the discrimination that accompanied Spain’s colonial domination in his country. Jose Rizal became the part of Propaganda movement connected with other Filipinos who wanted reforms. He also wrote his first novel “Noli Me Tangere” which described in details the dark aspects of Spanish colonial domination in the Philippines with a particular focus on the role of Catholic monks. The book was prohibited in the Philippines, although copies were brought illegally. Rizal’s return to the Philippines in 1887 was interrupted because of this novel. He was attacked by the police. Rizal returned to Europe and continued to write. He published his next novel “El Filibusterismo” in 1891. He also published articles in “La Solidaridad”. Reforms, Rizal talked about, did not include independence. He called for equal treatment for the Filipinos and limitation of Spanish monks’ power. He returned to the Philippines in 1892, but was exiled because of his harsh criticism of the regime and his desire for reforms. He was sent to Dapitan, Mindanao island. Rizal spent four years in exile. He practiced medicine and hosted students. In 1895 Rizal requested permission to travel to Cuba as a military doctor. His request was approved, but there was an uprising in August, 1896. Rizal was arrested, although he was not connected with conspirators and did not approve their violent methods. After torture Rizal was convicted of rebellion and sentenced to death. Rizal’s public execution took place in Manila on December 30, 1896, when he was 35 years old. He was gunned down, and as soon as the first shots were heard a new hero appeared. Spain’s control over the Philippines ended in 1898, although the country did not achieve firm independence until the Second World War, and Rizal remains the national hero.

Popular poems by José Rizal

  1. Kundiman (English Translation)
  2. To My
  3. They Ask Me For Verses!
  4. The Song Of Maria Clara
  5. Flower Among Flowers
  6. To The Flowers Of Heidelberg
  7. To The Philippine Youth
  8. Miss C.O. Y R.
  9. A Tribute To My Town
  10. Kundiman

biography José Rizal

On the eve of the execution when he was imprisoned in Santiago, Rizal wrote: “Last Farewell”, a recognized masterpiece of Spanish poems of the 19th century.

José Rizal death: December 30, 1896; Manila, Philippines