Baylor College Medical School

Jose Rizal (1861-1896)

Jose Rizal was born in the Philippines. His father was a wealthy Filipino landowner. Because of his father's wealth, Rizal received a high level of education. In 1882, he traveled to Spain to complete his education as a doctor at the University of Madrid. In addition to being a doctor, Rizal was a sculptor, novelist, and philosopher who spoke many languages fluently.

Rizal's studies took him to Paris, Berlin, and many other cities in Europe. He became aware of the freedoms enjoyed by European citizens, which contrasted greatly with the restrictions placed on the Filipinos. In 1886, while in Germany, RIzal wrote a novel that condemned Spanish injustices and oppression in the Philippines. In 1891, while in Spain, he wrote a second novel that was critical of Spanish rule in his native country. Still he worked for reform within the Spanish system. He hoped that the Philippines could become a province of Spain with the same rights as provinces in mainland Spain.

In 1892, Rizal returned to the Philippines and founded a nonviolent reform society, the Liga Filipina. The society called for peaceful change in the islands. Even though RIzal promoted reform, not independence from Spanish rule, the Spanish government saw him as a threat. They exiled Rizal to Mindanano, a large island at the southrn end of the Philippines. Rizal spent four years in exile on Mindanao, practicing medicine, teaching, and conducting scientific research and experiments. Then, in August of 1896, a revolutionary group of Filipinos staged a violent revolt. Even though Rizal had no connection with the revolt, he was arrested and convicted of acts against the Spanish government. On December 20, 1896, Rizal was publicly executed by a firing squad. He is recognized by Filipinos as a martyr to the cause for independence.

Question 3. How important do you think it was that Rizal was born into an upper class home and had access to higher education? Can you please explain your answer?

Asked by
Last updated by Aslan
Answers 1
Add Yours

Education is the key to freedom. Having come from relative wealth gave Rizal the ability to travel to great cities in Europe and study. This education inspired him to believe change was possible. Education gave Rizal the tools, mental discipline and connections to affect change in the Philippines.