José Protasio Rizal Mercado y Alonso Realonda (June 19, 1861 – December 30, 1896, ancestral home: Quanzhou, Fujian), was a Filipino polymath, nationalist and the most prominent advocate for reforms in the Philippines during the Spanish colonial era. He is considered the Philippines’ national hero and the anniversary of Rizal’s death is commemorated as a Philippine holiday called Rizal Day. Rizal’s 1896 military trial and execution made him a martyr of the Philippine Revolution. The seventh of eleven children born to a wealthy family in the town of Calamba, Laguna (province), Rizal attended the Ateneo Municipal de Manila, earning a Bachelor of Arts.
He enrolled in Medicine and Philosophy and Letters at the University of Santo Tomas and then traveled alone to Madrid, Spain, where he continued his studies at the Universidad Central de Madrid, earning the degree of Licentiate in Medicine. He attended the University of Paris and earned a second doctorate at the University of Heidelberg. Rizal was a polyglot conversant in at least ten languages. Reaction to the movie: rizal’s life
This film has power. I did not feel this 3-hours-movie long. Director Diaz-Abaya described Rizal not only from outside but from his inner side. The plot was very complicated, but still not difficult to follow.
Since I first knew of Rizal in a book of Asian history, I have had a question. Why is Rizal the National Hero, not Aginard, nor Bonifacio? Rizal did little except writing two novels. Why? Watching the movie, I thought I had an answer. Historically, his books and his death triggered the revolution activities. But true reason is, I suppose, that Rizal had a universal view on humanity and freedom. I was impressed by the following two lines: 1) In a Madrid pub, he says “Unless we first learn self-respect, we will not be respected by any other peoples.” 2) After having death sentence, his barrister says he is ashamed as a Spanish. Rizal says, “No, we are the same human beings.” He was not a perfect man, nor his ideas. But he left something everlasting, that Filipinos can be proud of.
The next question I had was: His death triggered the revolution activities. Was it beyond his will, or did he want it to happen? The night before execution, the ghost of Simoun came out in his room, and urged him to rewrite the story. At last Rizal says “Let me have a rest. To know who I am.” Then he rewrites the story so that the lamp explodes to kill many suppressors. So, what Abaya wants to say?
Anyway, it is a very good film. It is the first Philippine film put on a Japanese screen except kinds of film festivals. I hope more Philippine films are shown in Japan, especially Abaya’s.
The movie exemplifies the life of Jose Rizal when he was deported in Dapitan. In his stay, he engaged himself in several activities. He became a teacher for local youth. He planted trees and crops and made an irrigation system for the community. He made a Mindanao map in the plaza of Dapitan. Also, he practiced his medicine, indulged in sculpture and painting and fell in love to Josephine Bracken. During his stay in Dapitan, he also operated the eyes of his mother. Later in the film, Rizal was visited by Dr. Pio Valenzuela sought advice from him with regards of the revolution. The outcome was quite unexpected and expected at the same time. It was unexpected, because, he repudiated the revolution. II.HISTORICAL LIFE OF RIZAL
a. As Community Developer
When Jose Rizal arrived in the province of Dapitan, he marked its poor condition. What he did is, he drained the marshes of province to get rid of malaria-carrying mosquitoes, he provided lighting system (ex. coconut oil lamps posted in dark streets) in the province out of what he earned from being a physician, and he also enhanced Dapitan by remodeling the town plaza, with the aid of his Jesuit teacher, Fr. Francisco Sanchez, and created a relief map of Mindanao using stones, soil and grass, right in front the church.
b.His romantic story
Jose Rizal always miss his whole family and their cheerful memories together in Calamba, and his loneliness was doubled upon hearing the announcement of Leonor Rivera’s death. Not soon, to his surprise, an Irish girl enlightened his rather gloomy heart. This girl was the 18-year old Josephine Bracken who, to Wenceslao Retana’s words, was “slender, a chestnut blond, with blue eyes, dressed with elegant simplicity, with an atmosphere of light.”
Rizal sa Dapitan was good, the choice of characters was also good, but there should be improvements in the script, cinematography and music. I think the highlights of Rizal’s life was not just only when he was in Dapitan, but during the climax of events before his execution.