The secrets of Rizal’s Family
The secrets of Rizal’s Family
The documentary focuses on the secrets behind the house/mansion that belong to the family of Teodora Alonzo and its demolition in Biñan, Laguna. It has three different interesting topics; the quarrel between Teodora Formoso against his husband Jose Maria Alonzo and Teodora Alonzo, the legitimacy of Teodora Alonzo as a child, and the controversial demolition of the mansion. To spoil it out, the documentary started with the questionable family tree that Jose Rizal made. It is interestingly noticeable that the branches leading to his mother side, Teodora Alonzo was left unwritten. From this very reason, our thoughts may be saying that Rizal is hiding something about his family. This is also my thinking when I saw the family three, but later on weakened when I’ve seen the facts that Rizal have wrote some information about the family of Teodora Alonzo.
(These documents are at the Rizal Library in Ateneo de Manila University). What’s the secret all about? It all started with the quarrel between Jose Alonzo (brother of Teodora Alonzo) and his wife Teodora Formoso. It is when Jose Maria Alonzo, after having travels from Europe came home and knew that his wife is having an affair to another man. So he locked his wife in a room and asked his sister Teodora Alonzo to watch over Toedora Formoso. (Teodora Alonzo was in the side of Jose Maria). When Teodora Alonzo served a food to Formoso, it was not eaten by Formoso and rather fed it to a dog and suddenly the dog died. This is the reason why Teodora Alonzo was imprisoned for two years. She was accused by Formoso that Doña Teodora is trying to poison her.
There is also a story that Jose Maria de Alberto had an affair with Saturnina, his niece which become pregnant and give birth to Soledad. To conceal the shame, Saturnina with his mother Teodora Alonzo leave for a long vacation and later on come back with a child. This child was claimed by Teodora Alonzo but most of the people hesitated to believe and is said that the child differs from the other child of Doña Teodora, this newborn child was the most beautiful sibling of Rizal.
On the issue of being an illegitimate child of Teodora Alonzo, the story goes like this: Lorenzo Alonzo de Alberto (father of Teodora Alonzo) had a fixed marriage to a little girl named Paula Florentino before living with Brijida Quintos (the mother of Teodora Alonzo), of course, the relationship honoured by the law is the fix marriage making Paula Florentino the legitimate wife. Since it is a fixed marriage, they never had a child. So it is easy to say that the children of Lorenzo Alonzo to Brijida Quintos are illegitimate.
Lorenzo Alonzo is recognized by the Spaniards and has owned a title given by the Dominicans as he helped them in their missions in the Indo-China. This title makes him connected and tied on the Spanish government. Another thing is that the title is transferrable to his child after he died. So to keep the strong connection to the Spanish government, Jose Maria Alonzo de Alberto decided to be a legitimate child and avowed himself the son of Lorenzo Alberto and Paula Florentino. This is under the consent of Teodora Alonzo and his other siblings.
On the issue of the house that was owned by the Alonzo Family in Biñan, Laguna(now controversially being demolished), it gives us an indication that the Alonzo Family really have a quarrel on that time because when Rizal was sent to study in Biñan, he lived on his aunt’s house instead of living to the Alonzo’s mansion. (This was proven under my first argument on the above explanation) With its historical background, it is upsetting to say that this old mansion that is more than two hundred years old were in fact considered as a historical landmark is now being demolish parts by parts and will be moved in Bataan. Yes, the house will still be existing but never the less, its preservation will not be as natural as it is first located in Biñan, Laguna. What most distressing about this is that the house will be remove for the building of a starbucks coffee in replaced to it.