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By: Atty. Vivencio F. Abao

The first monument dedicated to Dr. Jose Rizal is a three-tiered stone pylon with its square base
supporting a triangle in two stages, the last one tapering off to a point. It was built in 1898, two years
after his death.
The official seal of the province of Camarines Norte has the figure of a landmark, which stands, in the
capital town of Daet. Some of you, I am sure, must have visited the landmark. Or at least, have heard
or seen the photograph of it.
I refer to a white three-sided spire with a square base,
about twenty feet high made of coral stones. It is
located in a small park just across the Daet town hall.
The monument was erected by the people of
Camarines Norte in honor of Dr. Jose Rizal on
December 30, 1898, two years to the day after his
martyrdom in Bagumbayan in 1896.
The Daet landmark is known, and officially recognize,
The First Rizal Monument symbolizes what happened
in the province of Camarines Norte during the
turbulent years of the Philippine Revolution. Its shape
and design, the site on which it stands, the coral
stones used, the writings on its base all are
expressions of the nationalist sentiments of the people
of the province, their role and participation in that
greater struggle of a nation for independence.
The tapering spire and its triangular shape is Masonic
in design. It is the triangle of the Masons, and later, of
the Katipunan whose insignias were patterned after
Masonic triangular emblems. Like our national flag, it
is reminiscent of the first Katipunan war standards and
combat banners bearing a triangle with three Ks. the design is understandably Masonic because
those inspired, organized and led the struggle in the province were not only nationalists but also were
mostly, if not all, members of Freemasonry.
As early as 1889, the first predominantly Filipino Masonic lodge in Spain counted among its original
members a native son of Camarines Norte. These members, like Marcelo H. Del Pilar, Graciano
Lopez Jaena and Mariano Ponce, had intended to make use of their Masonic relationships for
political purposes to obtain liberal reforms for the Philippines including representation in the Spanish
Cortes. The lodges name was Revoluccion and its Bicolano member was Jose Maria
Panganiban who was born in the gold mining town of Mambulao, which now bears his name.
Panganiban was the JOMAPA of the La Solidaridad, the eloquent and brilliant speaker highly
admired by his peers in the Propaganda Movement. His fellow propagandist Jose Rizal wrote of him:
Panganiban was a true orator, of easy and energetic words, vigorous
concepts, practical and transcendental ideas, and of elevated thoughts.

His was an eloquence, at once seductive and convincing. Deeply informed

of things Philippine, how many times did he move his audience depicting
the ills of that land, the profound agonies it suffers, the immense pains it
feels. How many times did he excite the general admiration of those
listening to him as he expounds suitable and practical remedies,
indicating reforms that would be carried out in accordance with the
peculiar needs of the country.
It is a measure of Panganibans patriotism and his dedication to the cause that despite t he rigors of
poverty and the ravages of tuberculosis, he persisted till the end in the struggle of reforms. In August
1890, he died at the age of 27. On his grave as the epitaph: Here lies the avenger of the honor of the
Filipinos, written by Graciano Lopez Jaena.
The same Masonic ties of those in the nationalist, and later revolutionary, movement would exist as
well among Panganibans province mates living in Camarines Norte.
Then the first Filipino lodge in the country, named Nilad, was set up in January 1892, other lodges
quickly sprang up both around Manila in the Provinces. Bicol had its Masonic Lodges, starting with
the Logia de Bicol. The lodge in Camarines Norte was Triangulo Bicol, whose Worshipful Master
was Vicente Lukban, a juez de paz of the town of Labo.
Sometime in 1894, the Masons of Triangulo Bicol led by Vicente Lukban founded the La Cooperativa
Popular, an agricultural society which worked in spreading the ideas of the movement among the
inhabitants of Camarines Norte. The members of cooperative avoided incurring the suspicion of the
Spanish authorities by going to the barrios of the proince ostensibly for the purpose merely of buying
agricultural products from the farmers. Their main objective, however, was to indoctrinate. While the
cooperative did engage in the commerce of agricultural products, part of this profits was secretly sent
as financial contribution to the Manila-based Katipunan organization. It appeared that Vicente Lukban
had established early ties with Andres Bonifacio who was himself a Mason.
After the discovery of the Katipunan in August 1896, Vicente Lukban was among the many who were
arrested were six other residents of Camarines Norte, namely: Gregorio Luyon, Diego Lian, Adriano
Pajarillo, Pablo Del Villas, Ramon Cabezudo and FlorentinoPealoza. They appeared to be, like
Lukban, members of the Masonic lodge. Gregorio Luyon and Diego Lian certainly were.
Undoubtedly, it was because of their membership in Freemasonry that Vicente Lukban and others
had first drawn the suspicion of the Spanish authorities, and been branded as enemies of the regime.
Ironically, it was these same Masonic ties that saved them later from execution by firing squad, a fate
suffered by their fellow Bicolanos from Nueva Caceres in Janua ry 1897 at Bagumbayan.
According to Diego Lian, as recounted by his own living son Dr. Jose Lian, the Spanish officers
who were in charge of them during their detention at Fort Santiago happened to be Masons
themselves. These officers covertly protected them and even managed to exclude them from
prosecution and trial. Eventually, these Spanish Masons succeeded in effecting their release from
Fort Santiago.
The account of Diego Lian most probably contained a measure of truth. A similar incident among
Spanish and Filipino Masons is recorded to have happened twenty-five years earlier in the aftermath
of the Cavite Mutiny of 1872. in his translation of Manuel Artigas y Cuervas Sucesos de 1872
(Events of 1872), Onofre D. Corpus made the following notes about Rafael Izquierdo, the same
Spanish governor-general who had sent the GOMBURZA priests to the gallows:

We must take note of a fact of no slight significance. In Filipinas the

Masons were viewed as enemies of the regime, and in 1872 as in other
times the opportunity to check them arose. But Izquierdo was a Mason
himself. When it was reported that this or that person was directly
associated with events in Kawit he did not approved the death penalty on
anyone who turned out to be a Mason. In the case of natives, he
prohibited the re-arrest of those who were members of Masonic lodges,
ordering that those who were already in custody be sent to Spain or Africa
to serve out their sentences, a decision without precedent. Enrique
Paraiso, Crisanto Delos Reyes and MaximoInocencio, all natives, were
sentenced to exile in the presidios of Cartagena and Ceuta [down the
southeastern coast of Spain and at the northernmost tip of Africa,
respectively]. Paraiso was a member of the Masonic lodge in Pandacan
while Reyes and Inocencio were members of the lodge in Kawit.
(National Glories Series, The Events of 1872, a Historico-Bio-Bibligraphical Account by Manuel
Artigas Y Cuerva, Translation & Notes by O. D. Corpuz, University of the Philippines Press, 1996
page 155).
The arrest and imprisonment of Vicente Lukban and his fellow Masons did not deter them. On the
contrary, most of them became all the more involved in the revolutionary movement. Soon after his
release from Bilibid Prison in May 1897, Vicente Lukban joined Emilio Aguinaldo at the latters
headquarters in Biyak-na-Bato. He would be a signatory to the Biyak-na-Bato Constitution in
November 1898, and would later become one of the foremost Bicol Generals of the Philippine
Revolution and the Philippine-American War.
The other Masons in Camarines Norte, including some of those arrested in September 1896, would
form the core and leadership of Katipunan unit in the province headed by Ildefonso Moreno. By
November 1897, the unit was fully organized, thanks in no small measure to the groundworks
prepared years earlier by the La Cooperatiba Popular. It included members of the principalia like Jose
Abao, the capitan municipal of Daet, formergobernadorcillos Tomas Zaldua. Even the fifteen native
members of the local Guardia Civil, including their cabo Salvador Maraon, were in secret league
with the Katipunan and were receiving instructions from Ildefonso Moreno.
In April 1898, the Katipuneros of Camarines Norte rose in revolt. From April 14 to 17, the Daet
uprising spread to the other towns of Basud, Calasgasan, Talisay and Labo. The Spanish military and
civilian communities took refuge and barricaded themselves in the mansion of Spanish merchant
Florencio Arana.
There they were besieged by the Katipuneros who fought and started their assaults from the very site
where the First Rizal Monument now stands.
For four days, the Filipino fighters had almost total control of five towns, and would have captured the
others if not for their lack of sufficient firearms and the apathy of some their countrymen.
The Daet Revolt was crushed mercilessly after a large Spanish reinforcement arrived from Nueva
Caceres ad other parts of Camarines Norte on April 18, 1898. many Filipinos were arrested, tortured
and/or executed. According ti historian Juan Elias Ataviado in hi book, The Philippine Revolution in
the Bicol Region,around 500 Filipinos were killed, including the Katipunero leaders Ildefonso
Moreno, TelesforoZaldua, GavinoSaavedra and Jose Abao.

The native members of the local Guardia Civil who had joined the revolt were meted particularly cruel
punishment. They were beheaded upon the order of Captain Francisco Andreu, head of the Spanish
contingent from Nueva Caceres, and their remains thrown to the dogs. Only one guard, Alipio de
Leon, escaped the massacre of his compatriots.
The extreme cruelty inflicted on the Filipinos in Daet did not long remain unavenged. The Filipino civil
guards in Nueva Caceres learned of what had happened, particulary to the native members of the
Daet Guardia Civil. The following September 1898, they too revolted under the leadership of Elias
Angeles and Felix Plazo. One of their first targets was Captain Francisco Andreu. He and his entire
family, save for the two youngest children who feigned death, were killed in the assault on their
That same month of September 1898, Camarines Norte was totally liberated from the Spaniards. The
Spanish authorities military, civil and ecclesiastical had fled or left the province posthaste upon
hearing of the landings of Vicente Lukbans expeditionary army at Mambulao and Paracale. He
arrived in Daet on September 12, 1898, finding it free of the colonial masters, proceeded to Nueva
Caceres with his army.
The following December, the free people of Camarines Norte embarked on the project to construct a
monument in honor of Dr. Jose P. Rizal, the first province to do so.
The site chosen for the monument was he very place where the Katipuneros had fought and held
their ground in the Daet Revolt of April 1898. the Spanish carcel where many of the Katipuneros were
incarcerated, tortured and executed in the aftermath of the revolt was demolished. The coral stones
therefrom, perhaps still bearing the stains of the martyrs blood were carted to the site and use as
building blocks for the triangular spire and its square base. As a finishing touch, the words Noli Me
Tangere, El Felibusterismo and Morga were painted on the three sides of the square base.
The inclusion of the word Morga was not without significance. It obviously referred to Rizals
translations and annotation of Sucesos de las Islas Filipinas (Historical Events of the Philippine
Islands), the Spanish official Antonio de Morgas 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 Rizals 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 Rizals 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 PandayPira, 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
Rizals 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.
Such portrayal of the Filipino past and his Malayan links provided a rational and moral legitimation for
a people who were used to the notion of loyalty to Spain but now were called upon to wage a
revolution against it. Andres Bonifacios first manifesto to the public published in the Katipunans
newspaper Kalayaan echoed Rizals Morga.
In the early times when the Spaniards had not yet set foot in this land,
under the government of our true compatriots, the Filipinos were living
in great abundance and prosperity. They lived in harmony with
neighboring countries, especially the Japanese, with whom they carried
on commerce and trade, and their industry produced extra-ordinarily
abundant fruits. As a result everyone lived in the fashion of the wealthy.
Young and old, and even women knew how to read and write in our own
native writing.
To the people of Camarines Norte at the time, Rizals purpose in writing his edition of
the Morga appeared to be known. Certainly, the painting of the word Morga on the First Rizal
monument in Daet indicated that they were aware of its significance, and mayhaps of their countrys
past and ethno-cultural heritage which Rizal had sought to reconstruct in his historical work.
Three decades later, that awareness and conscio usness would be articulated with brilliant and
forceful eloquence by another great son of Camarines Norte, Wencesclao Q. Vinzons. While the
student council president at the University of the Philippines in 1932, he delivered his winning
oratorical piece Malaysia Frredenta about the history of the Southeast Asian countries with Malayan
origin. Vinzons, who would become the youngest delegate to the 1935 Constitutional Convention, and
the later Governor and Congressman of Camarines Norte, went a step further by advocating a
federation of Malaysian states, the Pan Malayan Union.
Vinzons eloquent words are a fulfilled prophecy as they echo along the corridors of time:
ur racial history is marked by the occasional display of the genius of
remote ancestors. Under the influence of Hindu culture, the Shri-Visayan
empire consolidated a vast territory from Formosa to Ceylon, and
embracing to the South Java and the Moluccas. A unified Malaysia
extending from the northern extremity of the Malay Peninsula to the
shores of New Guinea, from Madagascar to the Philippines and to the
remotest islands of Polynesia will be a powerful factor in the oceanic
world. Its magnitude seems to be preposterous and absurd a highly
impossible project. But your answer to this challenge will be your verdict
on the capacity of your race for civilization and your vision of a
redeemed Malaysia will be the salvation of your prosperity.
Vinzons vision of regional cooperation among peoples of common Malay stock but bearing the
diverse imprints of Western, Islamic and Indic influences was an idea ahead of his time. But it would
be a reality in the MAPHILINDO of the 1960s and to a certain extent in todays ASEAN.
Where did Vinzons get his initial inspiration? Did he, as a young boy studying in Daet, often walk past
the First Rizal Monument? Did he at times tarry and stand before it, pondering its significance and

Years earlier, in the early morning of December 30, 1898, a multitude of CamarinesNorteos had
gathered and stood at that same place to witness the unveiling of the First Rizal Monument. It must
have been a glorious sight bringing tears to well in the eyes of the men and women present, the
survivors and eyewitnesses of the Daet Revolt. There before them, glistening in white, was the
symbol of their provinces struggle for the cause of freedom, a testament to the heroism and
martyrdom of her sons as much as it is a monument in honor and recognition of the greatest hero and
martyr of the nation, Dr. Jose Rizal, pride of the Malay Race.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------RA No. 1425 prescribes the teaching of the life, works and writings of Jose Rizal for all school,
colleges and universities.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------For Your Information
(Decree of December 20,1898)
In recognition of the aspirations of the Filipino nation and in proclaiming its noble and patriotic
sentiments, I hereby decree.
Article 1. In memory of the Filipino patriots, Dr. Jose Rizal and the other victims of the past Spanish
domination, I declare the 30th of December as a national day of mourning.
Article 2. On account of this, all national flags shall be hoisted at half-mast from 12:00 noon on
December 29, as a sign of mourning.
Article 3. All offices of the Revolutionary Government shall be closed during the whole day of
December 30.
Given in Malolos, December 20,1898
The truth it was General Aguinaldo, and not the second Philippines Commission headed by Civil
Governor Taft, who first recognized Dr. Jose Rizal as "national day of mourning" in memory of Rizal
and other victims of Spanish tyranny. Full text of these decree in two languages, Tagalog and
Spanish, appeared in the government organ, El Heraldodela Revolution on December 25,1898.
It is interesting to recall that the first celebration of Rizal Day in the Philippines was held in Manila on
December 30,1898, under the sponsorship of the Club Filipino. This was In pursuance of General
Aguinaldos Decree of December 20,1898. On the same date (December 30, 1898), the patriotic town
of Daet in Camarines Norte, likewise celebrated Rizal Day, the festivities being climaxed by the
unveiling of the Rizal monument, which was constructed at the expense of the townfolks. This was
the first monument ever created in the Philippines-and still exists today.

Jose Rizals first novel, Noli me Tangere, means dont touch me or touch me not is the Latin
version of words spoken, according to John 20:17, by Jesusto Mary Magdalenewhen she
recognizes him after his resurrection. The book was first published in 1887 in Berlin, Germany,
originally written in Spanish but later been translated to different languages and made copies
distributed around the world.
The title was controversial, and the novel itself created so much controversy that only a few days after
his arrival in the Philippines, Jose Rizal was summoned the greatest enemy of the state in
the 19th century. They even called him, a freemason, a sorcerer, a damned soul and evil. The novel
depicted the Spanish abuse government to the Philippines.
Many characters in the Noli personify Rizal. Like Ibarra, PilosopongTasyoandElias. But the last
part portrays Rizal execution as if he already knew hed be executed
Elias helped Basilio bury his mother and while he lay dying, he instructed Basilio to continue
dreaming about freedom for his motherland with the words: I shall die without seeing the dawn
break upon my homeland. You, who shall see it, salute it! Do not forget those who have fallen
during the night. He died thereafter.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Mi Ultimo Adios (My Last Farewell) this was one of the last notes written by Jose Rizal before the
day of his execution. Read again one of his last notes. On the eve of his execution, on December
30, 1896, he wrote this 14 five-line stanzas poem. This poem was unsigned, untitled and
undated. Perhaps unfinished? Perhaps, it really was unfinished. I mean, it was a farewell letter, one
who would be executed wouldnt have enough time writing everything he needs to say especially
someone like Rizal.
Here is a copy of news story taken from The Inquirer dated December 30, 2002:
On the afternoon of Dec. 29, 1896, a day before his execution, Dr. Jose Rizal was visited by his
mother, Teodora Alonzo, sisters Lucia, Josefa, Trinidad, Maria and Narcisa, and two nephews. When
they took their leave, Rizal told Trinidad in English that there was something in the small alcohol
stove (cocinilla), not alcohol lamp (lamparilla). The stove was given to Narcisa by the guard when the
party was about to board their carriage in the courtyard. At home, the Rizal ladies recovered from the
stove a folded paper. On it was written an unsigned, untitled and undated poem of 14 five-line
stanzas. The Rizals reproduced copies of the poem and sent them to Rizals friends in the country
and abroad. In 1897, Mariano Ponce in Hong Kong had the poem printed with the title Mi Ultimo
Pensamiento. Fr. Mariano Dacanay, who received a copy of the poem while a prisoner in Bilibid(jail),
published it in the first issue of La Independencia on Sept. 25, 1898 with the title Ultimo Adios. N.B.
The stove was not delivered until after the execution. Rizal needed it to light the room and to be able
to write the poem and his other parting words. VGPas 10/21/08.

Did Jose Rizal have a son? Did the genius hero have an heir? Dr. Jose Rizal was a freaking
genius; he must have an heir so that his special genes and thousand of talents will continue from
generation to generation.
Unfortunately, Ri zal and Josephine were not destined to have a child. One day in early March 1896,
Rizal played a practical joke on Josephine, which frightened her terribly. As a result of her great fright,
she gave birth prematurely to an eight-month baby boy.
The baby was very weak and was gasping for breath. Seeing the babys condition, Rizal immediately
baptized him Francisco in honor of his father. He did everything he could to save the life of his infant
son, but in vain. All his knowledge and skill as a physician could not save little Francisco. Sorrowfully,
Rizal saw his child die three hours after birth.
With a heavy heart, he drew a sketch of his dead son. Then he buried him under a shady tree near
his home. He prayed: Oh, God, I give you another tiny angel. Please bless his soul.
from Jose RizalUniversity
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------JOSE RIZALS COMPLETE NAME
His complete name was Dr. Jos Rizal Protasio Mercado y Alonso Realonda.Many wonder why
he used Rizal while his father was Francisco Mercado. He should have been Jose Mercado right?
So why did Rizals surname becomeRizal instead of Mercado?
Some of the explanations with this are:
Joses real last name, Mercado, during those times was a hot name, targeted by the Spaniards. He
changed his surname to protect his identity. So he just used his middle name, Rizal, instead, which
was considered as illustrado during the Spanish time and entails the benefits a Spaniard can
get. Second, there was Spanish law to change the last name of Filipinos those
times.Mercado sounded a common name and there were lots of people having that surname already
who were not really relatives of Rizal.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Dr. Jose P. Rizal
Dr. Jose Rizal was born on June 19, 1861 in Calamba, Laguna to Don Francisco Mercado Rizal
from Bian and Doa Teodora Alonso Realonda from Manila. It was said that his paternal grand parents were descendants of one Domingo Lamco, a Chinese immigrant from the Chinchew District
of Fookein, China. Doa Teodoras father Don Lorenzo Alberto Alonso was also said to be very
Chinese in appearance.
In compliance with the 1849 decree of Governor-General Claveria regarding surnames, the

Alonsos added the surname Realonda, while the Mercados chose Rizal, meaning of rice or of
green fields.
To the marriage of Don Francisco and Doa Teodora, the following were born: Saturnina,
Paciano, Narcisa, Olimpia, Lucia, Maria, Jose, Concepcion, Josefa, Trinidad and Soledad.
Don Francisco was a landholder and also a leasee of the Dominican lands in Calamba. Before
Jose was born, he built a house probably the best residential edifice constructed in the center of the
town. Here Jose was baptized by Fr. RufinoCollantes on June 22, 1861; another priest, Father Pedro
Casanas, stood as godfather.
At three years old, he learned the alphabet from his mother who also taught him to appreciate
Spanish poetry although he did not speak Spanish well. An uncle took care of his intellectual
development; another uncle, Gregorio, instilled in him the importance of work, judgment and
visualization of what was previously seen, and a burly uncle Manuel, helped him developed his
physical strength for as a boy, Jose was frail and sickly. He took long rides on horseback, moulded
clay and wax figures, developed proficiency in sleight-of-hand tricks and held high respect for the
rights of others in work and in play. This behavior was the result of the influence of Fr. Leoncio Lopez
on him.
At age nine, he was sent to study under the schoolmaster Don Justiniano Aquino Cruz in Bian.
After a few months, the tutor reported to his parents that their son had nothing more to learn in
school. Jose did not only show his academic excellence but he also displayed prowess in physical
In 1871, while Jose was on vacation, the members of his family prepared for his enrollment in
Manila. In spite of the objections of his mother, Paciano, his brother took him to Manila and at
the Colegio de San Juan de Letran, he took entrance examinations and passed them with high
ratings. Going back to Calamba for vacation, he found his mother involved in a court case against the
Dominican friars who subsequently had her jailed. This event made him decide to stay home for a
while thus his enrollment in the Ateneo instead of the friar owned Letran College. It was only through
the intercession of Dr. Manuel Xeres Burgos, a nephew of Fr. Jose Burgos, and a close friend of
Paciano, that Jose was finally admitted by Fr. MaginFerando to enroll at the Ateneo. In the same
year, Paciano, then a student in the Colegio de San Jose lost interest in his studies, an offshoot of his
academic encounters in his classes with his mentors. For this behavior, he was also forbidden to
take his final examinations in the Colegio de San Jose.
The Ateneo de Manila became an excellent training ground for the extremely talented and
brilliant Jose. Here, the Jesuits were impartial to both Filipinos and Spanish students. After a week,
Rizal was promoted. For besting his classmates, he was emperor after a month. He read avidly
Dumas Count of Monte Cristo and Cantus Universal History. He sculptured an image of the Sacred
Heart and the Jesuit Fathers, becoming aware of his religious sentiments, customs and progress,
admitted him to the Congregation of Mary.
After five years in the Ateneo, he graduated on March 14, 1877 with a Bachelor of Arts degree.
Fathers Francisco Paula de Sanchez and Pedro Villaclara were proud of their tremendous influence
on his academic achievements. In Ateneo, his works were: Felicitacion, Por la
EducacionRecibeLustre La Patria, UnRecuerdo a Mi Pueblo, and El Heroismo de Colon.
In 1878, Jose enrolled in the college of medicine of the University of Santo Tomas, in addition to
a course in surveying which he also finished. In the literary contest sponsored by the LiceoLiterarioArtistico, his poem, To The Filipino Youth, (A La Juventud Filipina) won first prize. On the occasion of

the 263rd death anniversary of Cervantes, Rizals entry entitled, The Council of the Gods, won the
highest award. But the coveted prize was given eventually by the Board of Judges to a Spaniard,
despite the vigilant criticism of the press. He also wrote, Beside the Pasig which was highly regarded.
He found out that student life at the pontifical university was frustrating. There were
discriminations against Filipinos in favor of Spaniards by the Dominican friars. He found the method
of teaching uninspiring. Once, while on vacation in Calamba, he was brutally assaulted by Lieutenant
Porta of the Civil Guards for failure to render courtesy to him one evening. This accident led him to
decide finally to continue his studies abroad.
Without the knowledge of his parents, his uncle Antonio Rivera was able to secure secretly a
passage ticket for him to board the Salvadora for Spain. This was made possible through the help of
his other relatives and his friend Chenggoy (Jose Cecilio). But his Jesuit teachers in Ateneo knew of
his going abroad, having been consulted earlier. Armed with letters of introductions to important
persons in Madrid, he had his brother Paciano take him to Manila, who also gave him P356 as pocket
money, and boarded the boat for Singapore where he took another boat, the French
steamer,Djemnah for Europe.
After one and a half months travel, he arrived in Madrid where the liberal atmosphere greatly
impressed him. At the Central University of Madrid, he enrolled in medicine and in Philosophy and
Letters. And as often as his time allowed, he went to the San Fernando School of Fine Arts to take art
courses. He bought books and avidly read them and lost himself in hard work and study whenever
loneliness weighed on him. Attacks of homesickness inspired him to write You Ask Me For Verses.
He joined theCirculo Hispano-Filipino whose members were Filipino residents in Madrid and some
Spanish-born students. He wrote El Amor Patrio wherein he expressed his love of country. In La
Solidaridad, he published, The Indolence of the Filipinos to refute the Spanish criticism that the
Filipinos were indolent and lazy. He said that the colonial policy of divesting the Filipinos of the fruits
of their toil, the climate that was conducive to the slow tempo of progress, the lack of incentives to
work harder were some causes why the Filipinos were seemingly indolent. His other articles
were Ingratitude, Without A Name, The Philippines in the Spanish Cortes, and The Philippines A
Century Hence.
At the Ingles Restaurant on June 25, 1884, on the occasion of the Filipino celebration of the
winning of Luna and Hidalgo in the Fine Arts Exposition in Madrid, he eloquently said that Juan Luna
and Felix R. Hidalgo are glories of Spain in the Philippines...that genius was a patrimony of all,
cosmopolitan like space, like God.
In 1884, he obtained his Licentiate in Medicine followed by Licentiate in Philosophy and Letters
on June 19, 1885. By this time, he had already started writing the Noli Me Tangere but, desirous to
learn more of his profession, left in 1885 for Paris, to become an assistant in t he clinic of Dr. Louis de
Wecker, a famous ophthalmologist. In 1886, he was in Heidelberg, Germany where he got
acquainted with Doctors Otto Becker and Hans Mever. He attended lectures in psychology and
history at the University of Heidelberg. In Leipzig, he translated Schilers William Tell to Tagalog and
in Berlin, befriended Dr. Feodor Jagor, author of Travels in the Philippines.
The Noli was ready for publication when he was in Berlin but he did not have the money to print
it. Luckily, Dr. Maximo Viola arrived and loaned him P300 to print the first 2,000 copies. He later paid
his loan with the money he received later from his brother, Paciano. Dr. Viola noticing Rizals failing
health, invited him for a tour of Europe. In Leitmeritz, in Austrian Bohemia (Czekoslovakia), they met
Ferdinand Blumentritt, professor of geography in the Municipal Anthenum, who later became a lifelong friend of Jose. By this time, after eleven months, he had mastered the German language.

The Noli me Tangere was circulated in Europe but was banned in the Philippines. Many copies
were smuggled into the country and reached the homes of enlightened Filipinos. Rizals parents,
relatives and friends advised him to stay out of the country because the Noli had made him a marked
man. By this time, he was already an ophthalmologist and, feeling it was his moral obligation to save
the sight of his mother, he decided to come home.
On July 23, 1887, he sailed from Europe aboard the SS Djemanh for Singapore, switched to SS
Halphong and arrived in Manila on August 5, 1887. In Calamba, he operated on the eyes of his
mother and restored her sight. He also treated many people who sought his help. The common folk
referred to him as Dr. Uleman (German) since he came from Germa ny. To wean his townspeople
from gambling and vices, he established a gymnasium and introduced ball games, sipa, arnis and
fencing. He explored the nearby fields, hills, and mountains and on Mt. Makiling hoisted a banner.
From Calamba, he was summoned by the Governor-General Emilio Terrero to
Malacaangbecause of a complaint by the friars about the Noli. Rizal told the friars that he was only
actually portraying the conditions in the Philippines. Liberal-minded Terrero, anxious of his safety,
provided him a bodyguard, Lieutenant Jose Taviel de Andrade. Once more summoned to the
Governor-Generals palace, he was to hear from the authorities that his book Noli was heretical,
impious and scandalous to the religious orders and injurious to the government and to the political
order in the Philippines. Whereupon, Governor-General Terrero wishing to protect him further,
advised him to leave.
On February 3, 1888, he left for Europe via Hongkong, Japan, the United States and England. In
Tokyo, the Spanish Embassy offered him the position of interpreter with a salary of $100 a month,
residence at the Embassy and other privileges. This was tempting, but he had other plans. He met O
Sei-keio better known as OSei-san, a beautiful Japanese girl of noble descent, who became his
faithful guide and interpreter.
He left Japan on February 28, 1888 aboard the SS Belgic. He arrived in San Francisco on April
18, 1888, lodged at the Palace Hotel and then took a transcontinental train to the U.S. East Coast via
Chicago and the Niagara Falls in Lake Ontario. He stayed at the Fifth Avenue Hotel in New York for a
while and sailed for England aboard the SS City of Rome, arriving in Liverpool on May 24, 1888. He
went down to London where he boarded with the Bousted Family at 37 Chalcot Crescent, Primrose.
Through Mr. Antonio Ma.Regidor, he met Dr. RienholdRost of the London Library and Museum where
he came across Morgas Sucesos de las Islas Filipinas, a book published in Mexico sometime in
1609 which related that, among other things, Filipinos had a fairly well-advanced state of civilization
long before the Spaniards came. He also read Colins Labor Evangelica and another rare book
entitledRelacion de las Islas Filipinas by Father Chirino. Since copies of Morgas book were already
rare, he copied and annotated it. As a writer, he also contributed articles to the Trubners Record, a
magazine which specialized on oriental culture, particularly on Tagal folklores. In England, he also
wrote The Vision of Father Rodriquez in answer to the work of the same priest entitledQuestions of
Supreme Interest. He also sculptured Triumph of Death Over Life,Triumph of Science Over
Death and Prometheus Bound.
He spoke Spanish, French, German, English, Dutch, Greek, Latin and Tagalog. He had
knowledge of Ilocano, Visayan, Russian, Sanskrit, Arabic, Swedish, Hebrew, Malayan, Chinese,
Japanese, Portuguese and Italian.
He was romantically linked with one of the Beckett sisters, Gertrude. But he did not marry her
because duty to his country was far above anything else in his life. In fact, he had fallen in love with
other women before he met Gertrude, like Susanne Jacoby of Belgium, O Sei-san of Japan, Nellie
Bousted of France, Consuelo Ortiga of Madrid, Leonora Valenzuela of Intramuros, Leonor Rivera of

Tarlac and SegundinaKatigbak of Batangas.

In March 1899, he left for Paris where he proposed the organization of an International
Association of Filipinologists with Professor Ferdinand Blumentritt as president. This did not
materialize. Hoping to live more economically, he left the next year for Belgium but here conditions
were the same as those in Paris. He lived in penury and want. The Filibusterismo was ready for
publication but he lacked the necessary funds. Valentin Ventura, a rich Filipino advanced him money
to print the Fili in Ghent in 1891. In Belgium he also met Jose Alejandrino, Teodoro Evangelista and
Abreu who were studying in the University of Ghent.
Depressing news reached him from home. His sweetheart Leonor Rivera married Engineer
Kipping; his folks were ejected en masse from Calamba; and the Spanish officials who were
sympathetic to the reform movement turned hostile. He took his vacation at Biarritz at the invitation of
the Bousteds. While there, brooding over his loss of Leonor Rivera, Nellie Bousted proved to be a
balm for his wounded feelings. Later, he left for Paris then went to Marseilles and boarded the SS
Melbourne for Hongkong. With his dwindling funds, he received money for his passage ticket sent
him by Jose Ma. Basa, a rich Filipino merchant living in exile in Hongkong.
Following the advice of his parents, relatives and friends, he resided in Hongkong and practiced
medicine to earn a living. Later some members of his family joined him. Their fare were contributions
of Filipinos headed by Jose Anacleto Ramos (Ishikawa). In Hongkong, he became a friend of Dr.
Lorenzo Pereyra, a Portuguese and Mr. Frazier-Smith, editor of theHongkong Telegraph. To help
resettle the Calambeos ousted from the friar lands he attempted to found a colony in Borneo. With
his aim, he took with the help of his friends a two-week trip to North Borneo aboard the SS Memnon.
The British authorities were already agreeable to a 950-year lease of the proposed Filipino colony in
Borneo but Governor-General Emilio Despujol disapproved the whole plan.
Desirous of sharing his countrymens hardships, he left Hongkong for home even if he was
clearly headed for danger. June 26, 1892, He arrived in Manila with his sister Lucia aboard the SS
Don Juan. He was honored by his friends and relatives but wherever he went, the places he visited
were searched or placed under surveillance. Even entire neighborhoods were searched. A few days
later, he was summoned to Malacaan. Allegedly found among his beddings which were forwarded
later to the customhouse along with his baggage was a leaflet entitled PobresFrailes, a sarcastic
allusion to the friars.
He was arrested on July 6, 1892. Governor-General Despujol published in the Gazette the
reasons for his arrest and copies were forwarded to the Spanish Embassy in Hongkong for
The British Consul issued an unofficial statement on the strange manner he was arrested. The
editor of the Hongkong Telegraph devoted an entire column of the newspaper on the sad news of his
detention. Therewith, he was deported to Dapitan on July 15, 1892. Because he did not retract
masonry even at the advise of his Jesuit teachers in Ateneo, he had to stay with Ricardo Carnicero,
the Military commandant in Dapitan.
In Dapitan, seeing the need of the people there, he established a clinic, school, and improved the
lighting and water system. On Sundays, together with Father Sanchez, one of his favorite teachers in
Ateneo, he conducted religious classes for the inhabitants. He bought a piece of land in SitioTali say
where he planted coconuts, sugar cane, cacao, and various fruit trees. Loneliness impelled him to
write MiRetiro. But he reflected the strength of his spirit when he wrote Hymn To TheTalisay Tree.
He corresponded unceasingly with Ferdinand Blumentritt. He gathered specimens of Philippine

animal life and sent them to the museum at Dresden, Germany. Besides his close relatives who
visited him in Dapitan, an Irish girl came to Dapitan with her blind foster father, Engineer George
Tauffer, who needed eye treatment. She was Josephine Bracken who later became his wife.
He explored the coast of Mindanao. Sometimes he stayed for several days. Some of his friends
offered to spirit him away or pick him up far out at sea to bring him to Singapore, b ut he refused.
He applied for the position of surgeon in Cuba where the Spanish soldiers were badly afflicted
with diseases while fighting the rebels under Jose Marti. Granted his request, he sailed for Manila on
July 31, 1896 only to find out that the boat that was to take him to Cuba had already left the day
before. As he was still under detention, he was transferred to the Castillathen anchored in Cavite. The
thought of resuming his travels inspired him to write the poem The Song of the Traveller.
He was finally able to sail for Spain aboard the Isla de Panay which took him to Singapore. While
this was refueling at Singapore, Pedro Roxas urged him to leave the boat assuring him that he would
be safe and free from his enemies under the British Territory. He refused.
On September 30, 1896 while the boat was in the Middle East, the ship captain received a
telegram order for his arrest. The Philippine Revolution had finally erupted. Brought to Barcelona, he
was lodged in Montjuich Penitentiary and was ordered the next day to take his baggages on board
the Colon that would take him to Manila to stand trial.
At Singapore, while the boat was at dock, a writ of habeas corpus was filed in the Supreme Court
of the Straits Settlements for his release on the ground that he was illegally detained. The move was
inspired by Dr. Antonio Ma. Regidor of London and some British lawyers who, through Lord Hugh
Fort, attempted to free him by court proceedings. But Judge Lionel Cox ruled that the Colon was a
troopship flying the Spanish Flag and that he was a Spanish subject. Therefore his case was not
under British jurisdiction.
Upon his arrival in Manila on November 3, 1896, he was imprisoned in Fort Santiago. On
November 26, he was tried by the military court presided by Judge Advocate Enrique Alcocer at
the Cuartel de Espana. In spite of the spirited defense of his counsel, Lieutenant Luis Taviel de
Andrade, on the charges of rebellion, sedition and illegal organization of societies against him, he
was meted the death penalty. He was not able to confront the witnesses who testified against him.
Incriminating information linking him to the rebellion was just read to him.
On the eve prior to his execution he wrote the poem, Mi Ultimo Adioswhich he hid in the alcohol
burner. Presumably he retracted masonry; married Josephine Bracken before a priest, with guards as
witnesses, and wrote letters to professor Blumentritt, to his brother Paciano; and to his beloved father
and mother.
On December 30, 1896, he was marched out of Fort Santiago toward Bagumbayan Field. With
him were Fathers March and Villaclara and his legal counsel, Luis Taviel de Andrade. Before he left
Fort Santiago he gave the alcohol burner in which he hid the poem, Mi Ultimo Adios, to his sister,
Trinidad, and to his wife Josephine, he gave the book of Thomas Kempis,Imitation of Christ. He
handed his belt to his nephew, Mauricio before he was shot to death.
The Spanish doctor, Ruiz y Castillo felt his pulse and found it normal. He faced the all -Filipino
soldiers of the firing squad who were in turn heavily guarded by the Spanish soldiers, toward Manila
Bay. Volleys were fired. He fell but with a great effort, he turned about face and fell facing his

Because the authorities feared the people might riot, they had him buried in Paco Cemetery with
his names initials reversed R.P.J. On August 17, 1898, his sisters had his grave dug and found out
that he was buried without a coffin. Only his hat and shoes remained.
Source: Taken from the book Filipinos in History (Volume 1), a publication of the National Historical
Commission of the Philippines (NHCP).
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Fil-Ams Celebrate Rizal Day At New Monument
Posted January 2nd, 2013 | By OpawNako
CARSON, California Rainy weather couldnt stop the Filipino community in Carson from celebrating
Jose Rizals death anniversary with one of the citys newest a nd largest symbols of pride over the
City and consulate officials joined the Filipino community in celebrating the 116th Rizal Day, laying a
wreath in front of their newly installed 15-foot full body monument of national hero Jose Rizal.
Unveiling then was just a beginning and not the end. We will continually do some events where we
can invigorate the youth and even of our age, so as to promote the ideals of our foremost national
hero Dr. Jose P Rizal, said ChitoMandap of the Jose P. Rizal Monument Movement.
The community had been waiting eight years for this day. Philippines officials believe the statue,
which was unveiled last October, is the only one of its kind in California.
Plans for the monument began during newly re-assigned Philippines Consul General Helen Dela
Vegas first Los Angeles term. She was happy to finally see the statue upon her return to the Los
Angeles post.
Contented and satisfied but that is just the beginning. I think we have to encourage all the Filipinos
and Americans to inculcate the spirit of Rizal, and the first thing that should be done is to help put up
more resources to help maintain the statue of Rizal in the city of Carson, said Dela Vega.
While the statue continues to stand as a symbol of peace and unity for the Filipino community, city
officials are also planning to install monuments of other countries national heroes, next to Doctor
Rizal hoping to inspire the youth.
Steve Angeles, ABS-CBN North America News Bureau
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------RIZAL LAWS
CHED Memorandum No. 3, s. 1995
Office of the President of the Philippines
January 13, 1995
No. 3, s. 1995

Head of State Colleges and Universities
Head of Private Schools, Colleges and Universities
Office of the President Memorandum Order No. 247
Re: Implementation of Republic Act No. 1425
1. Enclosed is a copy of Memorandum Order No. 247 dated December 26, from the Office of the
President of the Philippines entitled, "Directing Secretary of Education, Culture and Sports and
the CHAIRMAN OF COMMISSION ON HIGHER EDUCATION to fully implement the Republic
Act No. 1425 entitled "An Act to include in the curricula of all public and private schools,
colleges and universities, courses on the Life, Works and Writings of Jose Rizal, particularly
his novels, Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo, authorizing the printing and distribution
thereof and for other purposes" for guidance of all concerned.
2. Strict compliance therewith is requested.
Memorandum Order No. 247
WHEREAS, Republic Act No. 1425 approved on J une 12, 1956, directs all schools, colleges and
universities, public and private, to include in their curricula, courses on the life, works and writings of
Jose Rizal, particularly his novels Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo which "are a constant and
inspiring source of patriotism with which the minds of the youth, especially during their formative and
decisive years in school should be suffused;"
WHEREAS, according to Dr. Rizal, "the school is the book in which is written the future of the nation;"
WHEREAS, in 1996, the Filipino people will commemorate the centennial of Rizals martyrdom and,
two years thereafter, the centennial of the Declaration of Philippine Independence; and
WHEREAS, as we prepare to celebrate these watershed events in our history, it is necessary to
rekindle in the heart of every Filipino, especially the youth, the same patriotic fervor that once
galvanized our forebears to outstanding achievements so we can move forward together toward a
greater destiny as we enter the 21st century.

NOW, THEREFORE, I FIDEL V. RAMOS, President of the Republic of the Philippines, by virtue of
the powers vested in me by law, hereby direct the Secretary of Education, Culture and Sports and the
Chairman of the Commission on Higher Education to take steps to immediately and fully implement
the letter, intent and spirit of Republic Act No. 1425 and to impose, should it be necessary,
appropriate disciplinary action against the governing body and/or head of any public or private school,
college or university found not complying with said law and the rules, regulations, orders and
instructions issued pursuant thereto.
Within thirty (30) days from issuance hereof, the Secretary of Education, Culture and Sports and the
Chairman of the Commission on Higher Education are hereby directed to jointly submit to the
President of the Philippines a report on the steps they have taken to implement this Memorandum
Order, and one (1) year thereafter, another report on the extent of compliance by both public and
private schools in all levels with the provisions of R.A. No. 1425.
This Memorandum Order takes effect immediately after its issuance.
DONE in the City of Manila, this 26th day of December in the year of Our Lord, Nineteen Hundred
and Ninety-Four.
Republic Act No. 229
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippines in Congress assembled:
SECTION 1. The existing laws and regulations to the contrary notwithstanding, cockfighting, horse
racing and jai-alai are hereby prohibited on the thirtieth day of December each year, the date of the
martyrdom of our great hero, Jose Rizal.
SECTION 2. It shall be the official duty of the mayor of each municipality and chartered city to create
a committee to take charge of the proper observance of Rizal Day Celebration of each year, in which
he shall be the chairman, which shall be empowered to seek the assistance and co -operation of any
department, bureau, office, agency or instrumentality of the Government, and the local civic and
educational institutions. Among the ceremonies on Rizal Day shall be the raising of the Philippine flag
at half mast in all vessels and public buildings.
SECTION 3. Any person who shall violate the provisions of this Act or permit or allow the violation
thereof, shall be punished by a fine of not exceeding two hundred pesos or by imprisonment not
exceeding six months, or both, at the discretion of the court. In case he is the mayor of a municipality
or a chartered city he shall suffer an additional punishment of suspension from his office for a period
of one month. In case of partnerships, corporations or associations, the criminal liability shall devolve
upon the president, director, or any other official responsible for the violation thereof.
SECTION 4. This act shall take effect upon its approval.

Approved, June 9, 1948.

Republic Act No. 1425

House Bill No. 5561
Senate Bill No. 438
An Act to Include in the Curricula of All Public and Private Schools, Colleges and Universities courses
on the Life Works and Writings of JOSE RIZAL, particularly his novels NOLI ME TANGERE and EL
FILIBUSTERISMO, Authorizing the Printing and Distribution Thereof, and for Other Purposes.
Whereas, today, more than other period of our history, there is a need for a re-dedication to the ideals
of freedom and nationalism for which our heroes lived and died.
Whereas, it is meet that in honoring them, particularly the national hero and patriot, Jose Rizal, we
remember with special fondness and devotion their lives and works that have shaped the national
Whereas, the life, works and writings of Jose Rizal particularly his novels Noli Me Tangere and El
Filibusterismo, are a constant and inspiring source of patriotism with which the minds of the youth,
especially during their formative and decisive years in school, should be suffused.
Whereas, all educational institutions are under the supervision of, and subject to regulation by the
State, and all schools are enjoined to develop moral character, personal discipline, civic conscience,
and to teach the duties of citizenship; Now therefore,
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippines in Congress assembled
Courses on the life, works and writings of Jose Rizal, particularly his novels Noli Me Tangere and El
Filibusterismo, shall be included in the curricula of all schools, colleges and universities, public or
private; Provided, That in the collegiate courses, the original or unexpurgated editions of the Noli Me
Tangere and El Filibusterismo or their English translations shall be used as basic texts.
The Board of National Education is hereby authorized and directed to adopt forthwith measures to
implement and carry out the provisions of this Section, including the writing and printing of
appropriate primers, readers and textbooks. The Board shall, within sixty (60) days from the effectivity
of this Act promulgate rules and regulations, including those of a disciplinary nature, to carry out and
enforce the regulations of this Act. The Board shall promulgate rules and regulations providing for the
exemption of students for reason of religious belief stated in a sworn written statement, from the
requirement of the provision contained in the second part of the first paragraph of this section; but not
from taking the course provided for in the first part of said paragraph. Said rules and regulations shall
take effect thirty (30) days after their publication in the Official Gazette.
It shall be obligatory on all schools, colleges and universities to keep in their libraries an adequate
number of copies of the original and expurgated editions of the Noli Me Tangere and El
Filibusterismo, as well as Rizals other works and biography. The said unexpurgated editions of the
Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo or their translations in English as well as other writings of Rizal
shall be included in the list of approved books for required reading in all public or private schools,
colleges and universities.

The Board of National Education shall determine the adequacy of the number of books, depending
upon the enrollment of the school, college or university.
The Board of National education shall cause the translation of the Noli Me Tangere and El
Filibusterismo, as well as other writings of Jose Rizal into English, Tagalog and the principal
Philippine dialects; cause them to be printed in cheap, popular editions; and cause them to be
distributed, free of charge, to persons desiring to read them, through the Purok organizations and the
Barrio Councils throughout the country.
Nothing in this Act shall be construed as amending or repealing section nine hundred twenty-seven of
the Administrative Code, prohibiting the discussion of religious doctrines by public school teachers
and other persons engaged in any public school.
The sum of three hundred thousand pesos is hereby authorized to be appropriated out of any fund
not otherwise appropriated in the National Treasury to carry out the purposes of this Act.
This Act shall take effect upon its approval.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------DAET COMING UP WITH A BOOK ON FIRST RIZAL MONUMENT WITH PHOTO
A book entitled The First Rizal Monument, Nationalism and the 1898 DaetUprising written by Prof.
Danilo Gerona, a renowned Bicolano historian, will soon be out of the press.
The book, whose publication is sponsored by the Order of the Knights of Rizal and which is coming
out this year, Gerona said over the week, would explain the details of the monument that sits on a
square base in front of the municipal hall on the corner of Justo Lukban and MagallanesIraya Streets
The publication of the book was arrived at during the celebration here of the 116th anniversary of the
death of Dr. Jose P. Rizal who was executed by the Spaniards at the Luneta on December 30, 1896,
Mayor Tito Sarion, a member of the Knights of Rizal, on Thursday said.
The Order of the Knights of Rizal is a fraternal organization created to honor and uphold the ideals of
Philippine national hero Jose Rizal.
Established on December 30, 1911, the organization was granted a legislative charter by the
President of the Philippines as a civic and patriotic organization on June 14, 1951 by Republic Act
Gerona said the first Rizal monument was built in this provincial capital because the first uprising
against the Spaniards was started in this town by the Masonic movement, a local group of
intellectuals who studied at the Ateneo de Manila and the University of Sto.Tomas.
The uprising here in April 18, 1898 was in sympathy for Dr. Jose Rizal, because some of the
intellectuals like Ildefonso Moreno, Vicente Lukban and other local heroes were believed to be his
classmates, he said.

Serving as a pity dedication of Daeteos which in fact erected in distillation of their patriotic fervor, the
monument was built through the initiative of the freemasons and local folk three years after the Rizal
Shaped like an obelisk, which was inspired by ancient Egyptian structures that taper like a pyramid on
top, the monument used coral stones which were taken from the old Spanish prison house where
many Katipuneros were tortured and executed in April 1898.
Those coral stones were soaked and stained, so to speak, with the blood of Bicolano Martyrs. The
First Rizal Monument therefore was hallowed, as it were, by the blood of the Bicolano Martyrs and
Patriots who fought and perished during the Daet Revolt of 1898, according to a research paper
written by Abel Icatlo, the curator of the Camarines Norte Provincial Museum.
Icatlos paper says that on December 20, 1898, Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo issued a decree declaring
December 30, 1898 as Rizal Day and in response, the Bicolanos, through the revolutionary firebrands
of Camarines Norte decided to hold the Rizal Day Celebration with appropriate stately ceremony and
The ceremony included the groundbreaking for the building of a monument, an event that earned for
the Bicolanos the distinction of being the first ones to observe Rizal Day with fitting pomp and
homage for Rizal.
The design of the monument was rather unique for it did not bear an image of Rizal. Accounts had it
that it was designed by the mason artist, Lt. Col. Antonio Sanz, who was also the revolutionary head
of the local government, Icatlo said.
Sanz and Lt. Col. Ildefonso Alegre led the people in collecting contributions for the building of the said
monument. The work was completed some time in February 1899.
According to some oral accounts, under the base of the monument was buried a time capsule that
contained the list of contributors for the construction of the monument, Icatio said.
Today the monument still stands impressive and majestic and is situated at the riverine park in this
booming town known for its fine jewelry crafted by highly skilled local goldsmiths and queen Formosa,
the worlds sweetest pineapple.
The park where it stands was the site where the Katipunan held their ground during the April 14-18,
1898 uprising, Icatlo said.
The monument is some 20 feet in height and appears like a modified obelisk. The base of the
monument, which is cube-shaped, props up the two rungs of three-sided trunk that forms an
equilateral triangle, the topmost being pyramidal in shape just like a spire.
In 1961, the National Historical Commission attached a marker briefly describing the manner by
which the people erected the monument. There was also the title of the three famous books authored
by Rizal written in black paint at the three sides of the square base namely Morga 1889, El
Filibusterismo 1891 and Noli Me Tangere 1886.
The question now that rings among many curious observers as well as history buffs is: Why the
oldest monument dedicated in honor of Rizal is located here where ironically Rizal never set foot and
not in Calamba where he was born, neither in Dapitan where he spent a good four years of his life nor
in Manila where he went for his education?
The reasons for this, Icatlo said, could be seen in the events that served as a prelude to the
construction of the monument. For one, the people of Bicolandia, particularly of Camarines Norte,
had a heightened level of social and political consciousness on the eve of the turn of the century.

Through the channels in Masonic cells, he said, the political philosophy propounded by Rizal was
able to seep through the psyche of the restive men and women disenchanted, as they were, by their
colonial masters.
The second reason, according to Icatlo, was that the people of Camarines Norte were in the
mainstream of national upheaval. The involvement of Jose Maria Panganiban in the Propaganda
Movement in Spain, which was well-acknowledged by his compatriots such as Rizal and Graciano
Lopez Jeana, only suggests that Camarines Norte was at the forefront of the struggle for reforms.
The revolutionary spirit of Gen. Vicente Lukban, who established the lodge Triangulo de Bicol and La
Cooperativa Popular, served as a big boost for the radical advocacy for freedom.
Additionally, the heroes of the Daet Revolt of 1898which included Tomas Zaldua, MarianitoZaldua,
TelesforoZaldua, Ildefonso Moreno, GavinoSaavedra, Jose Abao, Domingo Lozada, Isidoro Avila,
Andres Dames, and LeonasCanranceja, among many otherseloquently proved that the people in
this part of the archipelago were deeply immersed in the fight for change.
And thirdly, he said, the respect and admiration for the example shown by Rizal were but deeply
ingrained virtues among the people of Bicolandia. These virtues had found their expression in the
building of the First Rizal Monument.
Certainly, the monument is a product of years of education and struggle of the Bicolanos to grow as a
nation. It is a silent testament to the preeminence of Rizal as a national hero as much as it is a
homage to the patriots and martyrs of Bicolandia who offered their lives for the cause of freedom.
More than just a cold artifact of our heritage, this stone structure should be viewed as an educational
tool that would provide countless and timeless lessons from history because it is symbolic of the
greatness, the heroism, the patriotic fervor and the deep love for freedom of the Bicolanos, he

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