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The Life and Works of Rizal


The Life and Works of Rizal online courseware module go beyond the common knowledge about Jose Rizal and explores the great Philippine leader’s travels, personality traits, and educational background. Apart from thoroughly examining Rizal’s life, the courseware includes worksheets, mind-boggling trivia, and side stories. The modules also incorporate a range of helpful online resources for students.

El Filibusterismo

El Filibusterismo de Rizzal was a novel by Jose Rizal. It was written in 1887. Rizal was a famous intellectual who wrote several novels. His first, Noli me tangere, attempted to advocate reforms under the Spanish government. His second novel, El Filibusterismo, is one of the most praised works of Filipino literature.

Rizal’s early life was marked by precog intelligence. He learned the alphabet from his mother at three and started reading at five. The family gave him a second name, “Jose Protasio.” Later, he wrote that the second name was not very important to the family and used it to give the impression that he was illegitimate.

Rizal’s education included studying with Justiniano Aquino Cruz in Binan, Laguna, and Manila. He also took the examen of ingress for law at the Colegio de San Juan de Letran. After that, he continued his studies at the Ateneo Municipal de Manila, where he graduated as one of the top eight students. After that, his academic career continued at the Ateneo Municipal de Manila and the Universidad de Santo Tomas. He then completed his preparation in law at the Universidad de Santo Toma.

Noli Me Tangere

Rizal wrote his novel Noli Me Tangere while he was in Germany. He had read the novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe and was inspired to write about Filipinos who white men had abused. Rizal suggested that other Filipinos living in Europe write a similar novel. He also wanted to share the novel with Filipinos who Spaniards had abused.

Rizal began writing Noli while he was in Madrid, but he completed it in Berlin. He had the help of a Filipino, Vicente Blasco Ibanez, who volunteered as a proofreader and consultant. When Rizal finished the book in December 1886, he was penniless and despaired that it would ever be published. A few years later, Rizal’s friend, Maximo Viola, traveled to Berlin to give Rizal galley proof of the book. The two were reunited, and Rizal finally managed to get his book published.

Rizal’s novel has a lot of symbolism. The characters represent different roles in Philippine society. For instance, the wealthy character, Crisostomo Ibarra, fights for Spanish freedom, while the poor character, Elias, sacrifices his life to allow his wealthy friend to escape. Rizal’s work continues to influence contemporary Filipino culture.

Rivalry with Leonor Rivera

In 1883, Rizal was living in Europe and wrote to Rivera, thinking that he had angered her. But a bribed postman intercepted his letter. This sparked a spat, and Rivera declined to marry him. Eventually, Rizal convinced himself that marriage would not be for him and refused to marry Rivera. After the spat, Rizal accepted a proposal from Charles Henry Kipping, who was working for the Ferrocarril de Manila y Dagupan, the predecessor to the Philippine National Railways.

When Rizal met Nellie, he was struck by her charm and good looks. During this time, he had several relationships with different women. He was particularly fond of the Boustead sisters and entertained the idea of courting one of them. The Boustead sisters, Nellie, were both educated and attractive, and Rizal developed an affection for them. Nellie was a better-looking woman than Leonor Rivera, and he wrote letters to his close friends about the idea of marrying her.

Leonor Rivera is Rizal’s childhood sweetheart. She was also related to Leonor Valenzuela. She symbolizes the pure and sheltered native woman. Her beauty and talent as an artist have drawn Rizal’s attention, and he could relate to her character through her. He even wrote letters for her using invisible ink, which he heated over a candle to reveal the words. Sadly, despite all this, Rizal never asked Leonor for her hand in marriage.

Influence of Rivera on Rizal

Leonor Rivera, the mother of Jose Rizal, influenced the author with her beauty, intelligence, and singing voice. She also knew how to play the piano, which Rizal appreciated. Although reserved and soft-spoken, Rizal idealized Rivera in his writings. In Noli Me Tangere, Rizal immortalized Rivera as the narrator.

In 1890, Rizal and Rivera were engaged, but after ten years of courtship, the former married and gave birth to a child. Rizal was shocked at the news, but his heart was broken. He visited Rivera Kipping before his 1892 exile in Dagupan, but she fainted when he tried to hug her.

Rizal’s parents arranged for Rivera to marry a proper man. The man was of noble stock and had traditional values. But a short time after their marriage, Rivera died during childbirth, tragic but common at that time. Rivera, however, remained Rizal’s true love and his greatest inspiration.

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