BatangRizal visit Rizal Shrine Calamba, Laguna

BatangRizal Organization members

BatangRizal Organization members

BatangRizal Organization members

BatangRizal Org. members with the Likha Artist of Calamba, Laguna

BatangRizal Org. members with the Likha Artist of Calamba, Laguna

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BRO Jhun Subijano Proudly BatangRizal (Laguna)

Rizal Shrine

Rizal Shrine Calamba, Laguna

Rizal Shrine Calamba, Laguna

Rizal Shrine is one of the top tourist draws in the developing City of Calamba. This shrine is is a reconstruction of the ancestral home of Calamba’s greatest son, Dr. José P. Rizal. The original house was destroyed during World War II, and through Executive Order No. 145 by President Elpidio Quirino, the house was restored through the supervision of National Artist Juan Nakpil. The shrine was then inaugurated in 1950.

In 1848, Rizal’s parents, Francisco Mercado and Teodora Alonso, who were originally from Biñan, Laguna, got married and settled in Calamba. The house they built was of the Spanish architectural style of that time and was one of the first stone and hardwood houses in Calamba. On June 19, 1861, Rizal was born inside that house and was the seventh among the eleven children of Francisco and Teodora. He was baptized “José Rizal Mercado” at the Calamba Church right next door


Rizal’s family were driven away due to pressure from the Spanish authorities and the house was sold to a Spaniard Don Isidro for 24,000 Philippine pesos. The house was destroyed during the Second World War and after the war, the Philippine government bought what remains of the property for 27,000 pesos.

Today, the shrine serves as a museum containing memorabilias of Rizal’s earlier childhood. On the grounds is a statue of the boy Rizal and his pet dog. The lot is also where Rizal’s parents remains were transferred. Visitors can enter the shrine everyday and there’s no entrance fee, but donations are welcome.


The town of Calamba was originally part of an estate owned by the Jesuits from 1759 to 1768. It was acquired by a Spaniard in 1803, then by the Dominicans in 1883. Rizal’s parents, Francisco Mercado and Teodora Alonso, were from the neighboring town of Biñan but opted to settle in Calamba when they got married in 1848. They built the first stone and hardwood house in Calamba which is now known as the Rizal Shrine.

After the Rizals were driven out of Calamba by the Spaniards, the house was sold to a certain Don Isidro — said to be the brother of the Governor — for 24,000 Philippine pesos (US$460.679 at PhP52.097=$1) and he had it rented out. But after WWII, it was in ruins. The government purchased the property for PhP27,000 but the house was no longer standing.

Jose Rizal

José Rizal, son of a Filipino father and a Chinese mother, came from a wealthy family. Despite his family’s wealth, they suffered discrimination because neither parent was born in the peninsula. Rizal studied at the Ateneo, a private high school, and then to the University of St. Thomas in Manila. He did his post graduate work at the University of Madrid in 1882. For the next five years, he wandered through Europe discussing politics wherever he went. In 1886, he studied medicine at the University of Heidelberg and wrote his classic novel Noli me Tangere, which condemned the Catholic Church in the Philippines for its promotion of Spanish colonialism. Immediately upon its publication, he became a target for the police who even shadowed him when he returned to the Philippines in 1887. He left his country shortly thereafter to return to Spain where he wrote a second novel, El Filibusterismo (1891), and many articles in his support of Filipino nationalism and his crusade to include representatives from his homeland in the Spanish Cortes.

He returned to Manila in 1892 and created the Liga Filipina, a political group that called for peace change for the islands. Nevertheless, Spanish officials were displeased and exiled Rizal to the island of Mindanao. During his four years there, he practiced medicine, taught students, and collected local examples of flora and fauna while recording his discoveries. Even though he lost touched with others who were working for Filipino independence, he quickly denounced the movement when it became violent and revolutionary. After Andrés Bonifacio issued the Grito de Balintawak in 1896, Rizal was arrested, convicted of sedition, and executed by firing squad on December 30, 1896.

Following the revolution, Rizal was made a saint by many religious cults while the United States authorities seized on his non-violent stance and emphasized his views on Filipino nationalism rather than those of the more action-oriented Emilio Aguinaldo and Andrés Bonifacio.

José Protacio Rizal Mercado y Alonzo Realonda (June 19, 1861 – December 30, 1896), the “Pride of the Malay Race” and “The Great Malayan,” is the national hero of the Philippines.

As a polyglot, he mastered 22 languages including Catalan, Chinese, English, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Japanese, Latin, Malay, Sanskrit, Spanish, Tagalog, and other Philippine languages.

As a polymath, he was also an architect, artist, educator, economist, ethnologist, scientific farmer, historian, inventor, journalist, linguist, musician, mythologist, nationalist, naturalist, novelist, ophthalmologist, physician, poet, propagandist, sculptor, and sociologist.

A famous patriot, the anniversary of Rizal’s death, December 30, is now celebrated as a holiday in the Philippines, called Rizal Day.

The seventh of the eleven children of Francisco Mercado and Teodora Alonzo. José Rizal was born into a prosperous middle class Filipino family in the town of Calamba in the Province of Laguna. Dominican friars granted the family the privilege of the lease of a hacienda and an accompanying rice farm, but contentious litigation followed; later, Valeriano Weyler y Nicolau had the buildings destroyed.

Rizal is the descendant of Domingo Lam-co, a Chinese immigrant who sailed to the Philippines from Amoy, China in the mid 17th century (see Chinese Filipino). Lam-co married Inez de la Rosa, a Sangley native of Luzon. To free his descendants from the racist anti-Chinese policies of the Spanish authorities, Lam-co changed the family surname to the Spanish surname “Mercado” (market) so that they would not forget their Chinese merchant roots.

As José became more embroiled in controversy, his elder brother and mentor Paciano advised him to change his name to protect the Mercados from Spanish authority. José changed his surname from Mercado to his middle name, “Rizal.” The name is derived from Spanish “rizal” or “ricial,” meaning “verdant” or “green” (as ricestalk), the main agricultural crop of their family industry.

Aside from his indigenous Malay and Chinese ancestry, recent genealogical research has found that José had traces of Spanish, Japanese and Negrito ancestry. His maternal great-great-grandfather (Teodora’s great-grandfather) is Eugenio Ursua, a descendant of Japanese settlers, who married a Filipina named Benigna (surname unknown). These two gave birth to Regina Ursua who married a Sangley mestizo from Pangasinán named Atty. Manuel de Quintos, Teodora’s grandfather. Their daughter Brígida de Quintos married a mestizo (half-caste Spaniard) named Lorenzo Alberto Alonzo, the father of Teodora.

He first studied under Justiniano Cruz in Biñan, Laguna. He went to Manila to study at the Ateneo Municipal de Manila (now Ateneo de Manila University) where he received his Bachelor of Arts in 1877. He continued his education in the Ateneo Municipal to obtain a degree in land surveying and assessor, and at the same time in the University of Santo Tomas where he studied Philosophy and Letters. Upon learning that his mother was going blind, he then decided to study medicine (ophthalmology) in the University of Santo Tomas, but did not complete it because he felt that Filipinos were being discriminated by the Dominicans who operated the University.

Against his father’s wishes, he traveled to Madrid and studied medicine at the Universidad Central de Madrid where he earned the degree, Licentiate in Medicine. His education continued at the University of Paris and the University of Heidelberg where he earned a second doctorate.

José Rizal was known for two novels, Noli Me Tangere (1887) published in Berlin and El Filibusterismo (1891) published in Ghent, which are social commentaries of the Philippines under Spanish colonial rule. These books, inspired by Cervantes’ Don Quixotes’ ideals are responsible for the development of a unified Filipino consciousness and identity, which led to the Philippine Revolution of 1896.

Rizal was a reformer for an open society rather than a revolutionary for political independence. As a leader of the Propaganda Movement of Filipino students in Spain, he contributed newspaper articles to La Solidaridad in Barcelona with the following agenda:

* That the Philippines be a province of Spain
* Representation in the Cortes (Parliament)
* Filipino priests rather than the Spanish Augustinians, Dominicans, or Franciscans
* Freedom of assembly and speech
* Equal rights before the law (for both Filipino and Spanish plaintiffs)

The authorities in the Philippines could not accept these reforms, as the social reforms threatened the status quo; thus upon his return to Manila in 1892 he was exiled, being accused of subversion for forming a civic movement called La Liga Filipina. While exiled in Dapitan, Mindanao, he established a school and a hospital.

Last days
In 1896, the Katipunan, a patriotic secret society, launched a revolution. Rizal had been given leave by the colonial government to serve in Cuba as a volunteer to minister to victims of yellow fever. He was arrested en route, imprisoned in Barcelona, and returned to stand trial. He was implicated by association with members of the Katipunan and tried before a court-martial for rebellion, sedition, and establishing an illegal association. Rizal was convicted of all three and sentenced to death.

With his execution nearing, he wrote his last poem, “Mi Último Adiós” (My Last Farewell), which played a role in later events. In the early morning, he assisted in two Masses and was finally allowed to marry his fiancée and lover, Josephine Bracken at 5:30 am, after having been denied a marriage license the year before. He was executed by firing squad in Bagumbayan Field (now Rizal Park) in Manila) some two hours later. His body was buried in a secret grave in Paco Cemetery, registered as a suicide.

A statue is present now at the place where he fell, designed by Richard Kissling of the famed “William Tell” sculpture, with the inscription- I want to show to those who deprive people the right to love of country, that when we know how to sacrifice ourselves for our rights and convictions, death does not matter if one dies for those one loves- for his country and for others dear to him