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José Rizal

Leif RømckeSep 12, 2020, 4:11:42 PM

Polymath and Hero

José Rizal (June 19, 1861–December 30, 1896)
Rizal learned and experienced unbelievably much in 35 years.


José Rizal is remembered today throughout the Philippines for his brilliance, courage, peaceful resistance to tyranny, and compassion. Filipino schoolchildren study his literary work. On the eve of his execution Rizal wrote “Último adiós” (“Last Farewell”). His two most famous books are “Noli me tángere” (Touch Me Not) and “El filibusterismo” (The Reign of Greed).

Filipino Hero

Statues have been produced in many cultures, the oldest-known statue is dating to about 30,000 years ago. All the schools, I have seen in Luzon and Cebu, have a statue of José Rizal. I very much doubt that there will come a time, in the Philippines, when people in anger or in disdain will tear down statues of Rizal.


There were nine women important to Rizal. Probably some of them are the reason why he learned new languages. Only one became his wife. Josephine Bracken married him two hours before his death.


José learned the alphabet when he was three. When he was 35, he knew 22 languages. The following video gives a short, but clear picture of his life. It also shows why he is called a polymath.