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|José Protasio Rizal Mercado y Alonso Realonda|
(full name, José Rizal y Alonso). Born June 19, 1861, in Calamba, Laguna Province; died Dec. 30, 1896, in Manila. Philippine enlightener.
Rizal attended the University of Manila and later studied in Spain and Germany. He acquired a reputation as a physician, zoologist, ethnographer, linguist, historian, poet, prose writer, sculptor, and painter. An important role in the development of freethinking and national consciousness in the Philippine intelligentsia was played by Rizal’s political pamphlets and especially by his accusatory anticolonial and anticlerical two-part work consisting of the novels Touch Me Not (1887; Russian translation, 1963) and Filibusterism (1891; Russian translations, 1937 and 1965). In his scholarly and scientific works, Rizal wrote as a humanist and a fighter against racism and obscurantism. A deist, he broke with the official church. Counting on the support of Spanish liberals, he called for the development of public education and demanded democratic reforms.
After ten years in Europe, where he headed the patriotic work of the Philippine émigrés, Rizal returned home in 1892 and created his country’s first political organization, the Liga Filipina. He was immediately exiled, however, to the island of Mindanao. In seeking his people’s deliverance from poverty and inequality, Rizal strove to avoid violence and bloodshed. His activities, however, contributed to the ideological preparation of the national liberation revolution. In 1896 the leaders of the Katipunan urged Rizal to head an armed uprising, but he declined. Nevertheless, when the revolt began, the Spanish authorities executed him for sedition. Rizal became the most revered national hero of the people of the Philippines.
WORKSIn Russian translation:
Izbrannoe. Moscow, 1961.
REFERENCESGuber, A., O. Rykovskaia. Khose Risal’. Moscow, 1937.
Quirino, C. The Great Malayan. Manila, 1940.
Palma, R. Biografía de Rizal. Manila, 1949.
G. I. LEVINSON