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Definition: Rizal, José from Chambers Biographical Dictionary


Philippine patriot and writer

Born in Calamba, Luzon, he studied medicine at Madrid, and on his return to the Philippines published a political novel, Noli me tangere (1886, "Do not touch me"), whose anti-Spanish tone led to his exile. He practised in Hong Kong, where he wrote El Filibusterismo (1891), a continuation of his first novel. Returning to the Philippines, he arrived at a time when an anti-Spanish revolt was on the point of breaking out; he was accused of instigating it, and was shot.

  • Coates, A, Rizal: Philippine Nationalist and Martyr (1968).

Summary Article: Rizal, José
From The Columbia Encyclopedia

(hōsā' rēsäl'), 1861–96, Philippine nationalist, author, poet, and physician, b. Calamba, Laguna prov. He studied at a Jesuit school in Manila, at the Univ. of Madrid (M.D., 1884; Ph.D., 1885), and in Paris, Berlin, Heidelberg, and Leipzig. In Berlin he published his first novel, Noli me tangere (1886, tr. The Lost Eden, 1961), a diatribe against Spanish administration and the religious orders in the Philippines. Because of this attack he was compelled by Spanish officials to leave the islands soon after his return home in 1887. He lived successively in China, Japan, the United States, England, and France, before establishing himself in Hong Kong to practice medicine. In 1890 he published an annotated edition of Antonio Morgas's Sucesos de las islas Filipinas, and in 1891 he published his second novel, El filibusterismo (tr. The Subversive, 1962), a sequel to his first. Returning to Manila in 1892, he was arrested as a revolutionary agitator and banished to Dapitan on Mindanao. While on his way to Cuba in 1896, he was arrested and returned to Manila. There he was given a farcical trial and executed as an instigator of insurrection and founder of secret revolutionary societies. His martyrdom incited a full-scale rebellion against Spanish rule. He also wrote articles; Mariang Makiling (1890), a Philippine folk tale; and considerable poetry.

  • See his letters, tr. by J. P. Apostol (1959);.
  • his reminiscences and travels, ed. by E. Alzona (Vol. I, 1961);.
  • biographies by C. Quirino (1958), L. M. Guerrero (1963), and A. Coates (1968).
The Columbia Encyclopedia, © Columbia University Press 2018