Rizal: Some myths and legends

One of the top posts in my blog the past few weeks is Idolizing Jose Rizal. It receives at least 20 hits a day and is the number 1 in terms of keyword search. In the past few months, the high-hitting articles are those I wrote about poverty in the Bicol Region and the Politics of Rice.

I think I have said a lot about Rizal except for some amusing myths and legends. Wara po kitang intensiyon na guluhon an mga tinuturo sa eskuwelahan (although talagang makalibong an kurikulum na nagmamandato para itukdo an buhay ni Rizal samantalang su buhay-buhay ni Andres Bonifacio dai lamang natatawan nin atensiyon siring man su buhay-buhay kan 15 martires kan Bicol). An intensiyon ta lang, baka puwedeng mag-isip an satuyang mga historian na hilingon man an mga ini. [We have no intention of complicating what is being taught in the schools (although it’s really confusing that the curriculum mandates the teaching of Rizal’s life while the life story of Andres Bonifacio is not being given any attention the same with the stories of the 15 Bicolano Martyrs). Our intention here is to trigger our historians to look into these myths and legends.]

Myth # 1: Rizal is an illigitimate son

An ngaran daa kaya kan ama ni Jose Rizal, Francisco Mercado asin an ina niya si Teodora Alonso. An saiyang mga tugang an gamit na apelyido “Mercado” bako Rizal. Sabi man kan mga historiador, ginamit lang daa ni Jose ang apelyidong “Rizal” para makaiwas sa mga hapot kan mga Kastila. Nawa-wanted daa kaya kaito an pamilya Mercado kaya Rizal na lang an pinagamit. [The name of Jose Rizal’s father is Francisco Mercado and his mother is Teodora Alonso. His siblings used the surname “Mercado” and not Rizal. Historians alleged that Jose only used Rizal to evade the nosey Spaniards. That is because the Mercado family is “wanted” by the Spaniards so the surname Rizal was used by Jose.]

Pero kung siring, si Jose Rizal palan an pasimuno kan mga nagpapagibo sa Recto diyan sa may Quiapo. [But this being the case, it can be said that Jose Rizal is the leader of those people using fake documents from Recto in Quiapo (Manila)].

Myth # 2: Rizal fathered a son and the son is Adolf Hitler

Dai ko pa nadadangog an mga huring-huding na an kan binasa ko su libro ni William Shirer na “The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich”. Siguro mga 13 o 14 anyos pa lang ako kaito mala ta dai ko pa nasasabutan su ibang mga harararom na English. Base sa istorya ni paderes na saro sa mga Pilipino na nakalibot sa kinaban iyo si Rizal, naihapot ko: Posible kayang si Rizal an naging ama ni Hitler dahil pareho sinda hababa? [I haven’t heard of this rumor when I read the book of William Shirer which is “The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich”. I was 13 or 14 then that I don’t even understand hifalutin English words. Based on my father’s story that one of the Filipinos who toured the world was Rizal, I asked: Could it be possible that Rizal fathered Hitler considering their height?]

But that was just a joke. Bako pa ako conscious sa mga taon. Naisip ko lang dahil an mga Germans kaya haralangkaw pero si Hitler hababa pareho ni Rizal. Mala ta kaipuhan pa ni Hitler an tindugan pag kaipuhan niyang magtaram sa mga soldados niya. [I wasn’t conscious of the years then. Germans are generally tall persons as opposed to Hitler who has almost the same height as Rizal. To note, Hitler would even use a platform everytime he would like to address his soldiers.] Lately, however, I learned that Hitler’s height could be between 5’2″ and 5’9″ while Rizal’s height is between 4’9″ and 4’11”. Pero dai kaya kinua su average height ni mama ni Hitler saka ni Rizal? Hmmmnnn…. Hapoton ta an mga eksperto sa buhay ni Rizal. [But could it be possible that the heights of Hitler’s mom and Rizal’s were averaged to get Hitler’s height? Hmmmmnnn…. Let’s ask the experts on the life of Rizal.]

Pero ano an mga indikasyon kan posibilidad na si Rizal an ama ni Hitler? [But are the possibilities that Rizal fathered Hitler?]

  • Maliban sa mga physical similarities (broad forehead, hair style, etc.), si Hitler dai sinabi kun siisay an tunay na ama. Adopted son lang si Adolf Hitler ni Alois Hitler. That means, may posibilidad talaga. [Aside from the physical similarities (broad forehead, hair style, etc.), it was not recorded who the real father of Hitler is. What is known is that Adolf Hitler is an adopted son of Alois Hitler. This means, there is really a strong possibility that Rizal is Hitler’s father.]
  • Kan panahon na naglalamiyerda si Rizal sa Europa, iyo man an panahon na ipinagbados si Hitler [Hitler was born during the time that Rizal was wandering in Europe] Hitler was born on April 20, 1889 and months earlier, Rizal was lingering there romanticizing with women and at one point, sleeping with a prostitute . Mala ta sabi ni Maximo Viola: [As Maximo Viola wrote]

In one of our tours of that city, he encountered the figure of a temptress in the form of a Viennese woman, of the family of the Camellias or Margarite, of extraordinary beauty and iresistible attraction, who seemingly had been expressly invited to offer for a moment the cup of mundane pleasure to the apostle of Philippine freedom who until then had enjoyed among his intimates the fame worthy of his glorious namesake St. Joseph.

With the exception of this case I knew of no other slip of Rizal during more than six months of our living together.

  • There are claims that the woman is Klara Polz, the mother of Adolf Hitler who also happened to be the woman who found Rizal’s diamond pin. It was said that when Rizal had a grand tour in Europe, he lost his diamond stickpin in Brunn, Austria. But when he went to Vienna, Austria, the diamond stickpin was returned to him by Blumentritt. Sabi ni Blumentritt [Blumentritt said], the stickpin was found by a hotel maid. Si Klara daw yun. Kaya may naghahapot, papaanong nangyari na su nawara sa Brunn itatao saiya sa Vienna which are miles apart? And paano nasiguro kan maid na dapat itao kay Blumentritt? Which leads to the idea na baka may pagkasinabot-sabotan na sinda Rizal asin Klara. [That was Klara. Hence, some asked: How can it be that what was lost in Brunn will be given to him in Vienna which are miles apart? And how certain is the maid that the stickpin should really be given to Blumentritt? Which leads to the idea that Rizal and Klara could have an intimate understanding.]
  • On the time that Hitler was born, Rizal was again in Europe from May 24, 1888, until October 18, 1891. He visited London, Paris, Brussels, Madrid, Biarritz and Ghent. In short, Rizal was in Europe during the time Hitler was conceived and when he was born.
  • Another thing is from Vienna, Rizal travelled the Danube to Linz. And he fell in love with Linz. Surprisingly, Hitler also loved Linz and called it his hometown base sa autobigraphy ni Hitler na Mein Kamf.

Could just these be coincidence? If yes, then Leuccipus who said that “Nothing happens at random but out of reason and out of necessity”, is wrong. Even the saying that “God destined everything under heaven” will also be ruled out of order if it is really a mere coincidence.

Myth # 3. Rizal fathered a Japanese girl named Yuriko

Saro pang huringhuding, si Rizal daa may aki kay [Another rumor is that Rizal has a daughter with] Seiko Osei (popularly known as Osei San), his love interest in Japan. An ngaran [The name is] Yuriko. Si Yuriko sinasabing aki ki foreign husband na later sinasabing Alfred Charlton an pangaran. Pero bako man daa talaga si Alfred Charlton an ama kundi si Rizal. Kaya minaluwas na si Yuriko half-sister ni Adolf Hitler. [Yuriko is being claimed to be a daughter of a foreign husband later named as Alfred Charlton. But then, it is said that Alfred Charlton is not really the father but Rizal. Thus ir appears that Yuriko is a half-sister of Adolf Hitler.]

Later, Yuriko married a Japanese politician and it is being claimed na ginamit kan pulitikong ini an koneksiyon ni Yuriko para makipag-alyansa kay Adolf Hitler. [this politician used Yuriko’s connection to form an alliance with Adolf Hitler]. Dahil digdi, nabilog an Axis Powers. Siguro dahil sa urag-urag na pinabayaan sinda kan saindang ama na si Jose kaya sinakop kan Japan an Pilipinas. [As such, the Axis Powers was formed. Because of (yuriko’s and Adolf’s) angst against their father who is Jose that they conquered the Philippines.]

Myth # 4. Rizal is Jack the Ripper

Medyo malala ining huringhuding na ini. Hangos muna kamo. [This rumor is grave so take a breath first.]

Kan panahon kaya kan nag-existir si Jack the Ripper, nagkataon man na yaon si Rizal sa London [Rizal was in London when Jack the Ripper existed]. That was in the year 1888. Kan naghali si Rizal sa London, napondo man an panggagadan ni Jack the Ripper [When Rizal left London, Jack the Ripper’s murders stopped.]

Ikaduwang ebidensiya (kuno): Kung maroromduman ta, si Rizal sarong doktor. Ngonyan, si Jack the Ripper, nilalaslas niya an saiyang mga biktima asin nagngangalas an mga awtoridad kun nata ta malinigon an pagkalaslas asin pagputol-putol kan lawas kan mga biktima. An sabi kan mga eksperto, baka sarong ekspertong surgeon an may gibo which leads us to the fact that Rizal is an opthalmic surgeon. [Second evidence: If we are to recall, Rizal is a medical doctor. We can correlate this with the fact that Jack the Ripper cuts the bodies of his victims like a doctor based on autopsy reports. And the way the cuts are made shows that this could be a work of a surgeon. And Rizal is an opthalmic surgeon.]

Ikatulo, an biktima ni Jack the Ripper, mga prostitute. Pero sabi ni Max Viola, si Rizal daa na-involve sa sarong prostitute. Dai kaya napasupog si Rizal sa prosti dahil masyadong halipot an saiyang … ano… height, kaya nagbalos siya sa mga prosti? [Third, the victims of Jack the Ripper are prostitutes. And Max Viola said that Rizal had an affair with a prostitute. Could it be that Rizal felt ashamed with the prostitute because of his short… you know… height so he made a revenge?]

But personally, this is unbelievable. If Rizal is a man of peace, Rizal a.k.a. Jack the Ripper could never be true. Dapat kuta sa Japan, o sa America, o sa Hongkong, me mga nangyari man na garadanan.

Myth # 5. Si Rizal daa an dahilan kung nata ta nalaglag an aki niya kay Josephine Bracken [It is said that Rizal is the reason why his child with Josephine Bracken was aborted.]

An huringhuding, itinulak ni Rizal si Josephine sa hagdanan kaya nalaglag an pinagbabados kaini. Well, nobody can verify the claim. Baka aksidente lang. [The rumors have it that Rizal pushed Josephine at the stairs so she got a miscarriage. Well, nobody can verify the claim. That could be an accident.]

Myth # 6. An pinaka namomotan daa ni Rizal an ngaran Julia P. [The one that Rizal loved most has a name of Julia P.

Mala ta sabi may tula pa na ginibo si Rizal para kay Julia P. Kan hinapot ko kun ano an titulo kan tula para mahanap, an simbag “Huling Paalam”. An nickname daa kaya kan Julia sa Tagalog “Huli” or “Juli” (pronounced also as “huli” as letter “J” is also sounds as “H”). [It is said that Rizal even wrote a poem for Julia P. When asked what is the title of the poem so that this can be searched, the answer: Huling Paalam. The nickname of Julia in Tagalog is “Huli” or “Juli” pronounced also as “huli” as letter “J” is also sounds as “H”).]

Pero dai po kamo magtubod kaan ta an original “Mi Ultimo Adios”. [But don’t believe the story because the original poem was written in Spanish with a title “Mi Ultimo Adios”.]

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30 thoughts on “Rizal: Some myths and legends

  1. im a bisaya and i find it very hard to understand your article though i find it very interesting that i read it fully. can u translate it to tagalog or english. tnx. ^_^

  2. J.A. Carizo mentioned at least 6 myths of Rizal, this is an addendum, and probably the No. 7 myth, re Jose Rizal.

    Ms. Smita Lahiri, Ph.D. candidate, Department of Anthropology, Cornell University, has written a discourse entitled “Myth and Spirit: The Changing Image of José Rizal”. In particular, she discussed the subject, “Rizal the Myth”. Lahiri said that from her pre-fieldwork preparation and reading, she had learned that after Rizal’s trial and execution for sedition in 1896 by the Spanish authorities, he came to be viewed in popular imagination as a Filipino Christ.

    Part of the doctrine of “Rizalista” societies that mushroomed in the twentieth-century Philippines was that at the proper moment, Rizal would be resurrected and reemerged from his hiding place deep inside Mt. Makiling, in his birthplace of Calamba, Laguna, to liberate the Filipino nation.

    Reynaldo Ileto (another Cornell alumnus) studied these legends and showed the association of Rizal with both Christ and with Bernardo Carpio, the culture-hero of Tagalog literary romance. It explained why the mythic Rizal came to be endowed with the characteristic powers of Filipino shamans: transformation of physical form at will, invincibility to bullets, and healing power.

    Prior to Ileto’s work, popular veneration of Rizal was viewed rather ambivalently by historians as a form of patriotic nationalism distorted by superstition and credulity.

    Some historians probably viewed Rizal-veneration as a sign of a colonial mentality on the part of the masses, particularly when it came to light that Rizal’s stature as the preeminent national hero had been partly the result of official promotion during the American period. Perhaps his elite credentials and urbanity made him more compatible with the objectives of U.S. colonialism than other contenders, such as the militant Andres Bonifacio. One counterresponse has been to attempt to demythify Rizal the hero and return to the man himself, or more precisely to the writings-on topics as diverse as pre-colonial Philippine history and epidemiology-through which he aimed to build a national consciousness. But ironically, the posthumous cults and legends about Rizal (which he would surely never have intended or desired) show that his death did even more to achieve this objective than his life’s work.

    Is Jose Rizal the Christ of the Philippines? or said belief is just a myth?

    Diyos nga ba si Jose Rizal ayun sa mga Rizalistas? Hindi kaya anak niya si Anne Curtis na tinaguriang Dyosa, sa isang teleserye sa ABS CBN?

    …. Nagigirumduman ko po kan sadit pa ako, may dowa akong relatives (mga lolo) na permi nakikipag diskurso sa biblia, ta an paniniwala ninda na si jose rizal daa sarong mesiyas or Christ of the Philippines, ta dapat daw lambang sarong nasyon digdi sa kinab-an igwa nin diyos na tagapagligtas, mala na dai man sinda naniniwala sa holy bible. (pero san nagkagaradan ine na mga lolo ko mga padeng katoliko an nagbendisyon kan mga bangkay ninda sa sementerio, dai ko lang aram kun kaibanan ninda si rizal sa purgatorio or sa langit.

    Anyway, the Rizalistas of the Philippines have the right to believe (enshrined in the constitution) freedom to believe.

    After all, the individual is free to believe or disbelieve as he pleases. Every one has the right to his belief and he may not be called to account, because he cannot prove what he believes. However, absurd his belief maybe to others, even if they be hostile and heretical to the majority, he has full freedom to believe as he pleases.

  3. Thanks Atty. Benjie for the additional contribution.

    To yan and other non-Bicolano visitors, a big thanks also. For this reason, I provided in-text translations of the Bikol portions of the article.

    More power to all of you.

  4. Thank you very much for this article as well as the additional comments provided by Atty Benjie.

    Based on my limited exposure to an urban area of Metro Manila, many younger Filipinos tend to believe that Rizal was Europe-centered such that when they are asked whether he went to America, they seemed clueless. I wonder what would be the reactions of those in the far-flung areas of this country and even from the children of Filipinos based abroad.

    Ambeth Ocampo provides an answer to this through his book, “Rizal Without the Overcoat.” In one of Ambeth’s essays, he posed the question as to whether Rizal was an anti-American. Rizal was apparently amazed by the modernity of America, where he travelled coast to coast, but he seemed unimpressed by the arrogance of one or two Americans. We cannot of course conclude if he felt this way to Americans and the US in general. Additionally, he was more inclined to favor Europe for its antiquity, history and culture. That is understandable since he studied and spent much time there after all.

    Another point Ocampo mentioned was Rizal’s intention to migrate to Borneo, now Sabah, before he was exiled in Dapitan. Given this historical tidbit, some of my colleagues believed that had Rizal migrated to Sabah, we would not have problem on Muslim separatist movement. They seemed to have thought about that thoroughly.

    Dios mabalos.

  5. maki sali lang ho…nasa malayo na ho akong kamag anak ni Jose Mercado or Rizal…..kung ang mga kamag anak pa namin ang makakapag kwento, hindi daw talaga namin kadugo si Rizal….dahil may isang Babailan lng daw ang nag paubaya sa kanya sa aming angkan, at ang sabi ng babailan ay ( ang sanggol na ito ang tiyak na susi ng ating kalayaan at mumulat muli sa mga totoong mata ng tao sa buong mundo) pero mahigpit ho na ipinagbabawal sa amin na pag usapan ang bagay na yan. pero sa henerasyon ko ho, di na namin maintindihan kng bakit minsan nag uusap ang mga nakakatanda sa amin ng tungkol sa bagay na yan sa patago.. kong mamarapatin nyo ho.. kng sino ang may kapangyarihan na kaya itong mapaliwanagan, paki post nyo lng ho d2……SALAMAT!!!!!

  6. mag tawag tayo ng shamman para ma i explain nya lahat lahat… un lng po putek nmn ang hirap mg hanap ng purpose ni rizal sa GERMANY and AUSTRIA hooou…!!!! ^^b

  7. A friend of mine is doing research on Rizalistas, its her final paper on her Rizal subject. I was wondering if anyone knows a genuine Rizalista in the Bicol region, preferrably in Naga City who is willing to be interviewed? Its really important, I’d appreciate any help, thanks.

    You can email me at: mache_seraph@yahoo.com

    • Mr. Peñones, we are students of ADNU. We are actually tasked by our teacher in our translation subject, if we could possibly interview you, and ask some things regarding translation of texts to other languages. We know sir that you have translated a number of texts like poems, and if you would allow us sir, we are hoping to interview you in your most convenient time. Sorry sir for being so informal, but we actually do not know how to contact you so we tried to reply on your comment here. you may contact us sir at this email address: bel_esprit28@yahoo.com. thank you sir.

  8. ..oh my god..doing a research paper about rizal is getting into my nerves..kinda mahirap..especially im not a fan of rizal..but i also look up to him…sometimes!=)

  9. nice page… as i read this article it made me think about it. i also have research about rizal, and im looking for the myth of jose rizal. would you help me to find the myth of jose rizal?
    i have also heard it already that rizal is an adopted son of the mercado’s. i am the follower of rizal’s life…
    i thank you very much if you could help me, i will appreciate it a lot.
    pls email me even the sites at mitch_chell6@yahoo.com

  10. Nice page, this is really interesting.. May rizal subject ako kya mejo interested ako. Any other myths? Mkkatulong sakin to. Thanks..

  11. ang alam ko ay mas mas maraming history ang europe kesa America at mas matagal na ang civilization sa Europe kesa sa US at mas maraming magagandang lugar kang mapupuntahan at makikita kesa sa US kaya sa palagay ko iyon ang nakita ni Dr.Jose Rizal.

  12. hello!po gud pm .tnx 4 the information that you wrote to this website………..makakatulong po sa subject naming RIZAL
    tnx po ulit……………..have a bless day to all

  13. gud eve to all SAINT PAUL COLLEGE OF ILOCOS SUR STUDENTS and to all teachers who are browsing this site right now have a bless eve and more power…………………..

  14. HI to all SAINT PAUL COLLEGE OF ILOCOS SUR STUDENTS and to all teachers who are browsing this site right now have a bless eve and more power…………………..

    • @ Mary Joy:
      Depende sa depinisyon asin kung ano ang framing sa paghiling kan nationalism. Kung nationalism sa Spain, puwedeng sabihon na iyo, nationalist siya. Mala ta gusto niyang maging probinsiya kan Spain an Pilipinas. Kung nationalism sa Pilipinas, ang simbag bako. In the very first place, wara pa man kaito na maapod na Nasyon kan Pilipinas.

      if you wanted more arguments, please read the comments under the article Idolizing Jose Rizal especially my exchanges with KR.

  15. Thanks for another informative website. I have a project that I’m just now working on, and I have been on the look out for such info.

  16. Pingback: Five years and counting… « Bik-Lish

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