Maligayang Kaarawan, Rizal.

Many have been said about Philippine National Hero, Jose Rizal. Born to Francisco Rizal Mercado and Teodora Alonso in June 19, 1861, Jose Protasio Mercado Rizal y Alonzo Realonda (whew), is widely known as the Filipino who fought against the Spanish rule. The author of novels Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo, Rizal was executed by the Spanish army on 1896.

These facts are familiar to most and have been recalled in history a million times. But today as we celebrate Rizal’s 154th birthday, we give you 10 obscure facts about our hero. Educational and definitely full of curiosity, read on below.

Rizal in Madrid via
Rizal in Madrid. Photo via

1. Rizal had a third, unfinished novel.

Known to historians as “Makamisa,” this unfinished work was started by Rizal while in Hong Kong in 1892.

2. Rizal’s last words were “Consummatum Est.”

A few moments before he was shot, Rizal murmured the Latin words “Consummatum Est” which means “It is finished” in English.

3. Rizal couldn’t sing.

A novelist, ophthalmologist, sculptor, educator, farmer, and historian among many other titles, Rizal had one weakness and that was singing.

4. Rizal was a linguist.

He travelled the world and became fluent in 22 languages. The strangest among them are most probably the Sanskrit and Catalan.

Rizal Linguist via
Rizal the linguist. Photo via

5. Rizal was stingy.

Rizal didn’t spend too much and lived with a P50 per month allowance while in Madrid. When he was home in Laguna, he would spend just P35.

6. Rizal loved tuyo.

Rizal enjoyed the salted dried fish with rice and poached eggs every morning. He also ate a lot of fruits. Lanzones and mangoes were his favourites.

7. Rizal wrote a love letter in invisible ink.

The letter was for Leonor Valenzuela, Rizal’s lover before he left for Spain. The said letter could only be read over a lamp or candle.

8. Rizal had an Austrian best friend.

Dr. Ferdinand Blumentritt was Rizal’s known closest friend. A teacher and writer, Blumentritt exchanged letters with Rizal while prisoner in Dapitan.

9. Rizal fell in love at the age of 16.

Segunda Katigbak, a sister of his friend Mariano Katigbak, was Rizal’s first romance. They met in Trozo, Manila.

10. Rizal had a son.

Francisco Rizal Y Bracken was the name of Rizal’s son with his last and greatest love, Josephine Bracken. The boy died after birth.

Rizal with friends via
Rizal with friends. Photo via

Maligayang Kaarawan, Rizal! Are you celebrating the same birthday as our Philippine Hero? Then head over to TeamManila SM Mall of Asia, SM North Edsa, Rockwell or Trinoma and receive a special gift from us. First five celebrants with a valid ID will receive a surprise.

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