Rizal – Mercado Family
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The Rizal - Mercado family

The Rizals is considered one of the biggest families during their time.

Domingo Lam-co, the family’s paternal ascendant was a full-blooded Chinese who came to the Philippines from Amoy, China in the closing years of the 17th century and married a Chinese half-breed by the name of Ines de la Rosa.

Researchers revealed that the Mercado-Rizal family had also traces of Japanese, Spanish, Malay and Even Negrito blood aside from Chinese.

José Rizal came from a 13-member family consisting of his parents, Francisco Mercado II and Teodora Alonso Realonda,
and nine sisters and one brother.

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FRANCISCO MERCADO (1818-1898)
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Father of José Rizal who was the youngest of 13 offspring’s of Juan and Cirila Mercado.
Born in Biñan, Laguna on April 18, 1818;
He studied Latin and Philosophy at the San José College in Manila.
After his parents death he moved to Calamba and became a tenant-farmer of the Dominican-owned hacienda.
He was a hardy and independent man, a hardworking man of few words.
He died in Manila on January 5, 1898 at the age of 80.
Rizal called his father affectionately “a model of fathers”.
TEODORA ALONSO (1827-1913)
Theodora_alonzo_quintos-2
Dr. Rizal’s mother was born in Manila on November 8, 1826 as the second child of Lorenzo Alonso and Brijida de Quintos.
She went to school at the College of Santa Rosa. She was a remarkable woman, she possessed refined culture, literary talent, business ability and the fortitude of Spartan women.
Rizal wrote about his loving mother
“My mother is a woman of more than ordinary culture; she is a mathematician and has read many books.”
She died in Manila on August 16, 1911, at the age of 85, in her house in San Fernando Street, Binondo.
Shortly before her death, the Philippine government offered her a life pension.
She Courteously rejected it saying, “My Family has never been patriotic for money.
If the government has plenty of funds and does not know what to do with them, better reduce taxes.”
Such remark truly befitted her as a worthy mother of a national here !
SATURNINA MERCADO (1850-1913)
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  Saturnina Rizal (1850-1913) is the eldest child of Don Francisco and Teodora Alonso.
She and her mother provided the little Jose with good basic education that by the age of three, Pepe already knew his alphabet.
The first time Jose experienced to ride a casco (a flat-bottomed boat with a roof) was when he and his father visited Saturnina at the La Concordia College in Manila.

  Saturnina had always been a loving ‘Ate’ Neneng to Jose.
When their mother was imprisoned, Saturnina brought the young Jose to Tanauan during the summer vacation of 1873 just to cheer up the sad little brother.
On his way to Marseilles in May 1882, Rizal—perhaps missing her ‘ate’—dreamed that he was traveling with Neneng and that their path was blocked by snakes.

  On September 26, 1882, Neneng offered a diamond ring to Jose, worrying that he had no sufficient money to spend.
In June 1885, Saturnina and her husband sent one hundred pesos (P100) to Jose as their contribution to Jose’s expenses in finishing his doctorate degree.

  Saturnina married Manuel Timoteo Hidalgo of Tanauan, Batangas.
Hidalgo was also close to his ‘bayaw’ Jose as the two kept up a correspondence.
Through a letter, Hidalgo once informed Rizal of a cholera case in Manila in 1885 and requested Jose to buy for him a Spanish book by Rousseau.
For allegedly being a conspirator and representative of Jose Rizal, Hidalgo also experienced deportation (to Bohol) during the so-called Calamba agrarian trouble.

  Manuel and Saturnina had five children, all of whom had a name which began with letter A: Alfredo, Adela, Abelardo, Amelia, and Augusto.

  Recent controversial story mentions Saturnina as being with her mother when the latter allegedly tried to poison Teodora Formoso, the wife of Jose Alberto (Teodora Alonso’s brother).

  The story further alleges that Saturnina and her uncle Jose Alberto were the real parents of Soledad, the supposed youngest sister of Jose.

  In 1909, Doña Saturnina published Pascual Poblete’s Tagalog translation of the Noli Me Tangere.
Jose Rizal, on the other hand, immortalized his sister Neneng through the oil painting he made of her, which is now housed in the Rizal Shrine in Fort Santiago.
PACIANO MERCADO (1851-1930)
paciano-3
   Paciano Rizal Mercado y Alonso Realonda was born on March 7, 1851 in Calamba, Laguna.
According to Filipino historian Ambeth R. Ocampo, Paciano was fondly addressed by his siblings as ‘ñor Paciano,’ short for ‘Señor Paciano’.
The 10-year older brother of Jose studied at San Jose College in Manila, became a farmer, and later a general of the Philippine Revolution.

After the Revolution, he retired to his farm in Los Boños where he lived as a gentleman farmer and died on April 13, 1930, an old bachelor aged 79.
He had two children with his mistress (Severina Decena).

   Had Paciano owned a Facebook account and you were his friend, you would not be entertained that much by looking at his photo albums.
Paciano had only two known pictures, one is a ‘stolen shot’ by a nephew during a family reunion, and the other, taken posthumously, of his corpse.

   A descendant explained that Paciano, unlike his brother who even frequented photo studios for his pictures, did not want to be photographed.
The reason was that “he was a wanted man in the past and if there were no photographs of him, then it would be hard for the authorities to arrest him.
He could walk everywhere without being recognized”.

   According to his grandchildren, Paciano had a very fair complexion and rosy cheeks.
His descendants were quick to add that their lolo was more handsome than the national hero, and much taller, about 5’7” to 5’9.

   “When he died and the body was brought to the funeraria, his feet stuck out of the coffin, which was too small for him”.

   This description though was neither relative nor one-sided, for it was confirmed by Jose Rizal himself.
In a letter to Blumentritt, he wrote: “[Paciano] is more refined and serious than I, taller, more slender, and fairer in complexion than I with a nose that is fine, beautiful and sharp pointed, but he is bow-legged”
NARCISA MERCADO (1852-1939)
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   Narcisa Rizal (1852-1939) or simply ‘Sisa’ was the third child in the family.
   Like Saturnina, Narcisa helped in financing Rizal’s studies in Europe, even pawning her jewelry and peddling her clothes if needed.
   It is said she could recite from memory almost all of the poems of the national hero.
   Narcisa was perhaps the most hospitable among the siblings.
   When Don Francisco and Doña Teodora were driven out of their house in Calamba, Narcisa took them in her house.
   It was with Narcisa also that Josephine Bracken once stayed, when the rest of Rizal's family were suspicious that Rizal’s girlfriend was a spy for the Spanish friars.
   In August 1896, while being kept under arrest aboard the cruiser Castilla anhored off Cavite, Rizal thanked Narcisa, in a letter, for her hospitality in letting Josephine stay in her home.
   It was also Narcisa who painstakingly searched for the place where the authorities secretly buried the dead Rizal.
   She found freshly turned earth at the Paco cemetery where a body had been buried without a box of any kindand with no identification on the grave.
   She wittingly made a gift to the caretaker to mark the site ‘RPJ’, Rizal’s initials in reverse.
Years later, Narcisa and her other siblings dug up the hero’s remains at the spot.
   Sisa married Antonino Lopez, a teacher and musician from Morong, Rizal.
For letting the Rizal parents live in their house, Lopez became the target of Spanish persecution.
He was threatened of deportation, his house was dismantled, and the unsecured belongings were confiscated.
Narcisa and Antonino had eight children.
   Their son Antonio (1878-1928) married his first cousin Emiliana Rizal, the daughter of Paciano Rizal by Severina Decena.
   Narcisa’s daughter Angelica, who had visited Rizal in Dapitan, joined the Katipunan after her uncle’s martyrdom.
OLYMPIA MERCADO (1855-1887)
Olympia
   Olympia Rizal (1855-1887) is the fourth child in the Rizal family.
José loved to tease her, sometimes good-humoredly describing her as his stout sister.

   José’s first love, Segunda Katigbak, was Olympia’s schoolmate at the La Concordia College.
Rizal confided to Olympia about Segunda and the sister willingly served as the mediator between the two teenage lovers.
It was thus unclear whether it was Olympia or Segunda whom Jose was frequently visiting at La Concordia at the time.

   Olympia married Silvestre Ubaldo, a telegraph operator from Manila.
The couple perhapshad no permanent address for they would stay wherever Silvestre was assigned as telegraph operator.
In one of Jose’s letters to his other sisters in Calamba, he wrote,
“Is Sra. Ipia (Señora Olympia) there already? Do her eyes still become small when she laughs?”

   Wherever Olympia and Silvestre were, they corresponded with Jose, telling him updates about the family, like about their son Aristeo.
While in Bulacan in October 1882, Olympia wrote Jose about Saturnina’s giving birth and the cholera epidemic in Bulacan and Laguna.
Perhaps missing her brother, she asked Rizal to try to come home as soon as possible.

   In January the next year, Ubaldo and Olympia wrote Jose about the ten Baliwag silk handkerchiefs they sent for his birthday and the unpleasant reactions of friars to Rizal's article in the Diariong Tagalog.

   In a letter dated June 12, 1885, Olympia asked Jose to write the priest Federico Faura to transfer them back to Calamba.
The loving brother thus wrote to P. Faura and Sr. Barrantes on June 28, 1885 requesting them to work for the transfer of his brother-in-law from Albay where the latter was assigned.

   In March 1887, Olympia informed Jose that her husband was assigned in Manila and that their parents were in good health.
Paradoxically, Olympia died of hemorrhage while giving birth on September that same year, an event that spoiled Rizal’s homecoming.

   Interestingly, about three years before her death, in Jose’s letter to his parents where he talked about the student agitation in Madrid and the condition of the sugar trade, he all of a sudden asked about the condition of Olympia who was then expecting.
He even joked about her being a mother, “If her habits haven't changed yet, I fear very much for the skin of that boy: How many pinchings he will get.”

   Like Jose’s other in-laws, Olympia’s husband did not escape the Spaniards’ persecution.
With Paciano, Ubaldo was deported to Mindoro because of the Calamba agrarian trouble.
In December 1891, he nonetheless escaped from further oppression in the Philippines and arrived at Hong Kong with Paciano and Don Francisco to join Dr. Rizal there.
LUCIA MERCADO (1857-1919)
Lucia
  Lucia Rizal (1857–1919) is the fifth child in the Rizal family.
She married Mariano Herbosa of Calamba, Laguna.
Charged of inciting the Calamba townsfolk not to pay land rent and causing unrest, the couple was once ordered to be deported along with some Rizal family members.

  Lucia’s husband Mariano died during the cholera epidemic in May 1889.
He was refused a Catholic burial for not going to confession since his marriage to Lucia.
In Jose’s article in La Solidaridad entitled Una profanacion(‘A Profanation’), he scornfully attacked the friars for declining to bury in ‘sacred ground’ a ‘good Christian’ simply because he was the “brother-in-law of Rizal”.

  Lucia and Mariano’s children were Delfina, Concepcion, Patrocinio, Teodosio, Estanislao, Paz, Victoria, and Jose.
Delfina (1879 –1900) became renowned for being one of the three women (along with Marcela Agoncillo and her daughter Lorenza) who seamed together the Philippine flag.
She became the first wife of Gen. Salvador Natividad of the Philippine Revolution.
Teodosio (Osio) and Estanislao (Tan) became pupils of their uncle Jose in the school he established in Dapitan.
MARIA MERCADO (1859-1945)
maria
  Maria Rizal (1859-1945) is the sixth child in the family. It was to her whom Jose talked about wanting to marry Josephine Bracken when the majority of the Rizal family was apparently not amenable to the idea.
In his letter dated December 12, 1891, Jose had also brought up to Maria his plan of establishing a Filipino colony in North British Borneo.

  Jose and Maria’s letters to each other contain many interesting information about their lives.
While in Madrid in December 1882, Jose wrote her sister, “since the middle of August I haven't taken a bath and I haven't perspired either.
That is so here. It is very cold and a bath is expensive.
One pays thirty-five cent for one.”

  In Maria’s letter dated March 15, 1887, she explained to her slighted (or better yet, ‘nagtatampo’) brother that she got busy that’s why she had not immediately updated him about her new status as married to the “very young man from Biñang whose name is Daniel Faustino Cruz.”
A caring family physician, Jose once prescribed through letters a remedy for Maria’s toothache and a treatment for her son Moris (Mauricio).

  In his letter dated December 28, 1891, Jose wrote to Maria, “I'm told that your children are very pretty.”
Today, we have a historical proof that Maria’s progenies were indeed nice-looking (‘lahing maganda’).
Maria and Daniel had five children: Mauricio, Petrona, Prudencio, Paz and Encarnacion.
Their son Mauricio married Conception Arguelles and the couple had a son named Ismael Arguelles Cruz.
Ismael was the father of Gemma Cruz Araneta, the first Filipina to win the Miss International title, the first Southeast Asian to win in an international beauty pageant title.

  Mauricio ‘Moris’ Cruz became a pupil of his uncle Jose in Dapitan.
Updating Maria on the progress of her son, Jose once sent her a letter interestingly describing the ‘lolo’ of our Miss International as “stout and dark and he knows how to swim a little.”
Moris—Rizal’s ‘favorite’ nephew whom he further described as using a lot of Manila vulgar expressions—also had a Jesuit priest son, Jose A. Cruz.
JOSÉ PROTASIO RIZAL MERCADO (1861-1896)
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  José Protasio Rizal Mercado y Alonso Realonda, child to Francisco Rizal Mercado y Alejandro and Teodora Alonso Realonda y Quintos and born on June 19, 1861 in the town of Calamba in Laguna province.
He had nine sisters and one brother. His parents were leaseholders of a hacienda and an accompanying rice farm by the Dominicans.
Both their families had adopted the additional surnames of Rizal and Realonda in 1849, after Governor General Narciso Clavería y Zaldúa decreed the adoption of Spanish surnames among the Filipinos for census purposes (though they already had Spanish names).

  Jose Rizal was a Filipino nationalist, writer, and polymath during the tail end of the Spanish colonial period of the Philippines.
He is considered as the national hero (pambansang bayani) of the Philippines.
An ophthalmologist by profession, Rizal became a writer and a key member of the Filipino Propaganda Movement, which advocated political reforms for the colony under Spain.

  He was executed by the Spanish colonial government for the crime of rebellion after the Philippine Revolution, inspired in part by his writings, broke out.
Though he was not actively involved in its planning or conduct, he ultimately approved of its goals which eventually led to Philippine independence.

  He is widely considered one of the greatest heroes of the Philippines and has been recommended to be so honored by an officially empaneled National Heroes Committee.
However, no law, executive order or proclamation has been enacted or issued officially proclaiming any Filipino historical figure as a national hero.
He was the author of the novels Noli Me Tángere and El filibusterismo, and a number of poems and essays.

  Like many families in the Philippines, the Rizals were of mixed mestizo origin.
José's patrilineal lineage could be traced back to Fujian in China through his father's ancestor Lam-Co, a Hokkien Chinese merchant who immigrated to the Philippines in the late 17th century.
Lam-Co traveled to Manila from Xiamen, China, possibly to avoid the famine or plague in his home district, and more probably to escape the Manchu invasion during the Transition from Ming to Qing.
He finally decided to stay in the islands as a farmer.
In 1697, to escape the bitter anti-Chinese prejudice that existed in the Philippines, he converted to Catholicism, changed his name to Domingo Mercado and married the daughter of Chinese friend Augustin Chin-co.
On his mother's side, Rizal's ancestry included Chinese, Japanese and Tagalog blood.
His mother's lineage can be traced to the affluent Florentina family of Chinese mestizo families originating in Baliuag, Bulacan.
He also had Spanish ancestry. Regina Ochoa, a grandmother of his mother, Teodora, had mixed Spanish, Chinese and Tagalog blood.
His grandfather was a half Spaniard engineer named Lorenzo Alberto Alonzo.  José Protasio Rizal Mercado y Alonso Realonda, child to Francisco Rizal Mercado y Alejandro and Teodora Alonso Realonda y Quintos and born on June 19, 1861 in the town of Calamba in Laguna province.
He had nine sisters and one brother. His parents were leaseholders of a hacienda and an accompanying rice farm by the Dominicans.
Both their families had adopted the additional surnames of Rizal and Realonda in 1849, after Governor General Narciso Clavería y Zaldúa decreed the adoption of Spanish surnames among the Filipinos for census purposes (though they already had Spanish names).

  Jose Rizal was a Filipino nationalist, writer, and polymath during the tail end of the Spanish colonial period of the Philippines.
He is considered as the national hero (pambansang bayani) of the Philippines.
An ophthalmologist by profession, Rizal became a writer and a key member of the Filipino Propaganda Movement, which advocated political reforms for the colony under Spain.

  He was executed by the Spanish colonial government for the crime of rebellion after the Philippine Revolution, inspired in part by his writings, broke out.
Though he was not actively involved in its planning or conduct, he ultimately approved of its goals which eventually led to Philippine independence.

  He is widely considered one of the greatest heroes of the Philippines and has been recommended to be so honored by an officially empaneled National Heroes Committee.
However, no law, executive order or proclamation has been enacted or issued officially proclaiming any Filipino historical figure as a national hero.
He was the author of the novels Noli Me Tángere and El filibusterismo, and a number of poems and essays.

  Like many families in the Philippines, the Rizals were of mixed mestizo origin.
José's patrilineal lineage could be traced back to Fujian in China through his father's ancestor Lam-Co, a Hokkien Chinese merchant who immigrated to the Philippines in the late 17th century.
Lam-Co traveled to Manila from Xiamen, China, possibly to avoid the famine or plague in his home district, and more probably to escape the Manchu invasion during the Transition from Ming to Qing.
He finally decided to stay in the islands as a farmer.
In 1697, to escape the bitter anti-Chinese prejudice that existed in the Philippines, he converted to Catholicism, changed his name to Domingo Mercado and married the daughter of Chinese friend Augustin Chin-co.
On his mother's side, Rizal's ancestry included Chinese, Japanese and Tagalog blood.
His mother's lineage can be traced to the affluent Florentina family of Chinese mestizo families originating in Baliuag, Bulacan.
He also had Spanish ancestry. Regina Ochoa, a grandmother of his mother, Teodora, had mixed Spanish, Chinese and Tagalog blood.
His grandfather was a half Spaniard engineer named Lorenzo Alberto Alonzo.  José Protasio Rizal Mercado y Alonso Realonda, child to Francisco Rizal Mercado y Alejandro and Teodora Alonso Realonda y Quintos and born on June 19, 1861 in the town of Calamba in Laguna province.
He had nine sisters and one brother. His parents were leaseholders of a hacienda and an accompanying rice farm by the Dominicans.
Both their families had adopted the additional surnames of Rizal and Realonda in 1849, after Governor General Narciso Clavería y Zaldúa decreed the adoption of Spanish surnames among the Filipinos for census purposes (though they already had Spanish names).

  Jose Rizal was a Filipino nationalist, writer, and polymath during the tail end of the Spanish colonial period of the Philippines.
He is considered as the national hero (pambansang bayani) of the Philippines.
An ophthalmologist by profession, Rizal became a writer and a key member of the Filipino Propaganda Movement, which advocated political reforms for the colony under Spain.

  He was executed by the Spanish colonial government for the crime of rebellion after the Philippine Revolution, inspired in part by his writings, broke out.
Though he was not actively involved in its planning or conduct, he ultimately approved of its goals which eventually led to Philippine independence.

  He is widely considered one of the greatest heroes of the Philippines and has been recommended to be so honored by an officially empaneled National Heroes Committee.
However, no law, executive order or proclamation has been enacted or issued officially proclaiming any Filipino historical figure as a national hero.
He was the author of the novels Noli Me Tángere and El filibusterismo, and a number of poems and essays.

  Like many families in the Philippines, the Rizals were of mixed mestizo origin.
José's patrilineal lineage could be traced back to Fujian in China through his father's ancestor Lam-Co, a Hokkien Chinese merchant who immigrated to the Philippines in the late 17th century.
Lam-Co traveled to Manila from Xiamen, China, possibly to avoid the famine or plague in his home district, and more probably to escape the Manchu invasion during the Transition from Ming to Qing.
He finally decided to stay in the islands as a farmer.
In 1697, to escape the bitter anti-Chinese prejudice that existed in the Philippines, he converted to Catholicism, changed his name to Domingo Mercado and married the daughter of Chinese friend Augustin Chin-co.
On his mother's side, Rizal's ancestry included Chinese, Japanese and Tagalog blood.
His mother's lineage can be traced to the affluent Florentina family of Chinese mestizo families originating in Baliuag, Bulacan.
He also had Spanish ancestry. Regina Ochoa, a grandmother of his mother, Teodora, had mixed Spanish, Chinese and Tagalog blood.
His grandfather was a half Spaniard engineer named Lorenzo Alberto Alonzo.
  José Protasio Rizal Mercado y Alonso Realonda, child to Francisco Rizal Mercado y Alejandro and Teodora Alonso Realonda y Quintos and born on June 19, 1861 in the town of Calamba in Laguna province.
He had nine sisters and one brother. His parents were leaseholders of a hacienda and an accompanying rice farm by the Dominicans.
Both their families had adopted the additional surnames of Rizal and Realonda in 1849, after Governor General Narciso Clavería y Zaldúa decreed the adoption of Spanish surnames among the Filipinos for census purposes (though they already had Spanish names).

  Jose Rizal was a Filipino nationalist, writer, and polymath during the tail end of the Spanish colonial period of the Philippines.
He is considered as the national hero (pambansang bayani) of the Philippines.
An ophthalmologist by profession, Rizal became a writer and a key member of the Filipino Propaganda Movement, which advocated political reforms for the colony under Spain.

  He was executed by the Spanish colonial government for the crime of rebellion after the Philippine Revolution, inspired in part by his writings, broke out.
Though he was not actively involved in its planning or conduct, he ultimately approved of its goals which eventually led to Philippine independence.

  He is widely considered one of the greatest heroes of the Philippines and has been recommended to be so honored by an officially empaneled National Heroes Committee.
However, no law, executive order or proclamation has been enacted or issued officially proclaiming any Filipino historical figure as a national hero.
He was the author of the novels Noli Me Tángere and El filibusterismo, and a number of poems and essays.

  Like many families in the Philippines, the Rizals were of mixed mestizo origin.
José's patrilineal lineage could be traced back to Fujian in China through his father's ancestor Lam-Co, a Hokkien Chinese merchant who immigrated to the Philippines in the late 17th century.
Lam-Co traveled to Manila from Xiamen, China, possibly to avoid the famine or plague in his home district, and more probably to escape the Manchu invasion during the Transition from Ming to Qing.
He finally decided to stay in the islands as a farmer.
In 1697, to escape the bitter anti-Chinese prejudice that existed in the Philippines, he converted to Catholicism, changed his name to Domingo Mercado and married the daughter of Chinese friend Augustin Chin-co.
On his mother's side, Rizal's ancestry included Chinese, Japanese and Tagalog blood.
His mother's lineage can be traced to the affluent Florentina family of Chinese mestizo families originating in Baliuag, Bulacan.
He also had Spanish ancestry. Regina Ochoa, a grandmother of his mother, Teodora, had mixed Spanish, Chinese and Tagalog blood.
His grandfather was a half Spaniard engineer named Lorenzo Alberto Alonzo

CONCEPCION MERCADO (1862-1865)
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  Also called ‘Concha’ by her siblings, Concepcion Rizal (1862-1865) was the eight child of the Rizal family.
She died at the age of three.

  Of his sisters, it is said that Pepe loved most the little Concha who was a year younger than him.
Jose played games and shared children stories with her, and from her he felt the beauty of sisterly love.

  When Concha died of sickness in 1865, Jose mournfully wept at losing her.
He later wrote in his memoir, “When I was four years old, I lost my little sister Concha, and then for the first time I shed tears caused by love and grief.”

  From Concha’s life we could learn that not a few children in those times died young.
If records are correct, more than ten of Rizal’s nieces and nephews also died young, not to mention that Jose’s child himself experienced the same fate.
JOSEFA MERCADO (1865-1945)
josefa
  Josefa Rizal’s nickname is Panggoy (1865-1945).
She’s the ninth child in the family who died a spinster.

  Among Jose’s letters to Josefa, the one dated October 26 1893 is perhaps the most fascinating.
Written in English, the letter addressed Josefa as “Miss Josephine Rizal”, thereby making her the namesake of Rizal’s girlfriend Josephine Bracken.

  In the letter, Jose praised her sister for nearly mastering the English language, commenting that the only fault he found in Josefa’s letter is her apparent confusion between the terms ‘they are’ and ‘there’.
Jose also wrote about the 20 pesos he sent, the 10 pesos of the amount was supposed for a lottery ticket.

  This indicates that Jose did not stop ‘investing’ in lottery tickets despite winning 6, 200 pesos in September the previous year.
Even when he was in Madrid, he used to spend at least three pesetas monthly for his ‘only vice’.

  After Jose’s martyrdom, the epileptic Josefa joined the Katipunan and is even supposed to have been elected the president of its women section.
She was one of the original 29 women admitted to the Katipunan along with Gregoria de Jesus, wife of Andres Bonifacio.

  They safeguarded the secret papers and documents of the society and danced and sang during sessions so that civil guards would think that the meetings were just harmless social gatherings.
TRINIDAD MERCADO (1868-1951)
trinidad-1
  Trinidad Rizal (1868-1951) or ‘Trining’ was the tenth child and the custodian of Rizal’s last and greatest poem.

  In March 1886, Jose wrote to Trining describing how the German women were serious in studying.
He thus advised her: “now that you are still young and you have time to learn, it is necessary that you study by reading and reading attentively.”

  Perhaps sensing that studying is not Trinidad’s thing, Jose continued, “It is a pity that you allow yourself to be dominated by laziness when it takes so little effort to shake it off.
It is enough to form only the habit of study and later everything goes by itself.”
Four years later, Trining surprised Jose by writing him, “Dearest Brother: I left the College two years, one month and a half ago.”

  In August 1893, Trinidad, along with their mother, joined Rizal in Dapitan and resided with him in his casa cuadrada (square house).
It is said that Trinidad had once planned Rizal’s escape from his exile.
In January 1896, Jose invited Trinidad to return to Dapitan.
Jose though had one hesitation: “The difficulty is, whom are you going to marry here?
The town is lonely still, for there is almost no one.”

  Trining once wrote to Jose: “I have read your letter to our brother Paciano in which you asked how I'm getting along with Señora Panggoy.
Thank God we are getting along well and we live together peacefully.”
Never married, Trinidadand Josefa lived together until their deaths.

  Right before Jose’s execution, Trinidad and their mother visited him in the Fort Santiago prison cell.
As they were leaving, Jose handed over to Trining an alcohol cooking stove, a gift from the Pardo de Taveras, whispering to her in a language which the guards could not understand, “There is something in it.”
That ‘something’ was Rizal’s elegy now known as “Mi Ultimo Adios.”
Like Josefa and two nieces, Trinidad joined the Katipunan after Rizal’s death.

  In 1883, Trining was in bed for five months, from April to August, being sick with intermittent fever.
That kind of fevr rises and falls and then returns, occurring in diseases such as malaria.
Astonishingly however, she was the last of the family to die.
SOLEDAD MERCADO (1870-1929)
soledad
  Also called ‘Choleng,’ Soledad Rizal (1870-1929) was the youngest child of the Rizal family.
Being a teacher, she was arguably the best educated among Rizal’s sisters.

  In his long and meaty letter to Choleng dated June 6, 1890, Jose told her sister that he was proud of her for becoming a teacher.
He thus counseled her to be a model of virtues and good qualities “for the one who should teach should be better than the persons who need her learning.”

  Rizal nonetheless used the topic as leverage in somewhat rebuking her sister for getting married to Pantaleon Quintero of Calamba without their parents’ consent.
“Because of you,” he wrote, “the peace of our family has been disturbed.”

  Some timeless lessons in ethics and good manners can be learned from the letter.
For instance, it reveals that Jose was very much against women who allow themselves to be courted outside their homes.
He said to Choleng, “If you have a sweetheart, behave towards him nobly and with dignity, instead of resorting to secret meetings and conversations which do nothing but lower a woman's worth in the eyes of a man…
You should value more, esteem more your honor and you will be more esteemed and valued.”
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