Archive for June 1st, 2011
by Fr. Victor Badillo, S.J.
When the Jesuits returned to the Philippines in 1859, their mission was to work in Mindanao. They were persuaded by the City of Manila to run the Escuela Municipal de Manila, a public primary school. The school was renamed Ateneo when it began offering secondary education in 1865. Incidentally, they also started a second school, the Escuela Normal, to train teachers for the public schools.
In the beginning, the Ateneo accepted only Filipinos (Spaniards born in the Philippines). Later they accepted also Indios. One such was Jose Protacio Mercado. But he enrolled under the name Jose Protacio Rizal, at the advice of his family. He had to dissociate himself from his brother, Paciano Mercado, who had gained notoriety with the authorities with his links to priests who had been sentence to death as subversives.
1872, the year Jose Rizal enrolled when he was 11, was a fateful year. That year Frs. Gomez, Burgos and Zamora were executed for complicity in the Cavite mutiny. It so affected him that later he said, “I would have been a Jesuit today, if I had not vowed to continue the fight of those priests.”
He was quite affected that he, an Indio, 11 years old was addressed
Usted (thou), and not tu (you), by older Spanish Jesuits. He and his elders had always been addressed by the degrading tu, In Tagalog, Ikaw (you singular). Ustedwas equivalent to kayo (you plural) or even siya or sila (he or they). No wonder he loved them. Today’s Filipino Jesuits do not know usted but they never time of praising Ateneans. And the poor boys believe them! Who can blame them? A little girl carried by her mother, on hearing a visitor say, ”What a beautiful girl.” beamed, “More. More.”
At first, he boarded in the houses in Intramuros or with relatives on his
mother’s side. He was free to do what he wanted, socializing etc. But he
decided to enroll as a boarder, knowing what this meant. A restricted life, regulated by bells, telling when to eat, when to rest, when to study. In the study room, he could get free help and individual tutoring from Jesuits prefects. He learned how to concentrate, to compete against himself.
Because knew how to utilize ad lib (free) time, he did not waste time. By
being bound, he became free, free of laziness, of bad habits. He became the Filipino he expected others to be before demanding independence. He lived it. By this he became free to free others. By living a disciplined life, he could do many things. He enrolled in two schools, even three schools in Spain, at one time and excelled in them.
As a sodalist he was expected to do mental prayer at least fifteen minute each day. Prayer was not just an exercise. It meant contact with the divine. It meant knowing Jesus and imitating him. It meant being challenged to fight for the King and not to count the cost. By his performance, he became a Prefect of the Sodality.
Jesuit pedagogy was pauca praecepta, multa exempla, plurima exercitation (few rules, many examples, numberless exercise). And cura personalis(individualized attention).
In liberal education, he met the best thinkers and was inspired to be like
them and even to be better them. That is the purpose of the classics. Not good speech and writing and oratory. The curriculum was graduated, step by step, according to the ability of the student. The Jesuits did not neglect competition, prizes and punishments (jug, the cane, etc).
by Fr. Victor Badillo, S.J.
1. Jose Rizal’s Ancestors
He had Chinese blood from his father’s side and Spanish and Japanese blood form his mother’s side. Recent genealogical research even traces him to Lacan Dula (one of the chiefs met by the first Spaniards in Manila).
His paternal ancestor was Lam-Co, an immigrant from Fujian (Jinjiang,
Quanzhou <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jinjiang_City>), South China. At the age of 35, Lam-co was baptized in 1697. He became Domingo Lam-co.
Lam-co had a distinguished lineage. He belonged to the Cua clan of south China. The Cuas today are prosperous and distinguished families in Asia. The Cuas are a very ancient line, which can be traced to many generations to the times when unified China was still non-existent.
They are the descendants of Shu Du, the 5th son of Zhou Wu Wang, the
political genius who started the Chou dynasty. It was 600 years later when his descendants formalized the usage of the surname Cai.
Domingo Lam-co, Rizal’s great-great-grandfather, was the 19th generation descendant of the Cai Shu Du.
In his baptismal record, his parents were listed as Siong-co and Jun-nio.
He settled in Bi an, Laguna on the Dominican estate called San Isidro
Labrador. Domingo’s son was Francisco I, the first to use Mercado (Spanish for market) as a surname. It described the livelihood of Domingo’s family since they were traders. *
Later, Francisco II, Francisco I’s grandson, Rizal’s father, changed the
family name in 1859 to Rizal to suit his farming business. Rizal is derived
from the Spanish ricial, which means green fields. He now lived in Calamba. The Rizals were prosperous farmers who were granted the lease of a hacienda by the Dominicans. But after a few years he just used Mercado.
Despite the many bloody persecutions that the Chinese and Chinese
mestizos suffered from the Spaniards, the ancestors of Rizal survived.
From this strength of character, no doubt, Rizal got his ability to remain
calm and composed even in the face of adversaries. At the hour of
execution, the doctor found his pulse to be normal.
Jose Rizal’s parents were Francisco Rizal Mercado (1818–1898) and Teodora Alonzo Realonda (1826–1911). Rizal was the seventh child of their eleven children.
2. Jose Rizal’s Descendants
Rizal had desired to be a Jesuit. Little did he dream that that desire
would be fulfilled in a grand nephew who studied at the Ateneo as he did,
became a Jesuit, and the president of his school. Jose A Cruz. He became president, when a strong and prudent leader was most needed, in the period of martial law l972-86. There was student activism, the restrictions on freedom in Martial Law years.
The Family Tree
Maria (sister of Jose Rizal) married Daniel Cruz
Son: Mauricio R. Cruz married ______ Arguelles
Grandchildren: Ismael A Cruz, Jose A Cruz, others?
Great Granddaughter: Gemma (daughter of Ismael and Carmen Guerrero)
Gemma was an international beauty queen and a public figure. Her father, Ismael, was tortured and killed by Japanese soldiers, together with hisfather, Mauricio during the Liberation of Manila’ in February 1945.
In 1940 President Quezon spoke to UP and Ateneo graduates challenging them to work with their hands land in Mindanao. Not one from UP volunteered. Red tape was cut so that the three Ateneo volunteers could have a fast audience with Quezon. Two of the three were descendants of Jose Rizal, Ismael Cruz and a cousin.
They found in Mindanao a stubborn forest to work, and obstacles from
government officials and earlier settlers. But they kept on and left only
when they were recalled to Manila when World War II started. They had
determined to return after the war but death prevented them.
Descendants of other siblings of Rizal distinguished themselves in arts and letters and political life.
With such was the ancestry and the descendants and self education of Rizal, one is not surprised that he could conceive and achieve a daring statue of the Heart of Jesus and inspired and still inspires Filipino to shake off the yoke of tyranny whether Spanish, American or Filipino, and self destructive habits by writing entertaining novels.
One does not read his novels by learning Spanish. One does by finding the characters in the novel in the people he meets and in his own self. One has read his novels if as a result, he aspires to be free and to free others.
Man hears our words.
God hears our thoughts. Augustine
God bless you. Victor
RIZAL’S TRAVELLING STATUETTE
by Fr. Victor Badillo, S.J.While a student at the Ateneo Municipal in Intramuros, Jose Rizal (14) made a small statue of the Sacred Heart, about nine inches in length. He carved the statuette in baticuling wood with a penknife at the request of his professor Fr Jose Leonardo S.J. Father intended to take it with him to Spain, but the domestic helper forgot to place it in his trunk. It was left behind and was taken by Rizal’s fellow students. It was placed on a shelf above the door of their study hall where it remained for twenty years.
In August 1887, Rizal (26) returned to the Philippines and stayed till early 1888. Now a liberal in matters political as well as religious, he visited his Jesuit friends at the Ateneo. On his way out, the Jesuit porter showed him the statuette. Rizal replied, “Other times, Brother, other times. I no longer believe in such things.”*
In December 1896, after Rizal (35) was sentenced to death by the Military Tribunal which had tried him for treason, he asked for some Jesuit priests to visit him. Fr Miguel Saderra Mata, S.J., Rector of the Ateneo Municipal, together with Fr. Luis Viza, S. J., went in haste to Fort Santiago to the cell where Rizal was imprisoned. They were greeted warmly by Rizal.
Rizal asked them if the statuette of the Sacred Heart which he had carved as a boy was still at the Ateneo. Fr Viza, in reply, took the statuette out of the pocket of his soutane. He had guessed rightly. Rizal would remember it at the hour of his death. Rizal took it and kissed it in his hands and placed it on the table where he would soon write the Ultimo Adios.
The statuette remained in the cell. On the night before his execution, it was to Fr Jose Vilaclara, S.J., his former Physics teacher, that Rizal made his sacramental confession and be reconciled to the Church.
The following day, 30 December, before leaving his cell to go to Bagumbayan, Rizal held the statuette to his lips for the last time. With two hands holding it close to his heart, he moved slowly to give it back to the Jesuits who were with him to the last day.
When the fire of 1932 engulfed the Ateneo, the principal concern of the Jesuits was the safety of the students. No one got hurt. Many valuable irreplaceable collections went up in smoke and presumably the statuette. The Ateneo resumed operations in Padre Faura. In 1945 the Ateneo was destroyed completely during the liberation of Manila.
Some time in 1952, when Ateneo was in the Loyola Campus, Q.C., the statue was returned, presumably by the student who saved it from the 1932 fire, and inadvertently from the 1945 fire as well.
Replicas made from ash from the bowels of the earth hurled into the sky by
After some twenty three years in the Board of Trustees room, Fr. Bienvenido
NotesRizal was condemned to death for the crime of treason. He advocated not revolution but evolution. He wished the Philippines to be independent when it was ready for it. Up to the time of his death, he thought the time had not come. For him, independence would happen like a fruit automatically falling from the tree when it was ripe.
He enrolled at the Ateneo in 1872, the year Fathers Gomez, Burgos and Zamora were garroted to death for treason. They were innocent of this crime. The event so moved Rizal that later he said, “I would have been a Jesuit, but I had vowed to do something about their death.”
Baticuling is a hard wood used in carving, which now is not easily available. Without carving tools, Rizal carved an excellent statue using just a penknife.
When did Rizal carve this statue? He enrolled at the Ateneo when he was eleven. He lived at the Ateneo as a boarder. He got an AB degree at 16 in 1977. That year, he enrolled at the Ateneo and UST, both in Intramuros and a few blocks from each other. He left the Ateneo when he was 17, certified by the Ateneo as Agrimensor (Surveyor). I guess he carved the image when he was about 14. He still had to study anatomy.
Rizal carved the statue for Fr Leonardo. Did Fr need one for himself, or did he want Rizal to develop his talent? Why did he ask Rizal to carve an image of the Sacred Heart and not of someone else, like Our Lady? Did he specify whose statue he wanted? Rizal was the Prefect of the Sodality of Our Lady.
What thoughts passed through Rizal’s mind as he carved? Did he have lectures of the Sacred Heart in mind? Did he research his subject? What did he know of the devotion to the Sacred Heart? What did his devotion, if any, to the Sacred Heart consist of? What does the actual statue say? What was the state of the devotion at the Ateneo? How did he think of carving a statue with a hole in the chest?
Fr Leonardo’s sorrow on failing to bring the statuette that he could not bring the statue with him resulted in the statuette staying in the Ateneo.
It was painful for the nameless Brother that Rizal refused to even look at his statue. Would he have a statue if the houseboy had not forgotten? Would Rizal have thought of his statue in his cell if the Brother had not brought the statue as Rizal left? Did the Brother on his own or had someone asked him to show it to Rizal? How did Rizal feel when he gently rebuffed the gesture of the Brother? Did he feel sad? Was it like meeting a girl friend he had outgrown?
On leaving his death cell, Rizal held to his heart, the statue of Jesus holding his heart against his heart.
*When Rizal received the statuette, he kissed it and placed it on the table
For I go where no slave before the oppressor bends,
At the incarnation, God emptied himself. On the cross he emptied his body
On leaving his death cell, Rizal pressed the heart of the statuette against
But now, Rizal had no need for an image. For he had with him the Risen
Rizal’s request to be shot facing the firing squad was refused. But with a heroic effort, he turned his body after he was shot and he fell face forward. To kiss Filipinas, his heart against the land.