Jose Rizal’s ancestors and descendants
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