Page 6The Story of José RizalPage 8
She was of Ilocano-Tagalog-Chinese Spanish descent, possibly having even a little Japanese blood, and her family counted lawyers priests government officials and merchants among its members. They boasted of one representative of the Philippines in the Spanish Cortes, and it is said to have been a youthful ambition of Dr. Rizal to fill some day the same position.

A new family name was adopted in 1850 by authority of the royal decree of the preceding year which sought to remedy the confusion resulting from many unrelated Filipinos having the same and a still greater number having no last names at all. The new name, however, was not taken from the government lists but appears to have been selected, as was the old one because of its appropriateness Rizal a shortened form of the Spanish word for "second crop", seemed suited to a family of farmers who were making a second start in a new home.

Francisco Rizal soon found that in spite of his legal authority for it the new name was making confusion in business affairs begun under the old name, so he compromised after a few years, on "Rizal Mercado". His mother-in-law, who lived in the neighborhood, at the same time adopted the name "Rialonda " and her children followed her example. So it was when José Ptotasio Rizal was baptized, the record showed his parents as Francisco Rizal Mercado and Teodora Realonda, another spelling of Rialonda.

St. Protasio, the chids patron, very properly was a martyr, and that a Filipino priest baptized and a secular archbishop confirmed him seem also fitting.

José's mother taught him his letters learned at three and his uncles and an aunt interested themselves in his, training until a young man named Monroy who had studied for the priesthood but never taken the final orders, came into the house as José's tutor.

The impression of his first reading lesson, which was the story of the foolish butterfly in Abbé Sabatier's "Children's Friend", was prophetic of a martyr,s fate, for the child envied the insect which had died for the sake of the light. Early the injustices and abuses daily to be seen Kalamba attracted his atttention and and he wondered if in the land across the lake, which to him then seemed

Page 6The Story of José RizalPage 8
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created: June 12, 1998
updated: June 12, 1998
APSIS Editor Johann Stockinger