Jose Rizal's Education

Jose Rizal's Education
THE FAMILIAR STATEMENT that Doña Teodora was Rizal’s first teacher is not just a sort of ‘venerating’ his mother who sacrificed a lot for our hero. It was a technical truth.
In his memoirs, Rizal wrote, “My mother taught me how to read and to say haltingly the humble prayers which I raised fervently to God.” (Read: Rizal Early Education (and Jose Rizal Educational Background))
Education in Calamba
In Rizal’s time, seldom would one see a highly educated woman of fine culture like Doña Teodora who had the capacity to teach Spanish, reading, poetry, and values through rare story books. Under her supervision, Rizal had thus learned the alphabet and the prayers at the age of three. (Read: The Life and Legacy of Jose Rizal: A Hero of the Philippines)
Aside from his mother, his sister Saturnina and three maternal uncles also mentored him. His uncle Jose Alberto taught him painting, sketching, and sculpture. Uncle Gregorio influenced him to further love reading. Uncle Manuel, for his part, developed Rizal’s physical skills in martial arts like wrestling.
To further enhance what Rizal had learned, private tutors were hired to give him lessons at home. Thus, Maestro Celestino tutored him and Maestro Lucas Padua later succeeded Celestino. Afterward, a former classmate of Don Francisco, Leon Monroy, lived at the Rizal home to become the boy’s tutor in Spanish and Latin. Sadly, Monroy died five months later. (Of course, there is no truth to some students’ comically malicious insinuation that Rizal had something to do with his death.)
Education in Biñan 
Rizal was subsequently sent to a private school in Biñan. In June 1869, his brother Paciano brought him to the school of Maestro Justiniano Aquino Cruz. The school was in the teacher’s house, a small nipa house near the home of Jose’s aunt where he stayed. In Rizal’s own words, his teacher “knew by the heart the grammars by Nebrija and Gainza.”
During Rizal’s first day in Biñan school, the teacher asked him:
“Do you know Spanish?”
”A little, sir,” replied Rizal.
”Do you know Latin?”
”A little, sir.”
Because of this, his classmates, especially the teacher’s son Pedro, laughed at the newcomer. So later in that day, Jose challenged the bully Pedro to a fight. Having learned wrestling from his Uncle Manuel, the younger and smaller Jose had defeated his tormenter. Compared to bullying victims today, we can say that Rizal did not wait for anyone to enact a law against bullying, but rather took matters into his own hands.
After the class however, he had an arm-wrestling match with his classmate Andres Salandanan in which Jose lost and even almost cracked his head on the sidewalk. That only proves that merely being a ‘desperado’ won’t make you win all your fights.
In the following days, Jose was said to have had other fights with Biñan boys. (If his average was two fights per day, as what happened during his first day in Biñan school, then he might have been more active than today’s MMA [mixed martial arts] fighters). For his scuffles, he nonetheless received many whippings and blows on the open palm from his disciplinarian teacher.
Rizal may have not won all his brawls but he nevertheless beat all Biñan boys academically in Spanish, Latin, and other subjects. 
Education in Manila
There’s a claim that from Biñan school, Rizal studied in Colegio de San Juan de Letran. The story states that after attending his classes for almost three months in Letran, Jose was asked by the Dominican friars to look for another school due to his radical and bold questions.
However, standard biographies agree that Rizal just took the entrance examination in that institution but Don Francisco sent him to enroll instead in Ateneo Municipal in June 1872. Run by the Jesuit congregation (Society of Jesus), Ateneo upheld religious instruction, advanced education, rigid discipline, physical culture, and cultivation of the arts, like music, drawing, and painting. Ironically, this school which is now the archrival of La Salle in being exclusively luxurious, among others, was formerly the ‘Escuela Pia’ (Charity School)—a school for poor boys in Manila established by the city government in 1817.
Paciano found Jose a boarding house in Intramuros but he later transferred to the house of a spinster situated on Calle Carballo in Santa Cruz area. There he became acquainted with various mestizos that were said to be begotten by friars. (Jose perhaps had not thought twice to befriend them, believing that they were probably nice people—for after all, they were ‘mga anak ng pari’ [children of priests]).
To encourage healthy competitions, classes in Ateneo were divided into two groups which constantly competed against each other. One group, named the Roman Empire, comprised the interns (boarders) while the other one, the Carthaginian Empire, consisted of the externs (non-boarders).
Within an empire, members were also in continuous competition as they vied for the top ranks called dignitaries— Emperor, being the highest position, followed by Tribune, Decurion, Centurion, and Standard-Bearer, respectively. Initially placed at the tail of the class as a newcomer, Jose was soon continually promoted—that just after a month, he had become an Emperor, receiving a religious picture as a prize.
When the term ended, he attained the mark of ‘excellent’ in all the subjects and in the examinations. The second year, Jose transferred residence to No. 6 Calle Magallanes and he obtained a medal at the end of that academic term. In the third year, he won prizes in the quarterly examinations.
The following year, his parents placed him as intern (boarding student) in the school and stayed there until his graduation. At the end of the school year, he garnered five medals, with which he said he could somewhat repay his father for his sacrifices. On March 23, 1877, he received the Bachelor of Arts degree, graduating as one of the nine students in his class declared ‘sobresaliente’ or outstanding.
Some of his priest-professors in Ateneo were Jose Bech, a man with mood swings and somewhat of a lunatic and of an uneven humor; Francisco de Paula Sanchez, an upright, earnest, and caring teacher whom Rizal considered his best professor; Jose Vilaclara; and a certain Mineves.
At the Ateneo, Rizal cultivated his talent in poetry, applied himself regularly to gymnastics, and devoted time to painting and sculpture. Don Augustin Saez, another professor, thoughtfully guided him in drawing and painting, and the Filipino Romualdo de Jesus lovingly instructed him in sculpture.
In 1877, Rizal enrolled in the University of Santo Tomas, taking the course on Philosophy in Letters. At the same time, he took in Ateneo a land surveyor and assessor's degree (expert surveyor), a vocational course. He finished his surveyor's training in 1877, passed the licensing exam in May 1878, though the license was granted to him only in 1881 when he reached the age of majority.
After a year in UST, Jose changed course and enrolled in medicine to be able to cure the deteriorating eyesight of his mother. But being tired of the discrimination by the Dominican professors to Filipino students, he stopped attending classes at UST in 1882.
It’s worthwhile to note that Rizal’s another reason for not completing medicine in UST was that the method of instruction was obsolete and repressive. Rizal’s observation perhaps had served as a challenge for UST to improve in its mode of instructions.
If records were accurate, Rizal had taken a total of 19 subjects in UST and finished them with varied grades, ranging from excellent to fair. Notably, he got ‘excellent’ in all his subjects in the Philosophy course.
Education in Europe
On May 3, 1882, he left for Spain and enrolled in Medicine and Philosophy and Letters at the Universidad Central de Madrid on November 3. In some days of November 1884, Rizal was involved in the chaotic student demonstrations by the Central University students in which many were wounded, hit by cane, arrested, and imprisoned.
The protest rallies started after Dr. Miguel Morayta had been excommunicated by bishops for delivering a liberal speech, proclaiming the freedom of science and the teacher, at the opening ceremony of the academic year. Incidentally, the street in Manila named after Morayta (Nicanor Reyes Street today) has always been affected by, if not itself the venue of, student demonstrations.

In June of 1884, Rizal received the degree of Licentiate in Medicine at the age of 23. His rating though was just ‘fair’ for it was affected by the ‘low’ grades he got from UST.
The next school year (1884-1885), he took and completed the three additional subjects leading to the Doctor of Medicine degree.  He was not awarded the Doctor’s diploma though for failing to pay the fee and the required thesis.
Exactly on his 24th birthday, the Madrid university awarded him the degree of Licentiate in Philosophy and Letters with the grade of excellent (‘sobresaliente’). We can thus argue that Rizal was better as a ‘philosopher’ than a physician.
Wanting to cure his mother's advancing blindness, Rizal went to Paris. He was said to have attended medical lectures at the University of Paris. From November 1885 to February 1886, he worked as an assistant to Dr. Louis de Weckert. Through this leading French ophthalmologist, Rizal was thankful that he learned how to perform all the ophthalmological operations.
In February 3, 1886, Rizal arrived in Heidelberg, Germany. He attended the lectures of Dr. Otto Becker and Prof. Wilhelm Kuehne at the University of Heidelberg. He also worked at the University Eye Hospital under the guidance of Dr. Becker.
Under the direction of this renowned German ophthalmologist, Rizal had learned to use the then newly invented ophthalmoscope (invented by Hermann von Helmholtz) which he later used to operate on his mother’s eye. In Heidelberg, the 25-year-old Rizal completed his eye specialization.
Afterward, Rizal spent three months in the nearby village, Wilhemsfeld where he wrote the last few chapters of ‘Noli Me Tangere’. He stayed at the pastoral house of a kind Protestant pastor, Dr. Karl Ullmer, the whole family of whom became Rizal’s good friends. In August 1886, he attended lectures on history and psychology at the University of Leipzig. In November 1886, he reached Berlin, the famous city where he worked as an assistant in Dr. Schweigger’s clinic and attended lectures in the University of Berlin. 
In Berlin, he was inducted as a member of the Berlin’s ‘Ethnological Society’, ‘Anthropological Society’, and ‘Geographical Society’. In April 1887, he was invited to deliver an address in German before the ‘Ethnographic Society’ of Berlin on the orthography and structure of the Tagalog language. 
In Germany, Rizal met and befriended the famous academicians and scholars at the time. Among them were Prof. Friedrich Ratzel, German historian; Dr. Hanz Meyer, German Anthropologist; Dr. Feodor Jagor, the author of ‘Travels in the Philippines’ which Rizal had read as a student in Manila; Dr. Rudolf Virchow, German anthropologist; and Rudolf’s son, Dr. Hans Virchow, Descriptive Anatomy professor.
Especially after the hero’s martyrdom, these people who were the renowned personalities in the academe not only in Germany but also in Europe were so proud that once in their life they had known the educated and great Filipino named Jose Rizal.
Jensen DG. Mañebog, the contributor, is a book author and professorial lecturer in the graduate school of a state university in Metro Manila. His unique e-books on Rizal (available online)  comprehensively tackle, among others, the respective life of Rizal’s siblings and girlfriends. (e-mail:
In the comment section here, write your short comment on Rizal’s advice to his sister Trinidad: “Now that you are still young and you have time to learn, it is necessary that you study by reading and reading attentively… It is enough to form only the habit of study and later everything goes by itself.”
Invite at least three college graduate friends or relatives to leave in the comment section an advice about finishing a course. Print your comment and your friends/relatives’ advices. Submit the print out to your professor.
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TAG: Jose Rizal's Education


In his saying, There shows that he is so passionate when it comes to studying.

To my nephew henry praxidio, you should always value your study more than anything else.

like Rizal's advice to his sister, as we are young and as we have time we must value our education and We should not waste our time for something worthless for as in the future we have something to be proud of.

Rizal said that education is the most important thing that must a person or individual have. We are all born to be a professional someday and also be a good example to others. Give importance to our education and don't let the opportunity gone unless grab all the chances we have . :)

Mag aral ng mabuti habang may pang paaral pa sayo ang mga magulang mo. Alam mo naman kung gaano kahirap ang magtrabaho, kaya sana wag mo sayangin ang mga yon.

You should exert an effort even sometimes you must sacrifice a time, because someday you will find the success you are looking for.

just enjoy the course that you took and make a little effort for it. You are an artist and an artist can do anything not only to paint and to draw but also to manage a time and one thing an artist is very creative so don't forget that.

Advice ko kay Jerwin. Wag ka lang mawawalan ng pag-asa kasi alam mo naman na kapag natapos mo yung pag-aaral mo ay mag kakaroon ka ng magandang kinabukasan.

Advice ko kay Jerwin. Maging matyaga ka lang sa pag-aaral kahit mahirap ang college kasi yan ang puhunan mo sa magandang kinabukasan.

We must finish our studies to have a better future.

According to Dr.Jose Rizal's advice, we all know that education is the key to our success.But as long as we have a chance to study(because we can afford),we must give all our best.

According to Dr.Jose Rizal's advice, we all know that education is the key to our success.But as long as we have a chance to study(because we can afford),we must give all our best.

,,I want to explain Rizal's word to Trinidad in a simple taught, that is, Rizal wanted Trinidad to pursue her study until she was young for it may help her in the future.

(Paz) You young students must study hard and try to finish your course so there wil be less hardships in your future.

ced, i am counting to God to guide you always as you pursue your studies. just do all your best, focus, and God will do the rest.!!!

study hard. :) hbang lalo taung nhihirapan s course ntin tandaan lng n unti-unti dn taung lumalapit s pangarap ntin. :) and ung first priority plagi dpat c GOD lng. because He will never leave us nor forsake us. Hebrews 13:5 GOD BLESS

Jose Rizal really gave importance to his studies. It is because he knows that education is the only thing that no one can take it away from us. Also, it is his only way to prove to the Spaniards that Filipinos are not educated.

Study first, marry later.

(Nollen),, i can just suggest that students must finish their chosen course with all the best they can.

In his advice to his sister, Jose is too conceited to education. He wants his sister spend a lot of time in study. For him time is very important because it cannot be restored.

My advice to you is to be joyful in things that you will do.studying hard makes us better but we stressed...but when you enjoy it, you can be best in everything in you can reach what you want.

( Paz ) ahmm,, i can only say that you as a students must do your role which is to study and finish your course.

"Pursue excellence and success will chase you." - 3 idiots

Be focus on your study. Study hard to achieve your dreams. I believe in you Mark.

Do your best to achieve your dreams don’t be afraid Mark. God is always with you. :)

Pray always because it helps a lot to achieve your goals in life. Go go go Mark!

I can Advice to my friends relatives was Focus in our study. Like What my Parents tell us The Education is the only that we can give you.

I can Advice to my friends relatives was Focus in our study. Like what Rizal did he give important to his study.

He shows how education is really important in any person. Being educated is one of success in your life and a big trophy that you can be proud of it.

Dr. Jose Rizal gives a lot of importance to education. Because education is very important to our life.

Advice for Phil Kreisky Tobias. Have the inspiration. Will make sure that the course your taking is the course you want. Enjoy the hardship and dont take every challenges very serious. Hmm lessons are learned not only in the mind but also with all of your heart.

According to Dr.Jose Rizal's advice, we all know that education is the key to our success.But as long as we have a chance to study,we must do our best.

According to Dr.Jose Rizal's advice, we all know that education is the key to our success.But as long as we have a chance to study,we must do our best.

Advice para kay Phil Kreisky Tobias. Magsipag ka! sabi kasi ni tita matataas nga daw grades mo pero sobrang tamad ka daw. Mag aral ka ng mabuti. Wag puro chix asikasuhin. Higit sa lahat wag kalimutan ang Diyos.

Advice to kristel shane villardo, my dear sister it just show that like Dr. Rizal we motivate you. You should study and focus to your goal. Be inspired 

Advice to kristel shane villardo, just focus bunso. We all here just for you. If you need help, just ask ate and kua !! study harder and let God guide you.

Dr. Jose Rizal was a good adviser not only for her sister Trinidad but also to a student like me. He inspired me about his letter how to valued education will you are young.

Dr. Jose Rizal was a good adviser not only for her sister Trinidad but also to a student like me. He inspired me about his letter how to valued education will you are young.

Dr. Jose Rizal was a good adviser not only for her sister Trinidad but also to a student like me. He inspired me about his letter how to valued education will you are young.

Advice to kristel shane villardo, you should idolized Rizal. Don’t pressure yourself. Always remember education is keys to success. Kill the emotion and let your brain work DAW. God have a good plan in you. We are here to support. Don’t forget about that.

Dr. Jose Rizal likewise said that education is important to improve, lets motivate our diligent attitude and don't let laziness settle down once self.

You shouldn't waste your time in such unnecessary doings, you should do such things that will be given us more learning.

When you were educated, you could protect your once own self by means of your intelligent way. So enjoy your study, set your goal for your future and don't get tired to study.

You will be more respected when you were educated, kaya panindigan mo yang kurso mo :) study first, love later. Godbless and goodluck sa career.

According to Dr.Jose Rizal's advice, we all know that education is the key to our success.But as long as we have a chance to study,we must to our best.

In his sayings we could probably say that Jose Rizal value most the education and he believe that we should study hard, spent our time reading books while we are still young to expand our knowledge and don't waste time doing nothing.

he advice to her sister she need to study hard because education is very important to anyone dahi ito lng ang pwedeng ipamana sa knila ng mga magulang nila at itoy hindi mananakaw kanino man

Jose Rizal shows how important education is, as a youth and we are being supported by our parents let's study hard because in the future we will sow what we reap.

education is the important of us,education is the key to our success education is the most important because how we know to learned of all the things that you want to need a study...

Study hard as you have the opportunity to study. It is a training for a great responsibility in the mere future. So that you will be equipped when future comes.


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