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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An Open Letter to School Principals, Teachers, and Parents

TAG: Jose Rizal's Education


As a youth don't waste your time in anything. Study first let your motivation is to Glorify God and to help your family. Don't waste the opportunity that is given to you.

In his advice, we can see the important of education. Just study hard, work hard and don't give up. Hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work hard:)

Tunay nga na pinahahalagahan ni Jose Rizal ang pagaaral. . Alam niya na ito ang mgging susi para mkaahon. .

I do greatly support what Rizal says to her sister Trinidad because education is the only wealth that our parents can give to us, and we should live life to the fullest while we are still young. Education is solution ! If we will not work hard on it, sooner or later we will suffer.

Rizal made her sister realize that she should not waste her time doing nonsense things. Trinidad should study hard for her to have a successful life.

As an adivice to Joanna, finishing a course is not very easy. You have to focus on your studies and take time to understand your major that you're taking up.

Rizal really value the importance of education. Question: Do Rizal still Believed that "The youth is the hope of our future" now a days?

for me yes, I think Rizal still believed that the Youth is the hope of our future because changes happens every day that's why our youth is more differ from the youth in Rizal's era. but still as a youth we can stand for our future.

i think Rizal will be disappointed of our youth today. now a days youth involves in many crime especially in drugs. they do not value education now a days.

One of the most renowned national heroes in Philippines is Dr. Jose Rizal. His life and works are now widely published in all parts in the Philippines. He fight for the Philippines right against Spaniards. one of that is our right to have an education. I believed that future of our youth is more lighten because of Rizal and i believed youth still can stand for what Rizal fight for.

In deed it is true that through reading you will gain such knowledge and have different point of views and studying, if you will be industrious it will be a good habit.

My advice to Jaycel about her studies is that just be industrious and have passion on what you are doing specially the course you chose and always pray at God.

Rizal's advice to his sister shows how much he valued education and at the same time it shows that he is concern to Trinidad cause he knew the importance of being educated. He wants her to study because it will serve as her treasure in the future.

My advice to Jaycel, know your priority,prioritize the most difficult subject for you and specially your major subject and same in loving studies first make it as an inspiration, and manage your time, you should have time in your studies so you won't fail in your academics and of course have time for yourself and last and most important is make Jesus and your family the center of your life.

My advice to Jaycel, education is the only thing your parents can inherited that no one can stole from you and besides not every are lucky to have wonderful school like yours so keep importance to it. All those hardship you are experiencing are just a spice to let you know the true life when you work so keep on studying and studying never give up and when you feel like giving remember we are here and God is with you always.

advice ku lng sayo insan, mging mcpag k lng at wag ttmadtamad sa pagaaral...pra dn sayo yn :)

Rizal is a model of being a good brother because he's very thoughtful that he is always concerned of his sister's studies.

Always focus on your studies and you will achieve all of your dreams. I know you can make it because you always prioritize your studies before other. :)

Jose Rizal's advice to her sister Trinidad was so meaningful. He want his sister to study rather than wasting time in a nonsense thing because he know that education is very important..

Rizal's advice to her sister Trinidad is very useful and important. We need to study first, try to make it a habit, by this we will learn lessons and apply it in our daily living. :D

Always try your best to understand your course coz it’s your choice so enjoy whatever it is. I hope someday you become a successful accountant. Whatever you do put love on it, and you will get what you wanted. I believe in saying there’s no impossible if gods will. I know tin you can make it; if that time comes I’ll be the happiest mom. You are the fruit of our hardships, so good luck and God bless. :)

Advice ko para kay Brian, pagbutihin mo ang pagaaral mo dahil mahirap magpaaral ng college..

For me being a older brother to Trinidad he is responsible to guide her in the right path . He know the importance of having a education in life that's why he never failed to remained trinidad. Education gives us a lot of knowledge in whatever aspects. The more you have knowledge the more you grow. Being educated and earning a professional degree become good citizen, more dependable worker. Without education a person is incomplete, so education makes man a right thinker and a correct decision – maker.

Advice to Lyssa , finishing course in today’s competitive world education is necessity for man after food, clothing, and shelter. It is the solution of our problem, it is the only education which promotes good habits, values . It is the strength to a person and education need by one's person.

Advice to Lyssa ,you need to finish your course/study because it can help you as a person to improvement for the greater good of mankind. Education helps you understand yourself better, it helps you realize your potential and qualities as a human being. It may helps you to be able to sharpen your skills.

My advice to you my dear cousin, just keep on studying until you reach your dreams in life and always pray to GOD, unahin muna ang pag-aaral, natural na man talaga yong mag loko ka sa sarili mo minsan,pro dapat limitado lang, pag naka graduate ka na at nag karoon ka na nang trabaho, LOVE your work kasi pag gnun na hindi mo love work mo, ehh wla ding mangyayari .. failed pa din, hndi ka successful.. tas wag kalimotan ang mga taong nag mamahal sayo na tulongan mo .. alam ko kaya mo yan, para lang yan sayo pagn naka tapos ka..

Rizal's advice to his sister Trinidad only shows how he gave value to education so much. His advice is very significant especially for us the students. It is right that we should learn to love the habit of reading because it surely can help us a lot. We can learn so much from it. And like Rizal, we should value education because it is a treasure that no one can take away from us. For education might lead us to our dreams.

You will know the value of education once you start to find a job so as you start to step in your college life be sure to do your best and make your college life meaningful. Let your professors and classmates know your name on a positive way. Life is too short to be passive. :) Fighting!!!

Ang maipapayo ko lang sau bilang kapatid ay ituloy tuloy mo lang ung determinasyon mong makatapos, nkikita ko nman kung gaano ka eager makatapos at makamit ung dreams mo sa buhay...basta relax ka lang at wag makalimot tumawag kay Lord pag may pagsubok na dumaan. Sabi nga nila papa at mama edukasyon lng ang pwedeng ipamana nila sten dahil hindi nman tau mayaman. Just keep the faith and always ask God's guidance in everything you do.

Jose Rizal as an educator advice his sister Trinidad, on how to be an effective learner.

Jose Rizal as an educator advice his sister Trinidad, on how to be an effective learner.

Establish a study habit, for example review all what you have learn today and finish your assignment as soon as possible , don't let you school works pile up.

The only thing that I can advice is to be energetic in learning and always bring yourself in loving what you are doing because in the end it will also loves you back.

Value your education too much because your parents and other members of your family work hard to give you a better future. Education cannot be bought and cannot be stolen, it will be yours for the rest of your life.This is your stepping stone to achieve your goals in life. So study well and focus and someday you will reap the fruit of your labor!

Best effort leads to best result. There is no such thing as failure if you will only do your best in everything.

Just always pray . Ask God for guidance in your school most especially in your studies.

I agree with what Rizal said to 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.” We teenagers should study as long as there is still time for us. There are many people out there that missed this chance and regret it in the end. They already don't have time and also their memory couldn't take it anymore. So for me, we should grab the chance and take before we regret it. Besides, we only live once.

Well, finishing a course will help you to make more money. Figures range from several hundred thousand to a million pesos or more over your lifetime. Regardless of the details, however, you'll have more income.

Graduating leads you to have a lifetime of increased opportunities. More job openings, more chances at promotions, and more flexibility with which jobs you take are just a few of the doors that will be opened when you have your degree in hand.

As a graduate student, you'll be more empowered as an agent in your own life. You'll be better educated about the things that have an impact on your day-to-day existence: knowing how to read a lease, having an understanding of how the markets will influence your retirement accounts, and handling the finances of your family. A college education can empower you in all kinds of ways to be more in control of your life's logistics.

When you graduate, you'll always be marketable. Having a college degree is becoming increasingly important in the job market. Consequently, having a degree now will open doors for the future, which will in turn open more doors and make you more marketable later. And the cycle continues. So graduating is important.

Graduating gives you a strong sense of pride and self. You may be the first person in your family to graduate from college or you may come from a long line of graduates. Either way, knowing you earned your degree will undoubtedly give a lifetime of pride to yourself, your family, and your friends. It boosts our self esteem.

Unlike Jose Rizal, Trinidad doesn't value education that much. All I can say is that Rizal wants a better future for his sister that's why he told those words to her. Rizal is right. While we are still young, we have all time to study and read because it is for us. Sort of preparation for the future.

“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” -Rizal’s advice to his sister, Trinidad I think what Jose Rizal was trying to tell his sister is that when an individual forms a good habit, everything will fall into place and it will pay off. Just like when it comes to education, when a student tries to at least make an effort to do some advance readings and answer practice questions, it can result to a better understanding of the concept and may also be rewarded with a 1.0 GPA. Jose’s advice to his sister shows how much he values education and as well learning in general. With Jose Rizal’s advice, readers can also perceive how close they are as siblings and how it was such a privilege to study.

Advice to Faye, kailangan makapagtapos ng isang tao ng pagaaral dahil yun na lamang ang kanyang kayamanan na hindi mananakaw. Para din yun sa kinabukasan mo para hindi ka maghirap. kailangan mo magfocus at kailangan mo rin isipin ang mga sakripisyo na nilaan para sayo at maging mabuti ka sa lahat.

Patunay lamang ito na mahal ni Jose Rizal ang kanyang kapatid dahil sinasabihan niya pa ito para lang mag-aral ng mabuti at para hindi maging mangmang sa bandang huli. Makikita nating pinahahalagahan niya talaga ang edukasyon.

For me Jose Rizal was right because when we are still young we should enjoy our education through reading. When we read, we learn about new things or it enhances our vocabulary. And by the time that we are graduated, we can use or we can apply all the things that we've learned.

ang advice ni rizal kay trinidad ay pagpapatunay kung gano kahalaga ang edukasyon sa kanya. nais nya lng na hikayating mag-aral c trinidad at masasabi kong hindi nagkulang si rizal sa pangangaral ky trinidad at iba nyang mga kptid ..

As a registered nurse, I just believe in myself that I can surpass all the challenges college has to offer. Just study hard and smart. Don't permit anybody to bring you down.

Rizal's words of wisdom to Trinidad is truly enveloped with love and patience. as a concerned brother, Rizal do really knew the value of education into an individual's future and success. and after sensing that study was not really Trinidad's thing, Rizal was perhaps hoping to encourage her by giving pieces of advice on how to study very well.


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