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Jose Rizal
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    (June 19, 1861-December 30, 1896)
    Born in Calamba, Laguna, Philippines
    Filipino author, linguist, philosopher, poet, polymath, and reformist
    Author of 'Noli me Tangere' (Touch Me Not) and 'El filibusterismo' (The filibuster)
    Founded the civic organization La Liga Filipina
    Executed by the Spanish government ruling the Philippines (December 30, 1846)
    Full name is Jose Protacio Rizal Mercado Alonzo y Realonda
    Documents indicate that he was romantically involved with at least nine women.
    In one recorded fall from grace, he succumbed to the temptation of a 'lady of the camellias.'
    Several authors point out that some of his writings oppose violence while others support it.
    Some question his ranking as the nation's highest hero because he never fought on the battlefield.
    Some writers have noted that, despite his Chinese ancestry, Rizal's writings show an anti-Sinicism almost bordering on anti-Chinese racism.
    Aside from his Pinoy roots, he is also of Chinese descent.
    He was fluent in as many as 22 different languages.
    He studied both law and medicine in college.
    He was also an ophthalmologist, sculptor, painter, educator, farmer, historian, playwright and journalist.
    'Noli me Tangere' and 'El Filibusterismo.' his two most famous novels, helped turn many people in the Philippines against Spanish oppression.
    His writings often exposed the hypocrisy and corruption of Spanish colonialism.
    Upon his return to Manila in 1892, he formed a civic movement called La Liga Filipina, which called for more human and civil rights for Filipinos.
    While exiled in Dapitan, he built a school, a hospital and a water supply system, and taught and engaged in farming and horticulture.
    He died fighting for what he stood for.
    Every December 30th, the Philippines observes Rizal Day, celebrating the life of the man who helped bring Philippine independence.

Credit: Birdienest81

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