Jose Rizal and the month of June

HISTORY MATTERS - Todd Sales Lucero - The Freeman

June holds a special place in Philippine history, not least because it marks the birth of the national hero, Jose Rizal. Today, we celebrate his 163rd birth anniversary. While it’s only a non-working holiday in Rizal's home province of Laguna, the significance of this date goes beyond mere coincidence.

Rizal’s ancestral and family ties to June

Rizal’s Chinese ancestors had significant events occur in June. His great-great-grandfather Domingo Lamco was baptized on June 9, 1697, in Manila, and passed away on June 11, 1756, in Biñan, Laguna. His father-in-law, Agustin Chin-co, was baptized on June 22, 1690, in Binondo, Manila, while Domingo’s wife, Ines de la Rosa, died on June 24, 1752. Rizal’s grandfather, Juan Mercado, was baptized on June 14, 1772, in Biñan. These ancestral connections to June might appear coincidental at first glance, but they weave a narrative that places significant family milestones within this month. Each date serves as a historical marker, tying Rizal’s lineage to June in ways that add layers to his heritage and identity.

Rizal’s immediate family also had numerous June connections. His parents, Francisco Rizal and Teodora Alonso, married on June 28, 1848, in Calamba, Laguna. Their union on this date adds to the tapestry of June's importance in Rizal’s life.

His eldest sister, Saturnina Mercado, was born on June 4, 1849. The births, marriages, and even deaths within Rizal’s family in June further highlight the month’s significance. Three of his sisters married in June: Narcisa on June 6, 1875, Maria on June 5, 1886, and Soledad on June 23, 1890. Narcisa passed away on June 24, 1939. Paciano Rizal’s only child, Emiliana, was born on June 29, 1888. These dates not only mark personal milestones but also reflect the intertwined lives and destinies of the Rizal family and the continuous thread of important family events in June underscores how deeply this month is embedded in the Rizal family history.

Rizal’s romantic connections

Even Rizal’s love life had June ties. Suzanne Thill, previously identified as Suzanne Jacoby, arrived in Brussels on June 13, 1881 where she would later meet Rizal. Their brief yet meaningful connection left a mark on Rizal’s emotional life, with Suzanne moving to Vorst, Brussels, on June 16, 1916 where she eventually died.

Leonor Rivera, often considered the love of Rizal’s life, married Charles Henry Kipping on June 17, 1891, in Dagupan, Pangasinan. Leonor’s son, Carlos Kipping, died on June 14, 1956, in Camiling, Tarlac. These personal and romantic milestones add emotional depth to Rizal’s life story and highlight how June remained significant even in matters of the heart.

Finally, on a national level, significant events also took place in June, further cementing the month’s importance in Rizal’s legacy. President Elpidio Quirino revised the earliest Rizal Day law through Republic Act No. 229 on June 9, 1948. This act mandated a more solemn celebration of Rizal Day, ensuring that Rizal’s contributions to the nation were honored with the respect they deserved. This revision of the law was not merely a legislative act but a reaffirmation of Rizal’s enduring legacy. By mandating a solemn celebration, it acknowledged the profound impact of Rizal’s life and works on the Philippine nation.

While one might argue these events are pure coincidence, it’s hard to ignore the strong connections Rizal, his family, and even his romantic interests had with the month of June. This cluster of dates adds an intriguing layer to the study of Philippine history, making it more engaging. The recurrence of significant events in June suggests a deeper, almost poetic connection between Rizal and this month. These remind us that history is often more than a series of isolated events. It’s a tapestry of interconnected lives and dates that, together, tell the story of a nation.

Happy birthday, Jose Rizal!

vuukle comment




  • Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

Get Updated:

Signup for the News Round now

or sign in with