Rizal’s hometown was in Calamaba, Laguna. It is a typical province with serene atmosphere to which Rizal admired as he even wrote for it in his poem Un Recuerdo A Mi Pubelo (In Memory of my Town). He wrote this when he was at the Ateneo at age of 15.
Rizal already possessed artistic and literary talent even as a child. At the age of eight, he wrote his first poem in his native language. The poem was entitled: Sa Aking mga Kababata which tells of his early nationalistic fervor because its subject was for the love of country and native language.
One time, when most of his siblings fell asleep early, Dona Teodora told Rizal one of his early bed stories: the story of the moth where the moth died because of hardheadedness. The moth was so much attracted to the light. This had profound impression on him and only later would he know that he would have the same fate as that of the main character of the story –that he will die for the sake of the light.
In Binan, Rizal had his first formal schooling under his teacher whom he described as “tall, thin, long necked, with a sharp nose and a body slightly bent forward. Maestro Justiniano. He enjoyed his days at school, but he was not able to escape the bullies to which he had some quarrels and little boys fight. Rizal was a balanced student. He ahd extra-curricular activities and he also excelled in academics.
Rizal matriculated at Ateneo Municipal later renamed as Ateneo de Manila, which was a prestigious and excellent college for boys. He had his happy days at Ateneo. He was one of the best students of the college and was even dubbed as “pride of the Jesuits”
Students in the college where Rizal entered where divided into two groups namely the externos as Carthaginian Empire and internos as Roman Empire. Internos were the dormers and externos were the ones who boarded outside.The best student among the two groups were held to be the Emperor.
It was at the Ateneo... [continues]
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