PACIANO A. RIZAL
Don Paciano Mercado Rizal y Alonso was the only brother of Dr. Jose Rizal. Born in Calamba, Laguna on March 7, 1851, he was the second of the eleven children of Don Francisco Mercado Rizal and Doña Teodora Alonso.
He learned his first letters and prayers from his mother who was a highly educated and cultured woman. Later, he was sent to Biñan, Laguna to study Latin under Maestro Justiniano Cruz. Then he was brought to Manila and studied for some years in the Colegio de San Jose. While in the city, he lived and worked with Fr. Jose A. Burgos, a strong advocate of the secularization movement, which the Spanish friars greatly opposed. The Spanish priests took advantage of the mutiny by workers of the Cavite Arsenal to get rid of Father Burgos. They implicated him to have a hand in the mutiny and as a result, Father Burgos was hanged to death in Bagumbayan in February 1872. the injustice done to Father Burgos could have made the liberal-minded and outspoken Paciano in denouncing the abuses of the friars.
Early on, Paciano, being the elder son, was given responsibilities in the farm and in watching his younger siblings, particularly Jose, who was ten years younger. He acted as Jose’s guardian in school. Paciano had a crucial role in Jose’s going to Europe to study in 1882. With an uncle, Antonio Rivera, he helped Rizal sail to Europe and took responsibility in telling their parents about Jose’s leaving and in sustaining the financial needs of his brother abroad. For five years, he kept sending his brother a monthly pension of 50 pesos later reduced to only 35.
Paciano was in fact the earliest in the family to chafe under the misrule of the Spaniards. As a student at the Colegio de San Jose, he was prevented from taking his final examinations because of his known closeness with Father Burgos and for denouncing the abuses committed against his...