RIZAL AND THE OTHER HEROES:
José Rizal was a Filipino polymath, nationalist and the most prominent advocate for reforms in the Philippines during the Spanish colonial era and its eventual independence from Spain. He is considered a national hero and the anniversary of Rizal's death is commemorated as a Philippine holiday called Rizal Day. Rizal's 1896 military trial and execution made him a martyr of the Philippine Revolution. He is the seventh of eleven children born to a middle class family in the town of Calamba, Laguna, Rizal attended the Ateneo Municipal de Manila and then traveled alone to Madrid, Spain where he studied medicine at the Universidad Central de Madrid, earning the degree of Licentiate in Medicine. He attended the University of Paris and earned a second doctorate at the the University of Heidelberg. Rizal was a polyglot conversant in at least ten languages. He was a prolific poet, essayist, diarist, correspondent, and novelist whose most famous works were his two novels, Noli me Tangere and El Filibusterismo. These are social commentaries on the Philippines that formed the nucleus of literature that inspired dissent among peaceful reformists and spurred the militancy of armed revolutionaries against 333 years of Spanish rule. As a political figure, Rizal was the founder of La Liga Filipina, a civic organization that subsequently gave birth to the Katipunan led by Bonifacio and Aguinaldo. He was a proponent of institutional reforms by peaceful means rather than by violent revolution. The general consensus among Rizal scholars, however, attributed his martyred death as the catalyst that precipitated the Philippine Revolution. Andres Bonifacio was the son of Santiago Bonifaciio and Catalina de Castro on November 30, 1863. Andres Bonifacio only finished primary school because at a young age of 14, his parents have died and he was forced to stop his studies and take care of his younger brothers and sisters. He worked as a messenger of...
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