Friday, November 23, 2007


The young man reading the inscription on the floor inside the Jose Rizal Shrine in Fort Santiago is, in fact, Rizal's great great great grandnephew, or fifth generation nephew. I was tasked to document his first visit to the Rizal Shrine a couple of days ago.

I was told by his aunt that the young man's father (who recently passed away), had facial features which strikingly resembled those of Jose Rizal's. Nonetheless, out of courtesy I opted not to reveal this young man's name or publish a picture that showed him facing the camera.

You see, from what I understand, it is their family's tradition not to publicly discuss their kinship with the country's national hero. The most tragic episode stemming from which occurred during the Second World War when the Japanese Secret Police or
Kempeitai tried to round-up the members of Rizal's clan to serve in the occupying forces' propaganda campaigns. Those who were found and refused to cooperate were brutally tortured or used as bayonet thrusting practice, and then shot to death.

Many more family members would have suffered such ghastly fate had not the puppet president of the country during the Japanese Occupation, who also shared Rizal's bloodline, intervened on their behalf at the great risk of jeopardizing his own life.

But on a lighter note, throughout the whole time I spent taking pictures of this young man in Fort Santiago, I couldn't help but think about Manolo Quezon's tongue-in-cheek essay on Jose Rizal's possible illegitimate sons Adolf and Mao. Although I'm certain that most of you have already read or heard about it, nonetheless, I'm compelled to bring it up it once again, for it makes a delightful read.

Click here to read the complete essay.

Enjoy the weekend everyone!


posted by Señor Enrique at 7:26 AM


Anonymous kyels said...

I was there and I read the inscriptions too. There are certain things in which mustn't be revealed and be kept private.


November 23, 2007 10:07 AM  

Blogger pusa said...

wow you've met jose rizal's bloodline! ;)
does this particular nephew look like rizal as well?

November 23, 2007 11:22 AM  

Blogger LAWSTUDE said...

Adolf and Mao Rizal. Reminds me of Da Vinci Code where the author fictionalized real accounts and made it appear as a fact. An interesting albeit hilarious read indeed.

November 23, 2007 2:04 PM  

Blogger luna miranda said...

I was laughing while reading Manolo Quezon's article.

Oh, do you know that Rizal was a leftist? Ambeth Ocampo made that conclusion after examining Rizal's 'karsunsilyo'. hahaha

November 23, 2007 2:47 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Now, didn't I say that it was a delightful read, Miranda? I'm glad you enjoyed it. Manolo is one of my favorite intellectuals and columnists. His TV show, "The Explainer" on ANC is a must to see as well. It airs on Tuesdays at 6pm.

I did mention to the young man's aunt that it was Ambeth Ocampo's essays/books that I used as resources for my blog articles on Rizal. She wasn't impressed by him ... hehehe. I didn't pursue it.

November 23, 2007 6:30 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Please save that URL, Lawstude because I've a feeling you might want to refer to it and even share it with friends in the future.

That essay is indeed one of Manolo's best :)

November 23, 2007 6:32 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Not at all, Pusa; however, even he claimed that his father looked very much like Jose Rizal :)

November 23, 2007 6:33 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

I completely agree with you, Kyels.

Have a wonderful weekend!

November 23, 2007 6:34 PM  

Blogger Sidney said...

I wonder why it took him so long to visit Jose Rizal's Shrine.
And if he is really a family member he should be proud about it.

November 23, 2007 8:17 PM  

Blogger NOYPETES said...

"Ang hindi magmahal sa sariling wika, daig pa ang hayop at malansang isda."

Masarap ang mga malansang isda di ba? at iyon ang katunayan ng pagiging isda, ang maging malansa. Kung walang isda di walang salitang vah?

Ang hayop na ligaw ay walang kinalaman sa ating sariling wika at talaga namang daig ng tao ang talino nila (ewan ko lang yung mga ibang politiko diyan)Siguro yung tinutukoy niya ay yung tulad ng mga pa-inglis-inglis pa sa Batasan pero balu-baluktot naman at kaya di sila nagkaka-intindihan.

Ang tanong ko ay bakit kinastila ni Rizal ang mga sulatin niya kung talaga ngang ang tukoy niya ay ang tangkilikin ng mga Pilipino ang sariling wika nila?...Porque-porque? Donde esta el sandok nakasuksok? en el extremo(culo) de Rizal?

The similarities in Adolf Hitler and Jose Rizal's hairstyle and their height(Napoleon complex?)are a few of the comparisons that might prove their genetic connection.

As for Mao Zedong and Jose Rizal? is like Espasol dipped in soy sauce theory of evolution:-)

Truly amusing essay by M. Quezon III

Jose Garcia Villa wrote this:

November 24, 2007 5:09 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Thank you for sharing this URL, Pete! I had read it once before; this is the second time, and still enjoy it, though, poignant.

As to why Rizal wrote his novels in Spanish, I do not know for certain, but I can only guess that he probably was hoping for a wider audience. We have to consider that Tagalog may not be so widely used and understood beyond the 100-mile radius of Intramuros. Let's not forget that hundreds of dialects used in the archipelago at that time, and such absence of a singular medium, the Spanish exploited to their great advantage -- "divide and conquer."

It may also be that he was optimistically expecting that Spain would someday implement and encourage a more benevolent "mental evolution" in the archipelago -- much more auspicious than the tenets espoused by the friars that enslaved the Indios and only promoted their indolence.

But nonetheless, his two books remain to be classics.

It is a witty and Letterman-like essay by Manolo. :)

November 24, 2007 6:42 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

'm sure he's proud of it, Sidney, but what do you expect from adolescents? They'd most often speak about their favorite computer/arcade games and comic book collections than their heritage. He was also born and still lives thousands of miles away across the Pacific Ocean; hence Fort Santiago may not be that accessible :)

Incidentally, while in New York I've had one or two friends who grew up with their parents constantly reminding them not to discuss in public just how filthy rich they are. Let me tell you, though quiet about the matter, they simply loved the fact that they have trust funds which would allow them to live luxurious lives a couple of times over. Point is, you can be proud of something without advertising it and thus only invite bad things from nefarious minds.

Incidentally, you've already met this kid's other aunt -- on the afternoon prior to our having been invited to a scrumptious dinner by the mysterious Belgian Ambassador ... hehehe!

November 24, 2007 7:02 AM  

Blogger Tina said...

senor, thanks for your tale about Rizal's relatives and the interesting essay of Quezon that's a clever
concoction indeed! Also I enjoyed your photos of MLQU and R.Hidalgo St.
I lived there in early 80's. Now I'm in the land of OZ.

November 24, 2007 9:14 AM  

Blogger Sidney said...

What a small world!

November 24, 2007 9:42 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

That's right, Sidney ... hehehe :)

November 24, 2007 10:04 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

What a coincidence, Tina. I was just in that area yesterday. Whoa!

Many thanks for your visits. I bet wherever you are now is much different from the crazed yet vibrant scenes of Quiapo, huh?

Btw, please check out Sidney's aesome Quiapo series posted on his photoblog -- My Sari-Sari Store.


November 24, 2007 10:06 AM  

Blogger Tina said...

Hi Sidney and senor, yeah I did viewed all your photo-essay I'd say
find a publisher and make a fortune
these are fresh ideas those could become textbooks or references there's so much to learn from your
creation/concept. Join forces or
collaborate. The street food some shots looked like Pasay Libertad. BTW
I finished secretarial course from mlqu,lived at 916 R. Hidalgo st at one of the old houses there turned
boarding house, wonder if it still
the same. Senor eric are you in Pinas for good? Till I hear from you again!

November 24, 2007 5:16 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

I'll take note of No. 916 Hidalgo, Tina, and the next time I find myself back in the neighborhood, will check for you if it exists still.

Sidney has a lot more comprehensive series in this area and as I've told him, he ought to seriously consider publishing those photos into a book.

Thanks, Tina!

November 24, 2007 5:34 PM  

Blogger Tina said...

Would be interesting if you could do that for me senor meanwhile I'll check on Sidney's comprehensive coverage. Thanking you,Tina.

November 24, 2007 8:49 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

I might be back in that area sometime next week, Tina. Will search for 916 :)

November 25, 2007 5:20 AM  

Blogger dave (",) said...

Interesting, a glimpse of history!

I wonder why this was a "task." Is this for that US-based paper? Are you their Manila correspondent now? Hehe..

Anyway, the aunt must've found Ambeth Ocampo irreverent, that's why.

November 25, 2007 7:34 PM  

Anonymous bingskee said...

ha ha that was one funny essay by Manolo. taking Noypetes'theory on hairstyle, di kaya kamag-anak ni Manolo si Rizal? ha ha just joking. :-)

November 25, 2007 9:57 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

I should have said "asked," Dave :) I guess it was the awesome dinner that I was treated to afterwards which made it seemed like some sort of reparation for my efforts.

As for Ambeth ... hmmm... I've a feeling I'll get to introduce you to the aunt when she returns to Manila this summer. We can then ask her more about it :)

November 26, 2007 5:02 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

No, not at all, I'm sure, Bing :)

Wasn't that some hilarious essay by Manolo? Hehehe!

November 26, 2007 5:04 AM  

Blogger reyd said...

Ambeth Ocampo - no comment ako diyan -- hehehe, except these @^&^$#$*&% hahaha!

I think I read Manolo Quezon's essay long time ago, I find it rather amusing and entertaining.
Buti walang feature si JPR na ala Limahong J/K hehehe, baka magalit yung mga kag-anak.
I've read so many things aobut JPR that came out lately. Or some authors ay mahilig lang talagang mag-intriga.
He is the recognized National Hero, then we have to leave it that way. Puwera yung lolo ko, his national hero is a Katipunan General from Bikol na hindi ko na matandaan ang pangalan.

November 29, 2007 1:52 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Hi Reyd,

You might want to check out "Swatting The Spanish Flies" by Margarita Ventenila Hamada. It is a critical commentary on "some sweet lies and bitter truths in Philippine history," as she claims it.

Intriguing read, indeed.

November 29, 2007 9:01 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said...


May 05, 2012 11:27 AM  

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Life in Manila as observed by a former New Yorker who with a laptop and camera has reinvented himself as a storyteller. Winner of the PHILIPPINE BLOG AWARDS: Best Photo Blog in 2007 and three Best Single Post awards in 2008.


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