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Sep 28th
Home Sections History A Filipino Web-Channel© Newsvideo: The Hero with Many Faces
A Filipino Web-Channel© Newsvideo: The Hero with Many Faces PDF Print E-mail
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Sections - History
Monday, 03 January 2011 12:33



Member, Asian-American Journalists Association


Jose P. Rizal Is the National Hero with Many Faces, Talents and Skills


Before there was Mahatma Gandhi, there was Jose P. Rizal. Before there was Martin Luther King, there was Jose Rizal. In poetry, before there was Robert Lee Frost, there was Rizal. In medicine, before there was Charles Everett Koop, there was Rizal. In ecology, before there was Al Gore, there was Rizal. In the field of habitats for humanity, before there was Jimmy Carter, there was Rizal. And before there was Hugh Hefner, there was Jose P. Rizal—Bobby Reyes


T hus, the newsvideo starts with Bobby Reyes’ 78-word biographical sketch of Jose P. Rizal, the Philippines’ foremost national hero. It is probably – to my limited knowledge – the shortest but encompassing description of the Filipino hero with many faces, talents and skills.


I suppose we all grew up with the familiar face of Jose Rizal on the cover of Noli Me Tangere. But in the city of Toronto, Ontario Province of Canada, I found out that Dr. Rizal has three different faces.


Find out the different faces of Dr. Rizal at this YouTube© video: &feature=mfu_in_order&list=UL href="/&feature=mfu_in_order&list=UL">&feature=mfu_in_order&list=UL

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Comments (7)
Pareng Romy:

That was interesting -- those many different faces and images of Jose Rizal. I suppose those different sculptors and painters who sculpted and painted him had also different ideas on how Rizal looked like, thus those various and different images of our number one national hero. Personally, I like that "classic" image of him that graces his Noli Me Tangere book.

I have a great admiration for this man: of his many talents and unquestioned love for the Filipino people and for our Motherland. But something bothers me though about the plot of his second book, El Filibusterismo. Because it seems that the plot of El Fili has a glaring similarity to the plot of another book, The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas.

Both main characters in those two books -- Crisostomo Ibarra in El Fili and Edmond Dantes in The Count found sizable amount of TREASURES, which were used as instruments in exacting REVENGE. I wonder who plagiarized who. Was it Rizal? Or, was it Dumas?

I hate to think that it was Rizal who copied the plot. But then, I also hate to think that it was Dumas who did it. Both books are world-renowned classics. Forgive my ignorance, but can you please clear me on this?

Jesse Jose
Seattle, WA
Jesse Jose wrote: "Forgive my ignorance, but can you please clear me on this?" (Snipped)

Pareng Jesse,

Just like you, I am on the dark on this. But you raised a valid point. However since both novels are accepted for what they contain, it should be good enough to sideline the issue of who copied who. For all we know, neither did.

Rizal's novel was based on the prevailing situation at that time. I haven't read much of Dumas' Count of Monte Cristo and perhaps I need to research a little bit to be able to come up with an intelligent response to your question. I suppose our grand knight Bobby Reyes would be able to give some insights. Thanks and best regards,

Romy Marquez
Dear Romy and Ka Jesse and Friends:

There were other individuals who have raised before Ka Jesse's valid question. Almost all of the Knights of Rizal and other Rizalists have evaded the issue.

But here are some points to consider:

1.0 Alexandre Dumas (27 July 1824 – 27 November 1895) was born and died ahead of Jose Protacio Mercado Rizal (June 19, 1861 -- Dec. 30, 1896).

2.0 "The Count of Monte Cristo (French: Le Comte de Monte-Cristo) is an adventure novel by Alexandre Dumas, père. It is often considered to be, along with The Three Musketeers, Dumas' most popular work. The writing of the work was completed in 1844. Like many of his novels, it is expanded from the plot outlines suggested by his collaborating ghostwriter Auguste Maquet.[1]" -- data from Wikipedia.

2.1 Dumas' obra maestra was completed in 1844, roughly 17 years before Rizal was born.

2.2 But even Dumas had a ghostwriter. But then as my journalism professors in San Beda said, "Almost all ideas have been written before, especially as narrated in the Bible, the Torah and the Koran. It is almost impossible to write an original story. One can only re-write a story already previously written and the writer can add a twist or two or even an O'Henry (surprise) ending.

2.3 While I am not saying that Rizal was the direct ascendant of the Perrytale writer (who copies a lot from the Wikipedia and other search engines and passes them off as his own original writing), certainly our national hero was inspired (again) by European history and other events and characters.

2.3.1 According to my grandfather-in-law, Don Belong de los Reyes, Rizal's line in the Fili ("Today's slaves are tomorrow's tyrants") was actually copied from a lesson derived from the French Revolution (1789–1799). Remember that some of the leaders of the French Revolution had their heads guillotined also, after they fought the others for supremacy and lost. This happened months after they guillotined first the French king and queen and most of their court members. History keeps on repeating itself. Even the NPAs in the Philippines eliminated too some of their comrades as a means of cleansing the revolution. The same happened in China during the Cultural Revolution and in other countries, too.

Since Rizal took his literary secrets to his grave, then we can only make educated guesses. And your guess, Ka Jesse, is as good as Romy's, which is as good as mine. Or as good as Joseph's or Bart's.

And if I may direct you to the 78-word biographical sketch of Dr. Rizal, which Romy featured in his newsvideo, I may write this line when I re-do Romy Marquez's biography for our coming souvenir program, "Before there was Hugh Hefner, there was Jose P. Rizal and after them came Romeo P. Marquez . . ." LOL.


Roberto "Lolo Bobby" Reyes y Mercado
4 Monday, 03 January 2011 21:26
Lolo Bobby,

(Snipped) I don't believe Dr. Jose Rizal plagiarized Alexander Dumas' Count of Monte Cristo. If you think that it is plagiarism then you are altering its true meaning.

Don Azarias
5 Monday, 03 January 2011 21:29
Dear My Friend Don:

I never used the word "plagiarism" (whether as a noun or a verb, to plagiarize) in my e-mail addressed to Ka Jesse and Romy and to the six of you as the other recipients. Please read it again. I respect your opinion but I even titled the subject matter: "Re: Let Us Just Say Rizal Was Inspired by 'The Count of Monte Cristo'." So, please don't put words into my postings because it is like putting words into my mouth and I don't need mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. LOL.

Mabuhay and thanks but no thanks to your commentary,

Lolo Bobby
6 Monday, 03 January 2011 21:47
Thanks Romy for the Video of our national hero. Yes Dr. Rizal has new faces and it depends on who was the artist who created the work. But we do have lots of his portraits and I still do not understand why the artists do not faithfully copy his picture. He was a Malayan like you and me and, therefore, his nose won't be a Caucasian nose.


(As originally posted in the This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it )
7 Tuesday, 04 January 2011 00:49
Dear Romeo Marquez,

Thank you for the video its very informative, any reading on JPR is good reading, the pictures nice as well.

I guess that how Rizal really looked like will never be known, but from the pictures, they all are very near the same.

Regardless of how many Faces, Talents and Skills he had, his heart was in the right place. If all follow his ways the world could be a better place.

Keep up the good work.


Sir Zane M. Thirlwall KCR
Deputy Regional Commander
Order of the Knights of Rizal
Middle East & Africa Region

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