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Rizal Day thought

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It was not José Rizal who got shot in Bagumbayan 117 years ago…

…it was Mother Spain. 😦

Is this famous Rizal execution photo real, or is it just a still from a 1912 movie? Click here to find out.


8 responses »

  1. Yes, it is authentic. It was first published in a book in 1898 so one hopes Mr Andrade has withdrawn the suggestion it was from a 1912 movie. The ‘close up’ is heavily retouched and the detail in it do not appear in the original photograph taken by Manuel Arias Rodriguez who documented Spanish military action in the Philippines. The original shows the Rizal figure to have dark skin. Photographs of executions in 1897 show trees. One further hopes Mr Andrade has reviewed his article and will update it should there be actual evidence of fakery.


    • Hi Bob. Thanks for the comment.

      Blogger/historian Arnaldo Arnáiz of With One’s Past visited Pío Andrade several days ago and was shown with more data proving that the Rizal execution photo is not authentic. Arnaldo promised to bring me to him this January. I will personally tell Pío about your comment and check out his explanation as well. Then I’ll let you know if he is able to convince me or not.

      My only stand on the issue is this: whether or not this photograph is fake, what bothers me the most is that, more often than not, it is almost always used as a tool to make Filipinos hate their Spanish past even more. At least, that is how I, as a Filipino student of history, see it.

      Best regards.


  2. A friend of mine is intrigued as to why I said that it was Spain and not Rizal who died in Bagumbayan 117 years ago. To those who read this and are also puzzled, this is my defensa

    The meaning of Rizal’s death, especially today, deals more with historical hispanophobia than patriotism, more about hatred of another country than love for one’s own country. Why was Rizal killed? I will not discuss who exactly was behind his execution because it is not readily clear (but I don’t doubt that those behind it were Freemasons). Mahabang discusión iyán, eh. To summarize, Rizal was found guilty of treason and rebellion (this was fully expounded in Manuel Leguineche’s Yo Te Diré: La Verdadera Historia de los Últimos de Filipinas”). And so the government executed the verdict to have him killed by firing squad as a traitor to Mother Spain. And he really was; Rizal himself admitted to that when he signed the retraction.

    Anyway, to my observation at least, our educators today teach us that the meaning of Rizal’s death was that he sacrificed his life for our country’s freedom. That claim is incomplete if not downright inaccurate and preposterous. At the onset, Rizal NEVER wanted to die. That is why he wrote his “Defensa” with the help of his lawyer, Luis Taviel de Andrade. Nick Joaquín had this to say:

    Rizal’s trial, says (León Mª) Guerrero, presents us with a dilemma. Rizal passionately defended himself from the charge that he was involved in or even sympathized with the Revolution — hardly an attitude we would honor him for. “Was he innocent or guilty?” asks Guerrero. “If innocent, then why is he a hero? If guilty, how can he be a martyr?”

    Let us all be honest with our feelings about this: the most overwhelming sentiment that we have imbibed from Rizal’s execution was a profound hatred of Spain. Love of country was just secondary, if at all. If our educators purpose of teaching us Rizal’s death is to instill patriotism in us, then they have all failed. Who today really loves his own country? Whenever you litter the streets with candy and junkfood wrappers and cigarrete butts, is that love of country? Whenever you shove your gun at somebody else’s face during a vehicular traffic altercation, is that love of country? Whenever you wear skimpy clothing in public on the pretext that “if you have it, flaunt it”, is that love of country? Whenever you prefer to travel to other countries rather than touring your own, is that love of country? Whenever you steal from the nation’s coffers, is that love of country? Whenever you speak in English and belittle or even demean the Spanish language, did Spanish-speaking Rizal and his death teach you that? Is that love of country?

    So who really loves his country today because he learned it from Rizal’s so-called “sacrificial death”?

    Truly, the real loser here is Mother Spain. And not just that but our own national identity. Because whether we like it or not, our national identity was forged for 333 years under the mantle of Spain. Remember that Spain is no longer in our country. So whenever we attack our Spanish past, we are shooting our own foot.


  3. “It was not José Rizal who got shot in Bagumbayan 117 years ago…

    …it was Mother Spain.

    Even more….It was not Jose Rizal who got shot in Bagumbayan 117 years ago…
    … it was the local spanish government on Filipinas…which was likely to be full of filipinos…maybe afraid of their statu quo


  4. “what bothers me the most is that, more often than not, it is almost always used as a tool to make Filipinos hate their Spanish past even more. ” That is irelevant to the issue of whther or not the original photo is a fake. Show me evidence based on the original photograph and I will consider it, so blowups based on a retouched picture from a book simply isn’t evidential.

    I should point out that I spent many years in photographic research with a company making photographic chemicals. I do not say so in order to pretend authority on the issue, anything I say must be based on the evidence I present.


    • It is still relevant, Bob. What I mean is that whether or not the photo is fake, the emphasis is always put on the execution of Rizal. It’s all about the execution, not exactly on the photo’s authenticity. Because there seems to be some sort of “movement” to heighten Filipino anger, not patriotism per se, against the Spanish regime who “murdered” their “innocent” hero. Hence, the real issue here is pumping up emotions of hate. Because seeing the actual deed on photo heightens up emotions than just reading about it. However, knowing where you are coming from, I expect that you will still insist on its irrelevance.


  5. Lourdes M. Ceballos

    The martyrdom of Rizal is traced neither to Spain nor the Vatican in general, but to the Catholic Spanish powerful but unjust local authorities in the Philippines at the time.



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