Saturday, July 09, 2011


(Photo of Jose Rizal's execution taken by one
Manuel Arias Rodriguez
Courtesy of Norman Sison)
A Facebook friend who is a history buff shared this picture with the note that Dr. Jose Rizal, the Philippines' national hero, was actually shot by Filipino troops. Behind these Filipino soldiers were Spanish army troops who were there to insure that the Filipinos would do the job.

As 2011 marks our national hero's 150th year, I mentioned this tidbit of history to my 8-year old daughter.

"But I know that already!" she exclaimed. "Cesar Montano was in our school and there was a re-enactment of Dr. Jose Rizal's execution," she continued. I could only nod as she went on saying, "Some of the older kids played as members of the Filipino troops while the others played as Spanish soldiers."

Actor Cesar Montano as J. Rizal
(F with her classmates and "Dr. Jose Rizal")*

She probably would not have remembered this historical detail if she simply read it from a book. But to witness a re-enactment of Rizal's execution, I guess that's difficult to forget!

Now, this is one of the things I like about F's non-traditional, progressive school. And it's not the showbiz part. Lessons are presented and discussed in interesting, innovative and creative ways. Lessons and homeworks are engaging and never overwhelming. As such, F is always eager to learn. In fact, she loves going to school so much that she is extremely disappointed whenever classes are suspended.

I just hope that the next time F's school invites Cesar Montano to re-enact Rizal's execution, the parents are invited as well. After all, who wouldn't want to see "Rizal" in action? :)

*To protect the privacy of the other children, I did something to blur their faces. As I'm not a techie, that's the best I can do.)


  1. Hi. Spanish troops employed Filipinos in the security forces to control the country because there were never that many Spanish soldiers here.

    It was easy to do that in those days because Filipinos then didn't have a sense of nationhood. We were a collection of islands, tribes, ethnic groups, languages and dialects -- just as today.

    They also used the Catholic Church, via religion, to keep the natives subservient. Often, the Spanish friar was the only colonial presence in far-flung towns.

  2. Thanks for the additional info Norman. :)



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