Education

Education in Binan
  • During the time of Rizal, education was characterized by the 4Rs: reading writing, arithmetic, and religion.
  • Rizal, although he was born a physical weakling, became an intellectual giant.
  • His first teacher was his mother.
  • At the age of 3, Rizal learned to recite the alphabet and prayers.
  • Jose had private tutors to teach him lessons at home:  Maestro Celestino, then Maestro Lucas Padua.
  • Leon Monroy, who as a former classmate of Jose's father, taught the young boy Spanish and Latin.
  • When Leon Monroy died, Jose's parents decided to send him to a private school in Binan.
  • When Jose left for Binan, he was accompanied by his brother Paciano.
  • Jose lodged at his aunt's house in Binan.
  • Rizal's school in Binan was in the house of his teacher, Maestro Justiniano Aquino Cruz.
  • Pedro, the teacher's son, was not very fond of Jose.  He bullied Rizal, and this led to Jose's first school brawl.
  • Jose also took painting lessons in Binan, and was taught by an old painter named Juancho, his schoolteacher's father-in-law.
  • He was the best student in school, beating all the Binan boys.
  • His schooling in Binan lasted for a year and a half.
 Education in the Ateneo de Manila
  • Jose was sent to Manila four months after the friars Gomez, Burgos, and Zamora were martyred.
  • He studied in the Ateneo Municipal, which was under the supervision of the Spanish Jesuit priests.
  • The Ateneo Municipal was later named Ateneo de Manila.
  • Jose's father had intended him to study at Letran, but changed his mind and sent him to the Ateneo instead.
  • At first, the college registrar, Fr. Magin Ferrando, refused Jose's admission because the boy had registered late and he was sickly and small for his age.
  • Rizal was nonetheless admitted to the Ateneo with the help and intercession of Manuel Xeres Burgos, a nephew of the martyred priest.
  • Jose adopted the name Rizal to escape suspicion.  His brother Paciano had used the name Mercado, and was now known to the authorities as Jose Burgos' favorite student.
  • The quality of education in the Ateneo was more advanced.
  • Students were divided into two groups: the "Roman Empire" (boarders) and the "Carthaginian Empire" (non-boarders).
  • The best student in each empire was the emperor, followed by the tribune, then the decurion, the centurion, and the fifth best was the standard-bearer.
  • The Romans had red banners, and the Carthaginians had blue.
  • Jose's first professor at the Ateneo was Fr. Jose Bech.
  • To improve his Spanish, Jose took private lessons in Santa Isabel College at noon breaks.
  • Rizal's first favorite novel was The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas.
  • He won a medal in Latin.
  • Jose considered Fr. Sanchez as his best professor in the Ateneo.
  • He obtained the highest grades in all subjects and graduated with the highest honors.
  • When Rizal was 16 years old he had his first romance with Segunda Katigbak.  Unfortunately, the lady was already engaged to be married.  Rizal, as a shy and timid lover, failed to propose despite her encouragement.
Medical Studies at the University of Santo Tomas
  • After finishing one year in Philosophy and Letters, Jose transferred to the medical course.
  • He enrolled in UST for two reasons: (1) to appease his father, and (2) because he was still unsure of what career he should pursue.
  • Rizal took up medicine following the advice of Fr. Pablo Ramon, the Rector of the Ateneo.  He also did so to be able to cure his mother's growing blindness.
  • He finished a surveying course in the Ateneo, but was not given the title of Surveyor because he was still 17 and underage.
  • After finishing four years in the medical course, Rizal decided to study in Spain.  He did not seek his parents' permission for this, because he knew they would not allow it.

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