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He was late for registration and;
He was sickly and undersized for his age (11 years old) Upon the intercession of Manuel Xeres Burgos, nephew of Father Burgos, he was admitted at Ateneo. Jose adopted thesurname ³Rizal´ at the Ateneo because their family name ³Mercado´ had come under suspicion of the Spanish authorities. Ateneo was located in Intramuros, within the walls of Manila. He boarded in a house on Caraballo Street, 25 min walk fromthe college. The boarding house was owned by Titay, who owd Rizal family P300. Jose boarded there to collect part of the dept. (1872-1877)
Jesuits System of Education: Jesuits trained the character of the student by rigid discipline, humanities and religious instruction. They heard Mass earlyin the morning before the beginning of daily class. Classes were opened and closed with prayers. Students were divided into two groups:
1.Roman Empire-consisting of the internos (boarders) with red banners.
2.Carthaginian Empire-composed of the externos (non-boarders) with blue banners Each of these empires had its rank. Students fought for positions. With 3 mistakes, opponent¶s position could lose his position. 1st best emperor
Ateneo students uniform is consisted of ³hemp-fabric trousers´ and ³striped cotton coat´. The coat was called
rayadillo, andwas adopted as the uniform for Filipino troops during the days of the First Philippine Republic. Rizals First Year in Ateneo (1872-1873). Rizal¶s first professor in Ateneo was Fr. Jose Bech.
Rizal was placed at the bottom of the class since he was a newcomer and knows little Spanish.He was an externo(Carthaginians), occupying the end of the line. But at the end of the month, he become ³emperor´ of his Empire. Hewas the brightest pupil in the whole class, and he was awarded a prize, a religious prize.
Rizal took private lessons in Santa Isabel College during noon recesses to improve his Spanish language payingthree pesos for those extra lessons.
He placed second at the end of the year, athough all his grades were still marked ³Excellent´ Third Year in Ateneo (1875-76) June 16, 1875- He became an
internoin Ateneo.Fr. Francisco de Paula Sanchez, one ofhis professor, inspired him to study harder and write poetry. Rizal¶s best professor in Ateneo. Rizal described him as ³model of uprightness, earnestness, and love for the advancement of his pupils´.He returned to Calamba with 5 medals and excellent ratings Last Year in Ateneo (1876-77) Rizal- The most brilliant Atenean of his time, and was truly ³the pride of the Jesuits´.
Graduation with Highest Honors
March 23, 1877- Rizal, 16 years old, received from his Alma Mater, Ateneo Municipal, the degree of Bachelor of Arts, withhighest honors.The night before graduation, he could not sleep. Early morning on the day of his graduation, he prayed to the Virgin to³commend his life and protect him as he step into the world´.
Extra-Curricular Activities in Ateneo
He was an active member, later secretary, of Marian Congregation, a religious society. He was accepted becauseof his academic brilliance and devotion to Our Lady of Immaculate Conception, the college patrone He is also a member of theAcademy of SpanishLiteratureandtheAcademy of Natural Sciences.
He studied painting under Agustin Saez, a famous painter, and sculpture under Romualdo de Jesus. He continued his physical training under hi sports-minded Tio Manuel. Mi Primera In piracion (My Firt Inspiration)-
first written poem of Rizal, which was dedicated to his mother on her birthday.He wrote it when he was 14 years old. In 1875, inspired by Fr. Sanchez, he wrote more poems, as such 1. Felicitacion (Felicitation) 2. El Embarque: Himno a la Flota de Magallanes ( The Departure: Hymn to Magellan¶s Fleet) 3. Y Es Espanol: Elcano, el Primero en dar la Vuelta al Mundo (And He is Spanish: Elcano, the Fist to Circumnavigate the world. 4. El Combate: Urbiztondo, Terror de Jolo (The Battle: Urbiztondo, Terror of Jolo) In 1876, he wrote poems on religion, education memories and war. (e.g. In Memory of my Town)