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Chapter 2: Childhood Days in Calamba

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on 27 January 2015

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Transcript of Chapter 2: Childhood Days in Calamba

Earliest Childhood Memories
Devoted Son of Church
First Education from Mother
Calamba, “Cradle of a Genius”
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Rizal loved Calamba with all his heart and soul. In 1876, when he was 15 years old and was a student in Ateneo, he remembered his beloved town. Accordingly, he wrote a poem Un Recuerdo A Mi Pueblo ( In Memory of My Town)
Because he was frail, sickly, and undersized child, he was given the most tender care by his parents.

His father built a nipa cottage in the garden for him to play in the daytime.

Another childhood memory was the daily Angelus prayer. By nightfall, Rizal related, his mother gathered all the children at the house to pray the Angelus.

With nostalgic feeling, he also remembered the happy moonlit nights at the azotea after the rosary.

Pilgrimage to Antipolo
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Jose’s first teacher was his mother.

At the age of 3, Jose learned the alphabet and prayers from her.

Seeing Rizal had a talent for poetry, she encouraged him to write poems. She gave her all her love and all that she learned in college.

As Jose grew older, his parents employed private tutors to give him lessons at home. The first was Maestro Celestino and the second, Maestro Lucas Padua. Later, an old man named Leon Monroy, a former classmate of Rizal’s father, became the boy’s tutor.
On June 6, 1868, Jose and his father left for Calamba to go on a pilgrimage to Antipolo, in order to fulfill his mother’s vow which was made when Rizal was born.

First Sorrow
Of his sisters, Jose loved most little Concha. He was one year older than Concha. He played with her, and from her, he learned the sweetness of brotherly love.
"Ah, tenderchildhood, lovely town, Rich fount of my felicities." - Jose Rizal
Jose Rizal, just like Filipino boys, had many beautiful memories of childhood.

His was a happy home, filled with parental affection, impregnated with family joys, and sanctified by prayers.

In the midst of such peaceful, refined, God-loving family, he spent the early years of his childhood.

The story of the Moth
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Jose Protacio Rizal Mercado y Alonsa Realonda
Chapter 2: Childhood Days in Calamba
Of the story told by Dona Teodora to Jose, it was that of the young moth made the profoundest impression on him.

The tragic fate of the young moth, which died a martyr to its illusions, left a deep impress on Rizal’s mind.


The aya realted stories to Rizal children many stories about fairies; tales of buried treasure and trees with blooming diamonds, and other fabulous stories.

Another memory of his infancy was the nocturnal walk in the town, especially when there was a moon.

Recounting this childhood experience, Rizal wrote: “Thus my heart fed on sombre and melancholy thoughts so that even still a child, I already wandered on wings of fantasy in the high regions of the unknown.

He was thrilled, as a typical boy should,
by his first lake voyage. He did not sleep the whole night as the casco sailed towards the Pasig River because he was awed by “ the magnificence of the watery expanse and the silence of the night.

Rizal’s Three Uncles
Uncle Gregorio was a lover of books. He instilled into the mind of his nephew a great love for books. He taught him to work hard, to think for himself, and to observe life keenly.

Uncle Jose, who had been educated at Calcutta, India, was the youngest brother of Dona Teodora. He encouraged his nephew to paint, sketch, and sculpture.

Uncle Manuel was a big, strong, and husky man. He looked after the physical training of his sickly and weak nephew. He encourage Rizal to learn swimming, fencing, wrestling, and other sports, so that in later years Rizal’s frail body acquired agility, endurance, and strength.


Artistic Talents
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Jose had a soul of a genuine artist.

He drew sketches and pictures on his books of his sisters, for which reason he was scolded by his mother.

He carved figures of animals and persons out of wood.

He loved to ride on a spirited pony ( which his father bought for him) or take long walks in the meadows for him) or take long walks in the meadows and lakeshore with his big black dog named Usman.

In his room, he kept many statuettes which he made out of clay and wax. At one time, his sisters teased him: “Ute, what are you doing with so many statuettes?” He replied: “ Don’t you know that people will erect monument and statues in my honor for the future?”
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Prodigy of the Pen
Not only was little Jose skilled in brush, chisel, and pen-knife, but also in pen. He was born poet. His mother encouraged him to write poetry. At an early age when children usually begin to learn ABC, he was already writing poems.

The first known poem that he wrote was a Tagalog poem entitled Sa Aking Mga Kababata (To My Fellow Children).

Before he was eight years old, he wrote a Tagalog drama. This drama was stages in Calamba in connection with the town fiesta.


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Lakeshore Reveries

During the twilight hours of summertime, Rizal, accompanied by his dog, used to meditate at the shore of Laguna de Bay on the sad conditions of his oppressed people.

Young that he was, he grieved deeply over the unhappy situation of his beloved fatherland. The Spanish misdeeds awakened in his boyish heart a great determination to fight tyranny.

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Influences on Hero’s Boyhood
In the lives of all men there are influences which cause some to be great and others not. In the case of Rizal, he had all favorable influences, which no other chilld in our country enjoyed.

1. Hereditary Influence - According to biological science, there are inherent traits or qualities which a person inherits from his ancestors and parents.


2. Environmental Influence - According to psychologist, environment, as well as heredity includes affects the nature of a person.


3. Aid of the Divine Providence - Greater than heredity and environment in the fate of man is the aid of Divine Providence.

All Informations came from "Jose Rizal: Life, Works, and Writings
By: Gregorio F. Zaide [Revised Millennium Edition, 2003]
Chapter 2: Childhood Days in Calamba
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