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June 19, 2013 is the 152nd birth anniversary of Dr. Jose P. Rizal. Today, the Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office (PCDSPO) pays tribute to his life, works, and achievements through an online commemoration in the Presidential Museum and Library website, and its attached social media accounts in Facebook and Tumblr.

This page features the continuation of PCDSPO’s digital colorization project, with three new archival photographs digitally rendered in color. Also featured is Rizal’s celebrated toast to the painters Juan Luna and Felix Resurrección Hidalgo, published in the original Spanish and in the English translation, with a recording by Audie Gemora. A selection of essays from the Presidential Museum and Library archive likewise features Malacañan Palace’s role in the life of one of the greatest figures in our pantheon of heroes.


Rizal’s Homage to Luna and Hidalgo

Rizal's Homage to Rizal and Luna

“Luna and Hidalgo bring glory to Spain as well as to the Philippines; they were born in the Philippines, but they could have been born in Spain, because creative genius does not manifest itself solely within the borders of a specific country: it sprouts everywhere; it is like light and air; it belongs to everyone: it is cosmopolitan like space, life and God.”

From the toast delivered by Jose Rizal at a banquet in the Restaurant Inglés in Madrid, on the evening of June 25, 1884, in honor of the success of Juan Luna (winner of the gold medal for his painting, “El Expoliarium”) and Félix Resurrección Hidalgo (winner of a silver medal for his painting “Virgenes Cristianas Expuestas al Populacho”) at la Exposición Nacional de Bellas Artes de Madrid.

The excerpt of a recording linked above, as read by Audie Gemora, originally appeared in Volume 1 of 20 Speeches that Moved a Nation. Click to read the full text of the English translation of the toast; click here to read the toast in the original Spanish.


Photo Gallery

This famous photograph of Filipino propagandists in Spain featured the movement’s leading personalities: (left to right) Dr. Jose P. Rizal, La Solidaridad publisher Marcelo H. del Pilar, and Mariano Ponce.

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Jose P. Rizal was an eye doctor who received his medical degree from the Universidad Central de Madrid at the age of 23. He pursued further studies in the field of ophthalmology in Paris and Germany. In this picture, the Dr. Rizal is treating a European patient as a lady watches on. Historians, however, debate the authenticity of this photograph; some assert that it is a still from a now-lost silent film on Rizal.

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A testament to his cosmopolitan ways, Rizal was an avid fencer. Here is Rizal posing in fencing garb at the Paris home of his friend, artist Juan Luna, with fellow propagandist Valentin Ventura.

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Further Reading