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Flores, Nicole S.

Dr. Camacho

12-0153

PS104
A Visit to the Rizal Shrine

When I went to the Rizal Shrine at Fort Santiago, I already expected that Jose Rizals life
would be colorful that his life was not all just about patriotism. One can anticipate that the
museum would exhibit Rizals numerous achievements and works throughout his life. Through
the visit to Rizal Shrine, I have learned to appreciate the Philippine history and the life of our
national hero, from being an excellent student to being a martyr.
Rizal as an Artist
Learning that Dr. Jose Rizal was also an artist made the most impression for me. He
sketched nature, persons, his best friend, his love interests, and even himself. It was also
fascinating to discover that our national hero was also excellent in making sculptures. The
sculpture that I liked the most was the one called, Triumph of Science over Death, in which a
naked woman is standing on a skull and holding up high a torch. In this sculpture, Rizal might
have wanted to say that the Filipinos should know more about the sciences and not just believing
superstitions. For Rizal, innocence from the science of things is death of knowledge, hence he
called his sculpture, Triumph of Science over Death.
The sculptures and other artworks proved that Rizal was not just a genius when it comes
to sciences, literature, and history, but he was also an artist. In addition, he integrated his love for
science with his love for art by making the sculpture I have mentioned earlier. Because of his
love for learning, Rizal can be considered a Renaissance man who lived during the nineteenth
century.
New Learnings
The Rizal Shrine is truly educational because I have learned more about the history of the
Philippines during the Spanish colonization and about the life of our national hero which were
not taught by my teachers in grade school and high school. Had it not been for my visit to Rizal
Shrine, I would not have known about Rizals Addition to My Defense. It consisted of twelve

arguments as to why he was not a founder of any revolutionary society, nor had he been part of
any rebellion. In fact, he himself had been opposed to it. When I scanned through the arguments,
there is no denying that Rizal was truly a learned man. The logic he used in his arguments were
mostly using contradictions and negative proofs that anyone who would read it would believe
him.
Another discovery that I got from the museum was that Rizals retraction was true. Two
Jesuit priests were with him the night before his execution, and together, they went to hear the
Mass. The priests also blessed him. It is great to know that he had broken down the walls
surrounding his heart, that he even surrendered himself to Gods will. Perhaps, another proof of
Rizals retraction was the book he gave to his wife, Josephine Bracken. It was titled, De La
Imitacion de Cristo. From the title of the book itself, Rizal must have wanted his wife to imitate
Christ and to become a better Christian.
In addition, I learned that Bracken, after Rizals execution, joined the revolutionaries in
Cavite. It is not hard to imagine how a wife must have been suffering from the death of her
husband whom she knew was innocent of the crimes Rizal were accused of.
It was sardonic to learn that the translation of tiro de gracia is shot of grace. I wonder
why it was a grace for the Spaniards to make sure that Rizal was dead by giving him one last
shot in the head. I found it very sadistic. Man would do anything even to the point of killing an
already dead person just for power and politics.
What are the weaknesses of a man of all hats?
Dr. Jose Rizal is considered a man of all hats because he had a very broad knowledge of
everything. Nevertheless, he was a human being, and therefore he was not perfect. He must,
then, had weaknesses.
It is possible that Rizal, just like many guys, had a soft heart for pretty girls. It even took
him to have nine love affairs before he had finally chosen a bride, whom we know as Josephine
Bracken.
As someone who is studying music, I wonder why Rizal never used music for courting
his love interests or for expressing his emotions. There was no music compositions made by
Rizal or any materials that are related to music that I had ever found at the Rizal Shrine. He was
very learned, so when it came to music, he must have known the basic theory of the said subject.

Is it possible, then, that music is not really his forte? It is a great desire for me to know if Pepe
can sing beautifully, for many women get attracted to men who have suave voices.