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The Death of Jose Rizal

Updated on December 21, 2009

After the kangaroo trial, Rizal was escorted to his cell in Fort Santiago to make use of his remaining time. His last 24 hours was his busiest life – as if trying to meet the deadline.

Last hours of Rizal. At 6:00 A.M., December 29, 1896, Captain Rafael Dominguez, read the death sentence to Rizal to be shot at the back by a firing squad at 7:00 A.M. in Bagumbayan.

At 7:00 A.M., an hour after the reading of the death sentence, Rizal was transferred to the Prison Chapel.  His first visitors were Father Miguel Saderra Mata and Father Luis Viza.

At 7:15 A.M., Father Saderra left. Father Viza handed over the Sacred Heart of Jesus carved by Rizal in Ateneo.

At 8:00 A.M., Father Rosell arrived to relieve Father Viza. They joined at breakfast. Lt. Luis Taviel de Andrade came and Rizal thanked him for his gallant services.

At 9:00 A.M., Fathers Jose Vilaclara (teacher in Ateneo) and Vicente Balaguer (Jesuit priest in Dapitan) visited the hero. After them came the Spanish journalist, Santiago Mataix, interviewed Rizal for his newspaper El Heraldo de Madrid.

From 12:00 A.M. (noon) to 3:30 P.M., Rizal was left alone in his cell. He took his lunch, after which he was busy writing. It was probably during this time when he finished his farewell poem and hid it inside his alcohol-cooking stove. (Not lamp as some biographers erroneously assert) which was given to him by Paz Pardo de Tavera. At the same he wrote his last letter to B lumentrit.

At 3:30 P.M., Father Balaguer returned to Fort Santiago and discussed with his about his retraction of the anti-catholic ideas in his writings and membership in Masonry.

At 4:00 P.M., Rizal’s mother arrived. He asked forgiveness, they were both crying when the guards separated them. Shortly afterwards Trinidad entered the cell to fetch her mother. As they were leaving Rizal whispered that “there is something inside the alcohol cooking stove” Trinidad understood. This “something” was Rizal’s farewell poem.

After the departure of Dona Teodora and Trinidad, Fathers Vilaclara and Estanislao march entered the cell, followed by Father Rosell.

At 6:00 P.M. Rizal received a new visitor, Don Silvino Lopez Tunon.

At 8:00 P.M., Rizal had his last supper. He informed Captain Dominguez that he forgave his enemies, including the military judges who condemned him to death.

At 9:30 P.M., Don Gaspar Centano, the fiscal of the Royal Audiencia of Manila, visited Rizal. As a gracious host, Rizal offered him the best chair in the cell. After a pleasant conversation, the fiscal left with a good impression of Rizal’s intelligence and noble character.

At 10:00 P.M., Father Belaguer to Rizal submitted the draft of the retraction sent by the anti-Filipino Archbishop Bernardino Nozaleda for signature, but he rejected it because it was too long and he did not like it. A shorter one was presented later which was prepared by Father Pio Pi, which was acceptable to Rizal. Rizal then wrote his retraction, in which he abjured Masonry and his religious ideas, which were anti-catholic.

At 3:00 o’ clock in the morning of December 30, 1896, Rizal heard mass, confessed his sins, and took the Holy Communion.

At 5:30 A.M., he took his last breakfast. After this, he wrote two letters, for his family and other one for his brother Paciano. It was also then, when his wife Josephine Bracken arrived accompanied by Josefa. (Sister of Rizal). With tears in her eyes, she bade farewell. Rizal embraced her for the last time and gave her his last gift – a religious book, Imitation of Christ, which he autographed: “ To My Dar Unhappy Wife, Josephine”.

6:00 A.M., He wrote another letter to his beloved parents, asking for forgiveness for the sorrows that he had given them, and thanking them for their sacrifices to give him a good education.

At 6:30 A.M., Rizal was prepared for the execution. A trumpet sounded announcing his forthcoming execution. With four soldiers as advance guards, Rizal a few meters behind walk calmly towards his slaughter place, accompanied by Lt. Luis Taviel de Andrade, two Jesuits Priests, and followed by more soldiers behind him. He was dressed in black suit, with a black derby hat, black shoes but with white shirts and black tie.

Like any execution by muskertry, muffled sound of drums rent the air, with the group marching solemnly and slowly. Near the field a large group of spectators was out probably to see how a hero dies or to make it sure that Rizal will die.

As they were walking to the field, Rizal looked at the sky and made a remark to one of the priests:

“How beautiful it is today, Father. What morning could be more serene! How clear are Corregidor and the mountains of Cavite! On morning like this, I used to take a walk with my sweetheart.”

While passing through in front of Ateneo, he asked one of the fathers, if the college towers were that of Ateneo’s, which was affirmed by one of the priests.

In the Bagumbayan Field, the group stopped and he walked slowly to where he was told to stand-on a grassy lawn between two lampposts, overseeing the shores of the beautiful Manila Bay.

He took time to bid farewell to his companions, and firmly shook their hands. One of the priests blessed him and offered a crucifix for him to kiss, which he did.

He then requested the commander of the firing squad to shoot him facing the firing squad, which was refused, with the commander telling him of the orders that he had to follow.

He did as ordered reluctantly and turned his back and faced the sea, even as a Spanish Military doctor, Dr. Felipe Luis Castillo asked his permission to feel his pulse. Nothing could be more extraordinary that for a man facing the firing squad who will take off his life, as having a normal pulse. Rizal, who was intelligent, famous, respected, and who almost had everything during his time – had no fear to die; it was a rare opportunity and he would want it in no other way.

When the command “Fuego!” was heard, he made a supreme effort to face the firing squad, and his bullet-riddled body instead turned to the right with his face facing the morning sun. it was exactly 7:03 A.M., December 30th, 1896, when Jose Rizal died, his death was the life of the Filipinos. When he died – Nationalism was born, at the prime of his life, thirty-five year of age, five months and eleven days. His Mission was accomplished!




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      russel 2 years ago

      the death of rizal was symbolize the life of filipinos..therefore don't abuse what jose rizal did at his time..

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      rommel tuazon 3 years ago

      san b talaga nmatay si jose rizal?

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      antipolo boy 4 years ago

      what are the names of the soldiers in the firing squad

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      troy 4 years ago

      sana hindi namatay si rizal

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      sharmea 4 years ago

      ang gada ganda...

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      Casey 4 years ago

      Andaming inconsistencies with other sources?

      Exhibit A: Rizal then wrote his retraction, in which he abjured Masonry and his religious ideas, which were anti-catholic.

      Other sources suggest that he never retracted them.

      Exhibit B: At 5:30 A.M., he took his last breakfast.

      He didn't take it. He gave it to the rats.

      Exhibit D: One of the priests blessed him and offered a crucifix for him to kiss, which he did.

      A lot of sources say he didn't kiss the crucifix.

      Exhibit E: had no fear to die; it was a rare opportunity and he would want it in no other way.

      Many Filipinos were being executed then, so it wasn't a rare opportunity. Special, but not rare. And of course he would want in any other way. Who in the right mind wouldn't? he even appealed that he never betrayed Spain nor his fellow Filipinos.

      oh well. beautiful story nonetheless. :)

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      kkk 5 years ago

      Ilang bullet po kaya yung tumama sa kanya after ng execution sa bagumbayan?.. tnx

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      FateenYasin 5 years ago

      Nice story ;))

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      JECK 5 years ago

      Long comment, but take time to READ and understand.

      Rizal NEVER retracted his beliefs in Freemasonry. If he retracted, he will never be executed. Please get the facts right. Thanks.

      Catholic friars were so adamant to get his retraction because it will be a big win for them, because Rizal was a "celebrity" that time who happened to believe in Deism and freedom from ANY religion. Rizal favored "free-thought" and rejected the ideas and dogmas of Catholicism. He died a deist.

      Rizal, together with members of La Solidaridad (Marcelo H. Del Pilar, Antonio Luna, Mariano Ponce, Jose Maria Panganiban) brought back Freemasonry to the Philippines. During that time, the country doesn't have a unified governing body among Filipinos therefore making a nationwide revolution impossible. Freemasonry became the first unifying government for the revolutionaries. Through their affiliation, they were able to unify the country from the north to the south. Almost all of our national heroes are Freemasons. Rizal is one of the celebrities of Freemasonry during that time, and he happened to be famous too throughout the country. Rizal's power lies in his literary works, works that propagate freedom from oppression by Religion (Noli Me Tangere). The Catholic friars saw a direct threat from Freemasonry because of their free-though doctrine, and they also saw a direct threat from Rizal who happened to promote these ideas. Remember that during that time, Catholicism is THE government and the friars always have a direct say on state matters. To weaken religion is to weaken the grasp of the government to Filipinos who are ignorant of their rights and liberties as persons. Rizal, together with his fellow Freemasons (our other national heroes), promoted the Masonic tenets of Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity. Yes, the same tenets in the French Revolution and American revolution since these revolutions are also started by Freemasons. Through this propaganda, our revolution was born. Rizal and the others wanted the Filipinos to have liberty of thought and choices, equality amongst citizens of the world, and fraternity among fellow Filipinos.

      Since the friars were threatened to lose their grip on ignorant Filipinos, therefore also weakening the grip of the government in the process, they decided to make a move on the revolutionaries, exerting their efforts on Rizal. Rizal was deported, painted as a heretic, and was bombarded with continuous theological and philosophical debates. Rizal never gave up his beliefs and free thought. Friars placed the death grip on him and still Rizal never budged. He never retracted his beliefs and he died for his reason and conviction that dogmas and religion are tools to hold the Filipinos in ignorance.

      One of his lines in his farewell poem "Mi Ultimo Adios" directly translates to: I'll go where there are no slaves, tyrants or hangmen, Where faith does not kill and where God alone doth reign.

      All the correspondences between Rizal and the friars, together with other key persons in his time are found in different libraries.. The National Library, UST Library, Ateneo Library, and the library at the Grand Lodge of the Philippines are just a few. It's just too sad that the story of Rizal taught to schools is the "religiously approved" version.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      correction lang: the fact that he signed a retraction was never really verified. different sources have conflicting views on the matter. balaguer was a priest present in dapitan during the time of the condemnation of jose and josephine's marriage, so he's not a very reliable source of information and could have lied about procuring the retraction. he along with pio pi were jesuits, and though more accepting of rizal than the dominican friars, still had a stake in the matter of religion and the influence of the church in the succeeding years of philippine history. it would have been therefore beneficial to their cause to obtain a retraction from rizal as this would dampen if not eridicate the anti-clerical sentiment of future generations. otherwise, a very good and detailed account

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      cathy 5 years ago

      I'm so proud of having Jose P. Rizal as our National hero.!!!.

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      nicole 5 years ago

      Andres Bonifacio is the real hero

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      kye 5 years ago

      what are the effects to the filipinos and to our country?

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      ysaaah 5 years ago

      Jose Lam-co is really a hero! :)

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      brooks 5 years ago

      jose rizal is the best among the rest

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      guapo si gerald anderson 5 years ago

      wew pag comment pa

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      jan joshua guapo 5 years ago

      ganda ng kwento

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      Mark 5 years ago

      Nice story inspiration for all people in PILIPINAS.....

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      danica 5 years ago

      what happens after the execution of rizal ?

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      Jazmin 5 years ago

      Nice story that will help for my historical fiction

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      Ladyshage 5 years ago

      they become a part of his life

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      Ladyshage_o06 5 years ago

      They become a part of her life..

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      Lea 6 years ago

      aw! sakit nang gnawa sa kanya ! Pinagbintangan siya na dapat hindi! Pahalagahan natin ang pgkamatay niya!

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      bhong 6 years ago

      to whom it dedicated?

      please answer it :(

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      bhong 6 years ago

      please answer my question .

      thank you .

      what are the objectives of mi ultimo adios ?

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      bhong 6 years ago

      how did rizal defend himself?

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      annie 6 years ago

      This is copied exactly room the book of Zaide...I was wishing for more details after Rizal's death.

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      james 6 years ago

      parang comics ganda nong story

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      sana nakilala ko pa si rizal ngayon kung hindi pa sya patay.

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      melbert 6 years ago

      we are proud to be a filipino.saludo ako sayo

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      bert 6 years ago

      idol ko yan si Dr. jose protacio rizal mercado alonzo y realonda...

      pahalagahan natin ang mga nagawa nya, bilang pilipino marapat na sumunod tayo sa mga yapak ng ating bayani. hindi yung tayo pa ang yumuyurak sa ating mga kalahayi.

      si rizal ay huwaran at dapat tularan.,

      kung nakikita ni rizal ang bayan natin ngayon marahil pagagalitan niya ang mga pulitikong kahalintulad ng mga kastilang nagpaharap noong panayong siya ay nabuhay..

      kung si rizal ay buhay ngayon at nabigyan ng pagkakataong pamahalaan ang bayan, di sana'y maganda ang takbo ng ating buhay, siya ang tunay na pagmamahal sa bayan at mga kalahayi. piniling mamatay para kalayaan..

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      jik 6 years ago

      nice hehe

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      cecille 6 years ago

      patayin nalang c gloria hehe jowk lang....

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      saythe32 6 years ago

      i agree...dapat c gloria nga.sana matauhan na cya.dapat c Dr.Jose Rizal ang sinusunod nya.

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      edong 6 years ago

      si gloria ang dapat barilin ngayon sa bagumbayan...or mas maganda grenade launcher ang gamitin! =P

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      Brena 6 years ago

      He's really a great man...

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      Jacob Rizal 6 years ago

      Ang dapat aye bigyan nang konting pera para sa manga filopino nag sasacripition nayon dahill sa bagyo

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      FRITZ JHERALD ANDRE I RUIZ 6 years ago


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      julie-grace 6 years ago

      bkit ganun.? wula man lng language nah tagalog.. ahahah :)

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      123 6 years ago

      nice story!

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      rachel1722 6 years ago

      this story of Jose Rizal was AMAIZING!!!!

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      patricia 6 years ago

      sana buhay pasi rizal para maturuan tayo paano maging bayani.

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      Princess 6 years ago

      Dami kong natutunan tungkol kay Jose Rizal kaya sana pagpahalagahan natin yung kabayanihang ginawa niya

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      dreyan 6 years ago

      can i ask the name of the member of the firing squad who shot jose rizal on that day?

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      saira 6 years ago

      how sad;( thank you JPR!!!!!

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      flora 6 years ago

      nice story!..loVe it!:)

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      jake 6 years ago

      No Jose Rizal was really suppose to be our National Hero. Magellan was a Spanish guy who brought all the Spaniards here in the Philippines and he fought Lapu Lapu and then led to the Battle of Mactan.

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      victoria 6 years ago

      is it really true that jose rizal wasn't supposed to be the philippines' national hero and that guy named magellan was supposed to be the national hero instead? i heard that according to the americans they just specified jose rizal as the national hero. so who's the real national hero? i dont get it. im curious to know who's the real one. please answer filipinos, im curious to now the real one. im confused. btw, ii like this site. :)

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      victoria 6 years ago

      whoever did this thing job well done! my teacher shared this during our free time in biology class. wish i can visit philippines. i promise i'll visit philippines. LEGGOOO!!!

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      victoria 6 years ago

      MAUHAY fiilipinos!!!

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      victoria 6 years ago

      yeah, i may not be a filipino but i seriously think jose rizal did a good thing. GO JOSE RIZAL. like what filipinos always say, MABUHAY. american here. :))))

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      harold 6 years ago

      Si Dr. Jose Rizal pala ang kaunaunahang OFW at First Filipino playboy.

      Long Live Jose Rizal. You will be always in our hearts

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      Camille Perez 6 years ago

      ang ganda ng kuwento dito ko lahat natatapos ung assignment ko karamihan sa mga bayani sya ang sikat mapa bata man o mapa matanda i love this story talaga

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      idol_cu 6 years ago

      sana nagkaroon ng anak si rizal para naman maipagmalaki din sya tulad nating mga Pilipinong naniniwala sa kanya..!!

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      franklin bigboy villarba 6 years ago

      heroic talaga sya...karapat dapat lang syang maging bayani ng ating bayan.

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      jemz 7 years ago

      astig... dapat lng talga pahalagahan o bigyan dapat importansya.. mga ginawa. ni rizal at mga pilipino nung panahon ng kastila.. laki ng nagawa nila para mabago ung kinabukasan..


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      Bmx 7 years ago

      nice story :)

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      zyl 7 years ago

      ka ganda ng story :]

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      CarLos 7 years ago

      Ganda . sana may comics nitong story ..

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      lhey  7 years ago

      i love u

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      franze 7 years ago

      who jose rizal deadth

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      Henry 7 years ago

      wala na bang iba pang details?

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      Rodney 7 years ago

      After he died, his body was brought to Paco Manila, Spaniards concealed his body to his relative because of fear that mass might do a revolution which was happened, his families are looking for his body, they went to the cemetery of La Union to see, but they found nothing. A tipster gave them an idea that the body of Rizal is in Paco manila, they went to Paco and bribed the guards to visit his Corpse. Finally they found the body and they put a mark RPJ, which is his initials reciprocated. In 1912 his families took the bones of Rizal to buried in Bagumbayan where the monument is.

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      alve 7 years ago

      what happened to his body after he died?

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      Noel 7 years ago

      Para naman sa exact birth time : Rizal was born between 11PM and 12MN of June 19 1861...

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      donna roa 7 years ago

      no comment..^^

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      lss 7 years ago


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      jeric 8 years ago

      bigyan natin ng kahulugan ang pagkamatay ng ating bayani sa pamamagitan ng makataong pagpapairal ng ating batas.