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Education in the Philippines: Jose Rizal in Ateneo


On June 10, 1872, Jose together with his brother went to Manila to grant his wish of enrolling Jose in San Juan de Letran. Jose Rizal took the entrance examination and passed them with flying colors, then he went back to Calamba to stay for a while with his family and attend their town fiesta only to find out that his father’s wish changed instead of enrolling him to San Juan de Letran he wished to enroll him to Ateneo de Manila.

Thus, being an obedient child, upon his return to Manila accompanied again by his brother Paciano, they proceeded to Ateneo Municipal. At first Father Magin Fernando, who was the college registrar, denied them of admittance for two reasons: 1.) he was late for registration and 2.) he was sickly and undersize for his age. Jose Rizal was then eleven years old. However, they sought the intercession of Manual Xerez Burgos, nephew of Father Burgos. As a result, he was reluctantly admitted at the Ateneo.

First Year in Ateneo (1972-73)

Jose Rizal belonged to the class composed of Spaniards, mestizos and Filipinos. His first teacher was Fr. Jose Bech. As a newcomer and knowing little Spanish, he was considered as inferior and placed at the bottom of the class. He was an externo hence he was assigned to the Carthaginians, an occupant of the end of the line.

He proved he was no inferior for at the end of the month he became the emperor and received a prize, a religious picture. To improve his Spanish, Jose Rizal took private lesson in Santa Isabel College during the noon recess while students were playing and gossiping. In the second half of the first year, his performance declined and was not able to maintain his academic supremacy that he held during his first half of the term for the reason that he was affected so much by the remarks of some professors. He placed second at the end of the year although his grades were marked excellent. According to Ambeth Ocampo there were only twelve students in a class, nine of which, including Jose Rizal, graduated sobresaliente with the same excellent mark in all their subjects in school year 1876-77.

Second year in Ateneo (1873-74)

Jose Rizal repented having neglected his studies the previous year. He studied harder this year and regained his leadership composure and became an emperor again.

His Favorite Books

  1. ‘Count of Monte Cristo’ (Alexander Dumas) – characterized by Edmond Dantes (the hero) in prison, is spectacular escape from the dungeon of Chateau d’ If, the finding of buried treasure on the rocky island of Monte Cristo, and his dramatic revenge on his enemies who had wronged him;
  2. ‘Travels in the Philippines’ (Dr. Feodor Jagor) – a German scientist-traveler who visited the Philippines in 1859-1860. What struck him most in this book were Jagor’s keen oberservations of the defects of Spanish colonization and his prophecy that someday Spain would lose the Philippines and that America would come to succeed her as colonizer;
  3. ‘Universal History’ (Cesar Cantu) – a non-fiction historical work. He was able to acquire an expensive set of this book by convincing his father that this book would be of great aid in his studies and enabled him to win more prizes.

Third year in Ateneo (187-75)

Jose Rizal returned to Ateneo shortly before the classes began to start his junior year. He met his mother and informed him that she was finally released from prison, just as he predicted when he visited her to her prison cell in Santa Cruz, Laguna.

However, he was disappointed to the result of his class performance as in the previous year, although his grades remained excellent in all subjects. He won a single medal in Latin. He failed to win a medal in Spanish because his spoken Spanish was not that fluent. A Spaniard who delivered Spanish with fluency and right accentuation defeated him.

Fourth Year in Ateneo (1875-76)

On June 16, 1875, he became a boarder in Ateneo. He befriended his professor Fr. Francisco de Paula Sanchez, whom he regarded as great educator and scholar. He inspired him to write poetry and to study harder. Fr. Sanchez recognized his God-given talents. Because of the inspiration and recognition given, he regarded the Jesuit professor as “model of uprightness, earnestness, and love” for the advancement of his students.

Consequently, he resumed his studies with vigor and dedication and topped all his classmates in all subjects and won five medals at the end of the school term.

Last year in Ateneo (1876-77)

Although there was a great improvement in his performance but his previous years of performance made a great effect, he graduated on March 23, 1877 (16 years old) and received the degree of Bachelor of Arts, with highest honors and not a valedictorian.

Extra Curricular Involvement

  • an emperor inside the classroom
  • campus leader
  • active member and became a secretary, the Marian Congregation Religious Society
  • member of the Academy of Spanish Literature and the Academy of Natural Sciences
  • poet
  • studied painting under the famous Spanish Painter, Agustin Saez
  • improved his sculpture talents under the supervision of Romualdo de Jesus
  • engaged in gymnastics and fencing and continued the physical training under his sports-minded Tio Manuel.
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iloverizal on November 26, 2014:

.ohh my God Rizal! I think I fall in love with you. Every now and then I'm always looking for you. You made my heart beats faster . You made my eye twinkling. You're my hero! My love! RIZAL!

Agent PG on July 23, 2014:

Rizal, deserving to be a Hero of the Whole World..

danrex on June 25, 2014:

tama kayo,,

baby on June 23, 2013:

haha good

marson zepeda on March 10, 2013:

boring nga ang history pero as a filipino,you must know what happened ad salute our heroes.

jessa on February 25, 2013:


Miki on February 16, 2013:

who was rizal's classmate in ateneo who he admitted was better than him?

DAYALYN OLOI on January 10, 2013:

genius tlga c rizal nuh

jovelle on December 09, 2012:

akala ko boring pagaralan ang history lalo na kapag life na ng mga heroes pinag-aaralan ero di pala.

cyado ngang interisating ei:))

yankee on December 05, 2012:

I love rizal a lot

bad emage on September 14, 2012:

Rizal is the greatest Malayan heritage. He is one of the reason why our country is liberated from the hand of the imperialist Spain. without him Andres Boniface (hehehe, Bonifacio) and the others will never be encourage to fight for our freedom. So we must thank him and hailed him for his undying dedication and sacrifices for our country, as what loverboy said he is the eye opener.

to those person who condemned rizal fuck you more!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

di ka pinoy kung di mo love Rizal.

Loverboy on September 14, 2012:

Rizal is our national hero. You must give due respect to him. He apply his splendor talents just to awaken our mind of the wrong doings of the Spaniards. We must be thankful of him because he serves as an eye opener to everybody.

PEDRO on September 05, 2012:

magaling nga si rizal pero hnd sya ang nagpalaya ng pinsa db? :) idol ko sya kc ang talino nea. pro i think may mas karapat dapat na iba upang maging national hero. peace :)

novie on August 12, 2012:

cnu ung mga 12 graduates noong 1877, ksama c dr.jose rizal? anu rin ung mga grades nila? tnx =)

vieca on August 08, 2012:

graduates sa ateneo.., noong 1877..?

asdasdas on July 17, 2012:

love the history talaga hhihi

abbzz on July 11, 2012:

i really like rizal cause he is a good one at kahit bata pa sya ginagwa nya ang lahat to be an emperor deserving talaga sya maging hero at dahil dyan naging inspirasyon ko si rizal ,,,,,,,

luxaislinn on July 05, 2012:

Deserving talaga si Rizal na maging national hero. Na-appreciate ko talaga kung ano yung nagawa niya para sa bansa natin. Kung wala siya, siguro naghihirap na tayo ngayon. Kaya we should be thankful for what he did para sa bansa natin.

jeffrey moreno on June 28, 2012:

nag iisa at walang katulad kaya idol ko si Rizal.

mhack on June 28, 2012:

my picture ba kayo of rizal Wearing his uniform at ateneo de municipal ???

plss inform mee :))

nhoy on June 27, 2012:

first year in ateneo 1972??

kristine on June 25, 2012:

d talga ako ngbabasa ng mga books... report ko lng ito kaya me ngresearch.... pero nung nabasa ko na prang gusto ko na basahin lahat hindi lng report ko..... nkakainspired kasi...

shen on April 24, 2012:

mga ungas,.dapat maging proud kau.,ung mga nauna.,filing.,igalang nyo hero natin.,his the one,.i'am the two.,.,hehehe .,tama,.

clarissa on April 16, 2012:

rizal was the ever genius man produced by the filipino race :)

lovekorizal on January 25, 2012:

,.,., thanks ky Dr. Rizal because of him were all free from spanish colonial,.., love and respect him,., dahil sa mga ngawa nya sa ating lahat,. at sa mga nag post na hndi mgnda,., your not appreciating what he done for you!!!!!!!

gagokarizal on January 20, 2012:

dagdag ka sa home work ko gago ka rizal!

o_dreD_O on January 18, 2012:

wla sang teacher si rizal??

eiyan on January 01, 2012:

hay kung may like button lang sana to nilike ko na mga comment nyo...hehhehehe

ashly on December 07, 2011:

I really appreciate what rizal done to our country. I salute you very much jose rizal. For those who did not give emphasis to the life of rizal, MAMATAY NA KAYO!

RizalFan on December 06, 2011:

yepSedo... Rizal is very witty, prolific, and most especially a brave novelist...

just like his very inspirational poem

"Por La Educacion Recibe Lustre La Patria"

Through Education the Country receives Light..


gwapzz on December 05, 2011:

tunay talagang bayani si RIZAL


YUKanna on December 03, 2011:

salute rizal ...

tunay na bayani si rizal...

YUKanna on December 03, 2011:

salute rizal ...

tunay na bayani si rizal...

yong.. on December 01, 2011:

kol nga siya ,eh..

MAEDENO9 on November 30, 2011:


mj on November 30, 2011:

idol q c rizal,,hehe..chickboi nga lng.

loraine on November 26, 2011:

i think Rizal is a very intelligent person and observant person.

Darwin on November 26, 2011:

ito na kkompleto sa presentation ko sa rizal.. hhe

nikz@27 on November 24, 2011:

rizal is deserving to be our national hero...

calvin on October 04, 2011:


May I know your sources so that I can use this information on a school paper? :)

khoia on August 12, 2011:

i was looking for another information about rizal as a dramatist

Arch on August 06, 2011:

Hehehe! grabe naman kau kung makapagcomment., wagas.,!

karth carl on July 13, 2011:

boring xa pero nasarapan ako sa pag babasa . :) kasi mabait teacher namin kaya gusto kung matutunan lahat kung ano si rizal .. heheh :)

Nakahoma on June 29, 2011:

Let's preserve our patriotism, become a Knight of Rizal.

lhyn on June 15, 2011:

tama kung wla si rizal wla rin tayo

jampong on May 24, 2011:

kung wala si Rizal malamang wala rin tayo...

Gwapo on May 19, 2011:


churva on April 12, 2011:

i really salute Dr. Jose Rizal...

Anon on March 24, 2011:

vhea - troll.

very well played.

To Vhea on March 19, 2011:

The way you posted your reply is very indicative of your intellectual capacity. I think your life's boring. Typical, not like Rizal's.

yoye on December 14, 2010:

tama!!! cguru spaniard nagsabi nun....walang kwentang tao un..respect rizal

Fuck u 2 Jonard on December 14, 2010:

kayu ang boring hindi ang buhay nya

mga walang pag papahalaga..

vince on December 07, 2010:

ayos si riza;.........

we are now free from Spaniards because of him/........


A on November 27, 2010:

Pilipino ba kayo? Kung wala si Rizal sa tingin mo ganyan ang buhay mo ngayon? Ikinahihiya mo ba siya? Ikaw kaya mo ba ang ginawa niya? Huwag ninyo naman kalimutan ang paggalang, mga Pilipino pa man din kayo.

ian on November 21, 2010:

uu nga ie RIZAL pero foR mE rizAL iS cOoL peRsOn :D

Jonard on August 18, 2010:

Fuk u!

vhea on August 15, 2010:

borng tlaga history, ;d

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