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José Rizal is a 1998 Filipino biographical film of the Filipino national hero José Rizal directed by Marilou Diaz-Abaya and starring Cesar Montano as José Rizal.

At the time of its release, it was the most expensive film in the history of Filipino cinema with a budget of over ₱ 80 million. The film was an official entry to the 1998 Metro Manila Film Festival. Upon release, the film met universal critical acclaim.

José Rizal was imprisoned in Fort Santiago under the abusive Spanish colonization. José Rizal was approached by a young uneducated Austronesian peoples asking the importance of education during his life. Meanwhile, in Balintawak, Andrés Bonifacio and his fellow secret organization of Katipunan commenced the uprising against the tyranny created by the Spaniards by tearing their cedula as a sign of Spanish slavery.

Soon, a first lieutenant of the Artillery, Luis Taviel de Andrade, visited Rizal. Taviel de Andrade did not waste time to study carefully Rizal’s case. In just a short period of time, Rizal and Taviel captured each other’s sympathy and eventually became friends as they had usual meetings in Rizal’s cell in Fort Santiago. Taviel was even able to celebrate Christmas with Rizal in the cell where they drank pan get and sang together.

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After Christmas, Rizal was sent to Royal Audiencia (the colonial court of appeal) to hear the trial against him. Soon after, the magistrates decided to condemn him under firing squad on the 30th of the morning in Luneta.

At the night before the execution, Rizal hallucinates, seeing his alter ego—protagonist Simoun of his novel El Filibusterismo tempting the author to change the climax of the story.

On the morning of the execution, his kin received a small alcohol stove (not a gas lamp as commonly portrayed) from his cell containing the last poem “Mi Ultimo Adios”. Stopping at the place of execution facing the rising sun, Rizal asked the authorities for a last request as he faces the firing squad but the request is denied. Calm and without haste, he changed his request to save his head during execution and the captain agrees. At the moment the shooting squad points at his back, he readily uttered his final words: Consummatum est (“It is done”).

After the execution, members of the Katipunan had ambushed a Spanish military company somewhere in Manila, completely catching the Spanish forces off guard and seized their mounts, munitions and their rifles. They had also captured a church and executed a friar in an act of vengeance for the execution of Rizal. Bonifacio and his top generals met in their headquarters to plan a new offensive seeking to capture 10 towns in a duration of 1 week from the Spanish. Rizal’s picture can be seen at the background of his headquarters.
Cesar Montano as José Rizal
Joel Torre as Crisóstomo Ibarra/Simoun
Jaime Fabregas as Luis Taviel de Andrade
Gloria Diaz as Teodora Alonso
Gardo Versoza as Andrés Bonifacio
Monique Wilson as María Clara
Chin Chin Gutierrez as Josephine Bracken
Mickey Ferriols as Leonor Rivera
Pen Medina as Paciano Rizal
Gina Alajar as Saturnina Rizal
Ronnie Lazaro as Francisco Mercado
Tanya Gomez as Narcisa Rizal
Tess Dumpit as Maria Rizal
Irma Adlawan as Lucia Rizal
Angie Castrence as Josefa Rizal
Rowena Basco as Trinidad Rizal
Kaye Marie June Congmon as Soledad Rizal
Dominic Guinto as young José Rizal
Ping Medina as young Paciano Mercado
Dennis Marasigan as Marcelo H. del Pilar
Jhong Hilario as Prisoner Servant

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Jose Rizal’s life and works are recounted through a series of non-linear flashbacks which reflect on various aspects of his life – as writer, propagandist, lover, friend, brother, doctor, and the man that inspired a revolution.

Director: Marilou Diaz-Abaya

Writers: Ricardo Lee (screenplay), Jun Lana (screenplay) | 1 more credit »

Stars: Cesar Montano, Joel Torre, Jaime Fabregas


Cast overview, first billed only:
Cesar Montano Cesar Montano …
José Rizal

Joel Torre Joel Torre …
Ibarra / Simoun

Jaime Fabregas Jaime Fabregas …
Luis Taviel de Andrade

Gloria Diaz Gloria Diaz …
Teodora Alonso

Gardo Versoza Gardo Versoza …
Andres Bonifacio

Monique Wilson Monique Wilson …
Maria Clara

Chin Chin Gutierrez Chin Chin Gutierrez …
Josephine Bracken

Mickey Ferriols Mickey Ferriols …
Leonor Rivera

Pen Medina Pen Medina …
Paciano Mercado

Peque Gallaga Peque Gallaga …
Archbishop Bernardo Nozaleda, OP

Bon Vibar Bon Vibar …

Subas Herrero Subas Herrero …

Tony Mabesa Tony Mabesa …

Alexis Santaren Alexis Santaren …

Chiqui Xerxes-Burgos Chiqui Xerxes-Burgos …
Father Villaclara (as Chiqui Xeres Burgos)


Country: Philippines

Language: German | Latin | Filipino | Tagalog | English | French | Spanish

Release Date: 25 December 1998 (Philippines) See more »

Also Known As: Jose Rizal
Did You Know?

Director Marilou Diaz-Abaya, a University of the Philippines film graduate, enlisted the aid of three known UP professors as screenplay consultants – Dr. Bienvenido Lumbera, Dr. Randy David, and Asst. Prof. Danton Remoto.
José Protasio Rizal Mercado[6] y Alonso Realonda or popularly known as José Rizal (Spanish pronunciation: [xoˈse riˈsal]; June 19, 1861 – December 30, 1896) was a Filipino nationalist and polymath during the tail end of the Spanish colonial period of the Philippines. An ophthalmologist by profession, Rizal became a writer and a key member of the Filipino Propaganda Movement which advocated political reforms for the colony under Spain. He was executed by the Spanish colonial government for the crime of rebellion after an anti-colonial revolution, inspired in part by his writings, broke out. Though he was not actively involved in its planning or conduct, he ultimately approved of its goals which eventually led to Philippine independence. He is widely considered one of the greatest heroes of the Philippines, and is implied by Philippine law to be one of the national heroes.[7] He was the author of the novels Noli Me Tángere,[8] and El filibusterismo,[9] and a number of poems and essays.[10][11]

José Rizal was born in 1861 to Francisco Mercado and Teodora Alonso in the town of Calamba in Laguna province. He had nine sisters and one brother. His parents were leaseholders of a hacienda and an accompanying rice farm by the Dominicans. Both their families had adopted the additional surnames of Rizal and Realonda in 1849, after Governor General Narciso Clavería y Zaldúa decreed the adoption of Spanish surnames among the Filipinos for census purposes (though they already had Spanish names). José traced his patrilineal lineage back to Fujian in China through Lam Co, a Chinese immigrant who came to the Philippines in the late 17th century and was later baptized as a Christian and renamed Domingo.[12][13][note 1]

From an early age, José showed a precocious intellect. He learned the alphabet from his mother at 3, and could read and write at age 5.[13] Upon enrolling at the Ateneo Municipal de Manila, he dropped the last three names that make up his full name, on the advice of his brother, Paciano and the Mercado family, thus rendering his name as “José Protasio Rizal”. Of this, he later wrote: “My family never paid much attention [to our second surname Rizal], but now I had to use it, thus giving me the appearance of an illegitimate child!”[14] This was to enable him to travel freely and disassociate him from his brother, who had gained notoriety with his earlier links to Filipino priests Mariano Gomez, Jose Burgos and Jacinto Zamora (popularly known as Gomburza) who had been accused and executed for treason.

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