However, there's very little evidence proving that Rizal wrote the poem. In fact, evidence shows that he didn't pen it. In his book Rizal Without the Overcoat, historian and essayist Ambeth Ocampo made a convincing case that the poem was written by someone not named Jose Rizal. This and other myths, Jose Rizal rumours, and untruths about the national hero are discussed below.
1) Rizal is the father of Adolf Hitler.
However, as Ambeth Ocampo pointed out in his book Rizal Without the Overcoat, Hitler was born in 1889 and Rizal left Germany for good in 1887. Babies are born only 9 months after conception. You do the math.
2) Rizal is the dreaded Jack the Ripper.
Furthermore, Jack the Ripper is known for his surgical precision in murdering his victims which suggested that he had medical training. It so happened that Rizal was a doctor. Also, Jose Rizal's initials J.R. match those of Jack the Ripper. But, aside from these dismissible evidence, there's absolutely no reason to believe that Rizal was the Ripper.
3) Rizal wrote the poem Sa Aking Mga Kababata when he was eight years old.
In Ocampo's words, "No original manuscript, in Rizal's own hand, exists for "Sa Aking Mga Kabata" traditionally believed to be his first poem. Rizal had 35 years to publish or assert authorship but he did not." A popular quote from the poem in question goes, "Ang hindi marunong magmahal sa sariling wika, masahol pa sa hayop at malansang isda." Well, based on evidence, it's highly unlikely that Rizal ever said this.
4) Rizal is alive and divine.
According to the report, soldiers who loaded Rizal's body into a carriage, upon reaching the gates of the cemetery, discovered that the body has disappeared. Even more unbelievable, there was reportedly a white cock that has taken the place of Rizal's body. These were all nothing but rumors of course.
5) Rizal is a psychic and has prophetic abilities.
The growth of the myth aside, is there evidence to suggest that Rizal is a psychic? There's absolutely none. If you are to look into the writings of Ocampo, Coates, Guerrero and Tolentino that allude to such psychic gifts, these can be satisfactorily explained by good reasoning and logic without having to bring out the psychic card.
6) Rizal wrote his famous poem Ultimo Adios on the eve of his execution.
|Source: Wikimedia Commons.|
If Rizal gave the poem to Trinidad on December 29, how could he have written it on the eve of his execution. The most logical explanation is that Rizal wrote the poem much earlier than the night of December 29. Rizal scholar Ambeth Ocampo doubts the popular account. So does Gregorio C. Brillantes, N.V.M. Gonzales, Austin Craig, Jaime C. de Veyra and Nick Joaquin.
These myths and rumors about Jose Rizal will likely continue to circulate in the coming years. Hopefully, this article will help in dispelling such misleading claims. If you have anything to add to what we discussed above, feel free to leave your comments, reactions, and suggestions in the comments section below.
Write Your Comments Below