Jose Rizal or Jose Protasio Rizal Mercado y Alonso Realonda, the pride of Malayan race, was born on June 19, 1861. He was the 7th child of Francisco Mercado Rizal and Teodora Alonzo y Quintos. Mercado family belongs to the middle class of the society who lived in Calamba, Laguna. He studied at Ateneo Municipal de Manila then he went to Madrid, Spain to take up Doctor of Medicine. He studied again at University of Paris and the University of Heidelberg for another doctorate program. He traveled expansively in Europe, America and Asia and he mastered 22 languages. He is a versatile genius with many job occupations such as architect, artists, businessman, cartoonist, educator, economist, ethnologist, scientific farmer, historian, inventor, journalist, linguist, musician, mythologist, nationalist, naturalist, novelist, opthalmic surgeon, poet, propagandist, psychologist, scientist, sculptor, sociologist, and theologian.
He was a Filipino fount of knowledge and was famous because of his reforms during the time of Spaniards. His trial and execution made him a martyr of the Philippine Revolution. His great works are social commentaries regarding Spanish rule which include Noli me Tangere and El Filibusterismo. He founded a civic organization called La Liga Filipina. Rizal died on December 30, 1896 when he was shot in Bagumbayan.