Today, Filipinos are commemorating Dr. Jose P. Rizal’s 119 death anniversary. A doctor, a novelist, a poet, a painter, a sculptor, a teacher. Rizal was a Renaissance man, a great Filipino hero.
On 28 September 1862, the parochial church of Calamba and the canonical books, including the book containing Rizal’s baptismal records, were burned. Here is a transcript of Rizal’s baptismal certificate issued by Father Leoncio Lopez originally written in Spanish.
“I, the parish priest of the town of Calamba, whose signature appears below, certify that as a result of inquiries, which with the proper authorization were made for the restoration of the canonical books (that were burned) on the 28th of September 1862 and are found in the file of baptisms, book n 1, page 49, it emerges according to the declaration of competent and sworn witnesses that Jose Rizal Mercado is legitimate son from the legitimate matrimony of Don Francisco Rizal Mercado and Dna Teodora Realonda (that) he was baptized in this parish on the 22nd of June 1861 by the parish priest Reverend Father Rufino Collantes, and his godfather was the Reverend Father Pedro Casanas. And I sign this as true. -Leoncio Lopez.”