Rizal’s Baptismal Record

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.”

JoseRizal_B_12-0869_PH-PAM__00228 - Copy







Andrés Bonifacio

Today, we commemorate the 152nd birth anniversary of Andres Bonifacio. Often dubbed as the Father of the Philippine Revolution, he co-founded the Samahang Kataastaasan, Kagalanggalang Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan (KKK). His namesake St. Andrew‘s feast day falls on November 30. His name was most probably assigned from the Calendar of Saints, as was customary back in those days.


“Presidente” Bonifacio in La Ilustración Española y Americana, February 8, 1897

Not much is known about the genealogy of Bonifacio, as pre-1900 Catholic Church records from Tondo, his hometown, are very scarce. The records might have been damaged when Manila was bombed during the Japanese occupation. Santiago, his father, was a boatman from Taguig. His mother, Catalina de Castro of Zambales, was a mestiza born of a Spanish father and a Filipino-Chinese mother. Both died due to tuberculosis in 1880 and 1881 respectively.

The book “Bones of Contention:The Bonifacio Lectures”(1998:90-91) by Ambeth Ocampo, provides an account of the marriage of Santiago and Catalina, where the grandparents of Bonifacio are named. It reads:

“On the 24th of January 1863 …Saturnino Buntan, parish priest of Tondo, authorized the marriage contracted between (Santiago Bonifacio) the son of Vicente Bonifacio and of Alejandra Rosales…and Catalina de Castro, single, mestiza espanola, a native of the province of Zambales and resident in this pueblo of Tondo… daughter of Martin de Castro and Antonia Gregorio… in the presence of Don Severino Ampil and Dona Patricia Trinidad as sponsors…”

Yes, the First President of the Philippines had Spanish and Chinese blood running through his veins. The blood of the tyrants whom he fought against, and the blood of the people  who’s country is bullying us at present in our own backyard. Nevertheless, Andres Bonifacio is a Filipino in every aspect of the word, and one of the greatest Filipino at that.


Pedigree of Andres Bonifacio, generated from FamilySearch.org.

Gregorio del Pilar

Gregorio del Pilar y Sempio was born 140 years ago today, the 14th of November of 1875 in Bulakan, Bulacan. He is 1/4 Chinese as his maternal grandfather is a full-blooded Chinese. This is based on the records found of his uncles and aunts, which indicates Jose Sempio (grandfather) as Sangley Christiano, born in Fujian, China.

Baptismal record of Gregorio del Pilar. 17 Nov 1875. Bulakan, Bulacan

Baptismal record of Gregorio del Pilar. 17 Nov 1875. Bulakan, Bulacan


Del Pilar’s Family Tree generated from Familysearch.org

The “Boy General” was so called because he was one of the youngest to have earned that rank at 22 years old. He studied at the Ateneo Municipal de Manila, where he received his bachelor’s degree in 1896. Arguably one of the most celebrated heroes of the Philippine Revolution, del Pilar and his life story is rumored to be the subject of the next film by the same team that produced the blockbuster movie Heneral Luna.




Jose Rizal’s Pedigree

On this day, 154 years ago, José Protasio Mercado Rizal y Alonzo Realonda was born in Calamba, Laguna. He comes from a prestigious family of Chinese, Malay, Japanese, and Spanish descent. This is a representation of his family tree which I made in 2008.

Rizal AncestryUsing Geni.com, one could see his/her relationship with some famous people like Rizal. Just for fun, I checked whether I was genealogically connected with our national hero. Here is what came up:

Dr. Jose Rizal is Felvir Ordinario’s wife’s first cousin thrice removed’s wife’s second great nephew’s wife’s great uncle!

Felvir Ordinario
You → Sariah Ordinario
your wife → Jovencio Araneta Guanzon
her father → Andres Guanzon
his father → Domingo Guanzon
his father → Jose Guanzon
his father → Paulino Guanzon
his brother → Agapito Guanzon
his son → Juana Tuason Rodriguez
his wife → Matea Tuason Rodriguez
her sister → Florencia Rodriguez Sioco
her daughter → Javier “Javing” Sioco Gonzalez
her son → Vladimir Mercado Gonzalez
his son → Cruz
his wife → Mauricio Rizal Cruz
her father → Maria Alonso Cruz
his mother → Dr. Jose Rizal
her brother

Check if you’re a cousin of his too!