December 30, 1896, Dr. Jose Rizal was Shot in Bagumbayan
On December 30, 1896, Dr. Jose Protacio Rizal, the greatest man of the Malayan race, was shot to death at Bagumbayan (present day Luneta or Rizal park), Manila, by a firing squad of native soldiers, on the accusation of political conspiracy and sedition, and rebellion against the Spanish government in the Philippines.
At 6:30 AM he began his death march from Fort Santiago to Bagumbayan (now Luneta) accompanied by soldiers and his counsel Taviel de Andrade. Upon arrival at Luneta de Bagumbayan, his pulse was checked by Dr. Felipe Ruiz Castillo. It was normal, showing that Rizal was not afraid to die. Before he was shot, Rizal requested the commander of the firing squad, that he be shot facing the firing squad. it was denied because the captain had implicit orders to shoot him in the back. Reluctantly, Rizal turned his back to the firing squad faced the sea.
Above the drum-beats, the sharp command “Fire” was heard, and the guns of the firing squad barked. Rizal, with supreme effort, turned his bullet-riddled body to the right, and fell on the ground dead – with face upward facing the morning sun. It was exactly 7:03 in the morning when he died in the bloom of manhood – aged 35 years, five months, and 11 days.
Rizal died as he described in his farewell poem, third stanza:
“I die just when I saw the dawn break,
Through the gloom of night, to herald the day;
And if color is lacking my blood thou shalt take,
Pour’d out at need for thy ear sake,
To dye with its crimson the waking ray.”
Live Blog: 124th Anniversary of Rizal’s Heroism
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Zaide, Gregorio F. and Zaide, Sonia M. Jose Rizal. Life, Works, and Writings of a Genius, Writer, Scientist, and National Hero. Quezon City, Philippines: All Nations Publishin Co., Inc., 2014.