Paciano Rizal

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Paciano Mercado Rizal (b. March 7, 1851 – d. April 13, 1930) was the elder brother of the Philippine national hero, Jose Rizal. Having studied under Father Jose Burgos, Paciano was influenced by the ideologies of the said priest – being open-minded and out spoken in denouncing the abuses of the friars.


Personal Life and Genealogy

Paciano Rizal was born in Calamba, Laguna on March 17, 1851. He was the second of the 11 children of Don Francisco Mercado and Doña Teodora Alonso. He was the oldest between the two sons of the couple, one of which was Philippine national hero, Jose Rizal. Paciano had a relationship with Severina Decena, from Los Baños, Laguna.

Paciano and Severina Decena were blessed with two children - a boy who died during infancy, and a daughter named Emiliana Rizal. Emiliana was the last to carry the name Rizal. She later married Antonio Rizal Lopez, Jr. her first cousin, son of Antonino Lopez and Narcisa Rizal. Emiliana and Antonio were blessed with six children, namely: Eugenia, Francisco I, Francisco II, Edmundo, Jose I, Jose II. Eugenia was married to Vivencio Villaruz, Francisco II was married Mabait Conception, Edmundo was married to Rufina de Guzman and Jose II was married to Elena Talao.


Paciano had his first occurrence of education under the tutelage of his mother who taught him basic reading, writing, and praying. Eventually, he was sent to Biñan to receive a formal education under Maestro Justiniano Aquino Cruz. Later on, he was sent to Manila to pursue higher education at the [[Colegio de San Jose].

He was educated under the supervision of Father Jose Apolonio Burgos, an active mover of secularization. His close association with the secularist priest had influenced Paciano’s ideas of nationalism. Involved with Fr. Burgos activities, he served as a personal messenger and collector of the contributions to the movement.

Paciano’s disappointment with the unjust government intensifies when Fr. Burgos, together with Father Mariano Gomes de los Angeles and Father Jacinto Zamora were executed on February 17, 1872, as a result of the Cavite Mutiny of January 20, 1872.

Paciano’s grievance on the lost of his mentor caused him to stop his studies. He went home to Calamba, and helped his father on the management of their land.

Paciano as Rizal's mentor

Paciano was the one who foresee the well being of his siblings, including the young Jose. He was responsible of accompanying Jose to Biñan to receive a proper education under the same mentor- Maestro Justiniano Aquino Cruz. He also, accommodate Jose’s enrollment at Ateneo Municipal in 1872. He plays the role of Jose’s second father in the absence of their ageing parents and was the one whom Jose sought for advice when he decided to study abroad for advancement. The older Rizal was left then with the responsibility of informing their parent’s about Jose’s departure. He consoles his parents on their grief on the absence of their youngest son. Upon Jose’s stay abroad, he regularly sent him the stipend for his studies and for the publication of his first novel, the Noli.

Paciano was accountable in supplying Jose the information on the events occurring in the country. He constantly corresponds with Jose, conferring on the defects of the government and the ills of the friars, the local problems, and the crisis in Calamba.


Paciano was as well engaged in the propaganda movement. He had served behind the operation of Diaryong Tagalog, in 1882. Eagerly helped in soliciting for subscription of the newspaper in his province, and in the neighbor towns of Batangas.

When Jose was arrested in 1895, Paciano was also arrested and detained. He was tortured and forced to sign a testimonial, which states that his brother is connected with the Katipunan. But after three days of wasted interrogation, he was subsequently released at the state of near dead. And by the time so as to he fully recovered, he decided to adhere with the movement of Revolution. After Jose’s execution, on January 1897 he joined General Emilio Aguinaldo in Cavite, where Trinidad Rizal and Josephine Bracken accompanied him, he presented himself to General Emilio Aguinaldo to serve under the Katipunan. He was appointed as general of the Katipunero’s and elected Secretary of Treasury in the Departmental Government of Central Luzon. It was on December 1897 that the famous truce of Biak na Bato was signed that marks the official end of 1896 Philippine Revolution. In compliance with the agreement, General Aguinaldo together with other leaders of revolution succumb their arms and flees to Hong Kong. Terms of submission were imposed by Aguinaldo so as to surrender the arms and ammunitions in different provinces with remaining revolutionists. Abiding with the agreement, General Paciano submitted their arms on January 14-15, 1898 to the General of Spain. However, the truce failed, resulting Aguinaldo’s return in the country.

Paciano as well participated in the battle when the United States and Spain declared war on each other. He led during the 1900 Filipino-American war, but due to his condition inflicted by malaria he was captured by the Americans in Laguna.

When peace was restored, after the Filipino-American War ceased off, Paciano lived a peaceful life and pledged that he would depart the Americans in peace.

Life after Rizal's death

During American occupation, Paciano promised to leave them in peace and so as to live a life in private. He lived in his house in Los Baños with two helpers with him, his man-Friday and a fisherman with a boat. He must have intensely hated the Americans that he had named his pet dog into a general, Wood. So every time that Paciano would felt like cursing the Americans, he would rather curse the dog.

Paciano died of tuberculosis on April 30, 1930. His remain was buried in Cementerio del Norte in Manila but his bones were transferred to his home in Los Banos were he was given a complete military honors in 1985.


  • Coates, Austin : Rizal, Filipino Nationalist and Patriot, Solidaridad Publishing House, 1992
  • Guerrero, Leon Ma. : The First Filipino A Biography of Jose Rizal , Anvil Publishing Inc., 1998
  • "Southern Luzon and Bicol: Paciano Rizal." Unsung Heroes of the Philippines Revolution - MSC Communications, Inc. [1] (accessed on August 3, 2007).
  • Quirino, Carlos. Who's Who in Philippine History. Manila: Tahanan Books, 1995.

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