In Calamba, Laguna
19 June 1861
JOSE RIZAL, the seventh child of Francisco Mercado Rizal and Teodora Alonso y Quintos, was born in Calamba, Laguna.
22 June 1861
He was baptized JOSE RIZAL MERCADO at the Catholic of Calamba by the parish priest Rev. Rufino Collantes with Rev. Pedro Casanas as the sponsor.
28 September 1862
The parochial church of Calamba and the canonical books, including the book in which Rizal baptismal records were entered, were burned.
Barely three years old, Rizal learned the alphabet from his mother.
When he was four years old, his sister Conception, the eight child in the Rizal family, died at the age of three. It was on this occasion that Rizal remembered having shed real tears for the first time.
During this time his mother taught him how to read and write. His father hired a classmate by the name of Leon Monroy who, for five months until his (Monroy) death, taught Rizal the rudiments of Latin.
At about this time two of his mother’s cousin frequented Calamba. Uncle Manuel Alberto, seeing Rizal frail in body, concerned himself with the physical development of his young nephew and taught the latter love for the open air and developed in him a great admiration for the beauty of nature, while Uncle Gregorio, a scholar, instilled into the mind of the boy love for education. He advised Rizal: “Work hard and perform every task very carefully; learn to be swift as well as thorough; be independent in thinking and make visual pictures of everything.”
6 June 1868
With his father, Rizal made a pilgrimage to Antipolo to fulfil the vow made by his mother to take the child to the Shrine of the Virgin of Antipolo should she and her child survive the ordeal of delivery which nearly caused his mother’s life.
From there they proceeded to Manila and visited his sister Saturnina who was at the time studying in the La Concordia College in Sta. Ana.
At the age of eight, Rizal wrote his first poem entitled “Sa Aking Mga Kabata.” The poem was written in tagalog and had for its theme “Love of One’s Language.”