Dr. Jose Rizal's Multiple Intelligences
Thirty-two years ago, the Harvard School of Education sponsored a research on the Nature and realization of Human Potential.
It is an established fact that an individual possesses varied and different talents, some in greater degree, some in less, and some, none at all.
Howard Gardner is the author of several books, some of which are: The Quest of Mind; The Shattered Mind; Art, Mind and Brain; Frames of Mind; Multiple Intelligence; and The Mind’s New Science.
He is trained in Developmental Psychology and is a member of the research group known as “Harvard Project Zero”. He devoted more than 20 years in the research involving the educational importance of the theory of Multiple Intelligences. These intelligences are: linguistic, logical-mathematical, spatial, musical, bodily-kinesthetic, interpersonal, and intrapersonal.
All these intelligences are independent of each other but they work in combination with other intelligences. For example, according to Gardner, a dancer requires skill in bodily-kinesthetic, musical, interpersonal and spatial intelligence in different degrees. So, an individual is a collection of aptitudes and not all can be tested in pencil and paper tests but the right combination and degree of these intelligences can make one very successful in his chosen field.
It would be interesting, as well as enlightening, not to mention inspiring, to make an “assessment” of Dr Rizal’s Multiple Intelligences. This would, of course, be an amateur assessment based on the background provided for by Mr. Howard Gardner in his book, ““Multiple Intelligences”.
This study on the intelligences of Dr. Rizal will clearly show us how he used his head, his heart and his arms for his country- the Philippines. It will just show in outline form some proofs that Rizal had these intelligences based on the book “Lolo Jose” written by Asuncion Antonio Bantug, granddaughter of Narcisa Rizal’s sister. This is therefore, just a partial result. A thorough study and research will probably show more startling revelations.
learned the alphabet at age 3
learned the latin language at age 7
at age 8, wrote sa “ Sa Aking Mga Kababata” where the famous lines “ Ang hindi magmahal sa sariling wika, daig pa ang malansang isda…”
at age 9, could quote chapters and verses from the Bible
at age 13, won gold medals for rhetorics and his ability to speak the Greek language; also wrote a five-act drama in Spanish verse about St. Estace, the Martyr
at age 14, leader of the “Literary Academy” acted as director and actor who can talk in many voices, complete with accents of different countries; wrote a long poem “The Intimate Alliance Between Religion and Educartion”
at age 15, proficient in writing poetry and already a well-known philosopher; wrote the loveliest religious poem “Junto al Pasig”, a zarzuela; in just more than an hour, wrote “Felicitation” in Spanish, a seven – stanza four-line gift to his brother-in-law Antonio Lopez, husband of Narcisa; also wrote “ A Dialogue Embodying His Farewell to the Students” which was read during his graduation from Ateneo
at age 18, wrote “A La Juventud Filipina” ( Ode to the Filipino Youth) which won the first prize of silver pen; wrote “El Consejo delos Dioses”, a play witten in honor of Cervantes that won a prize ( a ring engraved with the bust of Cervantes)
at age 21, wrote an article “El Amor Patrio” ( Love of Country) where he urged his countrymen to unite, his first propaganda effort on foreign soil.
at age 25, he wrote his famous novel “Noli Me Tangere” followed by a lovely poem about his homesickness “a Las Flores De Heidelberg”; translated the German folktale “Thumbelina” into Tagalog entitled “Gahinlalaki”
at age 26, he translated into French the History of Mother written in German.
at age 28 he wrote the following:
El Solfeo dela Defensa Los Agricultores Filipino En el Bosque Me Piden Versos Los Viajes La Defensa
his famous “ Message for the Women of Malolos”
in his early 30’s, wrote the following articles for the “La Solidaridad” under the pen name “Laong Laan” and “ Dimasalang”, all attacking Colonialism.
La Verdad Para Todos Por telefono Sin Nombre Una Esperanza La Opinion en Filipinas Filipinas Dentro De Clien Aňos Sobre La Indolencia El Amor Patrio Como Se Gobiernos Los Filipinos A Mi Legend of Maria Makiling
during this age, he wrote his second novel “El Filibusterismo”
while in Dapitan, wrote “Mi Retiro”- about his banishment in the area.
while in fort Santiago, wrote “ Testamento Politico”, a letter to his countrymen
day before execution, wrote his last poem “ Mi Ultimo Adios” ( My Last Farewell ) and gave it to Narcisa
fluent in the following languages- Russian, Spanish, Arabic, German, Portuguese, Swedish, Latin, Greek, French, Dutch, Italian, Hebrew, Catalan, Sanskrit, Japanese, Chinese, English, Tagalog,and other Philippine dialects.
as a child, he made use of the following results of his experiment to produce the colors he needed:
pepper- green root of the pot- black achuete- maroon duhat- aubergine rhizomes- yellow
at age 11, he mastered the card game “Pangginge” winning most of the time
at age13, taking up advanced Mathematics, received gold medal on the subject
at age 15, proficient in Physics and Chemistry, received Merit Card for Natural History in Ateneo
at age 24, received a Degree in Philosophy and Letters; after his graduation as a doctor, became a very successful ophthalmologist and general practioner and a much sought after surgeon
while in Dapitan, conducted countless scientific projects with Fr. Sanchez, his Ateneo professor; invented wooden machine that could turn out 6,000 pieces of bricks a day; *devised teaching aids, made writing tools and maps; used natural specimens during lessons in teaching geography, science, botany and zoology, reading and mathematics.
SPATIAL INTELLIGENCE (Ability to form a mental model and operate using the model)
as a child, invented his own toys made of scrap paper, cloth remnants, old pieces of wool to create objects
at age 24, invented Tagalog lighter called “ sulpakan”
while in Dapitan-
built the waterwork system of the gravity type
built a public fountain of cemented bricks with water flowing out of the lion’s head ( made of clay)
set up commercial firm to promote business enterprises among Dapitanos
taught the fishermen how to weave a better variety of net
started hammock weaving industry among the poor people
constructed the lighting and water system and made the drainage project for the sanitation purposes
made a giant relief map of the Philippines at the town plaza, covered 20 square yards that took about two months to complete the map is still maintained by the government as a memorial to Rizal)
started a 16-hectare farm of fruit trees, breed rabbits, dogs and cats
built a hospital and school buildings, planned and drafted the façade of the building.
he designed the altar of the Holy Rosary Cathedral in Dipolog City
BODILY-KINESTHETIC INTELLIGENCE (Athletic and Creative Abilities)
leader of various athletic societies
proficient in fencing, target shooting, boxing, cricket, wrestling, weight lifting and horseback riding
climbed some parts of Mt. Makiling with his brother Paciano and his bodyguard, Lt. Jose Taviel de Andrade
opened a gymnasium in Calamba to stop the young men from gambling
took up extra courses in painting and sculpture which was known then as “ Classes de Adorno”
as a child made countless sculptures of different animals; made drawings of different sceneries such as ducks in the ponds, flying birds, etc.
at age 14, made a sketch of his first love, Segunda Katigbak; and at age 26, made his self-portrait
made the following carvings:
a. wooden biscuit mold with a lion’s head b. wooden tray with floral motif at the center c. bone chess pieces and wooden spinning tops d. Prometheus Bound e. wild boar f. a sleeping girl
made a pen and ink sketch of “ Christ in Gethsemane” and
crayon drawing of “ La Virgen Purisima”
some of his sculptures are:
a. statue of the Sacred Heart b. images of saints c. likeness of his professors d. figures of wild boar, dog, crocodile e. figure of woman cutting grass f. unfinished bust of his father g. Augustus Caesar
h. a beggar i. girl with “ bilao”
painted the portrait of his friend, Ferdinand Blumentritt
made sketches of the following:
Skyline of Manila Port of Aden, Yemen Cartoons of the Ullmer children Shoreline of Dapitan insects, fish, flora and fauna
(Ability to lead, understand, motivate other people)
at age 14 leader of the Ateneo group known as “the Musketeers” (also known as “School Boy Hero of Ateneo”)
“Consul Napoleon” of the school society “Los Compaňeros de Jehu”
“Congregacion de Maria” association of boys with great virtue and intelligence)
leader of the “ Literary Academy”
elected Honorary Chairman of “ La Solidaridad” ( Propaganda Movement Journal)
formed a club “ Los Indios Bravos” ( to show courage and bravery of the Filipinos)
leader of different athletic societies
in Heidelberg, formed a very close friendship with Protestant Pastor Ullmer and a Catholic priest, Fr. Heinrich Bardorf and their endless discussions made them believe that “ religion should bring about understanding not emnity among men”
the Vicar of Wilhelmsfeld, Pastor Karl Ullmer said, “ It was Rizal whose memory and affection lingered longest”.
Invited to speak before a German audience by the German Tourist Club, his German was greatly applauded by the people which was very rare among very cold Germans
Ferdinand Blumentritt considered Rizal as a son and said to him “ If you continue like this, you will become for your country one of those great men who exercise a definite influence on the development of a nation’s spirit.”
had “ charisma”, people are drawn to him; had a knack for making friends quickly and easily
his personal friends include leading European scientists like Meyer, Heller, Kiel, Knuttel and Joest; sent them rare specimens and to honor him, these scientists dedicated the following:
Dr. Boettger, a great zoologist named a new variety of frogs- Rhacophorus Rizali
Dr. Karl Heller, German scientist named a new species of beetle- Apogonia Rizali
Dr. E. Wandelock named a new breed of dragonfly- Draconi Rizali
1886- He was a member of the Chess Club of Germany
1887- He was a member of:
Ethnographic Society of Berlin Anthropological Society of Berlin
1888- he was elected Director of the Newspaper put up by the Filipino Community in Madrid
In early 1985, Josephine Braken or Josephine Leopoldone Taufer arrived in Dapitan with her foster father George Taufer who consulted Rizal about his eyes; in May of the same year, his sister Maria came to Dapitan with Josephine; Josephine stayed with Rizal even without marriage and gave birth to a premature baby boy, Peter
INTRAPERSONAL INTELLIGENCE (Ability to understand oneself, to have strong perception, to have an intuition)
at the age of 5 or 6, told her sister, “Someday, when I die people will make statues of me”
interpreted his mother’s dream as a sign that he will be out of prison in three months
reprimanded by his sisters for eating too much and told them, “ What matter if I eat much now when I shall live only a short while?”
in his “Filipinas Dentro De Cien Aňos, predicted that the United States will become interested in the Philippines
in his “Testamento Politico” ( Letter to his Countrymen) he said, “ I know that my country’s future depends in some ways upon me.”
when his mother told him the story of the “Foolish Moth”, her aim was to make him learn the importance of being obedient; but for Jose, the message was different; for him, the moth died a martyr for its dream; believes that“light is worthy enough for a man to sacrifice his life for it”
as a young boy, he was remembered by the townmates as being “too old for his age, mature and serious, intense and sensitive, quiet but keen and observant
his compassion was so great that as a young boy so small and frail, he climbed a tower to unloosen the kite of a friend because he could not bear to see the owner crying; same compassion for the growing blindness of his mother was one reason he chose a career in medicine
on October 1889, wrote Prof. Blumentritt, “I want to give my countrymen an example that I do not write for myself nor for my glory- but for my country.”
Wrote Graciano Lopez Jaena, “If one has to die, let him die at least in his country, for the cause of his country and for the welfare of his people.”
at the age of 13, he promised to himself, “I will work, I will labor, I will exert myself to excel in all I undertake and I will do my best for my contrymen.”
as a young student, he instinctively knew that “Education will bring Freedom” to the Philippines
in his letter to his family, written the first time he went abroad, he said, “ I have a mission to fulfill, like alleviating the sufferings of my fellowmen. I know that all this requires sacrifices- terrible ones! But I feel something that impels me to leave. May God’s grace be done!”
the idea of writing the “Noli” persisted in Rizal’s mind after reading several insulting books on his country and countrymen; he told the Filipino colony, “ Let us prove to the whole world that whenever the Filipino wants to, he can.” He told them to study and work for the country; that there is so much to do…. And so little time.
in his second novel “ El Filibusterismo”, Rizal was telling his people that unless they tell themselves to learn how to solve their social and political problems they would end up languishing in despair and the solution is education
about his court martial, he said, “ Let God’s will be done! I am all the time more and more calm about my destiny.’
(Ability to understand oneself, to have strong perception, to have an intuition)
at age 11, took up “Solfeggio” ( music lessons )
knew how to play the flute and was part of a music performing group
wrote “Hymn to Talisay”- a song about the activities of his school in Dapitan
at age 13, composed several ballads to Columbus, Magellan and Del Cano, the navigator
Based on this initial assessment, we can at least make our own conclusion about the combination of Rizal’s intelligences that made him what he is now.
“Dr. Jose Rizal was a genius. He was an architect, artist, businessman, cartoonist, educator, economist, ethnologist, scientific farmer, historian, inventor, journalist, linguist, musician, mythologist, nationalist, naturalist, novelist, physician, ophthalmic surgeon, painter, poet, propagandist, psychologist, scientist, sculptor, sociologist, theologian, excellent swordsman and shooter, a musician, a sportsman”.- ( Jose Rizal- Teofilo Montemayor- NHI)
Researched & Compiled by Mrs. Linda D. Lazaro, Owner-Directress-Child Garden School, Calamba City, Former Chairman- Calamba Cultural Board, Former Member-Researcher- Rizal Day Executive Committee