What if Jose Rizal Escaped Execution?
What if Jose Rizal escaped from the Spanish authorities and was never executed on December 30, 1896? What if he lived through the Philippine Revolution all the way to the American Period?
This isn’t a farfetched scenario as you may think. While Rizal was exiled in Dapitan, Dr. Pio Valenzuela tried to convince him to flee and that they had a ship waiting to sail him to Japan. Rizal refused the offer. Years later, while he was on a Cuba-bound ship, waiting to leave, Andres Bonifacio, Emilio Jacinto, and others (Yes, absorb that for a moment) disguised themselves as sailors, infiltrated the ship, and attempted to convince Rizal to go with them. Rizal again refused. On the day of his execution, both Bonifacio and Emilio Aguinaldo were formulating their own plans to rescue Rizal, but both were convinced by Rizal’s older brother Paciano not to go through with it. Simply put, it could have happened.
Assuming Rizal allowed himself to be rescued, what would have happened? Ultimately, the broad strokes of history may have still happened as they did, with perhaps a few differences along the way. The Katipunan may or may not have united around Rizal. The chain of events that led to Bonifacio’s execution may or may not have happened. The Pact of Biak-na-Bato may or may not have happened. Regardless, the Americans would have come anyway and fought the Spanish of their own volition. The Philippine-American War and the American Period would have still happened. While Rizal would undoubtedly have been an important figure had he survived, it’s tricky to guess what he would have done at the end of the Spanish period and the beginning of the American era.
One thing we can be sure of? Luneta would not be renamed Rizal Park, and the Rizal Monument would not have been placed there and would not look like how it appears now, simply because Rizal would still be alive by that time.
Source: wander.manila (instagram)
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