Dr. Jose Rizal's Family Tree

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His wisdom and sacrifices for the country earned him the title of the greatest Malayan who ever lived. It was an honor he rightfully deserve. Up to this day, no Asian has surpassed Rizal’s ingenuity and extreme intelligence.

The fact that he is the national hero of the Philippines is just one side of him. The life and times of Rizal though short is an endeavor that scholars and scientists alike find worthy to study and analyze. What is it about the union of Francisco Mercado and Teodora Alonzo (Rizal’s parents) that produce Jose Rizal? As well-known Rizalist, Dr. Austin Craig was the first to trace Rizal’s family roots and discover his Chinese ancestry.

Rizal’s Chinese Ancestors A Chinese immigrant and business tycoon Don Domingo Lamco (Chinese name: Cue Yi-Lam) of Laguna was the great-great grandfather of Jose Rizal. Lamco is originally from Amoy China who came to the Philippines in the mid 17th century. This is where he met his wife, Inez de la Rosa daughter of Agustin Chinco an immigrant trader from Chuanchow.

To prevent conflict and hostility with the Spanish authorities, he decided to dropped the name Lam-co and adapted a Spanish surname. As merchants they chose the name "Mercado" because it means market. Lamco started the businesses of the Mercado clan. He was a successful entrepreneur in spite of the discrimination experienced by Chinese traders from the Spaniards.

In June 1697, Lamco was baptized in the Catholic church of Manila's Parian Chinese ghetto and moved to Biñan, Laguna. He was 35 years old at the time. His financial state improved in Binan and he became a Chinese community leader. Lamco's son Francisco Mercado and grandson Juan Mercado married Chinese mestizas and both served as distinguished mayors of Biñan for five terms.

Juan's wife Cirila Alejandra was the daughter of an immigrant trader and Domingo Lamco's baptismal godson Siong-co. They are the parents of Rizal’s father. When Rizal’s father was born, the family transferred to Calamba. The house they built was the first stone house in the whole town.

Jose Rizal’s brother, Paciano was identified with one of the martyred priest, Jose Burgos so the family changed their surname from Mercado to Rizal.

Recent genealogical findings revealed that Rizal also had Spanish, Japanese, and Negrito ancestry. Teodora’s (Rizal’s mom) great grandfather, Eugenio Ursua was a descendant of Japanese settlers.

Ursua married a Filipina named Benigna and their union produced Regina Ursua. Atty. Manuel de Quintos,

a Sangley mestizo from Pangasinán married Regina and their daughter is named Brigida. Brigida married a half-caste Spaniard named Lorenzo Alberto Alonzo. They are the parents of Teodora and Rizal’s grandfather