Touch-Me-Not - Noli Me Tangere, Dr. Jose Rizal


This article is about Dr. Jose Rizal,a National Hero of the Philippines and notably the Bahay Kubo or Nipa Hut in the garden of his house. Presented by Knight Commander Rizal, Professor Sir Dr. Tan Man Ho (October 30, 2013)


Dr. Jose Rizal
Boy Rizal

Bahay Kubo

Noli Me Tangere - Touch-Me-Not
Noli Me Tangere
(Touch Me Not)

The original front cover of the book

Author : Jose Rizal
Country :
Philippines (first printing in Berlin)
Language : Spanish
Genre : Novel, satire, Philippine history
Publication date : 1887
Media type : Print (hardcover)
Followed by : El Filibusterismo
Philippine Folk Song: Bahay Kubo
This is a Philippine Folk Song about various vegetable plants around a nipa hut. The rice field photos were taken more or less three (3) weeks before typhoon Pepeng (Parma) stayed stationary for more than 3 days at Laoag, Ilocos Norte (landed on Philippine soils on Oct. 2, 2009) and flooded northern Luzon

Dr. Jose Rizal (Jose Protacio Rizal Mercado y Alonso Realonda), a Filipino nationalist, a writer, a doctor, a scientist, a patriotic revolutionary, an artist and foremost a National Hero of the Philippines.  Rizal was a contemporary of Ghandi, Tagore and Sun Yat Sen who also advocated liberty through peaceful means rather than by violent revolution. Coinciding with the appearance of those other leaders, Rizal from an early age had been enunciating in poems, tracts and plays, ideas all his own of modern nationhood as a practical possibility in Asia.  Although his field of action lay in politics, Rizal's real interests lay in the arts and sciences, in literature and in his profession as an ophthalmologist.  Shortly after his death, the Anthropological Society of Berlin met to honor him with a reading of a German translation of his farewell poem and Dr.Rudolf Virchow delivering the eulogy.  During his exile, he became a noted biologist, having discovered rare animal species, notably the Philippine Gliding Lizard He sent specimens secretly to Europe and even proposed a binomial name for the creature (which is still used today).  Rizal also tried his hand at painting and sculpture. His most famous sculptural work was The Triumph of Science over Death, a clay sculpture of a naked young woman with overflowing hair, standing on a skull while bearing a torch held high. The woman symbolized the ignorance of humankind during the Dark Ages, while the torch she bore symbolized the enlightenment science brings over the whole world. He sent the sculpture as a gift to his dear friend Ferdinand Blumentritt, together with another one named "The Triumph of Death over Life".

He wrote numerous poems in his lifetime.  One of his Poems known as "Memories of My Town" describes his childhood life in his home town  at Calamba, Laguna in the Philippines and his house, by the shore and the murmuring cool lagoon, is scented by the flowers in the forest woods carried to the simple home by the breeze.  It was the memories of simple life of his home town - deeply reflecting the desire, the fun, the joy, the peace and the repose in his meditation.
In the garden of his house is a Bahay Kubo or Nipa hut (see replica images below) where Rizal used to spend his day as a child and a statue of Rizal as a boy - an added attraction made by Dudley Daiz for the 1996 Centennial Celebration.

Memories of My Town

When I recall the days
That saw my childhood of yore
Beside the verdant shore
Of a murmuring lagoon;
When I remember the sighs
Of the breeze that on my brow
Sweet and caressing did blow
With coolness full of delight;

When I look at the lily white
Fills up with air violent
And the stormy element
On the sand doth meekly sleep;
When sweet 'toxicating scent
From the flowers I inhale
Which at the dawn they exhale
When at us it begins to peep;

I sadly recall your face,
Oh precious infancy,
That a mother lovingly
Did succeed to embellish.
I remember a simple town;
My cradle, joy and boon,
Beside the cool lagoon
The seat of all my wish.

Oh, yes! With uncertain pace
I trod your forest lands,
And on your river banks
A pleasant fun I found;
At your rustic temple I prayed
With a little boy's simple faith
And your aura's flawless breath
Filled my heart with joy profound.
Saw I God in the grandeur
Of your woods which for centuries stand;
Never did I understand
In your bosom what sorrows were;
While I gazed on your azure sky
Neither love nor tenderness
Failed me, 'cause my happiness
In the heart of nature rests there.

Tender childhood, beautiful town,
Rich fountain of happiness,
Of harmonious melodies,
That drive away my sorrow!
Return thee to my heart,
Bring back my gentle hours
As do the birds when the flow'rs
Would again begin to blow!

But, alas, adieu! E'er watch
For your peace, joy and repose,
Genius of good who kindly dispose
Of his blessings with amour;
It's for thee my fervent pray'rs,
It's for thee my constant desire
Knowledge ever to acquire
And may God keep your candour!

Dr. Jose Rizal's Poem

 Odyssey News 


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