When Jose Rizal and Antonio Luna Almost Fought to The Death

As much as we venerate and respect the Filipino National Heroes, they are normal humans like any of us. And with that said, expect them to do normal people blunders as well.

The picture of drunken Jose Rizal and company is still fresh in my mind. I only saw it a year ago, but it gave me an eye opener that they are no different than us. He, the national hero with his own shrine in Luneta was caught in a drunken stupor with his friends. In modern times, the scene belongs in pubs and parties, or worst in fail videos. There was even a case in one of our company events where we must restrain a drunken friend before he went into a brawl!

Sure, it’s not a pretty sight and not something you will show to high school students. But again, I see no harm done when you show the human sides of heroes, given that people won’t emulate the nastier sides of their personality. And now that we speak of nastier sides, there was one moment in the lives of our heroes that almost turned disastrous. The two parties involved here are Jose Rizal and Antonio Luna. Both are great heroes in their own rights, and both almost killed each other thanks mostly to alcohol, woman and jealousy.

Jose Rizal, The Ladies' Man
A photo of Jose Rizal.

It’s no secret among historians that Jose Rizal was a ladies’ man. Aside from his works and contributions to Filipino nationalism, his love stories were also the stuffs of legend.

There were nine women linked to Rizal. Nine women coming from different provinces, and nationalities. He first fell in love in his teenage years, at the age of 16 to a 14-year-old Batanguena Segunda Katigbak whom Rizal described as “short.” Nevertheless, his admiration was bound to end, as the girl was engaged to another man going by the name of Manuel Luz.

And that was just a start.

Who could forget Leonor Rivera, another puppy love and the inspiration of the character Maria Clara in his novels? Then there is another Leonor from Pagsanjan, the tall Leonor Valenzuela. And while bo