MAY 11, 1818
Francisco Mercado (May 11, 1818 - January 5, 1898), the father of our national hero Jose Rizal, was born in Biñan, Laguna. A prosperous farmer, he married Teodora Alonzo on June 28, 1848 and they had eleven children - Saturnina, Paciano, Narcisa, Olympia, Lucia, Maria, Jose, Concepcion, Josefa, Trinidad and Soledad. In 1849, Gov. Gen. Narciso Claveria decreed natives should have a distinct family name, and unsatisfied with his, he adopted “Rizal”, from the Spanish Ricial which means green field for pasture and so he became Francisco Rizal Mercado.