Rizal had 14 ‘queridas’ — historian Ocampo

News & Features Jun 14, 2013 at 11:30 am
Ambeth Ocampo spoke about Rizal’s loves and women and the hero’s ‘Oedipus complex’ and indications he was gay.

Ambeth Ocampo spoke about Rizal’s loves and women and the hero’s ‘Oedipus complex’ and indications he was gay. Photos: HG

By Hermie Garcia The Philippine Reporter

TORONTO — Historian Ambeth Ocampo had a field day amusing and making the audience laugh with his  research, anecdotes and trivia about the loves and women in Jose Rizal’s life on Friday, June 7, at Ryerson University.

On the second part of his more than 3-hour presentation, organized by  Eskwela Incorporated led by Cheryll San Juan, he began by stating that Rizal had 14 “queridas” which to Filipinos means mistresses.

He quickly clarified that the Spanish word querida means “loved one” and records indicate there were 14 women significant to Rizal’s life or those he was attracted to. Among them were Segunda Katigbak (#1), Leonor Rivera (#2), Usui Seiko (#5), Gertrude “Gettie” (#6), Nelly Boustead (#8), Suzanne Jacoby (#10), Josephine Bracken (#13), and his mother Teodora Alonso (#14).

Ocampo talked about indications or speculations that Rizal was gay based mainly on a “pattern” that he pursued them but in the end would show he was “incapable of a stable relationship with a woman.”

According to Ocampo, Josephine Bracken was the 13th woman in Rizal’s life. The 14th was his mother, Teodora Alonso.

According to Ocampo, Josephine Bracken was the 13th woman in Rizal’s life. The 14th was his mother, Teodora Alonso.

Ocampo talked about Rizal’s letters and poety that indicated his intense passion for his love interests yet failed to conclude any of his relationships into a stable marriage.

Among the most hilarious of Ocampo’s topics was the three versions of how Josephine Bracken had a miscarriage of her baby supposedly  with Rizal. All of which turned out to be unlikely speculations. Ocampo later said Bracken’s baby could be really by her abusive stepfather and not Rizal’s.

Another unwritten about detail in history books was that Bracken sued the Rizal family, claiming there was a will and that she was deprived of some of Rizal’s estate that rightfully belonged to her, among them some Hidalgo paintings. She was said to have lost the court case.

Ocampo also talked about the theory that Rizal was the father of Adolf Hitler. There was a report that nine months before Hitler was born, Rizal had an affair with a woman who was Hitler’s mother in the birth place of the late German leader. That led to speculation that Rizal was the father of Hitler. It turned out that Rizal was in another place at that time.

A question was asked in the open forum about the Americans selecting Rizal as a the country’s national hero. Ocampo said it was Renato Constantino who asserted that and it was at a time when anti-Americanism was at its peak; that Rizal was the people’s hero before the Amercicans came.  He said he researched that and found nothing of the sort and said it was a leftist ideologically-inspired idea. He said Rizal told the revolutionaries they were not prepared and “that’s exactly what happened. Bonifacio lost all his battles.”

Historian Ambeth Ocampo delivered a talk in Toronto on June 7 at Ryerson University. From left: Congen Junever Mahilum West, Ocampo, Sheryl San Juan and John West. PHOTOS: HG

Historian Ambeth Ocampo delivered a talk in Toronto on June 7 at Ryerson University. From left: Congen Junever Mahilum West, Ocampo, Sheryl San Juan and John West. Photos: HG