As one of the most celebrated figures in Philippine history, every facet of José Rizal's life has been explored virtually to exhaustion. So, it's no surprise that the country's national hero has been the focus of rumors and conspiracy theories for decades.
The stories range from the unbelievably crazy to the utterly absurd (trust us, the theories just get weirder and weirder). Which is why we've taken the time to list down the greatest ones that will give you a good laugh.
Here are the most enduring conspiracy theories about José Rizal.
He was Jack the Ripper.
Let's start with a classic. Out of all the conspiracy theories about Rizal, this one is the most talked-about. Surprisingly, many believe that the national hero led a double life as serial killer Jack the Ripper.
You at least have to give it to the conspiracy theorists who concocted this for putting the hard facts together to support the Jack the Ripper story (if you try hard to make a connection, that is). Aside from Rizal being in London at the same time the killings started, he also left the area at the same time the murders ended. Then, there's the suspicion that Jack the Ripper was a doctor due to the way the killings were done. As a final point, theorists say Rizal's initials are also suspect.
He fathered Adolf Hitler.
If you've read up on Rizal, then you know that he went to Germany and Austria several times. The theory says it was during one of these visits that he fathered a child with an Austrian prostitute that grew up to become Adolf Hitler. A diary entry by Dr. Maximo Viola backs up the one-night stand but nothing about a child.
The theory still lives on, though.
He fathered (again) Mao Zedong.
Rizal's reported escapades and its alleged products don't stop there. A theory insists that Rizal fathered Mao Zedong all the way in China while he was imprisoned in Dapitan. It's a stretch especially since Rizal was last in the area after visiting Hong Kong two years before Mao Zedong was born.
He was gay.
Like any famous person, Rizal has dealt with gay rumors. According to the theory, Rizal's purported homosexuality was the reason he never fathered a child. Historians argue that Josephine Bracken had a miscarriage, but the theory clears that up by saying that was due to her being raped by her father.
The truth, however, is much less exciting.
The basis of the rumor is reportedly an entry from Rizal's diary where he wrote "I am gay." Pretty straightforward, right? Not quite. Rizal was using the word in its primary meaning: joyful, carefree, bright, or... you get the point.
The story is probably the least known out of all the theories, but it was given new life when Alden Richards played Jose Rizal on GMA Network's Ilustrado series.
He was alive after his execution.
Every Filipino knows how Rizal's life ended. Here's a refresher: On December 30, 1896, Rizal was executed in what was then Bagumbayan. The events after, however, have been the subject of—you guessed it—conspiracy theories, the most popular one being that he rose from the dead shortly after.
The theory hinges on the fact that a document from the National Archives revealed that Rizal's remains went missing as it was being transported to Paco Cemetery. Even weirder? Witnesses say they found a chicken in place of the body.
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This story originally appeared on Esquiremag.ph.
* Minor edits have been made by the Candymag.com editors.