Rizal was fluent in twenty-two languages (Hebrew, Filipino, Ilokano, Bisayan, Subanon, Chinese, Latin, Spanish, Greek, English, French, German, Arabic, Malay, Sanskrit, Dutch, Japanese, Catalan, Italian, Portuguese, Swedish and Russian) and had a knack for switching from one language to another when he was writing.
If you think speaking 22 languages is not awesome enough, Rizal was also a certified polymath, which means a person of great learning in several fields of study. He was a journalist, playwright, ophthalmologist, farmer, historian, painter, novelist, engineer, and educator. He also had varying degrees of expertise in economics, ethnology, sociology, anthropology, architecture, cartography, martial arts, dramatics, fencing, and pistol shooting.
If you think being a polyglot and a polymath makes your resume look bad compared to Rizal’s, then wait until you hear that he was also a — tada! — sculptor.
At 14 years old, using batikuling wood, Rizal carved a 9-inch statuette of the Sacred Heart. He also made masterpieces out of plaster, terracotta, wax, and clay.
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