The Loves of Rizal-Josephine Bracken

Josephine Bracken

Jose Rizal met Josephine Bracken in Dapitan in 1895. She was an eighteen year old Irish girl with blue eyes and brown hair.She came from Hongkong together with her foster father, George Taufer and a 40-year old lady from Macau (Francesca Spencer). The 63-year old blind American widower and machinist from New York City sought the help of Rizal for his eye problem.
Due to his boredom and loneliness in Dapita, Rizal must have fallen in love with the foreigner.

Rizal asked Josephine to marry him. Josephine did not decide yet not until George Taufer left for Hongkong since his eye problem was untreatable. Josephine came back from Hong Kong and stayed with Rizal's family.

Upon her return to Dapitan, Rizal tried to get the permission of the Church
thru Father Antonio Obach to marry her.

However, the priest wanted a retraction as a precondition before marrying them. Rizal upon the advice of his family and friends and with Josephine’s consent took her as his wife even without the Church blessings. Josephine later give birth prematurely to a stillborn baby.

Dr. Rizal's sister named the baby, Francisco in honor of their father. Josephine, on the other hand, preferred the name Peter for her son. The baby was buried somewhere in the Gazebo (Glorieta), the favorite working place of Dr. Rizal, which was part of the improvements he made in Dapitan.

Josephine and Rizal were with Fr. Victor Balaguer, S.J. as the officiating priest. This was at 5:30 a.m. on December 30, 1896, about two hours before he was shot at Bagumbayan (now Rizal Park).

After the execution of Rizal, Josephine joined Paciano and Trinidad Rizal (her brother- and sister-in-law, the latter a Katipunera and a Mason)to join the Katipuneros.

She was billeted at the Tejeros estate house which she converted into a field hospital for the revolutionists. Together with the women of San Francisco de Malabon, Josephine took care of the sick and wounded Filipino soldiers from the battlefields.

She acted as the morale booster of the soldiers while making day and night rounds of the sick at the hospital. Josephine Bracken was an actual witness to the Tejeros convention of March 22, 1897.

On December 15, 1898, Josephine Bracken remarried, this time to another Filipino, Vicente Abad, a businessman whom she met in Hong Kong. They came back to the Philippines where Josephine taught English in a school where the future president of the Philippines, Sergio Osmena was one of her famous students.

In her second marriage, Josephine had a child named Dolores (nicknamed Pichay). Some of the Abads, all mestizos, claimed that Pichay was not a daughter of Vicente but of Dr. Rizal.


No comments: