FeaturedTwo Weeks as a Titan

Two Weeks as a Titan: Episode 2 – Jose Rizal

I just recently concluded the first titan, Richard Branson.

And I’ve moved on to my next titan, Dr. Jose Rizal. For those of you who don’t know, he’s the Philippines’ national hero.

actual height difference
actual height difference

I had several reasons for choosing Jose Rizal:

  1. He’s a personal hero. Ever since I first moved to the Philippines, I’ve been obsessed about the stories about Rizal. His exploits in Europe, his renaissance man lifestyle (he was a doctor, scholar, artist, writer, sculptor, teacher, martial artist, engineer, scientist and overall badass) and his overall influence on the course of my homeland’s history.
  2. Richard Branson made me question, “How was his lifestyle at 30, though?” After finishing the last experiment, I asked myself if this was how Branson lived his life when he was my age (considering he had just started Virgin Air and was straight off the bat from Virgin Music). Rizal died at the age of 35. Despite the difference in time, I thought that any historical routines/habits around Rizal’s life would help me shift perspectives around what’s possible for someone my age.
  3. I was complaining last week. One thing that kept on popping up in my videos was my complaints about Metro Manila traffic. One thing that I admire greatly about Rizal was during his exile to Dapitan (coincidently, the second time he was exiled by the Spanish government) he made it his mission to improve the lives of the local community.

    He built an aqueduct for them, installed coconut-oil powered lighting systems, drained marshes to lower the cases of Malaria and overall improved agriculture in this quiet provincial town. And here I am complaining about traffic. Something that affects me (and many other Filipinos) on a day to day basis. While Rizal, who didn’t have to do anything as a famous surgeon and writer, spent his days teaching, healing and building a community far away from what he knew as home.

    So, within the next two weeks I’m going to take on a small project to help address traffic in my local city of San Juan.

How did Rizal spend his days and how will I spend mine?

  • The most detailed information about his day is from his exile in Dapitan. I will be using this as a reference. I also found out that after his time in Paris, he moved to Brussels to get away from the distractions and spending of Paris nights. After moving to Brussels, he finished writing his second book, El Filibusterismo. I will incorporate the information I have about those days into my daily routine as well (e.g. time for writing, his sport)
  • Rizal was another 5am riser. (Another reason why I chose him). I’m going to continue the habit from my Richard Branson weeks.
  • Rizal before and after work (usually 4pm) spent time tending to plants and focusing on agriculture. I will do the same in a small home garden.
  • In the evenings, Rizal dedicated his time to study and writing. I am going to minimize my usual habits of watching series and going through personal social media and instead focus on these two things.
  • Rizal reportedly spoke 22 languages and was known for saying, “Man is multiplied by the number of languages he possesses and speaks”. I’m going to use my study time to refresh my Portuguese.
  • Rizal was also a martial artist (fencing). I’m going to take some time to focus as well on my own sport, Capoeira.

Here we go. Stay tuned here for the video!


If you have ideas of other titans or heroes I should emulate, comment below. Share their routine. I’ll send a digital copy of my novel to anyone who gets chosen. Keep track of my progress by visiting this page and the blog.

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Also published on Medium.

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